Thought I'd post some suggestions on tools for beginners.
I have no doubt made omissions, comments welcome and feel free to add (or subtract) Basic Detailing ToolsYou will be able to remove the movement from the case (for cleaning of the case), remove the hands (clean, polish and maybe relume) and dial (dusting, or cleaning if enamel).
- Loupe: 5x or 10x
- Case knife
- Case opener
- Screw Drivers: 0.50, 0.6, 0.8, 1.0 and 1.2 are the most needed sizes.
- Screw Driver guide (for refinishing screwdrivers - keeping them in perfect condition and alignment)
- Stone (for above) plus refinishing your tweezers
- Tweezers: I like my (Dumont) #3 Ti and #1 Brass - but there is a lot of personal preference here.
- Hand removers (I prefer the K&D style but Bergeon ones work fine as well)
- Hand pushers (metal or nylon tipped, but you can get by with a drilled bit of peg wood)
I still don't own a bracelet pin pusher, but other people seem to suggest them - YMMV.Basic Detailing Consumables
- Rodico: not a mistake I listed it twice, it is that essential
- Peg wood
- Micro fibre cloth (glasses type)
- Lint and Acid free paper (Kimwipes or watchmaker's paper)
- finger cots
Basic Servicing ToolsThe next step, servicing basic movements
- Practical Watchmaking by Donald De Carle
- The Watch Repairers Manual by Henry B. Fried
- The Chicago School Course; Master Watchmaking. A Modern, Complete, Practical Course", by Thomas B. Sweazey and Byron G. Sweazey.
Basic Servicing Consumables
- Loupe: 15x
- Pin Vice
- Tweezers: finer work calls for a Dumont #4 or #5 (hairspring and incabloc work)
- Mainspring winders
- Wheel puller (Bergeon) for 5 spoke indirect seconds wheels - best to avoid bending pinions.
- Crystal lift
- Crystal press
- Pith wood
- Mobius 9010 (wrist watches)
- Mobius 9020 (pocket watches)
- Mobius 941 (pallet jewels)
- Mobius 8200 (Barrel grease)
- Mobius 8030 (Setting works)
- L&R Cleaning fluid or Quality Lighter Fluid (Naphtha)
There are subst to the above oils, but this basic set of 5 means you can service almost anything vintage - high freq and modern autos have special requirements.
Your screwdrivers and tweezers get the most wear and tear, so it is important to keep the blades properly formed and touch them up regularly.
Brands, Dumont, Bergeon, Horotec or for tighter budgets A*F is also fine.
I really liked the following list (All credit to lysander for the following)
Tools that should be high quality:
- Screwdivers (or at least the blades)
- Movement holder(s)
Tools that it really doesn't matter that much:
- Case vise
- Case cushions
- Parts trays
- Dip oilers
Tools that can can destroy stuff whether high quality or low quality:
- Case back openers, either two or three jaw style or Rolex style
- Case back knives/levers
- Hand removers
- Hand setters
Stuff that must be high quality:
- Cleaning products I'll add pithwood to this, I've bought some terrible stuff and it is important
However, don't confuse high price with high quality. Nye GP synthetic is just as good as Meobius 9010, but less expensive. A good condition used K&D hand puller is both cheaper and better quality than a new Bergeon (IMO). And, a good used staking set is a better value than a new one.
Please don't by a cheap
"watchmaker's" set you will end up ruining your watch and replacing all the tools anyway. A good tool can make all the difference in the quality and ease of the work.
Indian (Anchor) hand pullers in the K&D style are fine if you refinish the legs where they contact the dial. Dial protectors are a good idea, but watch paper or thin plastic (bag) work fine too. Remember to take your time with cosmetic care, with our vintages that is critical.
After this stage, you know plenty to choose your own gear: lathe, staking set, jeweling jet (Sietz or Horia), Jacquot tool, polishers, poising tools, roller removers, pinion straighteners, etc. the list is endless.