Watch repair kits have proliferated onto the scene in recent years, allowing home enthusiasts and wannabe watchmakers access to whole new world of tinkering opportunity. But with so many options, the question remains, what is the best watch repair kit for you?
But before diving into some watch kits, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself whether you really need a fully fledged kit, or whether you really just need one or two pieces first and then start building your own kit.
This is generally the first question you should be asking yourself. Are you really just trying to fix the problem you have now, or do you actually want to have that 18+ piece kit handy in case of future emergencies. You might be better off in the long run by slowly building your high quality, bespoke kit if right now you really just want to remove a link or two from your bracelet.
Also, before embarking on a mad scientist type experiment with an expensive watch, ask yourself how much do you care about the watch you are DIY repairing. It will hurt a lot less if your repairs to a $50 Casio don’t got as planned than botching up that antique Rolex Submariner that’s stopped ticking.
The pros and cons of each option are listed below:
Watch repair kits
Many pieces in one kit
cheaper than buying individually
Generally lower quality
Best for light users
NEED to buy each Tool
Generally higher quality
Best for everyday or heavy use
Heck, if you just want to change the battery once every couple of years, you’re most likely better off financially (and with less headache) just going to your local jeweler and have them change it for you. But, you most likely wouldn’t be reading this post if you didn’t want to get your hands dirty and start tinkering with your watch collection.
An important point here, as just like jailbreaking your iPhone, opening up your watch will most likely result in voiding your manufacturers warranty. You’ve been warned! Now, with that out of the way, let’s get to the kits.
Your budget, short and long term requirements should dictate the quality of kit and how many tools you realistically need. The following tools are common in good quality kits:
We’ve chosen the following 3 watch repair kits based on price, quality and user reviews:
Ohuhu Professional 147 PCS Watch Kit
- Adjustable case opener
- 18x adjustable case opener pins
- Watch case opener knife
- Stainless steel tweezer
- Spring bar tool (& 2 spare tips)
- 108x watch strap spring pins
- Link remover (incl 3 spare pins and 2 spare gold pins)
- Watch case holder (10-45mm)
- 3x screwdrivers
- Carry Case
This 141 piece entry level kit is great for those that are making their first foray into watch repairing and want a kit with all of the essentials.
EzTool Professional Watch Repair Kit
- Extra large (up to 58mm) 3-point jaxa case wrench opener
- Watch link remover tool
- 3x pin-punch
- Spring bar removal tool
- Band holder
- 5x screwdrivers
- Case pry
- Carry case
Large watch cases and handy 41 page illustrated guide makes it easy to hit the ground running and make repairs straight away.
Stago Deluxe Watch Repair Tool Kit
- Adjustable case opener (up to 38mm)
- 18x adjustable case opener pins
- 3 in 1 screwdriver
- 4x mini pliers
- 90x Watch Strap Spring Pins
- Small Hammer
- Watch Case Knife
- Watch case Holder
- Watch Band Link Remover (incl 3 extra pins)
- 3x Slotted Screwdrivers
- Carry case
This sturdy 141 piece tool kit offers all the tools you could want as a novice watch repairer in a nicely designed carry bag.
Got some other kit/tool suggestions for tinkering with your watch collection? We’d love to hear your choices in the comments below. Happy repairing!
Scuba diving is testament to mankind’s ingenuity in overcoming natural barriers, and dive watches are one of the best examples this. Combining precise engineering and looks into an accessory for an activity that humans shouldn’t really be doing is why dive watches have a soft spot in our hearts here at WKOW. So, if you’re thinking about purchasing a dive watch for that 2019 holiday, or potentially saving for that splurge watch, this guide will definitely point you in the right direction without getting your feet wet.
The main functions of a high-quality dive watch is to allow scuba divers to keep a record on the dive time, under pressure, by using a rotating (or analog) bezel that allows the wearer to pre-select a period of time up to 60 minutes. This allows the wearer to understand their dive time, and then calculate maximum dive time before hazardous gases build up in their blood system. Diving is by its a nature a risky sport, so the last thing you want to be worrying about is whether your dive watch is going to give way mid-dive, leaving you more vulnerable than is necessary. This is where technical specifications and user reviews come into play.
The robustness of a watch will be tested underwater. Yes, you’ve got additional pressure from water above, but watches also get banged around a lot whilst diving. This can be from rocks, coral, your own tank/gear and even fine sea particles such as sand and seaweed can play havoc to the durability of a dive watch.
We all love a sexy design, but don’t just base your decision on looks. Instead, make sure the watch has the features you’re going to use the most. This doesn’t mean you need to go for the highest-price watch simply because it has the most features. If you aren’t going to use the feature, you’re basically adding extra expense for no benefit.
I personally perform a simple design when I’m diving because I don’t want to be wasting my dive time playing around with features, dials and buttons. This is time I can spend hanging out with my dorsal appendaged friends. That said, we’ve included a range of watches for different budgets, styles and preferences in the round up of our 7 favorite dive watches below:
Seiko Prospex Padi Solar
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean
These Padi licensed watches are water resistant up to 200m (656 ft), made of stainless steel and the overall look of the watch is quite appealing with a smaller form factor than some of the more bulkier dive watches on the market.
The word Prospex implies professional specifications and these watches don’t disappoint the budget conscious diver that also needs precise engineering. With a lower price point, you’d be forgiven for splurging a little more on that new Go Pro you’ve been eyeing…Buy Seiko Prospex Padi Solar on Amazon
Where this watch really departs from its predecessors is the technology and associated attention to detail. They’ve removed the satin aluminium bezel inserts and replaced with scratch resistant ceramic inserts. And, perhaps the biggest improvement to design is the use of liquid metal, rather than traditional casting and subsequent machining. This produces a very precise, strong and corrosion resistant watch.
This level of engineering finds it’s way throughout the entire watch, including the movement system. Powered by the Omega 8500 caliber Co-Axial based automatic movement which has been widely regarded as a robust and precise movement system. This watch is a true competitor and alternative to the Rolex Submariner.
One of the main drawbacks of the new Planet Ocean’s technology is that they are a few millimeters thicker. This has left some enthusiasts shaking their head as one of the Seamaster’s long running standout trait’s has been it’s slim, elegant design. This watch has been known to actually feel thicker than it is.
The bold design with broad arrow hands and gloss dials, works effortlessly with the well proportioned, precise engineering contained within this iconic and practical watch that James Bond still wears to this day. This watch is definitely one to consider if you have the budget and want a stylish, practical and superbly engineered dive watch.Buy Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean on Amazon
This Swiss made watch with automatic hand movement has been gaining in popularity with divers since the Pelagos’ rebirth in 2012. Because this watch is made of titanium, it is lighter than it’s stainless steel counterparts, which is a great feature if you plan on this watch being your everyday watch too. The titanium watch and bracelet have a brushed finished, which makes it stand out from a traditionally high-polished finish of a stainless steel and tends to hide scratches very well.
In 2015, Tudor introduced it’s own revamped movement system, the MT56 12 with a 70 hour power reserve. The saphire crystal is completely flat, eliminating any distortion that a raised crystal provides, which is a handy underwater feature. The build quality can be felt and heard in the click of the bezel as you move it.
The Tudor Pelagos is much more than a “cheaper” version of it’s big brother, Rolex. The titanium build provides a sophisticated , lightweight alternative to a Submariner or Planet Ocean and is very worthy of at least adding to your shortlist. At least try and check out the brilliant blue version of this watch as we’ve found it to be very striking, whilst remaining elegant for those dinner occasions.Buy Tudor Pelagos Blue on Amazon
There are two main versions of the Submariner; with and without a date plus magnifier. The non-date version costs about $1,000 less and is arguably the more popular of the two. It was also the original as the date version only came in later.
Featuring a 40mm wide case crafted from a single block of a corrosive-resistant 904L steel, and a turning bezel made from Cerachom (a type of ceramic) which makes it extremely resistant to scratching, fading and corrosion. The movement is controlled by the in-house Rolex Calibre 3130. An important visual and functional feature is the winding crown, which closes much like a submarine latch.
This video shows the beauty of the Submariner close up in all it’s beauty:
The Submariner isn’t just renowned by divers, or for precise engineering. It redefined what it meant to own a prestige watch. You certainly do pay a premium for the Rolex brand, but in return, you know you’re getting an incredibly engineered watch that will last for many years, is universally loved and admired. Indeed, a significant factor for many in purchasing this watch is for the status, announcing to the world that you’ve made it. Don’t let this fool you though, the Submariner is a serious dive watch and definitely worth considering.Buy Rolex Submariner on Amazon
The 41 mm case features alternating polished and brushed stainless steel, bringing a casual elegance to this watch. The biggest change in recent years has been the addition of the ceramic bezel. Similar to Rolex’s Submariner and Omega’s Planet Ocean, the ceramic bezel allows the watch to take an absolute beating without scratching, fading or corroding. This is a massive feature for dive watches given that it’s very common to bang your hands on all sorts of rocks, corals, sand and other general underwater hazards whilst diving. But, the Aquaracer is considerably more affordable than a Submariner or Planet Ocean, making it a great entry-level dive watch for collectors and wearers.
The Aquaracer comes in both chronograph (three-counter calibre 16 movement) and automatic (Calibre 5) models. The chronograph models are generally around $1,000 more than the automatic models. Both models are quality, durable dive watches.
Check out this detailed review on the Aquaracer below – FWIW, I don’t think this watch deserves any hate!
What I like a lot about the Aquaracer is that it doesn’t try and be a Submariner clone. It is bold and unique in its own right. Go elsewhere for a Submariner clone. Choose a Tag Heuer Aquaracer if you want an extremely durable Swiss-engineered dive watch that has many of the features that rival its more expensive counterparts.Buy TAG Heuer Aquaracer on Amazon
The 49mm case is the largest in our roundup of favorite watches for 2019, so it’s definitely one you’d want to put on your wrist before buying. Other notable features are the ceramic unidirectional bezel which is great for resisting scratches and bumps, anti-reflective sapphire window and a date window at 6 O’clock. Aesthetically, the subtle waves behind the dial give it a smooth look against black face and the luminous indicators work well at night.
This watch definitely makes a statement, and whilst it may not have the same branding appeal as a Rolex or Omega, it is definitely one to look out for if you prefer slightly larger watches that won’t weigh you down. We’ve seen some good deals on these watches too, so don’t be afraid to shop around.
Buy Oris Titanium Divers on Amazon
The simple, practical design performs very well under low light conditions, with bold, luminous hands, hour markers and graduations on the unidirectional stainless steel bezel. Bezel movement is met with solid, deep clicks – something that is often missing in less expensive dive watches. The date function features a magnified display for easy reading.
This watch should be on your radar if you want a practical dive watch rated to 500m, but aren’t prepared to fork out thousands more for brand or prestige appeal. It is a very good watch for the price and worthy of consideration.Buy Victorinox Dive Master 500 on Amazon
What’s your pick for dive watches to consider for 2019? Feel like we’ve left out some worthy tool watches? Let us know in the comments below. Happy diving!
So you’ve decided to buy a luxury watch (or maybe even just a really nice watch, like an Omega). You’ve immediately got a problem. That problem is that the watch market is absolutely flooded with counterfeits. When you’re spending pocket change on a cheap timepiece, getting burned by a fake Timex isn’t such a big deal. When you’re instead spending several large denominations on a classy, pricey watch, you’re going to feel a deep ache in your wallet when you end up with a cheaply made clone.
So how do you buy a nice watch, something that’s going to set you back by more money than you’re comfortable just throwing away, without getting ripped off? Is the guy at the pawn shop giving you a deal that’s too good to be true? Is there any reason to believe that street vendor is offering the genuine article? Obviously, common sense plays a part, but there are a few general ideas to keep in mind when you’re evaluating a prospective purchase. While following these tips by no means guarantees that you’ll go home with a quality Rolex or Omega, they at least increase your odds of passing up an obvious scam.
It’s difficult to know how heavy a good watch should feel if you’ve never handled one. By comparison, though, a well-made, high-end watch will be heavy compared not just to less expensive watches, but particularly compared to copies of the same timepiece. Counterfeits are cheaply made of cheap materials. What those cheap materials have in common is that they weigh less. When comparing a copy to the genuine article, a real timepiece will be heavy. It will feel solid. A cheaply made counterfeit will break in normal use (and sometimes even when sitting unused). Counterfeits will often feel flimsy and light.
Again, it’s difficult to know what the watch should be made of if you’ve never seen or handled the genuine article. Don’t buy a Rolex from a guy on the sidewalk if you’ve never looked at or felt the real thing. How difficult is it, after all, to stop by your jeweler and handle some examples of the watch you’re interested in buying? Armed with a good feel for how such a watch is made, examine your prospective purchase and see how it is built. Is it stainless steel or gold where it should be? Are plastics and lesser metals substituted to produce a cheaper overall product?
Little details like engravings are one of the hardest things to get right because they require extremely fine attention to nuance. Counterfeits typically will omit those details, or get them wrong outright. Sometimes this is because the watch has been produced quickly and cheaply. Other times it is because the counterfeiter lacks the precision equipment used by the genuine manufacturer. Examine your prospective purchase with an eye for these small touches. Are the proper brand engravings in the right places? Do they look clean and sharp? A well made watch will not just exhibit good fit and finish; it will also have engravings that are properly executed and exactly positioned.
Not all watches produce sound, obviously, but a mechanical or self-winding watch definitely will. You should be able to hear these mechanisms. The sound of the watch should be clear, distinct, and regular. The expression, “like clockwork” exists for a reason. If your watch sounds irregular, if the sound of the movement is not crisp and clear, there’s a problem. A cheap counterfeit may sound weak or muffled. Some counterfeits produce no sound at all because they contain a powered quartz movement, rather than the self-winding or mechanical movement expected.
Does your watch come with documentation? Real high-end watches come with paperwork. These include, but are not necessarily limited to, certificates of authenticity. Now anyone can produce a document that proclaims a watch authentic, but examine the document carefully. Does the paperwork contain a serial number? Does that serial number match the one on your watch? Does the paperwork itself appear to have been printed professionally? Cheaply photocopied documentation, sometimes reproduced from the genuine article, will be included with fakes.
The issue of pricing is complicated. Genuine high-end watches are genuinely expensive, but pricing is also a method of establishing value from a marketing perspective. It may be possible to secure a high-end watch for less than the retail price you’d pay at, say, a jewelry store. This is not, in itself, an indication you are buying a fake. If the price is too low, however — if the deal simply is too good to be true — there are only two explanations. One is that the watch is genuine, but stolen. The other and far more common reason is that the watch is fake and cost nothing near the asking price to produce. You aren’t going to buy a $10,000 Rolex for $300 bucks unless the watch is fake — or unless it’s hotter than the deal.
On real watches, space is at a premium. Everything has a purpose. There is no room on a high-end watch for pushers that do nothing. Counterfeit watches may have features that are purely cosmetic — features the manufacturer of the fake was too cheap, or too poorly skilled, to reproduce. In those cases the counterfeiter simply crafts something that looks right but does nothing. This is a clear indication that the watch you’re examining is not real.
We mentioned Bolex and Rolox before. Typographical error are sometimes deliberate and sometimes “honest” mistakes. Broken spellings are not at all uncommon among counterfeiters, who often don’t understand the language they are reproducing. (Deliberately creating a lookalike watch with an almost-but-not-quite name is one way to work around laws against counterfeiting. You aren’t counterfeiting Omegas if your company’s brand is Trimega, after all, but you’re hoping someone will be fooled nonetheless.) Unintended typos are a dead giveaway. It’s doubtful that the nice folks at Patek Philippe will misspell their company’s name.
A high-end watch will be manufactured to stand the test of time. They will be well-made and durable. This extends to the logos included on the watch. Are they simply glued on? Or are they pressed into the watch with an eye for quality? How accurately are the logos pressed or stamped? They will never be crooked. If the logo on your watch is muddy, held on with adhesive, crooked, or otherwise detracts from the quality of the watch, the timepiece is counterfeit.
Sapphire is used as a watch crystal because it is strong and beautiful. It is the second strongest jewel on the Mohs mineral hardness scale (after diamond, it is ranked “9,” tying with rubies). Prized for its aesthetics as well as its durability, a fine watch typically has a sapphire crystal rather than one made of Plexiglas or ordinary glass (in watch parlance, “mineral glass”). Some crystals are synthetic sapphire (the result of using high temperatures to crystalize aluminum oxide). Others are composites, such as mineral glass with synthetic sapphire coating. Mineral glass and synthetic sapphires aren’t tinted. Real sapphire crystals have a very specific tint to them.
Complications are any feature on the watch that does not include the time. This includes things like the date window as well as any of the other fancy features a watch might include, such moon phase and so on. When shopping for a name-brand, high-end watch, familiarize yourself with the complications offered. Does your prospective purchase have all of the correct complications in the correct locations? The Rolex Datejust, for example, has exactly one complication at the 3 o’clock. A seller trying to pass off a counterfeit might not know that. The copy might have other complications that should not be on the watch, or the watch might be lacking the complication it is supposed to have.
The band is often overlooked by shoppers who are focused on the watch itself. A counterfeit might be close to perfect, cosmetically, until you examine the band. That inspection might point to something very much amiss. Take a look at the band compared to what the genuine manufacturer offers. Is the logo correct? Is the name right? Are these in the right places? Does anything look “off” or otherwise cheap? A well-made counterfeit might almost pass muster until the counterfeiter “cheaps out” on the band, assuming that any band that looks vaguely correct is good enough.
This is an important factor because the serial number traces back to the manufacturer. Do all of the serial numbers, inside and out, match? Do they match the certificate of authenticity? Even if all these numbers match each other, are the numbers plausibly interpretable as serial numbers for that specific manufacturer? How are the serial numbers placed on the watch? Genuine Rolexes have serial numbers that are engraved, not acid-etched, as acid-etching is much cheaper. Does the seller offer more than one of the same watch? Check to make sure the serial numbers on each watch are not identical. Counterfeiters frequently don’t bother to vary the numbers from watch to watch, producing instead identical copies.
A fine watchmaker would never release a watch that has fingerprints inside the casing or on the engine. A counterfeiter is much less meticulous. If you see evidence of fingerprints inside the watch, this means the watch is either counterfeit or has been tampered with. Either way, you don’t want to risk paying premium watch prices for something that exhibits this level of disregard for the product.
Check the winding crown. Is it functional? Is it in the right place? If it should have a logo, does it? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you are probably dealing with a counterfeit. Especially if the watch has a simple quartz movement instead of the mechanical mechanism it is supposed to have, the winding crown won’t function as it is supposed to.
This may be the best indicator of a possible counterfeit, regardless of the condition of the watch itself. High-end watches typically will be offered by legitimate, reputable sellers who can afford the cost of buying and selling premium timepieces. Where, exactly, are you buying your watch? The fellow at the flea market probably isn’t offering a genuine Audemars Piguet, even if the price is on par with what you would expect to pay. (We’ve already discussed the fact that an astonishingly low price probably points to a fake.) Sketchy Internet sellers, especially those already known for purveying fakes, should be avoided at all costs, and not just because you can’t handle the watch ahead of time. The pictures they show you could be of a perfectly genuine watch, for which a fake is substituted when your order ships.
You don’t need to buy an expensive watch. There are plenty of perfectly serviceable watches at lower prices. Once you have experienced a quality, name-brand watch, however, you will have trouble turning back. Premium watches are compelling in a way that few personal accessories are. They are constant companions, worn on your wrist and awaiting your gaze throughout the day and into the night. A watch is probably the accessory you will use most once you don it. This makes it unique among the pantheon of gadgets and gear that human beings choose to carry with them.
In modern society, each of us has a smartphone in our pockets. It can be argued that wristwatches are an affectation, unnecessary to modern life. But what is personal style if not affected? There is a joy, a genuine enjoyment, that can be taken in a quality timepiece. The feel of a high-end watch, the fit and finish, the pleasure it gives when one reads its face… these are abstract benefits, yes. To the discerning watch owner, however, they are also undeniable. For those who wear watches, choosing finally to buy a high-end timepiece is the inevitable — and inevitably correct — choice.