12 Basic Watch Repair Tools for beginners

Are you looking to repair your watch? The tools are essentials. In this article i will elaborate on 12 basic watch repair tools, the tools which must be ready for you to work with while dealing with most watches. I will try to select the basic tools and those which are of good quality too, because there are many set of tools which are very common on the market but their quality are not satisfying at all.

Although i won’t count this one among the watch repair tools, a table is essential to begin with as it is in fact the very ‘workshop’ of a watchmaker. You can’t repair a watch while standing, you must be doing it on a table. You will also need a powerful lamp which will allow you to see well, because you will be dealing with very small wheels, gears, screws and so on. For example, a basic watchmaker table shall look like this:

watch repair tools

This table is called the FINEWORK 500, which i have recently seen on watchmakertable.com. They have other  advanced models too. But here as we are talking about basics, we won’t look at the other models, you may want to visit their website and take a look. So, now you have ideas on how to build your table.

1. A Watch Opener

The very first tool you will need when holding a watch in your hand for repairs is a watch opener. Watches are sealed in three main ways and we have already elaborated on them, in our article on how to open a watch case. For a pressed case you will need a watch back case opener. I suggest the simple and easy to use Yonger Watch Case Opener, or the bergeon case opener knife or you can simply make use of a pocket knife.


2. A Screw-On Opener and Case Holder

For a screw-on back case, you will need an adjustable watch back case opener and a watch case holder. I suggest the basic  Vastar Watch Case Remover and Holder. The former is used to close the case too.


3. Screwdrivers

For watches with screws, you will need screwdrivers. The Homaster Screwdriver Bit Set  are of premium quality. Moreover, you will use screwdrivers a lot when dealing with the watch movement itself, not only for opening the watch case.


4. Magnifying glass

The magnifying glass is very important for you to see clearly the small parts and where to place them correctly. I suggest the Bausch & Lomb Magnifying glass 10X or 5X according to your needs.

bausch and lomb


The problem with beginners is that they are not able to hold the magnifier within the circle of their eyes correctly. If you have this problem too, then you can make use of a magnifier which has a head band attached to it.


5. Tweezers

Tweezers are essential for you to hold different parts of the movement. There are different types of tweezers for different purposes. I suggest the Shintop set of tweezers. They are already anti-magnetic which is good when going deep into quartz movement which contain a magnetic wheel.


6. A watch hand remover

Using a watch hand remover is the best way to remove watch hands, although you may remove the hands with your back case opener knife but you might break the pin holding the hand, mainly the second hand.

watch hand remover

7. A hair brush and/or a Dust Blower

Another tool which is very important used to clean watch parts is a hair brush. These are widely available on the market, or you may prefer this wooden handle hair brush used by jewelers.

hair brush

A dust blower is something essential, because you can’t blow dust from a movement from your mouth as we are talking about fine tiny metal parts. Also, each time you place a movement into a watch case you might want to blow the dust from the watch case. I suggest this kind of dust blower.

dust blower

8. Battery tester

Quartz watches uses batteries, and hence most of the time the only problem you will face is with the battery. A battery tester is very handy in this situation. I suggest the PIXNOR Battery Power Tester. It is very easy to use.

battery tester

How to Change A Battery In A Watch

9. Spring bar Remover

Many people tend to remove spring bars from a watch case with a knife or tweezer but with a spring bar remover it is easier and also you can secure the pins while replacing them into their respective holes correctly. I suggest the Mudder Watch Band Spring Bar remover. It comes with two different fork size.

spring bar remover
10. Pin punches and hammer

Pin punches and a hammer are essential to remove links from metal bracelets. They are also handy when repairing mechanic movements. I suggest the Sumnacon pin punches and hammer which also comes with a band holder.

hammer watch


11. A nose plier

The nose plier is an essential tool to hold watch parts firmly or remove pins which are tight. I suggest the Cycle Long Nose Plier.

nose plier


12. A Press Set

Finally, a watch press set, is what you need. It is used to close pressed watch case, the one which you open with the No.1 opener. Sometimes you can’t pressed it back with your bare hand and will need a press, especially waterproof watches which are hard to press with the bare hand. I suggest the Ohuhu Watch Press Set.

watch press set

You just insert the die which will fit the size of the watch you will close and place the watch in-between the two dies and press it.

We have covered the most essential watch repair tools from opening a watch case to repairing a watch band. There are more advanced watch repair tools made to repair wheels, gears and so on but they are meant for professional watchmakers. Also, I haven’t talked about tools required to replace crystals, although you might say it is part of the core tools of a watchmaker but I will go into details about it in another article.

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