Learning to maintain a watch...

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monkeymax
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Learning to maintain a watch...

Post by monkeymax »

Hi all!
I've managed to gather some wind-up watches in my collection (inheritance) and for two of them have been told they're only worth scrap value. Fine, but I'm still hanging on to them. However, the thought of paying hundreds of pounds to have them serviced makes me baulk a bit (it's one thing if it's a Speedy, but something else if it's only valuable to me but not necessarily something I'd wear often).
Anyway, I've also toyed with the idea of making my own watch. There are a few places where this is written about but it's difficult to know where to start with doing repairs. I've maintained my own cars for years, so am okay with big tools but more intricate tasks are not something I'm used to. I do, however, know from such grease monkeying that there's nothing for learning quite as good as getting stuck in and trying (probably on a watch that means nothing to me!). But is there any suggested class (like an evening/weekend thing) that I can go on to learn such things as applying the correct quantity of oil, etc.?

Thanks!
Max

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magicman
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Re: Learning to maintain a watch...

Post by magicman »

Hi

Where are you based.

Here's a link for Epping Horology centre.
http://efhc.org.uk/wordpress/

Regards Steve

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Re: Learning to maintain a watch...

Post by 0uatiOW »

Learning how to maintain a watch to save on servicing costs is quite a decision! Not that I’m trying to discourage you from learning a new skill....

My watchmaker charges under £50 for a basic service on old automatic or manual wind watches. I’m being vague on costs because I’m pretty sure they were cheaper but I don’t recall exactly.

He’s a member of the British Watchmaker’s Guild, and he does a decent job. Would I trust him with a vintage Omega or a watch worth thousands of pounds, I’m not sure.

He’s in Bedford, so may not be convenient for you, but I would imagine he won’t be the only guy out there offering The service at a reasonable cost.
My name is 0uatiOW, but before you ask, no I don’t.

monkeymax
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Re: Learning to maintain a watch...

Post by monkeymax »

Thanks both for your answers! Location would probably help, wouldn't it?! I work down in Portsmouth and live just further up the A3. Unfortunately Epping and Bedford are quite a trip!
I'm not wanting to learn so much to save on servicing costs but more out of my own interest. I like learning things and know that sometimes doing things yourself can cost more when you want to buy tools, etc. I'm scaling back on my car & bicycle spannering for various reasons and would like a new outlet to get my hands dirty. But it also happens I haven't found a local watchmaker I trust who doesn't want many hundreds of pounds for work. I have actually been told by one that the watch wasn't worth their time, which frustrated me a bit as I would've thought the value of the watch against their charges was my decision to make!
Again, it may be that the best answer is to get a cheap auto and watch lots of YouTube videos, but I much prefer someone at least showing me the basics to start with (and having tools I can borrow) before I read up more and invest in tools... Just in case I decide it's not for me. Maybe it is worth the trip to Epping for a weekend after all!

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Re: Learning to maintain a watch...

Post by Kip »

Good for you for wanting to learn more about the mechanical side of horology! It can be a daunting, yet fascinating experience.

Here are a couple suggestionss to go about the process. If you are are good self teacher you might want to investigate the Timezone Watch School. This can be an excellent place for beginners with a minimal investment.

Another idea is to consult/join with the British Horological Institute and inquire about their training programs. They may also have local chapters in your area that would be worth joining where you could meet other watchmakers. You may discover that there is someone who would be willing to take you on as a part time apprentice. This is how my journey evolved, but in the USA, via the NAWCC.

I was fortunate to meet some great people who took me on as an apprentice and have been trained in both watches sand clocks. Maybe you will be too. Good luck!
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monkeymax
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Re: Learning to maintain a watch...

Post by monkeymax »

Kip wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:28 pm
Here are a couple suggestionss to go about the process. If you are are good self teacher you might want to investigate the Timezone Watch School. This can be an excellent place for beginners with a minimal investment.

Another idea is to consult/join with the British Horological Institute and inquire about their training programs.
Thanks Kip - both fantastic options and along the lines of what I was hoping for! The Time Zone watch school looks a bit dated but I guess the information won't have changed as the watches haven't really... (They do cover the Sellita movements it seems too, which helps) Don't know why I didn't think of the BHI but they also seem to have quite a few courses - short and long - including taster days. They're a bit far away but I'll have a think about that as maybe it's worth me doing a taster day before spending lots on movements and tools!

Thanks again!

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