One of the most interesting aspects of the watchmaking trade are the tools that one gets to use. The one large drawback is the lack of good sources of supply. Most companies that manufactured tools when the watchmaking trade was in full swing in the 1940's have gone the way of pocket watch companies. Out of business. There are still a few good companies such as Bergeon, Boley, and Levin. However, buying new tools from these companies, can be very expensive. One of the best sources of vintage watchmakers tools is eBay. Most tools found on eBay can be purchased at vary reasonable prices. But there are things to watch out for. Avoid buying cheap imported tools which can lack precision and can be damaged during normal use. The watchmakers lathe is one tool that you are sure to need. They are used to remove damaged balance staffs on watches. You will also need a good set of collets. I have found that the best lathe is the Levin or Boley. Most of these lathes have either hard cone bearings or ball bearings. They are both designed to be adjusted and it is very rare to find a lathe that is worn out and not operational.
Another important item is the watchmakers bench. There are many new ones available and are shipped needing to be assembled. Again, many good ones have been found on eBay. One of the best companies that made the majority of watchmakers benches was J. H. Rosberg of Chicago. These benches were the correct height and most had 13 drawers for storing tools along with an apron for catching parts and holding tools that you were using at the time. Most of these benches were open tops. You could also purchase one that had the roll top feature that kept dust from off the bench or people out of your bench. This style is rather rare and can cost several thousand dollars for a perfect oak example.
Boley Lathe In Use.
When looking for watchmakers tools on eBay you can usually find collector and vintage tools in usable condition. There are antique tools such as rounding up tools for gear cutting and other early watchmakers tools. If you plan on working with watches you should initially plan what you need to use and your budget and first buy only those essential items that you need to get started in watch repair. Later on it is fun to buy a few old tools for display and enjoyment. These old tools make great conversation pieces. When buying from a seller on eBay, be sure to ask questions about the tool you are interested in buying. Many sellers specialize in old watchmakers tools and can give you answers to your questions. Staking sets are in great supply on eBay. Levin or Boley are popular makes tools. Another American brand is the K and D staking set. These sets are the most common that you will find. It is important to buy a set where the stakes and anvils are in very good condition and not worn. Most of these sets were well used so pay special attention to condition. There is an old saying that a craftsman is only as good as his tools. This saying applies today as one looks for watchmakers tools to use in the shop. Always try and buy the best that you can afford. If taken care of, watchmakers tools will last a lifetime.
Watchmakers Lathes for Sale
Current selection of Watchmakers Lathe for Sale
Watchmaking described with words and pictorals.The Watchmaker's and Model Engineer's Lathe: A User's Manual
Now in its sixth edition, this book is the definitive work on the small precision lathe in the context of both the past and present. The bulk of the original text has been retained and covers basic construction, selection, and care of and accessories for the lathe as well as its uses...The Watchmaker's Lathe: Its Use and Abuse 4mm 12 Feet Transmission Belt for Watchmaker Lathe
Brand new 4mm diameter transmission belt, 12 feet long(3.65 Meter) To joint the ends of belt the method is heated with an alcohol lamp until it is hot enough to melt the end of the belting, then join the ends together until they cool...OMEX MINI LATHE CHUCK 50MM / 2 " - 3 JAW SELF CENTERING 12 x 1MM THREAD WATCHMAKER
SELF CENTRING TYPE. WITH TWO KEYS. FEEL FREE TO ASK ANY QUESTION. WE COMBINE SHIPPING ON MULTIPLE PURCHASE. THANKS FOR BUYING !5mm 12 Feet Transmission Belt for Watchmaker Lathe
Brand new 5mm diameter transmission belt, 12 feet long(3.65 Meter) To joint the ends of belt the method is heated with an alcohol lamp until it is hot enough to melt the end of the belting, then join the ends together until they cool...4mm 12 Feet Transmission Belt for Watchmaker Lathe by Merlintools
4mm diameter 12 feet transmission beltWW Size 0.275 - 40 Die for Bergeon Levin Watchmaker Lathe by Merlintools
WW size 0.275 - 40 Carbon steel Right Hand Thread Die;40 Thread Per Inch;25mm Outside diameter10 Pack High Speed Steel Twist Drill #57, 0.043 inch diam.
High Speed Steel Twist Drills for drilling holes in metal plastic and other creative jewelry designs. Great for Metalsmiths, Goldsmiths, Silversmiths. Use with handpieces such as a foredom, dremel. You may also use a jewelers pin vice...
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6 WATCHMAKERS LATHE 8mm COLLETS sizes 2.8,21,10,3.0,6,4, BOLEY LORCH WOLF
6 WATCHMAKERS LATHE 8mm COLLETS sizes 2.5,.5,2.2,20,15,18. BOLEY LORCH WOLF
6 WATCHMAKERS LATHE 8mm COLLETS sizes 16,8X2,4,5,12, BOLEY LORCH WOLF
6 WATCHMAKERS LATHE 8mm COLLETS sizes 6,14,20,1,8,45, BOLEY LORCH WOLF