BERGEON TOOLS To Start My Watchmaking Journey
Updated: Feb 15
There are many different tools and brands to choose from. Cheap ones and expensive ones. I prefer to go for the best when getting into something, so I choose most of my tools from Bergeon. Bergeon is known as the top-of-the-line when it comes to horology tools.
I have been watching Horologist Videos on YouTube for the past year or so. I have been intrigued by it for many reasons, but after watching hundreds of hours, I decided I wanted to do this, so here we are. I also wanted to document my journey into this latest hobby, and maybe one day, someone will be inspired like I was. My main source of inspiration is Wristwatch Revival. Marshall runs his YouTube channel and has a few more years on me, but he does a wonderful job explaining the hobby of Watchmaking. In fact, most of what I have learned so far is from his channel. So just wanted to give him a little shout-out without him knowing me at all.
Like my mother always says. "It's not just the one thing" When I get into something, it always seems to require other things to support the new hobby. You buy a camera, well guess what? You need a case, lenses, tripods, etc... You buy a Mountain Bike, and Guess what? You need a Helmet, Sports glasses, a Bike holder adapter for your truck to carry the said bike, etc...
Well, watchmaking is no different. To even get started in watch repair, believe it or not, the WATCH isn't even the first thing you need. It would help if you had tools to work on watches, and there are many tools. There are exactly one million and one different types of tools and then one million brands to choose from in each tool. Well, not really, but there are a lot. I just happen to be one of those people who would rather pay a little more to get the better quality item vs. buying the cheaper one you will need to replace more often. This leads me to the first brand I choose. Bergeon.
Bergeon seems to be the go-to, Top-Of-The-Line, best-in-class leader in watchmaking tools, and boy, do they seem to carry everything. They are a swiss brand, so which makes sense that the best watches also come from Switzerland.
WHO IS BERGEON
Before the watch, the tools produce the components and build them into the timepiece. Bergeon is the oldest surviving watchmaking tool company in existence. They have been supplying instruments to the industry for over 200 years and are, in their domain, a legend. Every watchmaker in the world will have either bought or inherited Bergeon tools at some moment.
Bergeon SA is established in La Chaux-de-Fonds with their Head Office at Allée des Défricheurs 4, with over 3000 items. Most of the tools they produce are made in Switzerland by either themselves or an established group of tool and component manufacturers.
MY BERGEON CHOICES OF TOOLS FOR WATCHMAKING
Here I will discuss my choices of tools and why I choose them. These are just a few I have collected so far, and I am sure there will be more to follow. I have also picked up some other brands of other tools, so please know I have some essential tools for watchmaking, but these represent the Bergeon Tools.
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Bergeon 5395-75-N - https://amzn.to/3RvDWwA
The Bergeon case cushion was my first choice regarding keeping the watches I work on safe while on the workbench. It has a very soft gel surface, so you do not have to worry about scratching up a watch or anything you place on it, for that matter. It's a 75mm cushion that gives room for even the largest watches. They make a White version and a Clear version of this same model, but I went with the black. It has a sturdy base with a sticky bottom to prevent any sliding when putting any pressure on it.
Bergeon 4932 - https://amzn.to/3JFw0XQ
The Bergeon 4932 is perfect for watches with a snap on back. Friction-fit backs are common, and most watches even have a small notch built into the case for this type of tool, but you want to ensure you have a strong and sturdy knife to remove the toughest case backs. The interesting thing I learned about this watch case knife is Its precisely beveled blade is made by the famous "Swiss Army®" knife manufacturer, Victorinox. It even has the Swiss Army logo on the back.
Bergeon 7767-F - https://amzn.to/3lahXz2
This stainless steel spring bar tool is essential for removing spring bars from metal and leather watch bands. The forked end works great for opening spring bars, and the pointed end is just right for compressing shouldered spring bars from the lug holes. It features all stainless steel construction with a textured, comfortable handle. The forked end is 1.20mm wide, and the point end diameter is 0.80mm. Tips are hardened steel and threaded into the tool; spare tips are available.
Bergeon 4040-P - https://amzn.to/3RxN9EB
When working on and repairing watches, it is essential to have a movement holder. This Swiss-made Bergeon 4040-P movement holder is incredibly versatile because it is reversible and will fit a wide range of movement sizes. It allows you to hold large watch movements from 20 mm (8 ¾ ligne) to 43 mm (19 ligne) in size. The synthetic material used in this holder is non-marring and will not scratch your workpiece under normal use.
Bergeon 6033 - https://amzn.to/3Yr37CV
Rodico is a special cleaning putty designed for watchmakers to use when cleaning balance pivots and removing fingerprints and stains from watch parts like plates, bridges, dials, and hands. It also works well when you need to remove excess oil from watch jewels and helps remove broken pivots. It is a great product for cleaning precision watch parts and small gears.
Bergeon 7922 - https://amzn.to/3wUjPi1
Easily fit the spring barrel cover or barrel lid back onto the barrel after replacing or servicing the mainspring with this convenient tool. Put the barrel with mainspring on the platform, place the cover, and close the top. The tool is designed to provide even pressure when closing or installing the barrel lid onto the spring barrel, protecting the barrel from damage. Tool measures 1" inch (25.6mm) in diameter by 3/4" (19mm) inches tall. Made of strong composite material in Switzerland.
Bergeon 8008 - https://amzn.to/3jnt3Ax
The Bergeon 8008 rubber ball is a great addition to any workbench or watches tool kit. A friction ball that opens the back of most screw-off style watch backs. This squishy ball is slightly tacky and creates a large contact area that allows you to open the back easily. Guaranteed not to scratch or leave a mark on your watch, this tool is great when you want to open a back without the hassle of using a traditional case-opening tool.
Bergeon 6938 - https://amzn.to/3JIDN74
These are just the things you need when working on changing your watch hands. To protect the watch dial while you are prying the watch hands off, slide one of these thin protectors under the hands. They will cover the dial to prevent it from getting damaged during the repair. They come in packages of five.
Bergeon 5461 - https://amzn.to/3Rv1HEW 1458A - https://amzn.to/3YlSkd3 2611-TN - https://amzn.to/3Yr46TD
When working with such small parts, you need to get down in there and see the tiniest of screws. These Bergeon professional jeweler loupe will do just that. I decided to use a general-use loupe with 5x magnification, the 2611-TN. It has a focal length of 2". For those extreme close-ups, I went with the Bergeon 1458A, which has a 12x magnification. Both have removable lenses for cleaning.
Bergeon 7808 - https://amzn.to/3RsmNE9
This new Bergeon bench mat features a uniqueanti-slip, textured rubber base and plastic-like work surface. Soft and flexible, it is ideal for many tasks and is available in three colors which provide better contrast. The light green color has been scientifically proven to reflect the right amount of daylight to ensure that repair people will experience less eye fatigue than with other colors. The mat won't scratch or mar any work pieces that may be placed on it, making it a great addition to your workbench.
WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO
THIS IS NOT THE END
There are still many tools on my wishlist from Bergeon, so I am sure in future blog posts, I will be talking about my newest and latest editions to the growing collection of horologist tools. Also, there are other tools that I choose from different brands. So these are just the few I have started with in Bergeon. These by no means represent what is "needed" to do watch repair. But from my experience with other tools, it usually helps to go as best as you can afford. Most expensive doesn't always mean the best, but after much research, Bergeon does seem to be the best.
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