oil type reccomendations?

incabloc

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May 9, 2005
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I'm sure this has been asked many times before on the board but I'm awaiting the firestorm of opinions! :bang::eek: I clean and repair (as a hobbyist occasionally for profit) wrist and pocket watches, what oil manufactures and what grades etc. do I need to have on hand to cover about any thing from 1880s to 1970s? I rarely work on complications, any advice from you more experienced people who know how to say something other than just moebius would be appreciated
 

Cary Hurt

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Dec 16, 2005
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Incabloc,

The vast number of grades available from different manufacturers is daunting to me. Like you, I don't work on many complications, and I'm looking to service mostly vintage movements.

I use a natural oil (Moebius 8141) for many applications, although I also use Moebius 9010a synthetic when I want a lighter oil, and Moebius 8000 as a general purpose oil for smaller movements. I use Nye PML heavy oil (sorry, don't know the grade number) for winding/setting parts and Moebius grease (9415) where needed.

If you don't like Moebius, there are quality oils available from Tillwich, Nye and others.

Regards,

Cary Hurt
 

Philip Bayer

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May 23, 2006
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I use the various Moebius products, there is a general recommendation chart for their lubricants (below) and if it is a modern, Swiss movement there are technical bulletins showing exactly which Moebius oil to use where.

My most used are the synthetics 9415, 9010, D-5, and the 8200.

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Don Dahlberg

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Aug 31, 2000
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If you just work on vintage pocket watches, the needs are more modest. A good sythetic watch oil by Nye is sufficient for the pivots and pallets. I like KT22 grease for all levers and setting mechansims where things rub over each other and you do not want the grease to migrate. You need a clock oil for the barrel arbor and the setting and winding wheel pivots. Finally a mainspring grease for the mainspring, although clock oil will do. This combination is better than what was used when these watches left the factory.

When you get to really small watches and newer watches, then it becomes much more complicated. You start to look at special oils for special purposes like the pallets. By the time you are working on selfwinding watches, you have a drawer full of oils.

Don
 

incabloc

Registered User
May 9, 2005
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thanks for the replies and thanks for the moebius chart, I don't have any thing against moebius, I know their products are excellent. I was looking for advice from repairers who can state from experience of the products they would recommend........and I think I found it. I haven't hardly done any repairs or servicing in about a year, (which I previously performed 2 or 3 a month for @ 3 years), I'm now making time for my previously prioritized hobby, I'm looking at it like starting fresh, could anybody recommend some supplier's? also how should I oil quality ladies movements such as American Hamiltons or Girard Perregaux? THANKS!
 

Don Dahlberg

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Aug 31, 2000
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Here is what Hamilton recommended in 1937. They were selling their own oil at the time. They were color coded.

Type A viscosity 31- blue - Balance and other small pivots and jewels in very small gaguette watches.

Type B viscosity 36 - red - Bracelet and pocket watch balance pivots pallet stones and escape wheel teeth. Bracelet watch train pivots.

Type C viscosity 46 - violet - Pocket watch train pivots and bracelet watch mainsprings.

Type D viscosity 55 - green - Pocket watch ainsprings. Also Desk, Alarm and Mantle Clocks.

They also recommended a grease for sliding and pressurized points, what I would use KT-22 for today.

Green was clock oil. So you see they had three watch oils. The viscosities were reported for 95 degrees F. One for heavy pivots, like the larger pivots in pocket watches. This would be like Moebius Synta-Visco-Lube. They had a normal watch oil like Moebius Synta-Lube. Finally they had an escapement oil for pallets and escape wheel.

Go to http://www.julesborel.com/ and search the word "watch oil". Then look at pages 188-9 in their catalog.

Don
 

Hayesbd

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Feb 13, 2008
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I am also very interested in the various watch oils and have recently completed some of my own testing of common watch oils, both old and "new". The two main areas I was interested in were the anti-spread capability and the lubricity of each oil. See below for a summary of my observations. Some of the old American watch oils perform very well indeed, even decades after their manufacture. Take this for what it's worth, though: amateur tests that were not as precise or accurate as a proper laboratory. Age-related effects are impossible to assess. It's best to compare only relative performance on this chart and I make no claims as to accuracy, etc.

Having said that, I do routinely use the Elgin M56-b oil and have just assembled a watch using PML79 to see how it works long term - it's anti-spread performance is amazing.

Brian
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