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Tuesday Tools – Movement Holders

by Jordan Ficklin

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Movement HoldersYou can’t touch a clean movement with your fingers and you don’t want to set it on a dirty bench top or pad so you need some way to support it. There are as many different movement holders as there are different watch calibers. Ok, maybe not that many but there are a plethora of them. This picture shows a handful from my shop. In the upper left are some Rolex specific holders (I have one for each caliber). There are holders for different ligne sizes and holders which adjust like the Slick holders and Bergeon holders. I tend to use the Slick holders (brass colored on the right) unless I have a specific holder for the caliber.

The most important thing to consider is that the holder needs to grip the movement tightly without touching any of the fragile components. Sometimes one of the corners will want to touch the balance wheel or barrel.

It is also important to consider that when you are installing the hands you may need to support the center of the movement so the fourth wheel doesn’t push out the jewel. This is very important on the ETA 2892. Since it is such a popular movement you should have at least one 11 1/2 ligne movement holder with an adjustable center support.

Not all my movement holders are picture. I also have holders for the Valjoux 7750 with pushers for testing chronograph functions and also for the Lemania 1873 / Omega 861. Probably the holder I’m most missing is a large holder for 18 size American pocket watches and larger. My largest slick will hold up to a 16 size American Pocket Watch caliber. When I have a larger movement I use one of the plastic India made holders in the upper right corner. If I could only have one (I’d be in trouble) it would be my Slick holder(s). You really need at least a large one and a small one, only one just won’t do.

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  1. Chris
    Posted May 18, 2009 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Can you tell me about the two top left holders with the knurled grips? Who is the maker of these beauties? Thanks!

  2. J.Peter
    Posted May 18, 2009 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Those two holders are Rolex caliber specific holders, but they are made by Horia for Rolex. I have also seen them available for ETA calibers for about $3 to 400 each. They are beauties!

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