Ever want to fix your own watch, but you just do not have the right tools? Fear not, for we are about to go over with you all you need in order to have your very own watch repair kit.
One thing many watch enthusiasts experience is “tumbling down the rabbit-hole” of timepiece obsession. What we mean is that a significant amount of people keep falling deeper and deeper into watch culture, and they end up becoming absolutely enamored with the inner workings of their watches.
One result of such a tumble is people wanting to repair their own timepieces, which can be an incredibly fun endeavor. If this practice interests you, you are going to want to own some, or even all of the following tools for your own watch repair kit.
Components of a Watch Repair Kit
Multiple Tweezer Sizes
A crucial tool you will need is tweezers, which lets you grab hold of tiny parts of the watch for extraction and repair. You will likely want to keep multiple tweezers of different sizes, especially since there is a diverse range of components in a watch, each with their own sizes and handling needs.
One way into a watch is by removing its crystal. Additionally, many watch repair enthusiasts like to temporarily take their crystals off a watch to give them a polish. Either way, your best bet is to use a crystal remover tool to do so.
You want your watch to look sleek and brand new throughout its lifetime. While the internal mechanisms will inevitably wear down over time, your crystal does not have to. Instead, give it a polish every once in a while, with a specialized crystal polisher, and it will look as good as new.
Just about every timepiece out there is held together by screws, so you will need a screwdriver to take them apart. Of course, manufacturers use a range of screws with varying sizes for different models. What you will need is multiple miniature screwdrivers, which will allow you to unscrew a watch easily no matter what size it is.
Hand Installation Instruments
Part of the watch repair process involves taking the hands in and out of the casing. You might do this for a variety of reasons, including repair, a need for polish, or a full-on part replacement. Regardless, handling such a delicate object on your own is not in your best interest. Instead, get a hand installation tool to do the job for you.
One thing that mechanical watches often need is their handsprings wound. While you may be able to do this task by hand, you will find the process much more effective with a winder. This is because such instruments allow for a better grip and superior torque, which come in handy when working with such small objects.
An important aspect regarding the aesthetics of your watch involves the metal of your case and possibly your strap if it is made out of metal. Over time, metal cases and bracelets will start to lose their shine, especially if you expose your watch to rough conditions. You can reverse this trend using metal polishing products and tools.
Oil and Oiling Instruments
When it comes to timepiece functions, friction is your enemy. That is why you should invest in some oil and oil-applying instruments in your watch repair kit. Just like with a car, you need things to be slick for the machinery to work correctly. Regularly oiling a few key parts will do just that.
Though your screwdrivers will help a lot in opening a watch, you will likely need some additional assistance for the case. No watch repair kit is complete without a case opener. The reason for this is that timepieces are built incredibly well, some to the point where they can function hundreds of meters underwater. Taking apart that kind of resiliency takes much more than just a screwdriver and your bare hands.
Band Pins and Pin Removers
Lastly, we have band pins and pin removers. One of the best things about watches is that you can substitute your strap with another one at any time. Through this process, you can change the entire look and feel of your timepiece with ease. Though doing so is not difficult, it does require specialized tools like band pins and pin removers.
10 Best Watch Repair Kits
Now that we know all the different tools that you need to repair a watch, let us take a look at some of the best watch repair kits available out there.
1. Vastar Watch Repair Kit
Starting off with a very versatile set from Vastar, this is great for both professionals and those who enjoy DIY activities at home. For less than $20 USD, you get a complete kit with around 151 pieces of watch repair tools and components. One of the best things about this particular kit is that it comes with a case opener, which can be adjusted for cases up to 52mm. This means that dealing with both standard and oversized timepieces will no longer be a problem. Moreover, this watch repair tool kit also contains a spring bar remover for bracelet adjustments, anti-magnetic tweezers for better battery handling, and a manual for overall guidance.
All these, and more, are encased in a nylon zipper bag, making this kit easy to bring anywhere and everywhere. If you prefer a more vibrant-looking tool kit, this Vastar set also comes in an all-pink color variation as well.
Next up, we have a watch repair tool kit from a brand that is best known for offering a wide selection of tools. Stalwart is a pretty popular company in the DIY community because they offer a variety of tool sets for both general and specific uses. For example, Stalwart’s watch repair kit includes 144 pieces of watch tools and components with an affordable price tag of around $18 USD. These include a watch back pry opener, a case holder, anti-magnetic screwdrivers, a link remover tool, a bunch of spring pins, and lots more.
However, despite its affordability and completeness, this Stalwart set also has its downsides. First, it does not come with an instruction manual, which means it is less user-friendly to amateurs and beginners. Second, since Stalwart is a quite renowned brand, counterfeit products with their name on it do exist, so you have to be extra cautious when buying.
Kingsdun is a Chinese brand that manufactures a variety of professional and special tools. They have partnerships with companies from different parts of the globe such as Walmart, SMC Corporation, and many more. I mention this because, in order to have such big affiliates, you have to offer truly reliable and trustworthy products – and Kingsdun certainly meets that standard. Kingsdun’s DIY Watch Repair Tool Kit comes with 208 pieces of equipment and components. Aside from the usual tools, it also includes case wrench teeth, a bracelet holder, a spring bar tool with a scale, a cleaning cloth, and lots of spare components as well. It also comes with a bag and an instruction manual which makes everything easier, from storage to the actual repair process.
While the number of parts in Kingsdun’s watch repair kit may be intimidating, this is a great option for those who want the security that comes with having spare or duplicate components.
Stago is for those who already have some sort of experience with repairing their watches. In comparison to the previous kits mentioned, this one is a bit more pricey because it is definitely a long-term investment. This particular watch repair set has a total of 141 pieces with a price tag of approximately $40 USD. It includes a variety of quality tools and components such as an adjustable case opener, a watch case knife, link removers, a magnifying glass, a cleaning tool, waterproof paste, and many more.
Those who own this specific watch repair kit from Stago have said many good things about it. On the whole, it is perceived as a great tool set for collectors and enthusiasts who do self-maintenance for their timepieces.
This next watch repair kit from Ohuhu is one of the most affordable yet quality sets out there. It comes with a total of 174 pieces of watch tools that are either made of durable plastic or stainless steel. Priced at around $17 USD, you might initially think this is a scam, or that the tools are not well-made, but those who have used Ohuhu’s watch repair set have nothing but praise for it. This kit includes the usual adjustable case opener, knife, tweezers, strap spring pins, screwdrivers, a case holder, link removers, and the like. Lastly, all these tools come in a nylon carry-on for easier storage and portability.
If your watch warranty has run out and you do not want to fork out money for every new repair or watch maintenance, then this Ohuhu repair kit is perfect for you. For such an affordable price, you can get a set of long-lasting, reliable tools that get the job done.
EzTool is actually a company that is based in Australia, but offers their products worldwide. They provide quality tools that specifically cater to those in the watch community, regardless of their level of experience. Their watch repair tool kit retails at around $35 USD and is ideal for simple watch maintenance and repairs. Some of the tools and components included are as follows: a Jaxa case opening wrench, anti-magnetic tweezers, a spring bar tool, a link remover, and more.
The best thing about this particular watch repair tool kit is that it comes with a guidebook that has step-by-step instructions and photos. EzTool has really put in an effort to make the watch repair process easy and straightforward for beginners, yet also accessible and high-quality for seasoned DIY individuals.
Bergeon is one of the most renowned manufacturers of watch tools in the industry. They are a Swiss company that offers a variety of horology-related instruments, equipment, and components. Their products are professional-grade, which means that their prices are higher compared to most tool kits out there. An interesting thing about Bergeon is that they sell both Swiss-made sets and individual tools which is perfect for serious collectors and experts who really invest in these kinds of products.
The Bergeon 7812 Professional Grade, priced at approximately $226 USD, is a watch repair tool kit with a total of 18 pieces included. It consists of tweezers, screwdrivers, flat nose pliers, a spring bar tool, a wrist-measuring band, a case opener with a knife, a pin extractor, and more. However, unlike most of the sets mentioned on this list, the Bergeon 7812 does not come with any pins, so you will have to purchase those separately if needed. Overall, this watch repair kit is definitely a recommended investment for professionals and those who are serious about watch repair and maintenance.
Zexett is another brand that offers good quality tools and equipment. Their watch repair kit is a 200-piece set that is great for both beginners and experts. It includes opener knives, tweezers, adjustable case openers, a hammer, precision screwdrivers, replacement needles, spring pins, and more. All these tools and components are packed in a zipper carrying case with mini compact containers which makes it more convenient storage and portability-wise.
The great thing about the Zexett watch repair tool kit is that it comes with a very detailed manual. Even if you are new to DIY watch repair and maintenance, you will not have to worry too much because you simply have to read the instructions provided and follow accordingly.
BYNIIUR offers another watch repair kit that is perfect for general use, without breaking the bank. It has a price tag of around $17 USD which is definitely a steal for all that you are getting. This watch tool kit is a 155-piece set that can be used for both simple and complex repairs. It includes an extra large wrench case opener, a band link remover, tweezers, a case pry opener, pliers, a band holder, and many more.
The cool thing about this watch repair kit is that most of the tools and components are made out of durable stainless steel. This means that they are expected to last a long time, which is great for watch enthusiasts out there who constantly find themselves repairing their timepieces.
Onmust’s watch repair kit serves as another affordable option for both amateurs and experts who enjoy tinkering with their timepieces. For approximately $23 USD, you can get a watch repair tool set with the following components: an adjustable watch case opener (up to 55 mm), a watch case holder, a pry knife, a spring bar tool, a hammer, a cleaning cloth, and more.
The interesting thing about this kit is that it comes with a watch capping machine, which makes everything, from the disassembly and assembly processes to the adjustments, a lot easier. While the current kits have instruction manuals included, some of Onmust’s old watch repair kits do not, so just make sure to check the kit thoroughly, especially if you need a guide.
Which watch repair kit should you buy?
After going through that list of the best watch repair tool kits on the market, some of you may be even more confused, faced with so many options. Here are some tips to guide you before you actually make the purchase.
Know Your Level
If your watch is way past its warranty date and you do not want to spend a lot of money for a repair, then you have to check how confident you are with tinkering. If you have some experience with fixing devices or appliances then you can probably handle a simple watch repair as well. If you are a complete amateur, make sure to get a user-friendly watch repair kit, preferably with a clear instruction manual, rather than a complex one. Acknowledging your level at this kind of DIY task will help you narrow down your choices.
Know Your Watch
This one is pretty self-explanatory because there are some watch repair kits that cater to specific case sizes or structures. You have to be aware of the anatomy of your watch so that you will not accidentally buy the tools of the wrong sizes or shape. I mean, for example, you cannot exactly fix an Apple Watch with the standard watch repair kit, right?
Don’t Be Deceived By Numbers
Just because a kit is cheap or expensive, does not necessarily mean it is worth it or good either. In addition, even though having spare components can come in handy, having more pieces or components does not always equate to a better tool set. Do not be fooled by simple numbers. You have to do your own research by reading reviews in order to find out if the watch repair tool kit you are looking at will really fit your needs.
Alternative to Watch Repair Kits: A Watch Repair Specialist
Many watch enthusiasts think that getting a watch repair kit and maintaining their timepieces by themselves will be a pleasurable experience. While the majority of them are correct, others find that this goal is simply too much work. If the latter describes you, do not think that taking your watch to a watch repair specialist is a loss. Instead, realize that this endeavor just was not for you and let a professional do the work for you!
That said, repairing your own watches can come with a variety of benefits. In our opinion, the most rewarding part is how intimate you can get with your piece of machinery. Instead of only gazing at the outside of the watch, you get to understand and have a hand in the maintenance of the inner workings as well. While it may take a while to become proficient at watch repair, there is a good chance that you will fall in love with the process, so you certainly should not hesitate to at least try.
As far as making a purchase, your best bet is to buy a full watch repair kit that has most or all of the tools you want in it. Purchasing tools individually is likely not in your best interest due to expense and the amount of time you will have to spend looking for the right tools. Once you get that perfect watch repair set, however, you can easily split your favorite timepiece open and see just what is on the inside.