Watch repair/service kit recommendations

Hi Vacheronistas,

I am looking for a kit for basic watch repair/service.  I would be looking to do basic things like bracelet sizing & changing, removing case backs, spring bar replacement, changing batteries on my wife's "fashion" watches.  I have looked at the Minathor, but I don't need it to be portable and would like one that is more benctop focused.  At the same time, I don't need a full professional Bergeon setup either.  The important thing would beone that helps me minimize scratching when I am doing the work.

Any and all recommendations will be duly appreciated.  Bonus points for something Vacheron-branded.  Thank you.

You should get one of these....
07/21/2014 - 19:14

Vacheron Constantin's watchmaker's toolkit Swiss Army knife.



That would sort of be the holy grail, but...
07/21/2014 - 19:30

can this just be purchased?  I assumed this was the sort of thing that one could only get at an event or something.  (Well, I realize that nearly ANYTHING can be purcahsed for a price, but you know what I mean here.)

Re: That would sort of be the holy grail, but...
07/21/2014 - 21:10

I have one of those too, which i use from time to time.

The mini-screw drivers are neat.

But I assembled my kit individually.

I have the spring bar tools (Bergeon), a series of tiny screw drivers, slot, philips, suare, hex and Torx (also good for computer repairs), a jig to hold the watch while changing bracelet pieces.

I know there are complete kits available but they often have a lot of stuff you don't need or will never use.

I don't think I was much help. You already knew all this :-)



Actually, this is helpful.
07/21/2014 - 23:21

Maybe I'll just get a smaller assortment of good tools, as you suggest. Thanks for the input.  I aspire to be the collector that you are someday, Joseph. Your input is always appreciated.  

The secret weapon?
07/21/2014 - 20:37

A faithful and enduring watchmaker to rely oncheeky

That said, a spring-bar tool, a couple of screwdrivers and a couple of case-openers (a ball and a blade) will do most of the job you've mentioned.

My humble opinion :-)

Thank you.
07/21/2014 - 23:23

I appreciate the suggestions. Your humble opinion is valuable to me. It sounds as though you and Joseph are if the same opinion. Maybe I'll so this and then get a Minathor for travel. Once I get a rubber strap for my OS - then I may want to change it on the road!  Thanks. 

Hi, I know the Timezone school...
07/22/2014 - 14:08

works with Otto Frei to source watchmaker tools for their classes.  While those are complete "kits" for use with specific classes, you can also buy specific tools that fit just the needs you have.


I've bought things from them, you can check them out here:  I don't know of any other sources in the US for some of these small watchmaking tools.  Others may have other recommendations.


BR, Dan

Thanks for the tip Dan. I'll definitely check them out when. (nt)
07/22/2014 - 14:44
Re: Hi, I know the Timezone school...
07/24/2014 - 13:48
Yes I have purchased from Otto frei as part of the timezone watch course and they have quality tools and fair prices. Some I could not easily source elsewhere as Dan mentioned and I would suggest checking out Otto frei as you can purchase individual tools. James
Just saw your post and would recommend you go to the
07/23/2014 - 06:08

Wenger Swiss Knife site. You will find the Wenger Expert series of knives and that will take you to the Minathor knife for "Watchmaking and Microtechnology"

There are a few choices, but this is a very good start. Not as fancy as WHL's version, only given by V&C to lucky recipients ( I have one two), but very useful and there are two different outer grips to consider. 

I enjoy your enthusiasim and comments on THL and hope you do get to Joseph's level of collecting and knowledge, as I too hope to reach someday ;0)...



Best to all,


Re: Watch repair/service kit recommendations
07/25/2014 - 03:00

Hi Jamie,

I forgot to mention one company I used. They are in Oakland, CA and they sell all sorts of watch paraphenalia.

They have an on-line ordering. You can google them.

Prices are not too bad.


Re: Re: Watch repair/service kit recommendations
07/25/2014 - 03:01

Oops, sorry!

They're called Frei and Borel


Frei & Borel = Otto Frei
07/25/2014 - 04:36

we are talking about the same online supplier, smiley

Great minds think alike, it would seem.
07/25/2014 - 09:55

Thanks guys. I am going to get some tools from here, for sure. I had stumbled across them in my earlier looking for the Minathor, but it is good to hear that you recommend them. Plus, between your suggestions here and some basic due diligence, I have a much better idea of what would be in that first batch of tools. Thank you.