Guide to Watch Parts Containers: The Role in Efficient Watch Repair

Written by: Maz P
Updated on:
Watch Parts Container

When it comes to making, having a reliable and well-organized system for storing parts is crucial.  parts containers offer a convenient solution that not only stores but organizes parts. While some may overlook their significance, these containers play a vital role in ensuring efficiency and accuracy in making tasks.

Containers for watch parts provide a secure and dust-free environment to store and protect different parts. They also enable you to keep track of individual parts, preventing mix-ups during the watchmaking process. By grouping related parts, these containers enhance organization and streamline workflow. These seemingly unimportant accessories can greatly improve your watchmaking experience, making your work more efficient and organized.

What is a Watch Parts Container?

A watch parts container is an essential accessory for any watchmaker that serves as a reliable storage solution for watch parts. Whilst you can purchase containers specifically marketed as a watch parts container, these tend to be on the pricier side. Alternatively, a wide variety of parts holders, often marketed for other purposes, are a suitable solution. These containers come in different designs and materials to cater to individual preferences and needs.

One type of container that is ideal as a watch parts storage container is divided into multiple sections. This offers compartments that can be used to organize different parts. Another option is a container consisting of individual pots, each with its own cover. I prefer the latter design for its practicality. With separate pots and a sealable box, there are two levels of containment, providing an added layer of protection in case of accidental drops. 

I also find it convenient when working on a movement to take out the specific pot required and return it to the container once I am done. This allows for a more organized and efficient workflow. Individual pots can also be purchased in various sizes allowing you to customize your watch parts containers based on your specific needs and preferences.

Watch Parts Container

Watch parts containers are also available in different materials but typically boxes like this are made from plastic and aluminum. Aluminum options offer the additional advantage of doubling up as cleaning pots. This versatility minimizes the waste of cleaning and rinsing solutions. It is important to note that cleaning fluid should not be used in plastic pots as it can dissolve them.

By choosing a suitable watch parts container that aligns with your work style and requirements, you can enhance organization and efficiency in your watchmaking endeavors.

What is a Watch Parts Container Used For?

Watch parts containers are very simple and basically, do what they say on the tin. Ultimately, a watch parts container is exactly that, something to contain watch parts. There are many reasons why containers should be used to store watch parts. Primarily, watch parts containers are used for organization.

As a watchmaker, you can store different parts in different sections or keep different movements together. It keeps parts in a specific place to prevent any loss. When parts do not have a specific home, they can be easily misplaced and this minimizes this risk. Many watchmakers opt to use separate containers for different movements and parts to avoid any mix-ups. They can also be used to safely store spare or donor watch movements and parts for future use as and when required.

Watch parts containers also protect watch parts. Any container with a lid protects the watch parts from dust, debris, and any other possible contamination. This means you can quickly and easily work with your watch parts without the need to clean them. This is particularly important for circumstances when the watchmaking process can take days or weeks due to limited time or the need to source a part.

Different Types of Watch Parts Organizer

There are so many options for watch parts containers that there is no one-size-fits-all. The diverse variety means there are an incredible amount of sizes, designs, and features and a type to suit every watchmaker. The watch parts container you find most convenient is ultimately up to your personal preferences. You may find this takes a bit of trial and error. Even if the beginner watch parts containers are not your ideal fit, they will perform their intended job well enough for you to focus on expanding your watchmaking toolkit before trying alternatives.

Whilst you can certainly purchase an item specifically marketed as a ‘watch parts container’, there are many alternatives available that are advertised for different purposes. Ideal solutions are organization boxes purchased from hobby or hardware stores typically used for storing craft essentials and screws. They also could be advertised as snack boxes and myriad other uses so they can easily be acquired. Likely, you will ultimately save money by purchasing storage for your watch parts that are not specifically marketed for watchmaking.

When selecting a watch parts container, it’s crucial to consider the size of each section or pot. If the sections are too large, you may need multiple boxes to organize the relevant parts. On the other hand, if the sections are too small, you won’t be able to store movement plates or bridges together with the other parts. Based on my experience, I’ve found that 3cm and 5cm diameter options work exceptionally well.

Watch Parts Container

The 3cm pots are ideal for accommodating most, if not all, of the movement parts including plates and bridges. They are the primary size I prefer for my parts containers. I typically opt for boxes that provide around 12-20 pots allowing me to group parts as needed. As I work on more movements, I become more familiar with which parts are related and require fewer separate containers.

For larger components like watch crystals, cases, and case backs that exceed the size of the movement itself, I purchase individual 5cm pots. These larger pots offer ample space to securely store these parts. By selecting containers with the appropriate sizes and quantities, you can efficiently organize and store various watch parts resulting in a more streamlined workflow.

Another point to consider is whether your watch parts container has a lid. If your container has a lid, this acts as protection for your watch parts. It stops your watch parts from becoming contaminated with dust or debris which is particularly important for parts already cleaned. An additional benefit of a lid is that you can move the container without worrying about parts bouncing between sections or accidentally dropping it during transportation. It ensures watch parts are safe and secure in all situations.

When selecting a watch parts container, opt for a lighter-colored one. This is because it offers better visibility of small parts making them easier to locate and handle. By choosing a suitable watch parts container that aligns with your work style and requirements, you can enhance organization and efficiency in your watchmaking.

Choosing a Watch Parts Container

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Number of Compartments:
6
Number of Compartments:
36
Material:
Plastic
Material:
Plastic
Stackable:
Yes
Stackable:
No
Dimensions (LxWxH):
Dimensions (LxWxH):
273 x 175 x 44 (mm)
Quantity:
5
Quantity:
2
Primary Rating:
4.2
Primary Rating:
4.4
$9.77$9.27
$8.99
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Number of Compartments:
6
Material:
Plastic
Stackable:
Yes
Dimensions (LxWxH):
Quantity:
5
Primary Rating:
4.2
$9.77$9.27
Save
Number of Compartments:
36
Material:
Plastic
Stackable:
No
Dimensions (LxWxH):
273 x 175 x 44 (mm)
Quantity:
2
Primary Rating:
4.4
$8.99
04/19/2024 06:25 pm GMT

When choosing an ideal container for storing your watch parts, there are several things to consider. Ultimately, which features are important to you is exclusively dependent on not only watchmaking needs but also personal preferences. You may try several different containers before you find one you love but it is all part of the watchmaking journey.

I would personally advise against splashing your money on containers marketed specifically for watchmaking as they tend to come at a higher price tag than alternatives that are also suitable. If you don’t hit a hole in one and find a watch parts container you think is great on the first try, you could end up wasting a lot of money by going down this route.

In my quest to find the perfect parts containers, I experimented with various options over several months. At first, I purchased plastic round containers with rotating lids primarily because of their affordability. However, I quickly discovered their drawbacks. The rotating pin in the center prevented them from sitting flat making them unstable during work. The lids also didn’t fit securely leaving too much space for parts to potentially jump between sections during transportation.

Realizing the importance of having reliable and well-designed containers, I continued my search. I eventually found sturdier alternatives that addressed these issues. These containers featured snap-on lids providing a secure seal and minimizing the risk of parts escaping. Their rectangular shape and flat bottoms ensured stability on my workbench allowing me to focus on the task at hand without worrying about accidental spills or disorganization.

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Spend
Spend
Number of Compartments:
1
Number of Compartments:
24
Number of Compartments:
5
Material:
Plastic
Material:
Plastic
Material:
Plastic
Stackable:
Yes
Stackable:
Yes
Stackable:
Yes
Quantity:
5
Quantity:
1
Quantity:
1
Primary Rating:
4.4
Primary Rating:
4.7
Primary Rating:
4.4
$9.52$8.81
$17.20$14.12
N/A
Save
Number of Compartments:
1
Material:
Plastic
Stackable:
Yes
Quantity:
5
Primary Rating:
4.4
$9.52$8.81
Spend
Number of Compartments:
24
Material:
Plastic
Stackable:
Yes
Quantity:
1
Primary Rating:
4.7
$17.20$14.12
Spend
Number of Compartments:
5
Material:
Plastic
Stackable:
Yes
Quantity:
1
Primary Rating:
4.4
N/A
04/19/2024 05:55 pm GMT

Exploring cost-effective alternatives, I once stumbled upon a couple of secondhand electrician’s organizer boxes at a car boot sale. They were highly affordable costing just $1 and I thought they would be a great option. While I still use them for disassembled parts, their dark gray plastic material made it difficult when identify smaller parts.

Another option for those seeking budget-friendly options, consider using small single-serving glass jam jars like the ones commonly found in hotels and restaurants. Although they may not be suitable for storing an entire movement’s worth of parts, they can be perfect for specific parts. They can also be great containers for clean and rinse solutions used during manual part cleaning.

Regardless of the containers you choose, I recommend designating specific ones for dirty disassembled parts and others for cleaned parts ready for assembly. This segregation helps minimize contamination risks and reduces the time spent cleaning the containers.

By investing time in understanding my specific needs and experimenting with different container types, I was able to identify the shortcomings of inferior options and discover the containers that truly met my requirements for functionality and reliability. Finding the right parts containers may require some trial and error but the benefits of improved organization and peace of mind during watchmaking tasks make it a worthwhile pursuit.

Beginners Guide to Watch Parts Containers – Recommendation

Spend
Plastic Stackable Storage Box For Watch Movement Parts Plastic Stackable Storage Box For Watch Movement Parts
Number of Compartments: 5
Material: Plastic
Dimensions (LxWxH): 26x12x3 (mm)
Quantity: 1
Stackable: Yes

Long-Term Watch Parts Containers

Sometimes you may need to store spare parts, watch dials or donor movements for future use instead of while working on a specific movement, in this case, you may need a different solution. 

Personally, when planning longer-term storage I opt for a small plastic circular or square container, between 2-3″ in diameter which is sealable, and ideally see-through.  If storing a movement with pivots that stick out underneath or watch dials which have feet then I place a layer of recycled bubble wrap underneath (which I tend to keep from previously received posts/parcels).  Then once the part is added I add another piece of bubble wrap on top to stop the part from moving around and then as an extra precaution, I seal the container with some Scotch Tape which I find a lot less messy than Sellotape.  I then label the Scotch Tape for easier identification later.  I then store this in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. 

There are more specific options for dials and movements but I’ve never been able to justify the additional cost when the above solution has served me so well.

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Primary Rating:
4.6
Primary Rating:
4.3
Dimensions (LxWxH):
1.7 x 1.7 x 0.8 Inches
Dimensions (LxWxH):
2.17 x 2.17 x 0.98 Inches
Quantity:
24
Quantity:
1
$9.75 ($0.41 / Count)
$3.99
Save
Primary Rating:
4.6
Dimensions (LxWxH):
1.7 x 1.7 x 0.8 Inches
Quantity:
24
$9.75 ($0.41 / Count)
Spend
Primary Rating:
4.3
Dimensions (LxWxH):
2.17 x 2.17 x 0.98 Inches
Quantity:
1
$3.99
03/10/2024 01:31 pm GMT

Tips For Using Watch Parts Containers

There is no need to buy watch parts containers from watchmaking tool manufacturers, especially to begin with. These often come at a premium price tag and can often be found at a cheaper price when advertised for an alternative purpose. Essentially, many containers are highly versatile and suitable as watch parts containers even if their ‘purpose’ is technically meant to be for something else.

Look around your home for a suitable watch parts container. You may find that you have something suitable already and if so, this can be an area of watchmaking where you can save money. Boxes such as ones that contain screws, buttons, or other small items are perfect as a watch parts container. Anything with multiple compartments will do the job.

If you don’t have anything already suitable at home, a budget alternative is to purchase an organizer box from a local craft or hardware store. These are relatively affordable and will save you a lot of money over a container marketed specifically for watchmaking.

Make sure any watch parts containers you use have a lid. This protects the parts from dust, debris, and any other contamination.

Always go with a lighter color as it makes it much easier to see smaller parts.

Watch Parts Containers FAQ

A watch parts container is a storage accessory that helps watchmakers organize and protect their watch parts. It is a container with multiple compartments or pots that can hold different parts of a watch movement or case. Watch parts containers to prevent parts from getting lost, mixed up, or contaminated by dust and debris.

A watch parts container is essential for any watchmaker who wants to work efficiently and precisely. By using a watch parts container, you can keep track of individual parts, group related parts together, and access them easily when needed. A watch parts container also protects your parts from damage and ensures they are ready for assembly or repair.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a watch parts container, such as size, design, material, and color. You should choose a container that suits your personal preferences and work style. Some general tips are: Choose a container with sections or pots that are large enough to fit your watch parts, but not too large that you need multiple boxes to store them. Choose a container with a lid that snaps securely to prevent parts from escaping or spilling. Choose a container with a light color that makes it easier to see smaller parts. Choose a container that is sturdy, durable, and easy to clean.

A watch parts container is easy to use. Simply place your watch parts in the appropriate sections or pots and label them if necessary. You can also group parts by movement, function, or type. When you need to work on a part, take out the corresponding pot and return it to the container when you are done. Make sure to keep your container in a safe and clean place, away from direct sunlight, heat, or moisture.

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

AUTHOR

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Discover the Art of Watchmaking by following my journey through the intricate world of watchmaking with WatchmakingTools.com. I've encompassed my passion and expertise into crafting this hub for enthusiasts and professionals alike, where the secrets of timepiece creation are unveiled. Explore this rich repository of knowledge, from the luxurious allure of Omega’s precious metals to Swatch’s revolution in affordable Swiss watches. Delve into Seiko’s innovative spirit, Rolex’s iconic designs, and the ethical considerations behind mechanical watches. Whether you’re choosing the perfect strap material for style and comfort or seeking the most durable watch case, my comprehensive guides are tailored to enhance your horological experience. Navigate the vintage watch market with confidence, and ensure your timepieces retain their water resistance and precision. At WatchmakingTools.com, we empower you with the tools and insights needed to master the craft. From selecting the best oiler tools to understanding the environmental impact of watchmaking, we cover every facet to elevate your skills and knowledge.

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