Tools For Repairing Pocket Watches

Written by kristen marquette
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Tools For Repairing Pocket Watches
Invest in watchmaker oils and cleaning solutions. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Maybe you want to repair that old pocket watch your grandfather gave you for your birthday. Maybe you hope to begin as new career as a watchmaker. Or maybe you're just looking to take up a new hobby. Before tinkering with a broken pocket watch, make sure you have the tools necessary to fix such small and intricate machinery.

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Before you can repair your pocket watch, you need to be able to get into the pocket watch and its machinery. Case openers consist of a short handle and a small, rounded piece of metal. Get tools allow you to remove back of the pocket watch's case in a quick moment. Without these tools, you may spend hours trying to get the case open. The bow -- the part of the watch that connect to the chain -- also needs to come off. To prevent injury to the watch as well as to your finger, use a bow opener which has a long handle connected to a metal half circle.


Tiny screws hold the pocket watches gears in place. To replace or remove these gears you will need a set of tiny screwdrivers, preferably made out of a heavy, industrial metal so they screwdrivers don't break on you. Invest different size screwdrivers for the different size screws. Purchase a set of screwdrivers containing blades sizes of .50, .60, .80, 1.0, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 2.0 and 2.5 millimetres. (Reference 3)


To hold all those tiny pocket watch pieces, you will need non-magnetic tweezers. You want the inside planes of the ends of your tweezers to be sharp and absolutely parallel. This keeps the parts from slipping out of your grip. Non-magnetic tweezers allow you to pick up and set down the metal parts with ease. Magnetic tweezers won't work because the metal parts will cling to the tool when you want to put them in place.


Watchmakers use miniature hammers for their work. These hammer look and function much like a normal hammer, just smaller. For example, Esslinger's Swiss-Style watchmaker rivet hammer comes with a 10-millimeter diameter head for securing parts in place and a chisel end for riveting. It weights only 56.7gr and measures 65 millimetres in length. Other watchmaker hammers might be slightly larger or slightly smaller. (Reference 4) Once you have finished repairing the watch, you need to close the case again. For this, you use a miniature mallet. The mallet is about the same size as the hammer and won't dent your casing.


Repairing a pocket watch requires the use of both hands and working with tiny parts. A head vision tool fits around your head and fasteners two magnifiers in front of your eyes so you can see the inside working of the watch better. If the idea of wearing a head vision tool sounds uncomfortable, you can use an standing magnifier instead. The standing magnifier consists of a base, an flexible stem and a large magnifying lens.The stem allows you to position the lens where you want. Both tool perform the same function; it's just a matter of preference.

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