How to Clean & Oil a Watch:
A Beginners Guide
Written by: Kevin James
Fine Tweezers
Watch Oil and Oiler
Jewelers "Loupe"
Blower
Watch Paper
"Case Knife"
Waterproof Case Opener
Click on the picture to go to a labeled picture of a movement
  
PREFACE

   If it is your goal to learn how to dismantle, clean, and reassemble a watch as a hobby, then you have come to the right place.  I have repaired literally thousands of watches over the past 20 years.  The lessons and tips that follow are written to be easy to read and understand by a beginner.   



GETTING STARTED

OBVIOUSLY you can't just start turning screws...there are a number of things you will need to do (and get) in preparation.  You will have much better results, and a much more enjoyable experience if you take the time, effort, and expense to get most of the items listed below BEFORE starting.  Keep in mind that these are just the bare essentials... a serious repair person has hundreds of other specialized tools... but we'll save that for another discussion.  The bottom line is that preparation and having the right equipment is vital to success of any repair job!.


   Workspace.  Set up a well lit workspace with a clean, flat surface.  For a beginner a kitchen table will do just fine, but as you become more serious you may want to consider a watchbench made specially for repairing watches and a good fluorescent lamp which is easier on the eyes.  A watchbench has small built in drawers for all of the tools and parts you are sure to accumulate over time.  The design is tall, with a surface that (when sitting) is close to the face so the repair person doesn't have to slump over when working.  Some repairmen will put cork or linoleum on the surface.  These soft materials stop parts from bouncing away, and aren't hard enough to damage anything dropped on them.  Some benches even have a slide out "parts catcher" that presses against the belly when sitting.  Mine is a wood frame with a loose piece of canvas tacked to the bottom.  When a part is dropped and goes "over the edge", this brilliant contraption catches it! 

Most beginners will (as mentioned above) begin at a kitchen table.  A good tip for working at a table is to lay down a fine piece of white fabric (like a plain white pillowcase or cheesecloth) to do your work on.  The main advantage for doing this is if you drop one of the parts, it won't bounce away and become lost.  I suggest white because tiny screws (etc.) are easy to locate.  This practice will also save your table from scratches, and protect your watch from the tables hard surface.  To keep it from shifting, you might want to consider taping it down with masking tape as well.

















  Screw-driver set.  You WILL need a good set of watchmakers screwdrivers.  This is a MUST.  The cheap sets will cause more trouble than they are worth.  They are not precision made and you will easily damage or strip the highly polished screws found in most watches.  The keen eye of a serious watch collector will pick this up immediately; it detracts from the look of the watch thus reducing value of your watch.  

The proper way to hold it is to grip the screwdriver shaft between the thumb and middle finger, with the index finger on the cupped end (which rotates).  Press down on the top of the screwdriver and swivel it between your thumb and middle finger; turning the screw.
 












   Parts Tray.  You will also need a place to put your parts as you remove them from the watch.  Don't get in the bad habit of placing parts on the table or bench (trust me on this one!) you are bound to lose something.  I would highly recommend a common (inexpensive) flip top tackle box.  Get one with 8 to 12 sections.  They are available in most department stores.  An empty egg carton will also do just fine, but will flip easily sending parts flying, so be careful.  Simply place the parts in order from left to right as you remove them from the watch.  When it is time to reassemble, just go in reverse order and you will know what part is supposed to go next.  Numbering the compartments is a good idea to make absolutely sure you are going in proper order.  The parts trays shown here are great if you have more than one job going at once- they are compact and stackable...


















  Tweezers.  Get a good pair of fine tweezers.  Removing and
returning small parts without tweezers is nearly impossible without them. 
It will take a while to master this skill... use a soft grip... hold something
too tight and the part will ricochet around the room...   Tweezers are
available at the department store, but not nearly as accurate as a good set
you will eventually want fine quality watchmakers tweezers.








  Cleaning Supplies.  If you get really serious about this hobby, you will definitely want to buy a mechanical or ultrasonic parts cleaner and specially designed parts solution.  You can buy the old bulky mechanical ones on Ebay for about $100 and the solution costs about $35 per Gallon.  The ultrasonic machines are more expensive.  Both machines use the same liquids.  This is definitely the way to go.

When I first began this hobby at the kitchen table I used Naphtha.  Naphtha is the main ingredient in Ronson Lighter Fluid.  I have found that it works very well and evaporates leaving almost no residue.  Simply pour a tiny, tiny bit into a small cup and soak your parts for a few minutes.  Then brush between gears and in jewel holes with a small coarse tipped paintbrush, or eyelash brush.  Once you are satisfied the part is clean, remove it from the solution, place it on filter paper which absorbs most of the fluid.  The remaining fluid simply evaporates leaving a clean part. Use a blower to quicken the dry time.

**************  WARNING / LEGAL DISCLAIMER **************
WATCH CLEANING SOLUTIONS AND NAPTHA CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS.  THEY CONTAIN SOLVENTS THAT CAN LEAD TO SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS.  THEY ARE DESIGNED FOR PROFESSIONAL OR COMMERCIAL USE ONLY.  THEY WERE NOT DESIGNED FOR IN-HOME USE.  YOU MUST FOLLOW IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION PROVIDED WITH THE PRODUCT BEING USED.  YOU MUST USE THESE SOLVENTS WITH PROPER VENTALATION.  KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN.  AVOID CONTACT WITH YOUR EYES.  AVOID BREATHING THE VAPORS.  AVOID ANY CONTACT WITH SKIN.  KEEP AWAY FROM OPEN FLAME OR SPARK AS THEY COULD RESULT IN FIRE CAUSING INJURY TO PERSON AND PROPERTY. 

****** I.E. USE THESE SOLUTIONS AT YOUR OWN RISK !!!******






  Oil and Oiler.  Specifically designed oils for watches are another must.  I would recommend Moebius.  You don't need to buy a ton of it either.  One drop is enough to oil dozens of watches.  There are a number of different oilers available.  Basically an oiler is a thin piece of wire with the end flattened slightly.  They come in different thickness' to deliver different amounts of oil depending on the job.  (More about this later)













Loupe.  You need to see exactly what you are doing and therefore you will need magnification.  You should spend a little extra money and get a good optically ground jewelers loupe.  I would also suggest buying a low magnification visor.  I use a visor 90% of the time but the loupe is a necessity when you need to do some fine tuning and need to see really close up.












  Blower.  physically blowing on a watch movement is not the best idea.  As unsavory as it may seem, when you blow on something with your mouth, you actually blow particles of spit onto the object.  I would recommend buying a blower.  Not only are they cheap, but they are great for drying off parts that have just been removed from solution, or for removing dust from a dial.











  Hands Remover and hands pusher.  Hands remover tool it a tool designed to lift the hands vertically off of the posts where they firmly rest.  The tool avoids damage to the watch dial and the hands themselves.  When re-installing the hands, it will be necessary to push down on them firmly with something.  A hands pusher tool has a hollow center to avoid damage to the post.  Excellent tools that you will need to get the job done right.

















  Watch paper.  This is special tissue paper is used for placing parts to dry.  This paper is lint-less and very absorbent.  (Scotts toilet paper also works very well, and will do for now)




















  There are many many other tools that you will want to get as you get more serious about this hobby, but the tools listed above are a good start.




  Now that you have the prerequisites out of the way, you are ready to go.  I would strongly recommend that you start with a watch that you are willing to ruin, because chances are you will most likely destroy your first watch.  Find an old inexpensive 5 to17 jewel watch at a flea market or on eBay.  See my section on Ebay on how to find a good candidate.  Because of their size, pocket watches are easier to work on.  I would NOT spend much more than $10-20 on this one!.  Do your best to find one that runs but doesn't keep time or stops.  This probably means it just needs a cleaning which is what we are learning how to do.  The oil in watches breaks down over time and becomes gummy.  This slows the watch down, and eventually it stops.  The task at hand it to take the watch apart, clean it, oil it, and reassemble it.  Easy right?


"YOU WILL MOST LIKELY BREAK THE FIRST WATCH YOU TAKE APART
DO NOT PRACTICE ON YOUR FAMILY HEIRLOOM"




Opening the Back of the Watch

Pocket watch and wrist watch cases have been designed in MANY MANY different ways.  I will try to describe all of the ways to open watches, but only from experience will you truly learn how to "crack every nut".  See my section on Opening a Watch

Some pocket watches have backs that are on a hinge.  You simply place a fingernail under an edge and pop it open.  Sometimes you will find another "door" inside.  This is a dust cover.  Owners would use the first door as a way to stand the watch on a table or night-stand and the second door kept gunk out.  The same method is used to open this door... pry a fingernail under the edge and it will usually pop open.  A case knife (shown in the margin) can be very helpful in opening may different watches.  They aren't sharp enough to cut you, but are designed with a nice rounded edge that makes opening a watchcase a breeze, and won't damage case of the watch.  I would highly recommend this purchase... I once slit my thumb open nearly to the bone using a sharp pocket-knife... what a lesson that was!.












Many early wrist watches also had snap on covers.  They usually had a lip that indicates where to pry.  Carefully place the case knife under the lip and gently pry the back cover off. 

If you have a pocket watch that has no lip, or hinge, but appears to have a cover, then your watch may have what is called a "screw back" case.  In this type of case, the back is threaded in place.  Carefully try to unscrew the back (use a motion similar to opening a jar of pickles).  

Wrist watches also commonly have screw back cases.  Unlike pocket watches that can be opened by hand, wrist watches have six notches around the edge of the case back.  These are meant for the tool shown in the margin.  You adjust the wrench so that the three teeth fit into three of the grooves of the watch-back.  Then just turn the wrench and open the back.


















There are also pocket watches and wrist watches that can only be accessed through the front.  These are the hardest to navigate, and to describe (but I'll try).  In a pocket watch one type of this is called a "swing out" case.  The entire movement is on a hinge that closes into the back of the watch, and the crystal and bezel hold it all in.  If you have one of these... unscrew (or unsnap) the front of the watch (glass side) revealing the dial and hands.  You may notice that inside there is a tiny hinge.  Pull out the crown "click" (as if you were going to set the watch's time), and see if the whole movement swings out freely. 

In some wrist watches you will need a "crystal lift" to remove the crystal and then the movement.  A crystal lift has many small fingers that grab and constrict the crystal so that it can be removed easily.  You may later ask... "how can I take out the movement with the winding stem still attached?"  Good question... the stems in these types of watches are two pieces.  One piece slides into the other like in a jigsaw puzzle.  With practice you will learn to separate them a little jiggle here, and a little jiggle there.   Let's just hope your first watch doesn't have something so complicated....



"Letting Down" the Mainspring

Now that you have opened the back and accessed the movement (or the guts) of the watch, the first step is called "letting down" the Mainspring.  The mainspring is a long piece of steel ribbon that is rolled up and held tightly inside a cylinder called the "Mainspring Barrel".  In this state, the mainspring is under constant pressure because it is a fairly rigid material that wishes to lay flat, and not be rolled up.  When a watch is wound, this mainspring is rolled up even tighter which stores the energy needed to run the watch.  The task at hand is to make sure the watch is not wound at all.  This is done by "Letting Down"  or unwinding the watch.   Taking a wound watch apart could not only damage your watch, but will most definitely send pieces zinging all around your workshop.  The proper way to let down the mainspring is a bit tricky.  Wind the watch a bit so you can observe the moving parts and locate the "click".  A "click" is a tiny metal stopper that clicks every time it passes over a gear.  (it is marked on the labeled picture). 

















Its purpose is to let the "Mainspring Ratchet Wheel" (that's the big gear) turn in only one direction (i.e. the wind direction) and stops the mechanism from going in the opposite direction (i.e. the unwind direction).  Get one of your screwdrivers ready.  Hold the watch in one hand with your thumb and index finger on the "crown".  A "Crown" is the term for the button that you turn to wind and set a watch.  Turn the crown in the wind direction slightly to release pressure on the "click".  The click will move out of the way a bit of the "mainspring ratchet wheel".  When you see this, use the point of the screwdriver (or toothpick) to push the click further out of the way in such a way that it disengages completely from the gears.  Now hold the crown firmly, and carefully and VERY SLOWLY release your grip on the Crown.  If you have done it right you will notice that the crown will begin turning in the unwind direction between your fingers.  Slowly let the watch unwind completely.


Removing the Movement

Taking the movement out of your open case can also be difficult.  In some pocket watches you will need to remove the crown as decribed later in this section.  On other pocketwatches the crown can not be removed, (there is no screw for removing the crown - as described later).  In these watches you simply need to click out the crown to release the movement. 


Most pocket watches and some older wrist watches you will need to remove some case screws.  These screws (usually two screws) overlap the back edge of the case.  Some of these screws have half of the head sheared off so that you only need to turn it partially to clear the lip of the case.  Remove them (or turn them so the sheared part clears the case.  The movement is removed DIAL SIDE... so you will need to remove the front (which is called the bezel... a thick ring that holds the crystal).  These are either screwed in place or snapped in place.  Once you have it removed, exposing the dial and hands, you must be very careful!  There is nothing to hold the movement in, and it may fall out.  Carefully lift the movement through where the crystal was, at an angle to clear the winding stem, and out of the case. 


Wrist watch scenarios

Removing the movement from a wrist watch is sometimes easier, sometimes harder.  Most older wrist watch movements sat inside the back cover.  When you take the back off, the movement goes with it and you will find yourself looking at the dial and hands.  Now it is just a matter of lifting it out of the back.  Others also have screws that will hold it into the bezel.  On these, when you remove the back cover, and the watch doesn't come out with it, nor can it be removed easily, look for tiny screws and retainer clips that hold the movement in tight to the bezel and remove them. 

Other wrist watches and some pocketwatches will have the stem and crown that go through the side of the case making it impossible to remove the movement without first removing the crown and stem.  To remove the crown and stem, look for a tiny screw on the movement (shown with red arrow in adjacent picture)  This screw "locks" the stem in place.  Unscrew it a few turns and pull the crown.  It should slide out.  (Hint:  Reinstall the stem and crown and tighten the screw.  This will prevent the "winding pinion" and "clutch wheel" from falling out later on.  (More on this later)

















Remove the Hands

An inexpensive hands remover should be purchased to remove hands properly.   The hands are held on their posts - it is a pressure fit that holds hands firmly in place over their respective post.  There is a Hour post (a post in a watch is usually called a pinion), a Minute hand post (also known as the Cannon-Pinion.  And a second hand post.  The diameter of the hole in the center of the hand is just microns smaller than the post that it fits over.  This pressure fit is what holds it in place.  Like the force that holds a cork in a bottle.  No screws, No glue.  A hand pulling tool grabs under the hands and then sets down little feet on the dial for leverage.  When you squeeze the tool, the grabber pulls off the hands with no damage to the dial.  You can try prying them off using a jewelers screwdriver, however, PRACTICE on a cheap watch, before doing this on a better watch... (better yet... order the hands puller).  The screwdriver will leave small scratches on the dial, so you'll want to use a piece of paper to protect the dial when prying.  I use a piece of paper even when using the hands-pulling tool just to keep the dial looking perfect.  What you can do with the paper is to cut a line in the paper and a tiny circle cut out at the end of the cut.  Slide the paper between the dial and hands.  This will expose only the hands, allowing you to work without damage to the dial.



















Removing the Dial

Dials are held in place with tiny posts called "feet" that are soldered to the back of the dial.  The feet fit into holes in the movement, and tiny screws in the side of the movement hold the feet (and the dial) firmly in place.  Generally there are 2 or 3 feet.  Use one of your smallest screwdrivers and loosen these screws (see red arrow) as shown in the photo's below.



















Sometimes there are no "dial feet screws" through the side of the movement.  This is typical in older movements.  Look for the screws on the back of the movement.  In this situation you will notice some unusual looking screws next to a copper post.  These screws are a bit strange.  The head of these screws has one side sheared off.  The post sits right next to the screw, and when the screw is turned, the other half of the screw presses into the post, holding it in place.    Look around the edge of the movement (or the back of the movement) and locate these tiny screws.  There are usually 2 of them on wrist watches and 3 of them on pocket watches (usually!).  Loosen the screws insuch a way that the feet can clear the screw head. 

Either way, the dial should lift off easily.  Do NOT pry it... ceramic dials will crack, and metal dials will bend if you do!  If it doesn't come off easily, loosen the screws a tiny bit more and try again. 



















Place the dial in the parts tray.



Removing the Hour Wheel

Under the dial, in the center, you will notice a brass gear.  This gear is called the "hour wheel".  Sometimes this gear will have a small (paper thin) brass or gold colored washer sitting loosely on it.  This tiny flat ring acts like a spring that (when the dial is in place) keeps the hour wheel from popping up and skipping.  Take your tweezers and remove the gear (and the ring if present).  It should slide right off. 



















Put it in your parts tray.



Removing the Cannon Pinion

  After removing the hour wheel, you will notice another smaller gear attached to a small shaft.  This is called the "Cannon Pinion".  The "cannon pinion" is hollow in the center and fits tightly over the post of the "center wheel".  Removing it can sometimes be difficult and may result in damage to the Cannon Pinion.  I usually do not remove it when cleaning a movement unless the movement is very gummed up. 

However, if you want to remove it you can use your tweezers to grip the Cannon Pinion at the base and slide it straight off of it's post. 

When it comes to the Cannon Pinion the key is to be gentle... the cannon pinion is easy to crush or break (or lose).  (Hint:  If you pry under the gears of the cannon pinion with a screwdriver, you will have problems... it will zing off to never be found, or one of the gears will break, or you will break the center wheel arbor)   























Turn the movement over (dial side down)

NOTE:  NOW IS THE TIME TO WORK ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WATCH. DO NOT TURN IT OVER AND SET IT ON A FLAT HARD SURFACE.  YOU WILL NOTICE THAT THE SECOND HAND POST AND THE CENTER WHEEL POST ARE PROTRUDING.    IF YOU TURN IT OVER AND START WORKING ON A HARD SURFACE, YOU WILL SNAP THE POSTS OFF.'

You should consider buying a movement holder.  You can also drill a 3/4 inch hole in a small piece of wood to support the movement face down while the posts inside the hole.


Place the movement "Pillar Plate" down on a movement holder.  You will notice that the back of the watch is segmented.  These segments are called "Bridges".  Bridges have small jewel holes.  They hold a series of gears and other parts inside. 


Removing the Barrell Bridge

Locate the bridge that houses the "mainspring barrel".  As described earlier it has a large shiny winding wheel called a "Ratchet wheel", a small wheel called a "Crown Wheel", and a small "click".

(Very old movements may not have these two gears.  If after inspecting the back of the watch you see no winding gears, and can only see ONE large plate (i.e. no bridges) you have an old movement and some of these descripions may not apply.)

Back to removing the barrel-bridge;   A smart first step is to remove the mainspring "Ratchet Wheel (the large shiny one). See Photo.  ****Don't forget to let down the Mainspring*****.  I usually remove this gear to prevent the bridge from pulling out the barrell, and consequently getting caught on the Center wheel.  



















Remove the screws that hold this bridge in place.  Take note if any of them are longer than the others.  If so, it MUST be put back into the same screw hole - otherwise the screw will hit some moving parts on the other side of the movement.

Place the screws into your parts tray.

Remove the Barrell Bridge.  If it doesn't come up easily there are usually places along the bottom edge of the bridge that are notched specifically for prying with a screwdriver.  Gently pry the bridge loose.  Remove the Barrell bridge and put it in your parts tray with the screws.  Under the bridge you will find the "mainspring barrell", it will lift out easily.  Place it in your parts tray.























When taking any movement apart, all I can say is that common sense needs to be used.  With so many watch designs out there, you may notice that you need to remove the next bridge in order to get a gear out of the way in order to remove the part you are currently working on.  Go Slow and make note of the order that things are removed.  A GOOD IDEA IS TO DRAW LITTLE DIAGRAMS OF THE POSITIONING OF THE GEARS ETC.  Eventually, if you work on enough watches you will know what parts go where...

When you get the barrel-bridge out, place it with the corresponding screws in the next section of the parts tray.  


The Winding Pinion and Clutch Wheel

Underneath this bridge, you will notice two small cylindrical gears with the stem going through the center.  One is the "winding pinion" and the other is the "clutch wheel".  (It will have a stem going through the center...that is IF you followed my instruction from earlier, you left the stem in place - or replaced it).  Now it should be very clear why you want to leave the stem in place... it holds the Winding Pinion and Clutch Wheel in place so they don't fall out.  These are the gears that wind and  set the watch.  Again, these parts will fall out unless the stem/crown is installed.  You may want to insert the stem and tighten the little screw that holds the stem in before removing the barrel bridge. Reinstalling these little gears takes patience.!





















Removing the Train Bridge

Moving on to the next bridge, which is called the "Train Bridge".  Remove the screws holding it in place and gently pry it loose.  Remove it.  This will expose a number of gears.  Take a minute to examine the gears to see where they go, and how they are situated.  You may want to get a pencil and pad and sketch their arrangement.  The gears overlap and you will notice that there is an orderly way to remove them.  Remove them carefully and place them in separate compartments of the parts tray.





















Removing the Balance Cock

The "Balance Wheel" is the heart of your watch.  It is the wheel that has the tiny spring coiled in the center that swings back and forth.  The spring in the center is called a "Hairspring".  It is held in place by a bridge called the "Balance Cock".  The balance wheel is attached to the hairspring, which is attached to the underside of the
balance-cock.  The whole of these parts needs to be removed together (and held TOGETHER when removed).  If you take out the screw, and haphazardly free up and pull out just the balance-cock, the balance  wheel will hang and bounce along behind it.  This will stretch out and goof up your hairspring and the watch won't run at the end of the day.  The proper way to remove it is to remove the screw.  Pry and loosen the balance-cock but don't remove it yet.  Take your tweezers and gently grab the underside of the balance-wheel, and the upperside of the balance-cock.  This will hold the two together for removal.  Carefully take them out.  Set them UPSIDE DOWN in your parts tray (Balance side up).

























Remove the Pallet Fork and Arbor

The last part to remove resides under the balance wheel.  Once the balance is out you will see it.  It looks like a tiny little "T".  It is called the pallet fork.  It is held in place with a tiny bridge called the "Pallet Bridge".  Remove the screw(s) and gently pry up the bridge.
Remove the bridge and place it in the tray.  Before taking it out, take a moment to look at the Pallet Fork.  The one end actually looks like a tiny three prong fork.  Take notice of the center prong and remember that the center prong always hangs down.  This will help
you remember when it comes time to reassemble.  Remove the Pallet fork and place it in the tray.





















What are Jewels?

Before the advent of "Jeweled" watches, tiny holes were drilled directly in the steel plates and bridges where the "pivot" of the gears would rest and rotate.  Over time the constant rubbing metal against metal would wear the hole and it would get larger.  This would allow the gears to wobble and the watch would eventually stop working.  In the early 1700's it was discovered that using tiny slivers of shaped ruby with a hole in the center lasted much longer.  But rubies were expensive and were placed in only very high quality watches.  In the early 1900's synthetic rubies were invented and became widely used in watchmaking.  You may have noticed that there are tiny red or pink dots at various places in the bridges and the pillar plate.  These are the jewels.
























Cleaning

Place the "Pillar Plate" in a small plastic cup with some parts cleaner.  Let it soak for a few minutes.  Then take your brush and thoroughly brush both sides of the plate paying special attention to the jewel holes.  If the watch is very dirty, you may want to replace
the solution and clean twice.  Once you are satisfied that it is clean, remove it from the solution and place it on a piece of "watch paper".  Use your blower to dry it off.  Later on you will be able to clean all of your parts at once, because even jumbled you will know where they go.  For now however, go one section of the parts tray at a time cleaning and drying in this manner.  Make sure to clean between the gears and in the jewel holes of all of the moving parts.  Once they are dry, replace them to the tray.  Clean the balance VERY VERY carefully.  Also, Do NOT submerge the MAINSPRING as it will take on solution and it will rust.  If there is a Jewel hole on the Mainspring Bridge, you should remove the screw that holds the Mainspring barrel in place and set it (the mainspring barrel) aside and then clean the plate.  Or you can simply brush the hole with a wet brush a few times until you are satisfied that it is clean and then let it dry.


Oiling

The Cardinal Rule:  Using Too much oil will attract dust and stop your watch faster than if you use too little.  The only part of the watch that needs oil is the pivot or jewel holes.  Again, this is where the posts or "pivots" of the various gears rest and rotate.  One side of the hole is always flat (or sometimes capped with another jewel), and the other is usually recessed like a tiny bowl.  This "bowl" is where you will place one tiny drop of oil.  You don't fill the recess either.  Just a teensy-tiny drop in the center of the recess.  Carefully oil all of the holes on the bridges and the on the pillar plate (HINT:  I usually install the Pallet Fork before oiling the balance jewel.  This prevents oil from getting on the fork)

Oiling most of the jewel holes is very straightforward with the exception of the jewel in the balance cock.  When you remove the balance and balance cock, place it on the bench - balance wheel up.  Removing the balance wheel and hairspring from the balance cock is very tricky - so it is not advisable to take it apart to oil the hole.  Simply (and gently) lift the balance wheel with your tweezers and stretch the hairspring slightly.  Just enough to get the oiler in there to put a tiny drop of oil directly into the jewel hole.
Hint:  If you  you touch any of the coils with the oiler, this will get oil on it.  ANY oil on the hairspring will cause the coils to stick together and the watch will not run right.  If this happens you will need to dunk the balance into cleaner to remove the oil.  Then dry it with they blower, and try again.
























Reassembly

Now you have everything clean, oiled, and organized in front of you, simply work backwards and reassemble.

Install the Pallet Fork and Arbor (PF&A).  Some things to note here:  There are usually (but not always) two pins called banking pins.  The Pallet Fork sits between these two pins.  The pins limit the motion of the pallet back and forth.  The pallet fork also has three prongs - or forks.  Look closely...the center prong sticks out.  When reassembling - put this center prong DOWN - towards the pillar plate.
Install the bridge and the screws that hold the pallet in place.    Don't forget to oil the jewel-hole.  Also, make sure it is in properly.  To test this, rock the movement back and forth.  The fork should, by force of gravity, rock back and forth.

Install the next "funny looking" gear.  into the jewel hole.  This gear is called the escape wheel.  The little prongs will line up with the back of the pallet.

Install the next gears (in reverse order) as they were removed.

Install the bridge that holds the top of the gears in place.  You will need to wiggle the gears one at a time with a screwdriver before the bridge settles in place and all of the pivots are in the holes.  Sometimes you can get this in a matter of seconds, and sometimes it can be really frustrating - BE PATIENT. 
IMPORTANT: Install the screws slowly, and test the gears to make sure they seem to be loose or "fluid".  Using a screwdriver you can also gently push up/down on the gear and see if it slides up and down in the jewel hole.  As you tighten the screws keep checking the gears...If they seize as you tighten STOP.  This means one of the pivots is not properly inserted in it's pivot hole. 

Install the other gears and bridges in the same fashion as mentioned above, and in the reverse order that they were placed in the tray.

When installing the barrel bridge, use a screwdriver (or the crown/stem if installed) to turn the winding mechanism a little.  This will engage the gears.  Once the bridge is tightly in place, inspect and test the setting mechanism located on the reverse (dial side) of the movement.  Make sure everything looks to be in the right order. On a pocket watch, push a screwdriver in the hole.  This should engage/disengage the gears.  On a wrist watch with the crown in place as mentioned above... click the crown and stem in and out a few times to make sure the gears engage/disengage the setting mechanisms.
Install the Balance.  This is tricky, and may take some time to make sure it is in right.  Gently hold it as described above and gently place it as near to where it belongs as possible.  You will need to gently wiggle it around and gently press down on the regulator until you "feel" that it is in right.  IT SHOULD SWING FREELY.  If it doesn't seem to work, partially (and gently) remove it partially and try again.  There is only ONE way it goes.  Once it is in place and swinging back and forth freely, you can move on.

You may wind the watch now to see if it starts up.

Hopefully it is running...  Turn it over and install the cannon pinion over the center post.  Push it down gently with the tweezers.  Install the Hour Wheel.
Install the dial.  Tighten the screws.
Install the hands at 12 O'clock to assure proper alignment.  Use the hands pushing tool to push the hands down over the post.  The hands should be HORIZONTAL with the dial.  Should be close to the dial but not touch the dial or the markers.  They should not touch each other.  You may use your tweezers CAREFULLY to straighten, bend, or align your hands.
Replace the movement in the watch the way it was removed.
Close the case.

DONE!!!!!  I Hope it went well!!!!


********WARNING*******
THE ABOVE INFORMATITON WAS WRITTEN TO HELP BEGINNING WATCH REPAIR ENTHUSIASTS LEARN ABOUT A FUN HOBBY. ANY SUGGESTIONS MADE HEREIN ARE TO BE FOLLOWED AT YOUR OWN RISK.  ANY INJURY OR DAMAGE CAUSED TO PERSON OR PROPERTY ARE YOUR SOLE RESPONSIBILITY.

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Oiling a balance jewel:  HINT:  Don't get any oil on the spring.  It will cause it to stick together and the watch will not run, or it will run FAST
Hands Remover
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