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Mainspring Winders

by J.Peter

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bergeonwindersOn this Super Tuesday edition of Tuesday Tools I focus on mainspring winders. Why does a watchmaker need mainspring winders, if we always replace the mainspring when we service it?

Occasionally when you receive a new mainspring from a supply house it is wound too large to simply “shoot” it into the barrel. When this is the case there needs to be a simple way to rewind the mainspring, smaller so you can easily insert it into the mainspring. Why not hand wind it into the barrel? Especially on smaller barrels (wristwatches) it is too easy to damage the mainspring and/or the barrel walls when hand winding a mainspring into a barrel. Handling the spring and barrel in your hand will undoubtedly leave behind flecks of skin and harmful oils.

I admit I don’t use this tool incredibly often. Maybe once a week or so, but it is indispensable. I like the Bergeon winder set, it is well made but it needs to be brought up to date. The arbors are too large in proportion for the drum when compared with modern wristwatches. With new alloys, barrel arbors have gotten smaller in relation to the drum size and they just don’t relate to the modern world. Of course you can always switch around arbors and find a combination that will work well without stretching out the eyelet of the mainspring.

k&dwinderI also show here an older mainspring winder made by K & D, it is adjustable but not as user friendly as the Bergeon set.

Mainspring Winders: Number of uses, just one, but they do what they’re supposed to exceptionally well.

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  1. Chris
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I am having the same problem with a set of older Watchcraft winders that I purchased awhile back, in that the arbor stem is too large for the ETA 2836-2 spring that I am working on. I was wondering if the regular Bergeon kit like you show would suffice or should I just go ahead and buy the ETA specific kit?

  2. J.Peter
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t had any problem finding a correct combination of arbors and barrels to match up with any ETA calibers using the standard Bergeon winder set but you do have to mix and match.

  3. Ronnie Safreed
    Posted January 7, 2012 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    J. Peter when I was collecting watches I also collected tools&both pocket&wrist watch mainspring winders were part of my collection. However I have seen in a book on watch repair as a hobby by Fletcher-1948 using a pin-vise&mainspring arbor the mainspring could be wound into the mainspring barrel. How do you see this?

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