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Discussion Starter #1
Planning on buying my first set of hand levers (going with them rather than the EZ hand removal tool because good, thin hand levers can also be used to remove the 'C' clip that holds the day wheel in place) and just wondering if I should go for 4mm wide tips or 2.5mm wide tips. Buying off of Esslinger and probably going with Horotec levers since the Bergeon ones are crazy expensive.

Would appreciate any other advice as well, as this is going to be my first mod.
 

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I have both the 2.5mm and 4mm Horotec hand levers. Both will work but for the c clips I would recommend the 2.5mm version. Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have both the 2.5mm and 4mm Horotec hand levers. Both will work but for the c clips I would recommend the 2.5mm version. Just my opinion.
Had a feeling, thanks for confirming it. Really looking forward to this project. Just waiting on my dial to get in (last one I bought from ebay had a weird lume defect) and I can put together the movement, then the hands once they arrive and at that point I have a bit of a wait while Tiger works on my TST shroud!
 

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I would try to use a 0.8mm driver to remove the snap for day star, less of a chance of bending it or warping the day wheel. Place it inbetween the gap and twist. I use the 2.5mm Horotec levers and they are fine but I use magnification, a dial protector cut to size and a see through plastic baggy over the top.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would try to use a 0.8mm driver to remove the snap for day star, less of a chance of bending it or warping the day wheel. Place it inbetween the gap and twist. I use the 2.5mm Horotec levers and they are fine but I use magnification, a dial protector cut to size and a see through plastic baggy over the top.
Solid tip on the dial protector. I have a few extras coming in with an order so I can definitely cut one to fit over the day/date wheels
 

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I mean for the hands! :)

Dial protector under the hands or cut to size if there are lume plots in the way, or a little one for the subdial hand say on a chrono etc...

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh haha, I thought you meant to protect the day/date when removing the C clip. But yeah, definitely will be using a dial protector. I have steady hands but I don't trust myself that much.
 

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I would try to use a 0.8mm driver to remove the snap for day star, less of a chance of bending it or warping the day wheel. Place it inbetween the gap and twist. I use the 2.5mm Horotec levers and they are fine but I use magnification, a dial protector cut to size and a see through plastic baggy over the top.
I have started using the 0.8mm driver method to remove the c clips on my watches. Very neat and efficient but it does take some skill. Good tip on the plastic with the levers. It not only to protect the day disk but also keep the clip from flying off into never never land.
 

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I have started using the 0.8mm driver method to remove the c clips on my watches. Very neat and efficient but it does take some skill. Good tip on the plastic with the levers. It not only protect the day disk but also keep the clip from flying off into never never land.





I just use one of my smallest (yellow) sharp screwdrivers to remove the C clip.

Always have done.



I don't see that hand levers would have the thinness to get under it.
 

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I mean for the hands! :)

Dial protector under the hands or cut to size if there are lume plots in the way, or a little one for the subdial hand say on a chrono etc...






A piece of paper with a slot cut out of it works just as well :)


The edge of hard plastic could mark a soft dial :(



I have some very thin tissue paper for chrono hands etc.
 

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Agreed but these are paper and came with my levers....those awful bergeon protectors I avoid. Most of the time I use a bag and that is all...but to advise someone who has never done it before I felt it best to suggest them just incase.
 

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A piece of paper with a slot cut out of it works just as well :)


The edge of hard plastic could mark a soft dial :(



I have some very thin tissue paper for chrono hands etc.
Come a long way from recommending people use tweezers to push hands on, huh, Paul? <shudder>

I can report that the Bergeon plastic protectors aren’t that “hard”, and will not mar even glossy black dials when used properly. Thin clear or translucent plastic above to protect the hands from the levers is still necessary, but the Bergeon plastic tabs are still useful in some cases for additional protection of the dial.
 

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Come a long way from recommending people use tweezers to push hands on, huh, Paul? <shudder>

I can report that the Bergeon plastic protectors aren’t that “hard”, and will not mar even glossy black dials when used properly. Thin clear or translucent plastic above to protect the hands from the levers is still necessary, but the Bergeon plastic tabs are still useful in some cases for additional protection of the dial.





I only use tweezers to fit hands as do all the watchmakers I've ever talked to about such things.


Good technique is better than unnecessary tools :)


Joe from Anglesea watch agreed with me that that's all he ever used.


On 'soft' dials it's best to use something softer and paper is softer than those plastic 'protectors' (I have them).
 

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There is fundamental physics that tweezers cannot get around - you cannot use a sharp-edged metal object to push on a thin (and often polished) surface and expect to not leave evidence of doing so. I challenge you to find one single watch factory that advocates tweezers to push hands onto their respective posts (those from the 1950s don't count). And I know that many watchmakers think tweezers are good enough- I've been seeing the marks from their disrespect on the center boss of hands for years!

For those who are unfamiliar yet willing to learn, the current technology to avoid damaging hands is to use a round pusher made of a soft synthetic material (like teflon), often times with a plastic or paper safety sheet in between the tool tip and the hand. These are made with varied holes drilled in the center to allow clearance for the pipes/pinions above yet also drive the hand on flush with it's own seating:

It is also advisable to support the lower jewel of the sweep seconds wheel so that it is not shifted from the forces necessary to install many seconds hands, with a movement holder that has an adjustable jewel support:

A hand-setting press will go a long way to ensure accidents do not cause costly mistakes that can ruin dials, hands, or even movement parts, all of which can occur if pushing off-center:


If all you work on is older watches with stout hands of simple design and ornamentation that have already been beat up from mis-repairs in the past (I'm thinking pocket watch-era when I say this), then sure, tweezers will "work". But when we're talking about the thin hands of current/recent production that are often diamond-polished, with angles, facets, paint, or other unique finishes, you cannot mis-handle them and expect the hand not to show it. One of the basic tenants of good watchmaking is to leave no trace that one was ever inside the watch. Two big troughs on the center boss of a hand from some one's tweezers is not following that precept.

(pictures gathered from the web)
 

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There is fundamental physics that tweezers cannot get around - you cannot use a sharp-edged metal object to push on a thin (and often polished) surface and expect to not leave evidence of doing so. I challenge you to find one single watch factory that advocates tweezers to push hands onto their respective posts (those from the 1950s don't count). And I know that many watchmakers think tweezers are good enough- I've been seeing the marks from their disrespect on the center boss of hands for years!

For those who are unfamiliar yet willing to learn, the current technology to avoid damaging hands is to use a round pusher made of a soft synthetic material (like teflon), often times with a plastic or paper safety sheet in between the tool tip and the hand. These are made with varied holes drilled in the center to allow clearance for the pipes/pinions above yet also drive the hand on flush with it's own seating:

It is also advisable to support the lower jewel of the sweep seconds wheel so that it is not shifted from the forces necessary to install many seconds hands, with a movement holder that has an adjustable jewel support:

A hand-setting press will go a long way to ensure accidents do not cause costly mistakes that can ruin dials, hands, or even movement parts, all of which can occur if pushing off-center:


If all you work on is older watches with stout hands of simple design and ornamentation that have already been beat up from mis-repairs in the past (I'm thinking pocket watch-era when I say this), then sure, tweezers will "work". But when we're talking about the thin hands of current/recent production that are often diamond-polished, with angles, facets, paint, or other unique finishes, you cannot mis-handle them and expect the hand not to show it. One of the basic tenants of good watchmaking is to leave no trace that one was ever inside the watch. Two big troughs on the center boss of a hand from some one's tweezers is not following that precept.

(pictures gathered from the web)



We use the side of tweezers :)


I'm careful enough to not leave marks or not add to marks (yes, some hands do have marks on them) that are there.
I've never been hamfisted (hard for this Vegan!) enough to move a center wheel jewel either.


Technique rules over tools :) (wow, there's a mantra to work by)
 

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Your obstinance and incessant resistance to see the possibility of better ways to do things is not a good example to those forum members with less experience or training. I’d like this to be a place where people learn the best way to do something, and once armed with the knowledge of why it is best practice, can make an informed decision for their own practice. I also want the damage done to the watches we love to be minimized.
You always seem to stand in the way of these ideals. Have you ever considered why you vocally tout the cheapest, quickest way to accomplish something here? Is it a predilection towards trying to prove accepted wisdom as foolish?
 

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Guys I just asked for a recommendation on hand levers..........
FYI, don't blame Noah - you walked into a running problem that's been happening for years, which is someone asking a genuine technical question and nzwatchdoctor jumping in with advice ranging from non-optimal to downright destructive because it is "easier." Given how these threads are later read by newbies to collecting or adventurous tinkerers (myself in the latter category), I am always super grateful for Noah's jumping in to correct the record as to how things should be done.

Technique rules over tools :) (wow, there's a mantra to work by)
This is maybe the third or fourth time I've seen you post something like that recently, Paul. Have you ever considered that some might want to use the right technique and the right tools, and that might actually be a better mantra? Noah's explanation about why you shouldn't use a sharp metal object to press on polished metal is obviously correct, even if you've somehow managed to use "the side of" that sharp-edged metal object without that consequence. You're always glibly blaming any untoward consequences from following your advice on someone being, as you put it here, "ham-fisted," as if a genuinely careful individual could always use your "good enough" techniques and have it go well. As someone who's screwed up enough watches tinkering by following advice like yours, I am so, so glad that Noah is willing to actually describe what should be done. Especially after seeing some of the final products in your previous posts that you've considered "good enough" for your customers. Please, please, please stop leading us all astray.
 

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I have started using the 0.8mm driver method to remove the c clips on my watches. Very neat and efficient but it does take some skill. Good tip on the plastic with the levers. It not only to protect the day disk but also keep the clip from flying off into never never land.

I wouldnt use hand levers on the day wheel snap.


The 7SXX movements have a chamfer on the underside of the day wheel snap. It's located 90 deg. anticlockwise to the gap. Move the gap to 12 and insert a 0.5 driver into the chamfer at 3 then give the driver a little twist. DONT lever up with the driver.
A piece of Rodico over the top of the hour wheel will help stop the snap flying into oblivion.
 

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I wouldnt use hand levers on the day wheel snap.


The 7SXX movements have a chamfer on the underside of the day wheel snap. It's located 90 deg. anticlockwise to the gap. Move the gap to 12 and insert a 0.5 driver into the chamfer at 3 then give the driver a little twist. DONT lever up with the driver.
A piece of Rodico over the top of the hour wheel will help stop the snap flying into oblivion.
Great info here.
 
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