Destruction can be beautiful...
I've always been fascinated by watches: they may be small devices, but they have all the components to mechanically keep the time without electrical reliance (in the case of mechanical watches, at least). At a recent Mini Maker Faire in the East Bay, I came across Compass Rose Design, which had small $6 packets of watch parts for people to buy and design with. When busing home with my loot of small, broken mechanical watches, I decided to stop at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse and of course, what would I leave with except another couple of larger broken watches (some quartz watches as opposed to mechanical ones in this batch).
It was my chance to open up watches to understand the inner workings, but admittedly I was a bit skeptical to start: I've seen the expansive set of tools at watch repair shops, and at best I merely had a standard set of screwdrivers. The first watch I opened was a test run, and it was surprisingly simple. Because I didn't have to worry about damaging the parts, unlike someone repairing a watch, I really didn't need the specialized hands remover: just tweezers, 1/16" screwdriver, and a small blade were enough. I also didn't need to worry about jewels as much as I though I'd need to, which greatly simplified things.
Besides old, broken watches, As promised in the title, only three tools are needed for watch disassembly:
However, three tools might not be enough for all watches, as some are more complex and secured compared to others. I had relatively cheap watches with simple movements, so these three sufficed. Another thing to note is that more advanced tools would be needed to *properly* take a watch apart (properly as in the watch could be put back together with full function without any damage). For example, if you have a waterproof watch, the case will be extra tight to prevent water damage, and thus opening it will be much harder -- I had an old Guess watch that I really wanted to open, but it's supposedly waterproof and thus that much more difficult to open. Another example is with the hands: the hands should be removed with a hand pulling tool to avoid scratching the dial or damaging the hands.
You'll also want some sort of organizer to separate all of your parts. I just used a cheap pill box container.
Don't forget any extra things you might want for making things with these watch parts! The main thing would be glue: regular superglue like Loctite works all right, but for permanence you'll probably want a metal epoxy (but so messy D:) or E6000, which is usually the go-to glue for jewelry-type metal-to-metal bonding. Because I recently got my ears pierced (went from zero to five holes in my ears in within the first month of 2017... I can tell that this year is going to be interesting already), I wanted to build some gear-earrings and thus got E6000 and earring posts (courtesy of Valentines' Day sales..).