In these dark times of lock down we get the time to think an thinker around. After a few dm's about watchmaking I decided it was time to start this series: watchmaking 101 where I'll show some of my vintage and new tools as well as some tricks I learned on the way. Just to be clear: I know my way around a watch but I am not a 'classically schooled' watchmaker.
The most asked question: what are the essential watch tools? Well.. take a look at the picture. This is in fact my 'apocalypse' setup. The things I would grab and run to work as a watchmaker in war. Yes, just like they did in the 40's.
What tools are pictured here?
1) Screwdrivers: Personally I don't like the ones from Bergeon, I do use the sharpening tool from Bergeon. Just like a chef, I sharpen these bad boys on a weekly base. Tutorial incoming.
2) Calipers: Tutorial incoming, these are extremely important!
3) Oilers and oil pot: you need to oil those old timekeeping devices from time to time. I prefer super fine tips with the possibility to change the tips.
4) Hand levers and hand setting pens: Hand levers exist in both a presto and spoon version. My dad prefers the presto, I am old school and like the spoons. The pens to put hands back are not necessary but handy!
5) Caseback openers: knifes and spinnywinny tools. I got a bazillion knifes and spinny tools ranging from a rubber ball to a very expensive Bergeon setup. But the long weird metal thing on the picture is rather handy. About the knifes: thing blades but not sharp are the way to go.
6) Loupes: x5 and x10. Don't go overboard, you don't need a x25. Trust me, you don't want to stare at the soul of previous owners on the escape wheel.
7) Movement holder: GET THE ONE FROM BERGEON! CHEAP ONES = START OF AN ALCOHOL PROBLEM
8) Rodico, peg wood and a cushion: Rodico is a watchmaker putty in green or blue. Great for removing finger prints or cleaning some little things on a dial. Personally I locks click spring in place by this thing. You can also use peg wood for a lot of these things. Very handy all round to be honest. The cushion, well your watch case wants to nap too you know.
9) Tweezers: Sharp, Sharper, Blunt ( not the cannabis blunt, just a blunt tweezer), wood and a nail clipper kinda thing. You could change the wooden one for a brass but wood just is cooler. The nail clipper kinda tweezer is something I only discovered recently. It is super handy for pulling things that are stuck.
10) The parallel pliers: The ultimate, My favorite, The very best. Everybody should throw away those stupid regular pliers and only use these. They are the very very very best.
Anyhow, this is my basic setup. The things I need at all time. I will run over a few more specific tools in the upcoming weeks as well as some tutorials on how to use some tools! Stay sharp! (like my screwdrivers)