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I'm interested in learning to service vintage pocket watches and perform minor repairs such as crystal replacement, replacemetn mainsprings etc.

I've got 'Practical Watch Repairing' by Donald De Carle which has certainly made me relaise that there's an awful lot to know but I'm really looking for a beginners guide to basic servicing.

I want to get a good condition running pocket watch and strip, clean and re-oil to get it in good working order.

For this I'm going to need a decent selection of screwdrivers, tweezers, hand pullers, air puffer, movement holder, oilers and oil.... and infinite patience! Will I need a crystal press or other specialised equipment to start out?

I'm looking for a decent resource that isn't going to go into intricate detail on automatic movements or complications as I just want to service simple pocket watch movements.

Are there any experienced amateurs out there who can recommend some resources?
 

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I am not amateur but I am experinced. So hope this will help.

You don't need crystal press. You don't need screwdriver set neither, you just need two/three screwdrivers ranges from 2.5 mm to 1.0 mm.
Like the old pocket watch you are going to service, you can also restore old tools and make it like new and function, so Bay is a place to find it.
Hand puller does not work for pocket watch, too weak, get a pair of hand lifters like Bergeon 30018. Movement holder to make sure it is for pocket movements.

Start with bad conditon pocket watches and a lot of them, quantities and practice make you better! again buy from auction and pay no more than few dollars each, get junk watches even better, just take apart you will learn so much.

Your work surface need clean and containers need ready for small parts, well lighted area and have positive energy. Be ready and calm if part jump away and disappear, have second one to play with.

You will get tired soon with your body so be ready to take a break when you frustrated.

If doubt, send me a note, I will try my best.
 

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I'm just learning myself but I decided to take the timezonewatchschool.com course and bought the tools that they recommend. I also purchased the de Carle book and think it is a great resource but it's much easier learning from the on line course. The course can be taken with several different movements including a pocket watch movement.
 

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As with any skill, practice is the key to building confidence, and confidence is the key to being able to do good work; I've only been cleaning movements for about a year, and I'm amazed at how much easier it is now then when I started. While I agree with the idea of getting lots of junkers for practice and parts, be on the lookout for decent but unappreciated complete movements; 12 size or smaller pocket watches in gold filled cases can be found for under $30. There's an immense sense of satisfaction that comes from putting the watch together and having it actually work, and if you're only playing with junkers, you'll lose out on that.
 
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