Pocket Watch Repair


Simple Cleanings to Total Rebuilds

Whether you're a longtime enthusiast with a large collection or simply trying to get that old family heirloom fixed, we know how to get these tiny and delicate engines running properly.

We offer a wide range of specialized restoration services that you won't find anywhere else, so trust us with your grandfather's pocket watch for expert repairs that will take just a few days.

Full Restorations

Pocket watch restoration

Turning Back The Clock

Do you want your antique pocket watch restored as close to factory-original as possible?  We can do that.

You've researched your favorite models, created accounts for auction houses, bid on examples that caught your eye and spent the money to acquire each piece in your growing collection, so it makes no sense to ignore a century of accumulated "fixes" meant for a quick turnaround. Incorrect parts and mismatched components belong nowhere on any mechanical device and do not weave the tapestry of your watch, so have it restored properly.

You wouldn't leave a Ford hubcap on a Chevy and call it part of the history of the car, would you?

Pocket watch restoration

Accuracy Is Precision

There are no corners to be cut if an accurate timepiece is the goal.

It takes a hundred close-tolerance parts working in unison with little room for error to make these mechanical wonders function correctly.

  • The balance wheel will be properly staffed, poised and weighted, and trued up in both the flat and the round.
  • All jeweling will be examined under the scope for flaws, especially the escapement, and replaced if necessary.
  • The gear train checked for condition, endshake, rub marks and tolerance, and the mainspring will be tested.
  • The movement timed against the three basic positions (dial up, dial down, and pendant up) and demagnetized.


Doing It Right

Broken parts, mismatched hands, and missing screws all detract from the value and beauty of your heirloom watch, so when it leaves here:

  • Every component will be matching and correct.
  • Any missing plate enamel will be replaced.
  • Plate tarnish will be greatly reduced.
  • Screws and hardware buffed and polished.
  • The proper hands fitted and blued.
  • The dial replaced, repaired or whitened in solution.
  • The case will be de-greased in a chemical bath.
  • The stem and sleeve cleaned, and the bow tightened.
  • The crystal will be reset or replaced with new glass.

Full restorations starting at $95.  Prices for individual processes are listed below.

COA - Clean, Oil and Adjust


Regular Maintenance

Do you enjoy carrying your watches?  Routine servicing is important.

Organic and synthetic oils start getting gummy after only a few years, so periodic attention is necessary, especially if you carry your pieces. Running your watch beyond the service life of the lubricants will begin grinding up the pivots. You wouldn't go years without changing the oil in your car's engine, so why do it to your irreplaceable family heirloom?


Complete Disassembly

 The only way to do a proper COA is to disassemble the watch. Period. The entire movement is reduced to its individual components, which are then cleaned in an ultrasonic solution. Reassembly using synthetic oils is next, with checks performed on the balance wheel, gear train, and mainspring, followed by accuracy testing on the digital master.

 There is a vast difference between a quick dunking and a full cleaning.


Hidden Problems

COAs are not just about changing the oil. It also means examining each component under the scope for correct alignment and hidden issues:

  • Nascent rust, stripped screws or missing hardware
  • Loose jewels or loose curb, guide and banking pins 
  • Reamed out bushings and bent or scarred pivots
  • Rub marks, binding or bent teeth in the gear train
  • Intentional damage or workaround "fixes"


Timing and Accuracy

Static bench timing is easy if the watch is never going to move, like a clock that just sits there with the weights always pulling down evenly. Watches were meant to be carried, 12 hours in a pocket and 12 hours laying on your desk, so accuracy is an average over a 24-hour period.

Your watch will be timed for dial-up and pendant-up, the two primary everyday positions, against the three standard digital measurements:

  • Rate - seconds gained or lost within a 24 hour period
  • Amplitude - the arc of the balance wheel in radians
  • Error - time difference in geometric center of the pallet 

COAs starting at $95.  Visit the Price Page for more info.

Specialty Watches



Having a fuel gauge is a handy thing, and that is precisely what the 4th hand on a wind-indicator displays - how much run time is left on an unspooling mainspring. Only a few American companies produced high-grade indicator watches, so finding parts is often difficult.

Wind-indicator work starting at $195



Chronographs are essentially a stopwatch, which is a pocket watch with a center sweep hand that counts off the seconds, providing a method for timing an event. The higher-grade models were designed with flyback mechanisms for the seconds hand.

Chronograph work starting at $195


Pendant Watches

Ladies' pendant and ring watches present special challenges because of their tiny parts.  Movements smaller than 0 and 000-size require special tooling, matched holding clamps, and extra-steady hands.

Pendant watch work starting at $165

Unique Watches

Prototypical pieces are always challenging because by definition there are no other examples to reference and usually there no replacement or spare parts to be found. But when you get it all back together again it's quite a thrill to watch them come back to life with a heartbeat.

Rates on individual processes apply

Fusee Restorations


Verge Fusees

The verge escapement dates from the 1200s, and was used in clocks until the 1500s, when the spring-driven pocket watch emerged as the first personal timepiece. The verge used alternating steel paddles on the balance staff to mesh with a softer brass crown wheel to let down the mainspring one tick at a time in a three-wheel design. The earliest examples had no minute hand and were regarded as a novelty for the very rich, though they were too large to comfortably fit in a pocket.

Fusee restorations starting at $165 


Chain Replacement

The fusee was invented in Da Vinci's time as a method of equalizing mainspring torque, using a grooved spiral cone connected to the mainspring barrel with gut or wire before the refinement of chains. They are surprisingly durable, but when the chain broke the damage caused by the broken ends to the rest of the movement was severe.

Chain replacement starting at $125

Reasonable Accuracy

Verge fusees inevitably speed up over time because of the design and the wear of the mating surfaces. The brass teeth of the crown wheel become flattened out against the steel paddles on the balance staff, reducing the travel of the balance wheel. This decreases the amount of time between impulses, causing the watch to run faster. Some of this can be corrected, allowing accuracy to within a few minutes per day.

Standard on all fusees

Staff Fabrication

Hardened Drill Stock

Hardened Drill Stock

Hardened Drill Stock


Any fabricated staff starts with a drill stock blank in diameters from 0.5 up to 2.5 mm.

Carbide Tooling

Hardened Drill Stock

Hardened Drill Stock


Taking precise measurements at every point, the staff is carefully roughed on the lathe.

Custom fabrication starting at $65/hour 

Diamond Polishing

Hardened Drill Stock

Diamond Polishing


After the pivots are sized, the staff is polished with a burnisher and is ready for installation.


Repairing The Cracks


Did you send your family heirloom to a hobbyist and it came back damaged?  We can help.

Cracks can be filled with new metal and milled back to original dimensions, assuming the alloy is nickel steel or steel-plated bronze, but we cannot do gilt plates because of the color difference. The nominal diameter of the set screw in the photograph on the right is 0.4 millimeters.

Micro-welding starting at $145

Pivot Work



An impact or rough handling can easily break delicate pivots, and if that happens the staff can be trued up, the center found, and the hub drilled to a precise depth and diameter.  A new pivot is then fabricated to size and seated either by friction or by temperature inversion.

Re-pivoting starting at $125



Badly bent pivots can usually be coaxed back to straight, even if the steel is hardened.  They can then be trued up, any burrs milled out, and then polished out and returned to service.  Understand that there is always a risk of breaking and that it's a secondary option to re-staffing. 

Pivot straightening starting at $45

Balance Wheel Truing

Flat and Round

Distorted balance wheels are common, the result of rough handling or very poorly done re-staffs. Truing them back up in the flat and/or in the round takes hours of skillful patience, and can require the removal of all the balance weights and then starting over with poising and timing.

Wheel truing starting at $65 

Jewel Work


Jewel Milling

Cap jewels are responsible for precise endshake and provide rebound surfaces for the pivots. The jewel on the left is clearly undersized and well below the plate surface, which can be replaced by turning a blank to size and milling the screw pockets to the correct depth.  Add a witness mark and the result is the jewel on the right.

Jewel milling starting at $65 



Shellac is a naturally-occurring resin that is used to mount the roller jewel and both pallet stones. These three jewels absorb millions of impacts during their service life, becoming loose over time. It's very important that they be mounted correctly, and sometimes need to be re-mounted to remove excess shellac or to straighten a poor mount.

Stone setting starting at $22

Hairspring Work



A cracked hairspring collet is always a sign of sloppy work and is caused by hammering it onto a balance staff that's way too large.

After carefully removing the ruined collet, the hairspring can be transferred to a replacement with a newly-fabricated taper pin, allowing the factory original to remain with the watch.

Re-colleting starting at $95



Snarled and deformed hairsprings are caused by impatiently tugging at them while removing the balance assembly.  They can even become laced, where the stud becomes woven into the coils.  If it's not a hopeless mess the hairspring can be carefully untangled and reformed into the proper shape of an expanding spiral.

Untangling starting at $65



Watches are susceptible to magnetic fields because many of their parts are ferrous, especially the delicate steel hairspring. When it becomes magnetized the coils can become attracted to the balance arms or to each other, slowing the watch considerably. Running a watch that has been magnetized is like driving your car with the emergency brake on.

Standard on all watches

Hardware Bluing

Full Packages

Full Packages

Full Packages


If your watch is missing a few blued screws we can give it back that factory look.


Full Packages

Full Packages


Nothing sets off the gilt plates on a key-wind watch movement like blued hardware.

Hardware bluing starting at $15

Cap Jewels

Full Packages

Cap Jewels


Even cap jewels, regulator arms, and hairspring mounts can be blued.

Dial Work


Dial Refurbishing


Watch dials are fragile things made from porcelain, and once cracked it cannot be reversed.  A clean dial was a requirement back in the days of railroads, so we offer basic repairs of glass-enamel dials, although it has to be reasonably intact for us to have any kind of success.

Dial refurbishing starting at $25 


Dial Repair

The secondary sinks in watch dials were held in place with solder, which can be replaced without using excessive heat. Single, double, and even triple-sunk dials can be repaired this way, and it's done carefully so that none of the work is visible from the front.

Dial repair starting at $25

Cosmetic Work


Hand Bluing

Wartime material shortages meant using acrylic for crystals, which yellowed and caused the hands to rust, but we can fix that. If the hands on your watch aren't too pitted they can be carefully polished out and returned to the factory colors of either plum or cobalt blue.

Hand bluing starting at $15


Enamel Replacement

Harsh chemicals and repeated cleanings can scrub the enamel inlay from the plate engravings, so we offer enamel replacement in several colors, including the brick red found on several Illinois models. It's a very tedious and time-consuming process, but definitely worth it.

New enamel starting at $25


Case Polishing

Unlike coins, where patina has its place, watch cases can be polished up like new, especially nickel or coin silver examples. These alloys make up the full thickness of the case parts, so there is no danger of polishing through to the base metal, unless there is ornate engraving. Solid gold and gold-filled cases should be buffed as little as possible.

Case polishing starting at $25

Display Conversion

Show Off That Heirloom

Do you have a rare movement that you'd like to show off or a favorite daily carry watch with an eye-catching pattern?  We can mill the caseback into a bezel, add a glass crystal and turn your watch into a showpiece, as well as a great conversation-starter.

There are certain types of cases make good candidates, so be sure to contact us first.  Only cases with swing-rings or ones with threaded covers can be converted, meaning any case with hinges or a dust cover (including hunters) cannot be machined.  Additionally, we only cut into cases that are fairly worn, are dented or damaged, or have incomprehensible initials or inscriptions.

Display conversions starting at $65


The Prices

Current pricing on most of the common replacement parts and the cost of repairs.

Payment and Shipping

Forms of Payment

Shipping, Insurance and Packing

Shipping, Insurance and Packing

We accept Paypal, both personal and cashier's checks, money orders, and cash in US funds only.  Credit cards can be used through Paypal.

For repair work please click the Pay Now button below to use Paypal. 

Shipping, Insurance and Packing

Shipping, Insurance and Packing

Shipping, Insurance and Packing

We use the US Postal Service and any insurance is entirely your choice, both sending and receiving.  Please make sure that anything you send us is securely packed in a sturdy cardboard box with plenty of padding!

The shipping/mailing address is on the  Contact page.

Watch Repair Invoices