Historical Horology: Repairing A Watch
One nice thing about our watch “hobby”, specifically with the mechanical side of things, is that it’s an old one. This is why you can get a book that was originally published in 1948 and reissued today, and still learn practical and valuable lessons.As you can tell by the graphic up there, the book is Watch Repairing as a Hobby by D.W. Fletcher (Amazon link). While this book was published over 60 years ago, there are still some valuable things you can learn – even if you don’t ever plan to take your watch apart.
This is in large part because Fletcher, prior to getting into the aspects of how to a actually do a repair, takes the time (well, as much as you can in a 60-some page book) to walk you through how the movement itself works. Once that understanding is down, he goes into some of the problems that can occur (most likely dirt), and how to go about fixing them.
And when it comes to fixing, he walks through ways that aren’t going to required massive amounts of specialized tools – just some basic tools and supplies you may already have, or could probably come up with fairly affordably.
For me, it was an enlightening, and quick, read. And while I’m not quite ready to take apart one of my own watches, there is a part of me that’s tempted to pick up some cheap mechanical from eBay to see if I can get it apart and back together, without any bonus pieces left on the bench.
What do you, our readers, think? Would you ever take apart your own watch for maintenance? Or, if you have gone this route, is there a particular watch (or movement) you’d recommend to a newbie (like me) as being easier to work on? Let me know in the comments, or in an email.