Before I have started to collect watches, I had no idea about any specific watch tools. My naïve idea was to buy a watch, enjoy it, end of the story. There were two times that I realized that I should invest some money into the essential watch tools.
The first time, I wanted to change my bracelet on my OMEGA watch, and without the spring bar, it becomes a bit challenging and almost impossible. The second time, I have sold my Panerai watch, and I thought that the watch keeps good time by timing the watch with my stopwatch, what a mistake.
When the buyer received the watch, he showed me the timegrapher readings, which were a disaster. I felt super bad and was going to take the watch back or give him money for the service.
He refused, but this was a super valuable lesson because I do check all my timepieces when I receive them on my timegrapher.
I do not want you to make the same mistake by not investing money in the essential watch tools.
Keep in mind that there are so many tools available, but for me, Timegrapher, Demagnetizer, Spring Bar Tool, Watch Bracelet Holder, Loupe, Case Back Ball, Scale, Microfiber Cloth, Watch Winder is a must have in my toolbox.
The Essential watch tools
Timegrapher is one of the most essential watch tools you should have. Not because it’s cool to look at it, but also because you will know how accurate your timepiece is or if you need to find a watchmaker to service your watch. By using the timegrapher, you will be able to learn these signs about your watch movement.
For me personally, I do focus on the Rate, which is how fast or slow the watch runs in seconds per day. If my watch runs more than +/- 20 s/d I like to service them.
The second thing I do look at is the Beat Error, It is the measurement of time between “tick” and “tock” and the comparison of the two. In lame terms, it shows how far the dost on the timegrapher are from each other, and in a perfect world, there will be only one line and not two. Honestly, I did not see any of my watches having the beat error higher than 0.03, which is fantastic for the number of watches I was able to own it.
Some of the people do like to look on the Amplitude, which is the amount of the rotation in the swing of the balance wheel. Personally, I make sure that the numbers are in the recommended specification, as seen below.
Great: great :+/- 5 s/d
acceptable : +/- 12 s/d
great : 270-310
acceptable : 250-270
great : 0.0-0.5 ms
acceptable : 0.6-1 ms
Remember that you should measure the watch in various positions, not only when the watch lies flat. The numbers will be different, but it should be in the same range as mentioned above or at least in the average.
When you wear the watch, you do swing with your arm, right? That’s the reason for changing the placement.
Demagnetizer is an amazing watch tool because many watches can still get very easily magnetized which makes your watch less accurate.
When you use the demagnetizer tool, all you have to do is to place the watch on the box and hold the red button which turns on the machine. After that, you slowly pull it away.
You will do it several times by placing the watch case differently on the box and pulling it slowly away.
The result should be positive in the way of have a more accurate watch than before.
Spring Bar Tool
If you do enjoy to make your watch look unique or just need to change the strap or bracelet, this is a must tool. It allows you to change the strap very effectively unless your timepiece is the once which made it more challenging to change it. My first spring bar tool was the Bergeon 6767, which has two different tips.
One site allows you to push the pin inside the hole of the watch case. For Example, older Rolex models
The other site allows you to get between the pin and the case to release the pin from the one side before you will do the same on the other side.
Remember that the spring bar tool is sharp, and if you are not careful, you might damage your watch case. It’s wise to tape the watch case with tape to prevent the scratches.
Watch bracelet holder
This is a very essential tool for me, and I used it all the time, especially when I want to adjust the bracelet size. The first time I have used this watch tool, I was surprised how simple it was. All you need is to place the bracelet in the holder, use the pin pusher and hit the hammer on the top of the pin pusher. Just do not hit your fingers.
If your watch does not have the pins, you will need to use small screwdrivers. I would highly recommend getting a better quality once because you do not want to use a cheap once which do the band. I have learned that the hard way.
When you are buying watches online, it’s a smart idea to check the watch to make sure that you know you got the authentic watch and not a replica one. The loupe does allow you to see all the detail of the watch and it’s much easier to spot a fake watch.
Also, it’s a good idea to check the movement, if you have the open case back, it’s much easier to observe the movement. I guaranteed you that by using the loupe and looking at the movement, you will be even more fascinated by the watch than before. It’s incredible, how much detail and precision goes into making the movements.
Case back ball
The is very helpful, especially on the watches you want to check the movement. This plastic friction ball does open case backs most of the time. Certain case backs are harder to open than others, and when you are not able to open it, you might need to find help from your watchmakers.
The case back ball does not leave any marks on the case back, which makes it my favorite tool to check the movements for authenticity. Keep in mind that you should know what you are doing and not to touch the movement by hand. Looking is ok, but no touching.
The scale has multiple purposes. I do use the scale to weight the watch when I get it to make sure that they do weight as they should. Many fake/replica watches, do not use the high-quality materials for the movements, and the watches are might lighter. If you noticed that the watch is much lighter, it’s a red flag with a potential of getting something you did not want to get.
Last but not least, I do use the scale to weight my package before I do ship my watches. That way, I do know how much should I expect to pay for the shipping label, and I am not going to be slammed by a higher cost.
If you think your watch is clean, use the microfiber cloth. After rubbing on the case or the bracelet, you will notice the amount of dirt which was accumulated on it.
Personally, I do like to wipe my watches once a week. It’s nice to see that the crystal is clean and no dirt is on the watch. If your watch is filthy, you should use a soft brush with a mild soap. You should be able to make the watch look beautiful again.
Watch winders are great to keep your watch stored and keep it wind before you decide to use the watch again. I personally, do not mind to wind my watches manually, because I do enjoy the feeling of helping the watch starts running back by turning the crown and recharging it.
There are different thoughts about the watch winders. Some people do like it to store their watches in there, others enjoy that they watches are ready to be worn right away without having it to wind them. Last but not least, some people believe that the watches to wear faster if they are on the watch winder. It’s like, putting more miles in your car, will more likely increase the chance of getting some parts to be worn out and you will need to change it.
Where can I get the essential watch tools?
All the watch tools I have discussed might not be essential for your watch collection, but for me, they become more critical since I have realized that I will need them to have them ready.
There is a great feeling to be able to take care of your watches on your own without going to a watchmaker and ask them to do it for you. I would highly recommend looking into those tools on your own, and I believe that you will be able to realize very quickly, that you should have some much earlier.