Tools That All Watch Collectors Need

Collector’s Guides • 20 May 2016

Tools That All Watch Collectors Need

by Ariel Adams

If you enjoy watches there are at least a few accessories that you’ll need in order to complete your status as a true collector. Some of these tools are inexpensive must-haves while others are more expensive dream items which will nevertheless prove extremely useful in the long run. Allow me also to say that certain timepieces will require special tools or items of unique sizes. I won’t go into detail regarding those types of items, but note that not all watches use the same sizes straps, bars, screws, and so on. In no particular order here are some of the most important tools all watch collectors will need.

Strap Sizing/Changing Kit
Unless you love visiting a watch store or watchmaker for every tiny thing you need, it is a very wise idea to have a kit of tools to help you both adjust the size of watch bracelets as well as change the straps on the straps on your watches. There is no one-size-fits-all tool but kits are generally available. Bracelet-sizing tools will be things like precision screwdrivers to pin removal devices. You’ll also need a steady hand and some protective plastic wrap or other accessory tools to ensure you don’t scratch up your watch.

strap sizing changing kit

It is handy to keep a kit of tools to adjust the size of bracelets and for changing straps. (Image Credit: Getty Images).

Cleaning/Polishing Cloth
It is a no brainers but you’d be surprised how often watch collectors don’t have the right cleaning cloths. The wrong cloths will either leave particles on your watch or at worst actually scratch watches. Cleaning cloths are useful for when you want to wipe off oils or simply make a timepiece looks its best for photography.

cleaning cloth

A proper cleaning cloth is essential to clean off smudges or wipe off oils without scratching the watch.


You didn’t invest in a luxury watch with a high-end movement merely to not appreciate its details. Get a proper visual magnification system (often referred to as a “loupe”), a single-eye magnifying glass which allows you to inspect some of the more minute details of your watch movement and dial with ease.


An eye loupe allows you to inspect the more minute details of the watch with ease. (Image Credit: Getty Images).

Electronic Winders
Mostly produced for automatic watches, winders are storage solutions that keep your watch wound. Automatic winders literally revolve your watch around on regular intervals to simulate the winding they would get from being worn. More exotic manual watch winders use a sort of claw around the crown to similarly wind manually wound watches at regular intervals. The result is a watch always ready to go when you are.

watch winder

Watch winders keep automatic watches wound and ready to go when you are.

Too many people have stories about watches being stolen. To prevent this it is often a good idea to invest in a safe. Watch lovers are lucky because a whole universe of “horological safes” exist that come complete with special drawers and even winders. Watch safes are a more expensive item but can easily justify themselves if they prevent just one robbery attempt.


Invest in a safe to ensure that your precious watch collection is secure from theft.

Rate Result Machine
A few companies produce high-quality, beat rate machines (sometimes called Witschi machines after their most famous manufacturer) whose purpose is to measure the accuracy of a watch. These machines typically “listen” to the ticks of a watch movement and offer immediate feedback on how accurate they are. These machines will often tell you if a watch needs to go in for repair or service, and also serve the purpose of allowing watch collectors to generally know how accurate their timepieces are.


A rate result machine measures the accuracy of a watch and indicate whether the watch needs to go in for repair or service.
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