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Lesson 6 -- Cleaning and Oiling 17 Dec 2006

There are three steps for watch cleaning:

  1. Cleaning
  2. Lubrication
  3. Adjustment

Before cleaning, we have to disassemble the watch (Teach Later).

If you have an ultrasonic cleaner, you can put all parts, except the main spring, into the ultrasonic cleaner. For safety and the sake of the parts, only use filtered water with the ultrasonic cleaner. More information -- > How to use Ultra Sonic Cleaner

Ultrasonic Cleaner Ultrasonic Cleaner

We do not want to pull out the main spring from the main wheel; therefore, we do not clean it with water.

No matter you have the ultrasonic cleaner or not, we have to clean all parts with the Cleaning Naphtha.

Immerse all parts, except the main spring and the screws -- more greasy dirt, in the Cleaning Naphtha for 1 minute and use a soft brush to clean the parts if needed. After cleaning, put all parts on a white paper to let it dry.

Then, we can immerse the main spring and the screws in the same Cleaning Naphtha and clean it.


Assembly and Lubrication are done at the same time.

9010 / 2
Wheel Train
Big gears -- e.g. Main Wheel
Main Spring

Remember: Lubricant is "Less Is More" . Practically, a good watch can run without lubricant because of better materials are used. For some vintage watches, lubricant is used to prevent rust more than let the gears run smoothly. Actually, most watches cannot run smoothly because the lubricant dried and the dirt stick on it.


The most important and the most time consuming part is adjustment.

Moreover, it needs the most expensive tool --- Timegrapher (Mechanical Watch Tester)

M-Tester 5000 AM-Tester 5000 A

In general, a watch have to pass a "6 position 6 days" test before giving it back to the owner. For the C.O.S.C. certified watch, it should pass the 16 days test.

Because I am still a beginner in watch, I will do my best to learn and share my knowledge in the future.

I wish I can disassemble, assemble and repair a watch in 2007 and share the experience in Watch Repair.


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