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SciroccoStorm

Where to buy cheap watches

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Evening, I have recently joined as I have always had an interest in watches and need a hobby to focus my mind and fettling watches seemed to be the logical move. I am a complete amateur when it comes to repair, I can replace batteries/capacitors, resize bracelets etc but I am very keen to expand my skill set. I am a visual learner and tend to learn most effectively when I’m immersed in the task so I was just want advice on where to buy some starter projects. I obviously don’t want to start with a Lecoultre or Omega, but I would like a cheap mechanical watch that I can dismantle, reassemble and get a feel for so I can start to understand the mechanisms and engineering involved before I start to actually repair and built my collection with watches that I have serviced, repaired and kept alive.

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Get some working pocket watches with jewelled lever movements.  The extra size will help you become accustomed to the parts and tools.  You will need quite a bit of kit as time goes on, but good screwdrivers and tweezers are a must to start IMO - I favour Horotec for both of these.  Invest well once rather than buying twice.  If the hobby goes away from you a good set of tools still fetches good money.

You may want to look at courses at the BHI.  Not cheap but very good.  I've done basic watch (on a pocket watch, hence my reasoning), quartz and I'm booked onto another.

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Pocket Watches are a good start as a bit easier to do size wise. Definitely find some decent screwdrivers, there are cheap ones actually some aren't bad others terrible (beware of cheap imitations). Its fun, frustrating and always a good supply of them on E-bay. A good cleaner ultra sonic cleaner , and some decent cleaning fluid. I use latex gloves and finger gloves.

As i am only a beginner myself a supply of Headache Tablets an essential lol.

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Go on Youtube and actually watch people repairing and assembling watches. I have used a couple of examples to completely dismantle and reassemble several watches. Check out a guy called "Rat Faced Git" (no really) who is an enthusiastic amateur..

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in terms of buying watches in the first place, if you want mechanicals. Go on ebay, put 'vintage watch' in the search, select used, select mechanical and automatic and put in a limit of say £30, you'll find your hearts content. All sorts, swiss, Japanese, even the odd Services. :thumbsup: 

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12 minutes ago, Nigelp said:

in terms of buying watches in the first place, if you want mechanicals. Go on ebay, put 'vintage watch' in the search, select used, select mechanical and automatic and put in a limit of say £30, you'll find your hearts content. All sorts, swiss, Japanese, even the odd Services. 

Also might be worth adding "spares repairs" to your ebay search description, which should bring up plenty of cheapies to practice on :biggrin:

For example, a search for "mechanical watches spares repairs" brings up 186 results, and a search "pocket watches spares repairs" brings up 840.  

Good luck anyway :thumbsup:

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4 minutes ago, Davey P said:

Also might be worth adding "spares repairs" to your ebay search description, which should bring up plenty of cheapies to practice on :biggrin:

For example, a search for "mechanical watches spares repairs" brings up 186 results, and a search "pocket watches spares repairs" brings up 840.  

Good luck anyway :thumbsup:

very true Dave i'm still thinking of opening a case polishing business using autoglym metal polish and swiss files, i could have minted bond's LV up and saved him a fortune!:biggrin:

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2 minutes ago, Nigelp said:

very true Dave i'm still thinking of opening a case polishing business using autoglym metal polish and swiss files, i could have minted bond's LV up and saved him a fortune!:biggrin:

Do it!!! :yes:

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15 minutes ago, Davey P said:

Do it!!! :yes:

:thumbsup::laugh: ok

but yeh in all seriousness there are some real gems in the sub 20 quid bracket if you like to do a bit of tinkering, I've had quiet a few 1940's mechanicals from Avia, Ingersoll etc that provided some fun tinkering, as well as some seiko qtz. It stops me polishing and brushing the case etc on my better watches.... Its like having a cheap car to play with. Parnis are good for a bit of a play with too.  

Edited by Nigelp

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Just now, Nigelp said:

:thumbsup::laugh: ok

I don't need it, all of my collection are in pristine condition, that goes without saying.  However, there are loads of members on here with bashed up old tat that would need sorting out :whistle:

All you really need to know is the difference between "patina" and "knackered" (I've never worked that one out.... :laughing2dw:)

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1 minute ago, Davey P said:

I don't need it, all of my collection are in pristine condition, that goes without saying.  However, there are loads of members on here with bashed up old tat that would need sorting out :whistle:

All you really need to know is the difference between "patina" and "knackered" (I've never worked that one out.... :laughing2dw:)

Me neither I think it depends how much it costs to put right, for example patina might cost a tenner and knackered costs 600 quid or thereabouts but who knows?:whistle:

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I always suggest buying two or more of the same scrap or used movements, so to have spare parts and more.

Also taking picture at each stage of strip down.

Avoid investing money at the begining.

Advantages are many a few of which are;

If you forget what goes where, you have another exact one as ready reference.

You got spare parts.

 

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On 23/10/2018 at 14:56, Davey P said:

I don't need it, all of my collection are in pristine condition, that goes without saying.  However, there are loads of members on here with bashed up old tat that would need sorting out :whistle:

All you really need to know is the difference between "patina" and "knackered" (I've never worked that one out.... :laughing2dw:)

I thought "patina" was dirt and general wear on a watch that cost a lot.

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