You’ve decided to give watchmaking a go.
Maybe because you’re already into watches and you want to add another layer to your hobby. Perhaps you’ve always liked to repair and fix stuff and watches are another challenge.
Either way, you need tools but every time you visit one of the online warehouses you’re overwhelmed with the huge supply of different tools and equipment. What do you need and do you need it right away?
This is a list of tools which are absolutely essential to start with watchmaking. You can always buy more tools when you gain more experience or when you need something specific (and believe me, you will).
I initially included links to Cousins UK because that’s where I buy all my tools and parts. However, I didn’t realize that you need to create an account, otherwise the links don’t work.
I don’t want to force anyone to create an account so I’m linking to Ofrei and Esslinger now.
This is a nice early Jumbo Tissot Antimagnetique. The diameter is 38 mm without the crown.
Early Tissot watches, including the Antimagnetique, came with all kinds of evolutions of the Tissot 27, but this one has the base caliber.
The serial number is 1010496 and that dates this watch to 1938 or 1939.
This Tissot needed a service because it was a couple minutes fast, with the regulator in the middle position. It also needed a new crystal and a new crown.
Forgive me for the watch strap that is broken and too small.
This is a wonderful vintage Certina Club 2000.
Although it’s one of the lower grade Certinas, it’s still beautifully finished and it has a solid stainless steel case.
All the Certina in-house movements that I’ve encountered are great performers and you can accurately regulate them with the micro-regulator.
Sadly, the 25-66M movement in this Certina wasn’t running.
Certina produced the 25-66M from ’75 till ’77. This Certina has a serial number that consists of 9 digits and that indicates that it’s a ’74+ piece so it’s all adding up.
There were some problems with winding because you could wind it until forever without it ever building up any resistance. If you think that sounds like a broken mainspring, you’re right!
It also had some problems with water resistance because at one time the crystal fogged up during an exceptionally hot day.
This is a nice Roamer dress watch with an MST 372 movement. This movement was produced with several types of shock protection systems. This one has Shock-Resist and that places the watch in the mid to late 1940s.
It has a US import code on the balance cock; FXU. That means that this watch was imported to the USA from Switzerland and was therefore intended for the US market.
FXU has Roamer and Meyer & Stüdeli listed so the movement is correct (at least the balance cock is).
The movement ran very erratically and setting the time was rough.
When I removed the hands, I found out why the Timegrapher showed me a snowstorm on the screen. The hour hand and the minute hand actually stuck together because of severe magnetism.
I used my Elma Antimag to demagnetize the hands and I demagnetized the trays with parts before I put them in the watch cleaning machine.
Liban is not that well known but this is probably the fourth I repaired. All of them were Art Deco style watches or smaller dress watches.
This one did run but only intermittently. The movement is the AS 1200.
The winding stem was also too short so the crown couldn’t be pushed back in enough.
As a result, the watch was always in the time setting mode unless you pushed the crown and turned it at the same time.
The movement is heavily tarnished and discoloured. I don’t know what would’ve caused this. It’s mainly focussed around pivot holes, bearing jewels and around the edge of the plate.
Perhaps someone cleaned it with the wrong kind of cleaning solution.