Mechanical WW Please advise how to clean the watch parts

jnch88

Registered User
Sep 13, 2009
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Dear All :
I'm a beginner of Watch Repair and would like to get some advice of cleaning the watch parts. After disassemble the automatic watch, how can I do the cleaning of the parts ( e.g. wheels, bridges, balance wheel / hairspring, etc ). I don't have the cleaning machine and only use hand cleaning, kindly please advise the process and solvent/ brush or any material.
Thank you very much indeed.
 

wackyvorlon

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Aug 16, 2009
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I would highly recommend the purchase of Practical Watch Repairing by De Carle. He describes how to clean the movement without a machine. Mind, he discusses using benzine for the cleaning. You should not use benzine!

Benzine is a potent carcinogen and it can cause defatting of the skin. It's a very unsafe choice.
 

ben_hutcherson

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Jul 15, 2009
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Benzine is a potent carcinogen and it can cause defatting of the skin. It's a very unsafe choice.
I think it's important to make a distinction here.

DeCarle discusses the use of benzine, which the same as what we call naptha, petroleum ether, or Ronsonol lighter fluid here in the United States. It's also similar, but more volatile, to what's sold as L&R rinse for use with their cleaning machines.

Benzene is a known carcinogen, although truth be told it's not as horrible as it's often made out to be. I'm not advocating its use, as I think it's best to avoid dangers whenever possible, however it's not a horrible, horrible chemical. Toluene and Xylene have many of the same solvent properties as benzene, but are much safer. Thus, they're a reasonable alternative to benzene wherever an aromatic solvent is desired.

Also, deCarle discusses using potassium cyanide to clean the balance. I personally would avoid this, as well, although it's difficult for an average person to even obtain any cyanide compounds anymore.
 

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