Jul 28, 2017

Watch Repair/Tool Kits

Does anyone have any recommendations? Amazon has a lot of affordable options, but I'm wondering if folks here have a set up they use and would pass along.
I'm not looking to do much - mostly swapping bands out, perhaps adjusting my own bracelets if it isn't too much effort. I have a really good local shop I've always taken my pieces to, but the gentleman recently passed away. Looking to go beyond my collecting and start tinkering a bit more on my own.
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Let's drop it!!! For sure there is many people willin to grab a good entry level tool kit. Few but good tools...
I do buy stuff from a site called micro-tools as one of my favorite sources. I just now checked and look at what I found in the sale-closeout section. I would jump on this for $3.00. I may even get one myself, but I already have all of these tools on hand.

https://www.micro-tools.com/collections/closeout-sale/products/jt6228

I have tried nearly all of the bracelet-sizing tools out there over the years. I find that the block-pin-hammer method is the most versatile and elegant. This kit has all of that included. The spring-bar tool looks like an inexpensive copy of the Bergeron tool, but for the price it will serve for a while. The genuine Bergeron tool prices go up and down wildly on Amazon. I used the cheap one for several years until I decided the ends were trashed enough to upgrade last year to the real thing. The only tool in that kit I could see ditching is the blue bracelet-pin-driving tool. They tend to flex in use and are more difficult than you may think they are to use. Stick to the block and hand-held pin drivers.

It is certainly not quite a complete kit. I personally would add 2 more items on the order to cover more case opening and closing situations (like for changing batteries for yourself and friends/relatives).

https://www.micro-tools.com/products/cwr-779-00
https://www.micro-tools.com/products/cry-905-00

The ball really is useful for screw-back cases and will open and close most watches fine. You can fall-back to the case-back wrench in the sale kit if the ball does not do it (but that tool can mar and scratch backs if you don't work it with care). The case press is for press-fit case backs. I find I can sometimes push them back on with thumb pressure, but more backs than not have a tighter fit that need the extra "oomph" from the case press. For under $25 you can be nicely outfitted and ready for all of what you want to do.

ps: look on Amazon or ebay for some kind of spring-bar kit with assorted sizes. Invaluable to have. Harbor Freight Tools even stock those if you have a store near you. Lots of 18mm, 20mm, 22mm and perhaps 24mm bars is ideal. In-between sizes show up on unexpected watches too.

Edit: fixed the last link so it actually is for the watch case press. Sorry.
BF_Hammer
Thanks for sharing your insight and experience, this is very helpful!
Digital caliper
Band block
Pin Pusher
Bergeon spring bar tool
https://www.amazon.com/Bergeon-6767-F-Watch-Spring-Tool/dp/B001IZT8R2
and a small Jewelers Mallet
and a small mat to work on and not let loose pins roll around

Maybe Massdrop could put a little kit together to offer up with all the bare essentials?

@Vincent.H what do you think man?
StainlessOnly
That would actually be a great drop, I'd get in on that.
StainlessOnly
Excellent idea. Maybe add to the list a small screwdriver for bracelets with screw links rather than pins.
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