watch oil

   i would like to know if any of the members prefer one watch oil over another. i usually get my watch supplies from a company called cas-ker and there are so many kinds. has someone a suggestion? thank you

JP
Posted February 20, 2012 - 10:55am

Panel Member

I prefer NYE Watch Oil from William F Nye Company.

JP

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted February 20, 2012 - 1:40pm

Panel Member

The Industry standard is Moebius, and it is what is called for in Authorized repair centres. I couldn't get away from using it if I wanted to, it is required to service certain brands, so I use it on everything. As a note, we have had some issues with a new clock oil, and it appears that a brief trial of the oil has resulted in some infavourable results. There is always a risk associated with trying something with no track history. 

Elgin Doug
Posted February 20, 2012 - 1:48pm

Rev. Rob - It seems like the lubrication requirements for watches these days are terribly complicated - 5-6 different Moebius products on different points in the movement.  OTOH, my old Elgin Service Manual recommends Elgin M56b on all point except the keyless works and crown wheel, where it recommends 'white petroleum jelly'.

For the average guy doint his own COAs, and thus accepting a less-than-professional result, is there really anything to be gained by using so many different oils?

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted February 20, 2012 - 2:56pm

Panel Member

Hey Doug,

You could use three: D5 (probably the equivalent of M56b) on all slow moving pivots, and 9010 on the escape wheel, 4th wheel. The place where a specialized oil/grease is critical, is on the pallet stones, and this is 9415. It is specifically designed for this, and nothing works like it. Add to that a mainspring grease which you could also use on the keyless works. Ok, that's 4! 

Older watches (especially pocket watches) seem to work better with the heavier grease on the keyless works, whereas many new watches are fine with D5 due to the advanced finish on the parts. For the average guy, if the cleaning and oiling is done well, you are well on the way to a good result, the only barrier would be the many adjustments, but at least the watch is clean and lubed, and cannot harm itself by running. I just did a Tissot pocket watch from Bailey, Banks and Biddle, where the watch was continually oiled but not cleaned. The result was that the escape wheel pivot chewed itself right through, from dirt in the oil cup of the jewel. A beautiful watch, which now must have its e- wheel replaced, and this is easier said than done, long story short. 

Lube manuals do get terribly diverse as the complications rise- automatic with date, chronograph, etc. For most vintage watches, you can use the bare minimum, as I mentioned, and if the calibre is an automatic, you can swish the reversers in a solution of Methyl alcohol and a tiny drop of 9010 to make about 5-10 ccs of solution, then dry on lint free parchment paper with a tiny blower. The oils are expensive, relatively speaking, but they last a very long time, given the small amounts used. 

Ellierose
Posted February 20, 2012 - 9:05pm

the escape oil is an investment at 39 dollars for something like 8ml. i broke down and bought but made a face doing it...i use 8000 moebius on the pallets and 8200 on the keyless and mainspring area

Elgin Doug
Posted February 20, 2012 - 9:36pm

Rob, your answer is reassuring. 

I think I've done pretty well so far, taking a number of watches listed as "Runs and stops", "Ticks, but no guarantee", and even "Not running but balance swings freely" and restoring them to useful life.   I wouldn't touch anyone else's watch, nor sell any of mine as 'Serviced', and I'm very aware of my own limitations.  I think my work is of the "at least the watch is clean and lubed, and cannot harm itself by running" caliber!

The watches I collect - unless spotless and practically NOS - generally valued below the cost of a professional COA.  And they're pretty common, so it's not like I'm a Kitchen Table Tinker tearing down Omegas! 

jfoley
Posted February 21, 2012 - 9:04am

hey thanks guys, i feel like elgin doug, but these watches i tinker with are for myself so no harm. youve been very informative and i appreciate your help.

jfoley
Posted February 21, 2012 - 9:04am

hey thanks guys, i feel like elgin doug, but these watches i tinker with are for myself so no harm. youve been very informative and i appreciate your help.

Ellierose
Posted February 21, 2012 - 10:24am

i explain what i do to watches that i sell...i been learning under my mentor for a while now. so although i am not great i would like to think that i am not a hack...i also bring watches back to life...cleaned and oiled,,and i tend to fix parts instead of just changing them..i've gotten pretty good a staffing balances and getting them to work correctly in a movement..i devote all my time to learning and practicing watch repair..not just watch cleaning...so i have no problem saying a watch is serviced, because it is..i also have a timing machine now so i know how a watch is running..i would never send out a watch that wasn't running as good as it can be...like now i am working on a 10bc that is giving me problems..could i sell it and say it runs, yes i could it can keep time..but doesn't meet my standard and refuse to sell as it sits...i think have a great work ethic makes the difference..i do the best i possibly can.. i am glad to put my work out there.

Ellierose
Posted February 21, 2012 - 10:40am

also before there where actually schools for repair,student learned for corrospondce manuals and under pro. watchmakers..as am i till i can get funding to go to school..another thing is that if i didn't sell watches..i wouldn't be able to buy the things i need to get better wether its tools or knowledge

jfoley
Posted February 21, 2012 - 11:04am

i understand you completely. everything is expensive nowadays. has me pinching penneys.. its nice to know that theres folks out there with your ethics and not just trying to make a fast buck. keep up the good work.

Ellierose
Posted February 21, 2012 - 11:34am

thank you.. and i am being honest..i really do try to the best i can

 

Elgin Doug
Posted February 21, 2012 - 11:47am

You're very fortunate to have a mentor in this endeavor.  All my knowledge comes from Fried's book, the Army manual, what I read online, and what I learn by doing, and I only have the tools I can buy myself, so restaffing is beyond both my ability, and the capacity of the tools I have. 

On another forum, I asked whether I should take the next step and get a staking set, so i could replace staffs.  Everybody said 'Yeah! Go for it!' - what a bunch of enablers! - and then one guy said, "Not only a staking set, you need a LATHE!"  That convinced me I'm really not read for that next step.