Swiss staking and jeweling set

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by rstl99, Apr 29, 2019.

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  1. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    Oct 31, 2015
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    Someone is offering to sell me, from the estate of a local watchmaker, an unbranded Swiss-made staking and jeweling tool set, very complete and in excellent condition.

    In an earlier thread Karl and Graham provided information about their Favorite jeweling sets, which have some accessories (including face plate) that make those Favorite sets even more useful for non-jeweling tasks. I attach a photo of such a Favorite set below, followed by 2 photos of the Swiss set being considered.

    Would this Swiss set, which lacks some of the Favorite accessories, nevertheless be a good kit for me to acquire? I currently own an american staking set of medium quality, so with this Swiss set may possess something of arguably better quality. Plus I'd get the jeweling press arrangement that I don't presently possess (even though I never do work on jewel replacement, generally preferring to work on older verge watches and such).

    Thanks in advance for your advice.
    --Robert

    Favorite Jewel Press.JPG swiss1.jpg swiss2.jpg
     
  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Robert,

    There appear to be a couple of broken punches which look like the smaller spot face cutters, so no great problem there, and the rest look in decent condition. The poussoirs, (pushers), have been well shuffled but seem to be all there, as do the reamers, although the condition of these is hard to tell. They're the 'D' section type which may be rather earlier than the 5-sided ones in my set. This looks very similar to a Favorite, it's in decent condition, and these tools are very well made and worth having. If the condition of the reamers isn't that good it's not a great worry since you won't be using them for their intended purpose.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  3. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    Thanks Graham for your keen eye and insightful comments, as always.
    Dumb question, not having owned such a tool: can the stakes also be used with the press-down handle on the main tool, or do they need to be tapped with a brass hammer like on a regular staking set? I could envision the handle providing finer control in some situations.
    --Robert
     
  4. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Robert,

    I should say both, where the situation suggests it. However, it may be that the punches are too long for the handle to engage properly; they're certainly intended to be used with a hammer, but sometimes if only a very light touch is required, just tapping with the back end of a pair of tweezers or a scalpel handle is enough.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  5. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    Thanks Graham, and for the tip about light tapping on the stake when needed.
    Cheers.
    --Robert
     
  6. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Robert,

    Strictly speaking, the upper tool is the punch and the lower tool is the stake, unless of course it's an inverto, (which yours isn't), where the punches can be mounted in the base as well as the top.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  7. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    Graham,
    So I suppose with this Swiss set I would be getting both a staking set and a jeweling set, which may be an advantage I suppose, since I don't have the latter. In his book Daniels suggests getting separate tools for each function (i.e. a staking set like I already have, and a Seitz set for example).

    And I suppose that the jeweling tools and functions in this Swiss set would compare well with a Seitz jeweling set.

    What is missing compared to your Favorite kit, is that round clamping accessory that fits into the bottom and allows clamping down small parts to work on. I'm also not sure what function those large round stakes serve in the Favorite kit. Likewise, your kit comes with a few collets which I'm not sure what the function is.

    Thanks a lot.
    --Robert
     
  8. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Robert,

    That small faceplate with the three clamping dogs is very useful, because I can also fit it in my lathe and use it for boring holes for re-bushing, keeping everything upright. I've also used it in the Favorite to drill and tap holes in movement pillars.

    DSCF2312.JPG DSCF2313.JPG

    The large round stakes are ordinary small ones with an extended ring to make them easier to handle. The extra collets are handy for fitting drills or facing cutters of different sizes into the reaming runner; sometimes very small holes can be drilled just by turning by hand, as in the first picture above.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  9. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    Thanks Graham for the clear explanations. It's always nice to see an example of your work, such as the interesting work on pillars you included pictures of.
    Anyway, sounds like this Swiss set is worth acquiring for me, even though it lacks some of the features and accessories of the Favorite set.
    Best regards.
    --Robert
     
  10. praezis

    praezis Registered User

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    I found a catalog entry of your tool,

    Frank

    wit1s.jpg wit2.jpg
     
  11. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    Thank you Frank, that looks like a slightly more complete version of the same tool.
    Do you know what year roughly the catalog is from? 1950's?
    I note that the Witschi company still exists, now focusing on electronic tools for watchmakers.
     
  12. praezis

    praezis Registered User

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    Hi,
    the catalog is from 1953. They have different sized boxes and number of accessories, I showed the size of your photo.
    These Witschis are different ones, This is a wholesaler in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

    Frank
     
  13. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    Thank you Frank, for the additional details.
    If these tools were made in 1953, I have no doubt that they are very well made, and would be useful for many years to come.
    Best regards.
    --Robert
     
  14. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    After careful consideration of this tool set I've decided to pass on it. I already own a good complete american (Marshall) staking set, and since most of my hobby work is on older verge watches (i.e. no jewels) I don't think I'd get a lot of use out of the jeweling function. The Favorite jeweling tool has extra accessories that may make it more versatile for me, as Graham indicated, so I'll hold off for one like that to come along.
     

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