Where to buy a watch mechanism?

I’m for a place that sells watch mechanisms by itself. Anyone know a source?

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One place is. http://www.esslinger.com/eta-watch-movements/
I can contact a friend that owns a watch/clock repair business and ask him, where is the best place. Or just check eBay.


Oh perfect! I didn’t realize that they were called movements. That makes things so much easier! Thanks!

Looks like it would be cheaper to just buy a watch and remove the movement from that!

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Not a problem, glad I could help.

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Just an FYI, the movements are quite easy to damage (mechanical especially) I spend a good portion of my time repairing damage done to watches by people who thought they had a good idea of what they were doing (in $10k + watches)

A good movement to play around with (battery operated) is a Miyota 2035, used in millions of dollar store type watches, and if you buy a pre-built watch you get hands for free!

For mechanical, it’s hard to recommend something that is hard to not damage, but if you have an idea of budget, I can try and give you some pointers…



Fantastic! Thank you @flyingwatchmaker this is helpful!! I’ll try not to mess with 10k watches. :wink: I just want to have some fun with some concepts.

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@numosbk that website looks like an amazing resource!! I’ve been searching for some time now trying to find a good place to get parts for making wall-mounted clocks. Have you ordered through them before?

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Steph short answer no, I was trying to help Jeremy, I just knew what to search for, I am not a watch maker. I picked up a few terms from my watchmaker friend.
If you want I will check with my friend and see where he suggests.
Or our Glowforge poster flyingwatchmaker may be able to help you. I’m

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No worries! Just knowing to search for clock movements is a huge help. :grin: That website’s prices sound pretty decent, if I end up ordering anything from them I’ll post some results to this thread!

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I would also check out these websites:

Jules Borel & Co

Star Time Supply

Cas-Ker Jewelers Supplies

Also some basic information about watch movements that I’ve learned over the years:

You have (basically) 5 types of movements: Mechanical, Kinetic, Solar Quartz and digital

-Mechanical watches are just that, they move because of springs and need to be wound either by hand or by motion from an anchor.
-Kinetic watches have a special capacitor that will hold the power generated by a kinetic anchor. Many people get confused by Kinetic and mechanical watches.
-Solar watches are powered by the sun and also have a special capacitor to hold it’s charge. Many of these movements have been discontinued by Citizen and Seiko and are difficult to service.
-Quartz watches are the MOST common watch movement right now. They are your standard battery operated watch.
-Digital watches are inexpensive and plentiful. BUT they are difficult to impossible to repair and most repair shops will either not touch them or just replace them completely.

Now for Quartz movements you have a few brands that are more common and very reliable.
ETA is the top of the line but will be very hard to get and expensive here soon due to the companies decision to stop selling to the general watch repair public and will now only sell to specific watchmakers.
Miyota is a good middle of the road brand of watch movement. They go from very inexpensive all plastic movements to all metal movements and anywhere in between. I also recomend the Miyota 2035 which is a 3 hand movement.
Finally you have Ronda movements. These are also middle of the line movements to lower end movements that range from all plastic to all metal.

Other tips to keep in mind:
-Use what ever is specified. If it says you need Hand Size: 120/70/17 then get a set of hands to match that. Otherwise you will pull your hair out trying to make things fit.
-watch videos.
-work on a CLEAN surface. Even the smallest bit of dust can make a watch stop working… more so if the gears are plastic instead of metal.
-Be careful of the orange coil of copper. the wire is thinner than a human hair and will break by any slip of a tool.
-If your dial does not fit the holes designed for the watch and you have to use dial tape, do not put the dial tape over any hole. ONLY put it on a solid bit of metal so you don’t accidentally block one of the gears pivot joints.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. I’m also sure that @flyingwatchmaker can answer questions too!

Hope this helped! :smiley:


Wow, thank you @ray716!! Lots of great info. Honestly, it’s to the point where if I ever have a fabrications question I’m going to search the glowforge forums before google!

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Woah!! What a goldmine of info! Thank you!!!

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My Wife flooded her dive watch (saltwater) so I tossed it into a glass of fresh water to keep air out of it and kept it wet until we got home.
With really nothing to lose, I decided to disassemble, clean the parts and rebuild it. Finally managed to get it together (with no leftover parts!) and it actually worked!
I will never do that again. Closest to particle physics I ever want to get. Took 10x to discern between a screw and a spec of dust.
subsequently, I learned that an entire new movement was only $45…:no_mouth:
Good education though.