How Do You Clean A Wristwatch?

Published: 01st March 2009
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While cleaning wristwatches is best done by a professional, you can do it at home if you like tinkering with mechanical things .You might not want to try this at first on an expensive or favourite wristwatch that means a lot to you, as you will most likely ruin the first watch you try this on. Get an inexpensive watch to practice on till you get perfect.

To start with, make sure you have a place to work. A large table that is empty will do well, or it would be even more perfect if you have a proper workstation in your garage where you can work undisturbed. Add a white sheet on top of the table before beginning, as this will not only make it easier to see the tiny bits and pieces, but will also prevent parts from bouncing off the table when dropped.

On top of this, you will need very good lighting in the room. You should also add a lamp, (fluorescent would be ideal) to the table so you can get some direct light. The next thing you need is a good screwdriver set. Make sure you get a good quality set as this will not damage the screws on the watch.

Besides this, you will also need a tray to put all the parts you take out of the watch on. It would be best if this has sections built into it, and as you strip the watch start putting the pieces from right to left so you don't get confused later. Another thing you need is a good pair of tweezers. This will be needed to handle the small parts, and make sure you fit them back into the watch accurately.

You will also need cleaning supplies. If you are serious about this hobby, you can buy proper ultrasonic parts cleaners from online, but in the start you can just use Naptha. This is the ingredient that makes up lighter fluids, and evaporates fast without leaving a residue. Pour a very small amount in a cup and then soak all the parts in this for a few minutes.

After you do this, you need to take a small brush, paintbrush, or makeup brush, and brush the pieces and then remove them from the liquid and put them on a towel or filter paper to dry them out.

You will also need to get oil, like Moebius to oil the watch pieces. To apply this, you need an oiler which is a thin wire with a flat end. To be able to see what you are doing, you will also need to get a magnifying glass. Buy a blower to help you remove dust from parts, and get a hands remover to properly remove and fit back the posts when you are cleaning the watch.

To start off, unscrew the back of the watch and open it up. Once you have done this, you need to let down the mainspring which is what keeps the watch running. The next thing to remove is the movement, followed by the hands and finally the dial. Keep going on removing pieces till you are left with the skeleton of the watch in your hand. Now put all the pieces in the cleaner fluid and wait a few minutes.

After cleaning, start putting the parts back the way you removed them making sure you get the order right. Wind the watch and screw the lid back on and see if it works.

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