How to Become a Watchmaker – Part One – Introduction

So you have an interest in watches, and like the idea of becoming a watchmaker. As a watchmaker myself, who made a very conscious decision to choose this career and embarked upon a path to become traditionally trained, I cannot recommend the industry highly enough. The sense of satisfaction from taking something old, worn and …

How to Polish a Watch Case and Bracelet

A watchmaker’s work is often left unappreciated as it is hidden inside the case. The fact that the watch is keeping time and functioning as it should are the only outside indicators of a well serviced watch. When studying to become a watchmaker we were often told the mantra that “you can’t see a good …

How to Spot and Fix a Watch Battery Leak

Watch batteries used in quartz watches, specifically Silver Oxide cells, often leak. (click here to learn more about watch batteries) The electrolyte used in a Silver Oxide watch battery is highly alkaline and corrosive and so when a battery leaks inside a watch it can be catastrophic for the movement. In a combined survey of …

How to Poise a Balance Wheel

If the balance wheel’s weight is not correctly distributed, then you will end up with a heavy spot, or an unpoised balance wheel. When a watch is in either the dial up or down position, the balance wheel will be horizontal and therefore the effect of any uneven weight will be virtually negated. However if …

How to Make a Balance Staff

A balance staff is the shaft on which the balance wheel is mounted. The rotating axis around which the balance wheel oscillates is formed by a line running through the pivots at the end of the staff. These pivots fit into jeweled bearings and are lubricated by minute oil reservoirs. The process of making a …

How to Rivet a Wheel to a Pinion

In almost all cases wheels and pinions are pre-riveted. Sometimes, if the wheel or pinion is damaged you will want to replace them. In newer models you can just order a complete wheel and pinion set, but this option is not always available if the calibre of watch is old or you are working on …

How to File a Square on a Cylinder

Being able to file a square is a core skill of a watchmaker, demonstrating the ability to file a flat and at perpendicular angles. For a small piece such as this we will use a cut 6 file. When you are cutting the cylinder to diameter, try and go to the maximum minimum tolerance on …

How to Make a Winding Stem

A winding stem is usually invisible to the average wearer of a watch, and if it is made correctly and doesn’t break, then it will remain that way. For something that is just 2cm long, it has a suprisingly large number of parts and techniques required to make one accurately by hand. Nowerdays, most watch …

Thread Showing Through

How to Make a Screw Thread

In preparing to make a screw thread you must first make sure that the cylinder you are going to use is of equal width down its entire length. It should always be 0.01-0.05mm under the thread size. In this example I am turning a 1.2mm thread and so I took the post to between 1.19-1.15mm. …