Whilst a watchmakers bench mat is not an essential tool for watchmaking, it can be extremely beneficial and make your experience easier. A watch repair mat provides a reliable and functional surface for watchmakers to carry out their intricate work. Crafted with precision and designed to meet the unique needs of watchmaking, these bench mats contribute to the efficiency, protection and organization of a watchmaker’s workspace.
Whether you purchase a basic option, branded variety or make your own, your watchmaker’s bench mat will be one of your most frequently used pieces of equipment. A watchmakers bench mat is a foundational tool that supports and enhances the precision and craftsmanship required in watchmaking.
What is a Watchmakers Bench Mat?
A watchmaker’s bench mat is a specialized work surface designed for watchmakers to perform their intricate tasks. It is a soft, non-slip mat that provides a cushioned surface for working on delicate watch components. This ensures the protection of watch parts preventing potential damage whilst working.
Bench mats are typically made from high-quality materials such as rubber or silicone. They are chosen for their durability, resistance to chemicals and anti-static properties. These qualities make them suitable for withstanding the demands of daily use in a watchmaker’s workshop providing a reliable and durable work surface.
What is a Watchmakers Bench Mat Used For?
The primary purpose of a bench mat is to provide a soft and non-slip surface for working on delicate watch components. Its cushioned texture helps prevent scratches, dents and other damage that could be inflicted on the watch or its parts during assembly, disassembly or maintenance.
Another advantage of a watchmaker’s bench mat is its inherent resistance to dust and debris. A bench mat helps maintain a clean and controlled work environment minimizing the risk of contamination and scratches.
Watchmaker’s bench mats can also come with additional features that enhance their functionality. Some mats have built-in compartments or pockets to hold small tools, screws, and other watchmaking essentials. This enhances accessibility and organization for your watchmaking. Others may feature printed grids, rulers or diagrams to assist with precise measurements and alignment during intricate tasks.
Basic varieties of watchmaker’s bench mats are extremely affordable and can be as little as $9. Alternatively, a branded option will have a higher price tag with a starting cost of $40.
Whilst watchmaker’s bench mats are a convenient option, I suggest making your own. As all desks are different, I would source a large piece of plastic with a little give and then cut this to the right size and shape to suit your desk. The minimum size you should go for is 32 x 24cm to give you ample work space.
Should You Make or Buy a Watchmakers Bench Mat?
When it comes to acquiring a watchmaker’s bench mat, you can either purchase one or make your own. If you choose to buy a bench mat, there are many options to explore and this can often be the most convenient option. Numerous reputable watchmaking supply companies offer bench mats specifically designed for watchmaking.
These mats come in different sizes, materials, and configurations allowing you to choose the one that suits your needs best. It’s important to consider factors such as the mat’s dimensions, cushioning, durability, anti-slip properties and any additional features.
On the other hand, making your own bench mat can be a cost-effective alternative. You can create a DIY bench mat using materials that are readily available. One common approach is to use a high-density foam pad or a rubber sheet as the base material. These can be sourced from craft stores or specialty suppliers. You can then customize the mat by adding a fabric covering, such as felt or microfiber, which provides the desired softness and texture for working on delicate watch parts.
Making your own bench mat allows you to tailor it to your specific preferences and requirements. You have the flexibility to choose the size, thickness and materials that suit your workspace and tasks. Additionally, it can be a creative and rewarding project for watchmakers who enjoy crafting their own tools and equipment.
Whether you decide to buy a bench mat or make your own, having a dedicated work surface for watchmaking is crucial. It provides a safe and protective environment for your valuable timepieces and ensures a stable and comfortable workspace for intricate tasks.
Tips for Using Watchmakers Bench Mats
You can use any plastic anti-static/rubber mat and cut it to suit your needs which is likely to be much more durable and better value.
Branded watchmaker’s bench mats are very expensive for what they are. If you decide not to make your own, I would highly recommend just opting for a basic, budget one.
Make sure you go for a light color so that watch parts can be identified easily. The majority of watchmaker’s bench mats available to purchase are green for this reason. However, they can also come in other colors and this is particularly something to consider if you are making your own.
You should also take into consideration the material of your bench mat. For example, something made of rubber will likely allow dropped parts to bounce away into oblivion.
A non-slip mat is a better alternative to a self-adhesive mat. This allows for flexibility to re-position when you need to or to change the desk completely without compromising on the security and stability of your mat.
Watchmakers Bench Mats FAQ
A watchmakers bench mat provides a secure and stable workspace to work on your watch. It eliminates the risk of scratches or other damage whilst showing watch parts so you can easily locate where each part is.
If you think I’ve missed anything or have anything to add, please comment below.