The Beginner's Guide to Watch Repair

The Beginner’s Guide to Watch Repair

Curious about watch repair? Did you know a simple mechanical watch contains about 130 components? That’s 130 tiny parts that must remain in tune day after day, month after month, year after year.

But most consumers expect them to work forever without fail. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for most watches. But what do you do when they stop functioning?

Well, that’s what this article is about. Below you’ll find detailed sections on the watch repair process. When you’re ready to discover the procedures watchmakers use, so you can impress your friends, read on.

Watch Batteries Mean Quartz

If your watch includes a battery, it’s called a “quartz watch.” They’re the most affordable watches on the market. As such, they require less engineering.

Wind-up watches, known formally as “mechanical watches,” on the other hand, require more complex engineering. They tend to run longer without the need for any restorative processes. But that doesn’t mean they break less often.


Though quartz watches stop working more often than mechanical watches, the reason is their battery. It runs out of juice and needs replacement. The rest of the mechanism may run for tens of years without the need for adjustment.

Unless you own a custom watch, you can replace the battery yourself by opening the back of your watch. You’ll see the battery after you remove the cover. Then you simply replace it with a new one and reseal the back.

Watch Repair for Mechanical Watches

Did you know that Rolex hand-assembles their watches? Many have over 180 tiny mechanical parts which need lubrication. If you own a Rolex, they recommend bringing it in for a tune-up every five years.

Parts can wear. Oil can degrade. Both lead to an incremental loss or gain of time.

Order the Full Service

If you take your watch into a watchmaker to get serviced after five years, ask for the full service. They’ll clean and oil your watch. They’ll also dismantle the entire thing to check for pieces that need a replacement.

If you choose the full service, make sure to double-check that they replaced the seals and gaskets. They’re your last line of defense against water.

If one of the small mechanisms inside your watch case is damaged, you’ll need a full-service repair. If it’s just a damaged band or scratched glass, then you can ask for a part job instead.

DIY Watch Repair

If you want to try your own hand at repair, you can order watch parts online. For instance, at C.R. Time Company’s online store, you can order popular watch mechanisms, like Miyota Movements 2035. Or you can find rare ones, such as SW Ebauche 308/31.

The trick is to know which part you need. Then you must have the proper tools to install those parts. Without them, you’ll cause damage to the delicate watch parts inside the case.

Read This Also: 4 Best Sportier Men’s Watches From the Omega Speedmaster Series

What’s Next?

Now that you know what the watch repair process entails, you have a better grasp of the size of the project. It takes days to properly disassemble then reassemble a watch. Actual repairs can take much longer.

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