Watch Modding Essentials: You Need These Basic Watch Building Tools

A watch is more like a machine. What you put into it determines how it will look and work.

Building or modding a watch is fairly straightforward. However, it can be a tad bit overwhelming especially if you're just stepping into the hobby.

That said, you're going to need these basic tools that you can't live without. And we've listed them below:


Watch glass press

  • Watch Glass Press
    This tool is used for pressing the watch crystal. It is made of medium hard steel and it has two functions: to press the glass and to hold it in place. The pressing function is done by the handle which sits on top of the press and is inserted into the center hole.


Watch Hands Setting Tools

  • Watch Hands Setting Tools
    Watch hands setting tools are used to set the hands of a watch. They are made from metal, plastic or other materials and come in different shapes and sizes. They usually have a screw-on attachment at one end and an adjustment knob at the other end that can be turned to adjust the length of each hand.
    A watch hand setting tool is used to adjust the length of each hand on a watch. This can be done by turning the adjustment knob on the tool as well as adjusting it using your fingers. Watch hands setting tools are available in all shapes and sizes but most commonly come in round or square shapes with adjustable ends so they can be fitted into any position on your watch case.


watch case opener tool

  • Watch Case Opener
    A watch case opener is a tool that helps you open the back of a timepiece. The back of a watch case is very difficult to open without some kind of tool, and the best way to remove it is with an opening tool.
    There are several different types of watch case openers out there, so you'll need to choose one that meets your needs best.


watch movement holder

  • Movement Holder
    While working on your watch, you'd want to use a movement holder to hold the watch movement in place. Movement holders come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: they hold the movement securely, so you can use your hands to work on it without fear of the movement falling out.


watch tweezers

  • Tweezers
    As you know, watches are all about precision. The tweezers got you. It's one of the most important tools in watchmaking when working on a movement.
    Watch parts can be extremely small. Tweezers are used to grip, remove, or reassemble the small and delicate parts of the movement, and therefore, a tweezer is the best tool to do the job.


watchmaker loupe magnifying glass

  • Watchmaker Loupe
    A watchmaker loupe is a magnifying lens used by watchmakers and jewelers to work on watches. It's also called a watchmaker's glass because it's used to examine parts of a watch, especially the face and hands.

A watchmaker loupe has two purposes:

1) To see fine details in the movement or inside the case. You can use it to see tiny parts that would be too small for a naked eye to see.
2) To work on an object with precision by magnifying what you're working with. A typical watchmaker loupe measures about 6 inches in length and 2 inches in diameter.
silicone grease
  • Silicone Grease
    Silicone grease is used in watch modding to ensure that the gasket will not be damaged when the back of the watch is snapped or screwed on. It is the best gasket sealant available, because it is water repellent and keeps gaskets lubricated and flexible for a lighter and longer seal.


watch hands remover

  • Watch Hand Remover
    A watch hand remover is a tool that allows you to easily remove the hands from a watch. It's very useful for changing the time and date on watches, as well as replacing or repairing damaged hands.
It consists of two parts: an open end and a closed end. The open end is used for removing the crown from your watch, while the closed end is used for removing the case back from your watch.

The most common type of watch hand remover has two ends: one with a long handle and one with a short handle. You can use this tool depending on the type of watch you are working with, whether it has an open or closed crown, or if it has an open or closed case back.



Miscellaneous watch modding tools:


watch case cushion

  • Watch Case Cushion
    Stabilize your watch case while you work. Watch case cushions are useful for casing, uncasing, and making movement adjustments. It also provides a number of uses when working on a watch; a safe surface to avoid scratching your watch crystal, it keeps a non-slip stable surface for snapping on case backs or tightening and loosing movement screws.



  • Rodico
    Call it a watch builder's best friend, a little bar of Rodico cleaning compound is something a watchmaker should never go without.

Here are the many uses of Rodico:

    • Removes dust and debris quickly.
    • Cleans movement plates, dials, gears, and hard to reach corners of a watch.
    • Removes fingerprints and oil from watch parts.
    • Removes oil and crud from tools.
    • Can be used to grip and open a case back without marring the case.


spring bar tool

  • Spring Bar Tools
    Removing or changing watch straps is a relatively simple operation that does not require any special skill. But the spring bar tool makes the job easier.
    A typical spring bar tool comes with a micro-flathead screwdriver used in removing links from strap bracelets, making them even more useful.