Beginners Guide to Cannon Pinion Removers

Written by: Maz P
Updated on:
Watchmaking Tools

The cannon pinion is what translates the movement of the train wheels into the time keeping display on the dial side. It is friction fitted to the center wheel and is the post that the minute hand is set on.

There are two methods to remove a cannon pinion: using a tweezer or using a specific type of presto tool.


Watchmaking Tweezers - Watchmaking Tools
Watchmaking Tweezers

Prying off the cannon pinion with a good pair of watchmakers tweezers is the quickest way to remove the cannon pinion. This is the method I was taught in class. It requires a firm grip on the stem of the cannon pinion and a firm movement vertically away from the movement. This will require stainless steel or carbon steel tweezers, as brass tweezers are too soft for this purpose and will likely get damaged with the amount of force sometimes required.

Rough Cost
  • Basic Variety = from £2 each
  • Branded Variety = around £30 each

I would recommend a branded Dumont carbon steel tweezer for this purpose.

Presto Tool

A cannon pinion presto tool performs one function, to vertically pull the cannon pinion from the arbor of the center wheel. This looks and acts in a similar fashion to the hand removing presto tool discussed in my Hand Removing Tools post.

Bergeon are the main manufacturer of cannon pinion presto tools.

Rough Cost
  • Basic Variety = from £10
  • Branded Variety = from £44

I’ve not used a cannon pinion presto tool so can’t really give a recommendation on whether they are a worthy investment. The Bergeon 30638 Presto Tool would be the branded option to go with and can also be used to 3rd Wheels.

If you think I’ve missed anything or have anything to add, please comment below.


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I started to share my passion and knowledge with those already bitten by the watchmaking bug. I’ve often spent hours searching online for answers on a specific issue, and even though there is a wealth of information out there, it hasn’t always been very useful, hence why I wanted to share my own findings.

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