Society for the preservation, promotion and pure pleasure of watches

Wed Mar 8 16:43:27 UTC 2023

“Do better if possible and that is always possible.” – François-Constantin to Jacques-Barthélémi Vacheron

At risk of understatement: watches transcend art, design, culture, history, jewelry, fashion, mechanics and physics; amongst other things.

Contact: [email protected]

Micro brands

In-house movements

Alien technology




Watches you should have bought

But are sold out now so tough.


High end


Price trackers

Enthusiast cleaning

Enthusiast books

Enthusiast tools

Also see the pro tools section below.

Getting on the Rolex waiting list

See this article.


  1. To set the date correctly: move the hands to 6 o’clock, change the date to the day before today, and then move the time forward to get the correct half of the day. Never fiddle with the date between 9pm and 4am; but, if it has a phantom date then good luck!

Brands to watch in 2023

See Teddy B’s America watch brands radar.


Take it to the next level by repairing and servicing your own watches; but know this: the rabbit hole goes deep

[See what’s on the bench right now.]

Books and films

YouTube channels

Mod kits

Beat frequencies

Beats per second Vibrations per hour
3 10800
4 14400
5 18000
5.5 19800
6 21600
7 25200
8 28800


There are myriad tools that can streamline your workflow; I’ve listed them in order so you can add more as you progress. And tools can be resold quite easily if you’ve gone far enough to scratch the itch.

[tldr: expect to fork out £500 to service a basic watch.]


See the full spreadsheet.


You don’t need much to get started, you’re basically just having a closer look.


Next you might want to replace straps and maybe do a little cleaning and light buffing.


Now we’re cooking: get the back off and inspect the insides for any issues.

Strip down

This is getting serious… and you’ll need quite a few more tools. But you will have enough to completely dismantle a basic movement. Note we are replacing broken parts at this level, rather than making new ones (which is a whole other level).

Always use the correct size screwdriver: you just risk chewing up the blades, screw head or both.


At this point it can start to become quite expensive; not only for the machines but also the consumables that you probably can’t sell on quite so easily.

Be careful putting your pallet forks and balance wheel in solvent as it can dissolve the shellac that holds the pallet and roller jewels in place.

You can do a job with the above, however, ultrasonic cleaners like this one are a great way in. Not as efficient as a proper four-stage cleaning machine but very reasonably-priced and entertaining to use. You can also impressive your relatives cleaning jewellry and spectacles.

Rebuild and lubricate

A very complicated business, but to get started you need:

I realise that suggesting using only two viscosities will cause some people to spit out their tea/beer, but you have to start somewhere. Also, Donald de Carlo only talks about “watch oil” and “clock oil” in the above watchmaking bible, so there you go.

Full disclosure: I also dip my oilers straight into the jars, which is probably illegal in Switzerland.

Various received wisdoms

“If you need to do it cheaply you can just use 8000 and DX, as it’s a non synthetic it’ll just mean the service intervals will be shorter. It’s not ideal because Moebius 8000 is a natural oil so that’s means velocity is not as high as synthetic oil.”

The next level


A Timegrapher is the go-to tool for the job and at the low end they are surprisingly inexpensive. But you can get some useful results from a phone app; use with an earbud mic if you’re not in a completely quiet environment.

Mainspring winders

You can fix a lot by replacing parts rather than making new ones. But I think mainspring winders are the first step into it becoming serious. This can be done by hand – I have done a couple of times – but people will get very cross about it.

Pro tools and supplies