Clean & Service Example

Here is an example of cleaning and servicing a watch. It is a Tissot chronograph which has let water in. The pusher for the chronograph has been broken and the customer has carried on using the watch. Without the pusher there is nothing to seal the watch from water, sweat or humidity so it has become rusty. At the time of making these web pages I have a pusher on order which is going to take a while to turn up but i am going to use this time to make sure the clean and service is done well (and to show you the process)

So let’s start

Remove the screws holding the movement in the case. Then remove stem and lift movement from casing.

Pack away casing and back in a plastic bag.

Note the rust on the stem. This will have to be replaced. Since there is rust on the stem there maybe a problem with the seal on the stem.
Re-fit existing stem for now.

Remove the hands. They are clean enough so can be boxed up with no cleaning necessary. 

There are 2 dial clamps holding the dial feet which can be slid out to release the dial. Remove the dial and check to see if there is any dirt on the back. If so brush it gently with a fibreglass brush until it is clean.
Store these parts in a air tight box.

Lie the movement on the desk. There are 3 screws holding 3 plates. These are to hold the date ring in place. Remove them and store the date ring with the dial and hands. 
Note: On other movements there can be springs under tension and other loose parts which can easily be lost so take care.

Place movement in the movement holder. 
Working on a watch movement without a movement holder risks bending and breaking the second pinion.

I should have removed the battery before removing the stem. Ooops. Store battery & clamp in the pot

There are 2 screws holding the upper plate. Remove these and lift the plate off. This plate is to protect the circuit and to look pretty.
note: the screw (marked blue) may be loose from when you removed the battery. This need to be tightened before cleaning.

With the upper plate removed you can see the upper circuit. Remove the marked screws to release the circuit taking care not to slip and damage the coils. Lift off the circuit and store in a pot. there is also a contact connecting upper and lower circuits to lift off as well.

Remove screws holding coils in place one by one and store the coils with the circuit. None of these parts will be cleaned in the cleaning machine.

There are 3 screws holding the upper movement to the lower movement. Remove these.

Lift off Upper Movement carefully as there are loose parts on the lower movement that you need to know where they go.

There are 2 parts loose, a contact and the break. Remove these.

Lift off the lower circuit and store it with the parts not to be cleaned

Lift off the loose wheels

The movement is now dismantled. If the watch is less complicated I dismantle the train wheels as cleaning them in place doesn’t let the cleaning solutions work as they should. On normal watches there is no excuse not to as there are only 3-6 wheels to remember.

Place all the parts except the delicate parts in the basket of the cleaning machine.
what not to clean

  • Dial
  • Hands
  • Date Ring
  • Coils
  • Upper and Lower Circuits

Place basket in the cleaning machine and run it. I do 12 mins on each cycle/pot but with no heat on the last drying pot. If you find the parts are still damp then re-do the last pot with a bit of heat being careful not to melt any plastic (not a problem in this case as it is all metal but usually there are plastic parts)

Reassembly of this watch