How to Open and Clean Your Old Mechanical Watch




About: I am a dreamer, maker and an engineer making and sharing interesting projects here at Instructables. Follow me @ instagram: @the_gadget.boy

Hello, everyone !!!

Today I'm going to show you how to clean your old watch. My watch is Orientex 17 jewels, its a classic, manual winding male watch.

Follow the steps and be careful !


Step 1: Open the Watch

Use screwdriver or sharp knive to open the watch, some watches have screws or screw like cap so you have to unscrew them.

Step 2: Take Apart the Watch

Take apart the watch with hand or with a tool like screwdriver or clippers, but be careful you don't want to damage the gears or other parts of the watch.

Step 3: Clean It

Take off the protective glass by pressing it down with finger and then get piece of cloth and polish the glass and the chassis of the watch. I suggest you to use microfiber towel for better result.

Step 4: Clean the Clock-face

Clean the clock-face with cotton swab but be careful with the arrows of the watch !!!!!!!!

After you clean it and change the battery (if the watch is digital) assamble the watch and if it work like mine everything is OK but if not then go to real watchmaker !

Step 5: Assamble It

After you clean it and change the battery (if the watch is digital) assamble it and if it work like mine as shown as on the video, everything is OK. But if not then go to watchmaker so he can fix it.



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    5 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    I have an old mantle clock. How about an article on cleaning it? Unfortunately it does not run. My father in law had the great idea to spry all of the works with WD40, now I have a messy clock that still does not run!

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Have the same problem with a slow mantle clock. Wd40 spray has kept it running for two years after a clockmaker wanted $180 to replace the works. Best thing would be to remove the entire mechanism from the clock and clean with solvent to reduce gum buildup, apply light oil and reassemble. Good luck!


    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    kerosene is the best way to clean it. So you guys know. I have been learning old clocks for a little bit of time. WD40 is not the best lubricant for it but can keep it going. They sell oil specifically for clocks.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Good tutorial, but short and you never actually touch the inside of the movement. A better title would be "How to open and clean a watch case". Would love to see a more in-depth version in the future :)

    1 reply