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Help With Rivett 1R Watchmakers' Lathe


NAWCC Member
Jul 29, 2007
Help With Rivett 1R Watchmakers' Lathe.

A local club member is moving and was cleaning out his surplus watch repair equipment. I purchased his Rivett 1R Watchmakers' Lathe, Serial # 173.

Has anyone had some experience in rebuilding this model lathe? I'm looking for a recommendation on where I might find a maintenance manual, a parts source a drive belt and a motor speed controller. I think I may need a new headstock bearing the headstock spindle rotates but I suspect the internal ball bearing grease must of dried out because the rotation is not smooth.

My email address is alex.hrabko@frontiernet.net


New User
Mar 9, 2009
Hi Alex,

This is probably much too late but I just noticed your post. The bearings are almost certainly good but just have dried-up grease. To get at the bearings, you need to take off the pulley (two pin spanner nuts) remove the lock-down lever and T-nut by pressing it in against the spring pressure and wiggling out the handle. If you look in the bottom of the hole, there's an allen head set screw that holds the bearing assembly in place. Remove the plate with the serial number at the front of the headstock and tap out the whole spindle and bearing assembly. You can clean the whole thing in an ultrasonic cleaner or use solvent to dissolve the old grease. Use a liberal amount of light grease pressed into the bearing shells with your finger. It's a good idea to clean and re-oil the index pin for the pulley at the same time. It's pretty straignt forward but watch the spring when you disassemble so that it doesn't fly away. Good luck! There were only about 500-600 of these lathes made and they're nice, precise watchmaking lathes. -Reid


Registered User
Jun 27, 2017
Wichita, Kansas
I'm hoping to revive this thread. I see the only response was from 13 years ago!
I also have a Rivett 1R lathe, serial number 195. I've had it for around 8 or 9 years and I've literally done NOTHING with it, mainly because I use a couple of earlier Rivett "model 2b" watchmakers lathes for my everyday work.
I dredged up my 1R and realized it might not be that difficult to get it running properly, but there is a severe lack of info that I can find about the Rivett 1R.
Are there any others here that have a Rivett 1R, and have succeeded in restoring it? If so, please reply here! I'd like to learn and share experiences.
Thanks in advance,
Doug in Wichita KS IMG_7769.JPG IMG_7763.JPG IMG_7757.JPG

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