For many of us, the keeping of time has become commonplace; something we take for granted. For horologists however, timekeeping is everything. Where most see a simple watch or clock, a horologist sees a piece of art. As such, the horologist must rely on a wide variety of resources and watchmaker tools to create and/or maintain their timekeeping device of choice. Here are some of the best horological tools, along with what it is that makes them so important.
1. Eye Loupe
An eye loupe is essentially a magnifying glass that goes over one eye, much like a monocle. An eye loupe typically comes with a strap of some sort, meant to keep it in place on the wearers head. Eye loupes are essential for clock-making of all sorts, especially when the clock is small enough to be worn on a wrist. Eye loupes are one of the most recognizable horological watch repair tools.
2. Watch Holder
A watch holder comes as a small table clamp with four points. As the name suggests, it is meant to hold a watch in place while having work done. Aside from its four points, this particular type of clamp varies from most in that it is very gentle and should loosen and tighten at a slow rate.
3. Horologist’s Hammer
This is miniature hammer that has two ends, one rubber and one metal. It is made specifically with accuracy and small-sized jobs in mind. A hammer such as this is an essential part of any horologist’s toolkit.
4. Case Opener
As its name would suggest, this is used to open a watch’s casing without having to worry about damaging the casing itself or other parts of the watch. While one may get by without this particular watchmaking tool, having one on hand may lower the risk of damaging a watch, depending on the model.
Quite possibly the horologist’s biggest expense, a demagnetizer is an advanced tool used in removing the magnetic field from a watch (or other metal devices). This particular tool’s price can reach past one thousand dollars in some instances.
6. Hand Remover
A hand remover is halfway between a clamp and a pair of tweezers. It is used for the removing of watch hands and nothing else. It allows hands to be removed without the horologist having to worry about bending the thin layer of metal that comprises them.
7. Hand Fitter
After removing your watch’s hands with the hand remover, you’ll need to use this tool to put them back on without damaging the hands. The hand fitting tool almost acts as a mini screwdriver with a few minor adjustments. If you plan on using a hand remover, a hand fitter is essential afterwards.
When manually blowing dust and other dirt off of a watch isn’t viable, or if you need something more concentrated and powerful, a blower is a great way to go about cleaning visible debris off of a watch without actually touching it.
9. Assorted Screwdrivers
Odds are, if you’re a beginning horologist, the screwdrivers you have laying around the house aren’t the right size for the job. An assortment of small screwdrivers will come in handy when it comes to picking watches apart and screwing them back together.
10. Bracelet Pin Remover
Another tool made for the purpose of taking watches apart, the bracelet pin remover acts as a safer way of removing a pin without damaging the bracelet.
Horologist tweezers look similar to most tweezers from a distance. Up close however, you’ll notice the tips to be smaller in stature; not much larger than the heads of sewing needles.
12. Silicon Dispenser
In what looks halfway between a caulking dispenser and a syringe, silicon dispensers are used for greasing the inside of a watch with precision, keeping the rest of the watch dry and free of silicon.
13. Case Opening Knife
When a typical case opener doesn’t seem to fit the job, a case opening knife can be used to gently pry open a watch’s casing. Although case openers will typically serve this purpose, these knifes can be good to have laying around.
14. Friction Ball
When a casing is too delicate to use a knife or standard case opener, a friction ball may be used to unscrew it. These are only useful in certain situations and aren’t essential, though can help a great deal. This is one of the harder horologists tools to come by.