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Lesson 5 - .00  - The Balance Assembly, its Care and Repair - This lesson is one of the most detailed instructions available on replacing staffs and on repair of the balance assembly. It applies to both wrist watches and pocket watches. In addition to specific instructions on balance replacement and repair for both wrist and pocket watches, there are many illustrations to help the beginner and "pro" alike. As an example, the Illinois Bunn Special balance wheel is disassembled, inspected, and the balance staff measured. Then, a new staff is found and the staff is riveted in place. Many large pictures and illustrations were made showing details of these operations.  Also, a section is included to detail repivoting a staff and making a staff both from adjusting a staff that is oversize to making one from "scratch." The lesson includes factory information from Hamilton, Waltham, Elgin, and other watch companies on balance staffs and how to install them that was made available to watchmakers many years ago. Different types of staffs are discussed including staffs that are riveted into the wheel and staffs that are friction fit. Various shock resistant jewel systems are discussed. A listing of measurements of some common American staffs is also included.  Over 50 pages of instructions.

Table of Contents

1.  Introduction

2.  The balance wheel

3. Considerations before restaffing the vintage watch

4. Proper fit of balance pivots to balance jewels

5.  Single roller table and double roller

6.  Shock-resistant balance jewel settings

7.  Riveted Balance Staffs and Friction fit staffs

8.  Disassembly of the balance wheel

8a. Removal of the balance wheel from the balance cock

8b. Removal of the hairspring from the balance wheel

8c. Removal of the roller table

 9. Illustration of roller removal using 16s Illinois Bunn Special pocket movement

10.  Removing the Illinois balance staff from the balance wheel

11.  Removal of balance jewels

12.  Replacing the balance staff of a 16 size Bunn Special

13.  Determining the factory number of your staff

14.  Measuring the dimensions of the old balance staff

15.  Installing the new staff into the balance wheel

16.  Checking the new staff’s fit and the motion and shape of the balance wheel

17.  Installing the roller table(s) onto the balance staff

18.  Installing the hairspring

19. Testing the newly refurbished balance wheel

20.  Special tools suited to wrist watch staff replacement

21.  Measuring and fitting a roller jewel

22. Repivoting a balance staff

23. Genuine vs generic balance staff

24. Making a Complete Balance Staff

25. Making a balance wheel and the science of good timekeeping

Appendix A.  Factory Leaflets on Staffs and  Balances

Appendix B – American Staff Dimensions

Lesson 5 -.95  released February 2005

Lesson 6 - .95  - Repairing US Military Watches wwi though Viet Nam (sold separately)  This lesson of 438 pages contains detailed instructions on repairing US military watches. It covers the 16 size AN5740 Master Navigation watch (complete repair manual), the Hamilton model 22 Chronometer Watch (complete repair manual), the Hamilton/Elgin multi-dial aircraft clock, Seth Thomas Navy clocks parts catalogs, and timers.  In addition, military specifications for various watches are included as well as specifications of parts for the various military watches with part numbers.  If you ever get any old military watch parts in the original government packages, you can use this information to determine exactly what parts you have.


1.  Introduction

2.  AN 5740 Master Navigation Watch

3.  Hamilton Model 22 Chronometer Watch

4.  Hamilton/Elgin 5471-1 Aircraft Clock

5.  Seth Thomas Navy Clocks

6.  Waltham Timers

7.  Specifications

Appendix A – Parts lists

  Over 400 pages of instructions, out latest,  released February 2007.

Lesson 6: Repairing US Military Watches wwi through Viet Nam .95 - released February 2007

Lesson 7 - The Watchmakers Lathe -Care and Use of the Watchmakers Lathe 2nd Edition July 2004

Lesson 7 – Use and Care of the Watchmaker''s Lathe, revised and expanded 2nd edition, July 2004, by E. L. Fasanella, the WatchDoc. This newly revised and expanded edition of Lesson 7 by the WatchDoc adds additional information on using the lathe to make watch parts. Also, the use of the lathe in restoration of wrist watch and pocket watch cases is described. Over 30 8.5-in x 11-in. pages of highly useful information for a very low price. Included in the Introduction section to the lathe are the topics: dead-center lathes, live-spindle lathes, sizes of watchmaker''s lathes, suggestions for purchasing a lathe, adjustment for end shake, oiling and maintaining the lathe, alignment of head (Spindle) and tailstock of lathe, the correct use of wire chucks, safety, tool post and tip over rest, split chuck variations among manufacturers, belts used to drive lathe, chuck and accessory thread types, and lathe accuracy and the key. Another section describes lathe attachments and accessories and includes: types of gravers including carbide gravers, the adjustable bezel chucks, motors suitable for a lathe, lathe mounting methods, crown chucks, balloon chucks, 3-jaw chuck, cross slide, gear cutter and milling attachment, head stock dividing plate, saw table on lathe, and wheel chucks. The last section describes hand turning with a graver. Several projects are outlined including the making of brass bushings, jewel pushers, drills, bench keys, American and Swiss stems, balance staff repivoting, and making a complete balance staff both from raw stock and from a staff that is slightly oversize. The last section of miscellaneous topics includes: grinding with the lathe, using the lathe for uprighting and jeweling, schematics of other parts that can be made on the lathe, and removing scratches on watch case backs. An appendix is included which shows advertisements in old watch catalogs for lathes and accessories.


Dead-Center Lathes

Live-Spindle Lathes

Sizes of Watchmaker''s Lathes

Purchasing a lathe

Adjustment for End Shake


Alignment of Head (Spindle) and Tailstock of Lathe

The Correct Use of Wire Chucks


Tool Post

Split chuck variations among manufacturers

Lathe Belts

Chuck and accessory threads

Lathe accuracy and the key


Bezel Chuck

Lathe Motors

Lathe Mounting Methods

Crown Chucks

Balloon Chucks

3-Jaw Chuck

Cross Slide

Gear Cutter and Milling attachment

Head Stock Dividing Plate

Saw Table on Lathe

Wheel Chucks

Project 1 - Brass Bushings

Project 2 – Jewel Pushers

Project 3 – Drills

Project 4 – Bench Key

Project 5 – Stem

Project 6 - Balance Staff Repivoting

Project 7 – Complete Balance Staff

Lesson 8 – Wrist and Pocket Watch Case Restoration Tips for the Hobbyist and Beginning Professional. This new, just written, practical lesson by the WatchDoc provides case restoration tips and techniques that can be used by watchmakers and hobbyists to enhance the appearance of vintage wrist and pocket watches. This knowledge was acquired over many years of practical case repair work. Many of the techniques described only require simple tools including files, emery cloth, stones, pliers, hammers, wooden blocks, etc. The use of new materials is emphasized, not materials that were only available 100 years ago. Novel techniques are described including the making of plastic molds from watch cases to use in dent removal. Topics include: tools and material needed for case repair, removing pocket and wrist watch movements from the case, crystal replacement and/or restoration for both plastic and glass crystals, fitting crystals, making crystals, custom fitting plastic crystals to hunting case watches, removing scratches and dents from wrist and pocket watches, dial restoration for metal and enamel dials, dial making using an ink jet printer, making and replacing bows of pocket watches, hunting case pocket watch repair, hinge repair, repairing case threads of both wrist and pocket watches, plated and gold filled watch cases, restoring blue-steel cases, removing personalized engravings from cases, watch case sizes, recasing, and much much more. Over twenty-five 8.5-in x 11-in. pages crammed with information.

1. Introduction

2. Tools and Material Needed

3. Removing a Pocket Watch from the Case

4. Removing a movement from a wrist watch case

5. Crystal Replacement and/or Restoration

6. Wrist Watch Scratch Removal

7. Pocket watch scratch removal

8. Dent Removal

Lesson 9- .95 Lesson 9 - The Watchmaker’s Staking Set - by the WatchDoc This brand new lesson gives you valuable information on one of the most useful watchmaking tools that every repairman should have. As an introduction, the history of the staking set is touched on briefly showing actual pictures of J. G. Hall’s first revolutionary American made staking sets. Then, suggestions for buying a good used staking set are given. The K&D staking set is prominently illustrated and discussed in details. K&D was the premier tool maker in America for over 100 years.  This booklet of over 30 fact-filled pages illustrates each punch and stump and describes how it is used.  The care of the staking tool is covered and its many, many uses. You will read this lesson over and over again!! This tool can literally be used for hundreds of different watch repair operations!!!

Chap 1. Introduction

Chap 2. Jonas Hall, Invents the Staking Tool

Chap 3. Kendrick and Davis (K&D) “Re-invents” the Staking Tool

Chap 4. Buying a Staking Set

Chap 5. Care of the Staking Set

Chap 6.  K&D Staking Tools and How to Use Them


Lesson 10- .95 - Aircraft Clock Repair Information- Repair tips on servicing the  Waltham cdia and other aircraft clocks,  plus Material Catalogs and Pictures Showing How to take apart the cdia Aircraft clock - Much of this information applies to car clocks as the military XA early aircraft clock is a version of the 37 size car clock.  

This informative CD includes pictures showing how to take the cdia out of the case.  Also pictures of Waltham aircraft clocks in original aircraft cockpits. Some examples are the "Spirit of St. Louis" and military wwii aircraft. Pictures of various Waltham aircraft clocks include the early XA model, the cdia, etc. An early Waltham catalog with pics and descriptions of aircraft and car clocks is included. For the serious hobbyist and repairman, pages from old Waltham material catalogs are shown with  the parts illustrated (with part numbers) for these aircraft clocks. Also, Waltham Technical Manual on the Waltham A13A with overhaul instructions and parts breakdown.  Finally, material on the Waltham A-11 and the Hamilton Elgin complex aircraft used on wwii bombers.  This information was not generally included in the old watchmaker catalogs. This information is very useful to both the collector and restorer of these fine timepieces. 

  Last updated August 2011

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