Do you want to know how to save yourself $6 dollars and a whole lot of extra work? Whenever you work on a watch be sure to examine every part as you disassemble the watch. I want to stress today to look at every part, not just the gears, but every part. Its easy to forget to look at parts that rarely break but 2 seconds spent now will save you 2 hours later on.
Check the condition of gear teeth, pinion leaves, pivots, jewels, screws, springs . . . everything!
Here is an example of something easily overlooked. You can often see stress in a screw, now, that will break when you reassemble the watch, or two weeks after the customer gets it. In this screw you can see a crack in the screw slot. If you look for this stuff now, you can save yourself the headache of performing the service over again later. This screw is a ratchet wheel screw. When it breaks, it is nearly impossible to get it out of the barrel arbor (there are your $6 saved). To get to the barrel arbor you will need to remove the barrel bridge, disassemble the barrel, re-clean components and reassemble. If it breaks in a couple of weeks you will have to de-case the watch and perform these tasks.
Now, you can’t always see which parts will break in the future, but thorough examination of every component of the watch will greatly reduce the problems missed.