One of the biggest concerns during watchmaking is contamination and this is something you will quickly learn as your watchmaking journey progresses. Watches can be easily contaminated with oil, dust and debris. Timepieces are extremely delicate both cosmetically and in terms of performance. Even the smallest dust particle or a stray drop of oil in the wrong place can affect the movement and cause it to lose seconds or minutes.
Whilst this may not seem like a big deal to a novice, watchmakers know how important it is that a timepiece is accurate. Not only can contamination impact performance but it can also cause minor damage such as scratches from a rough piece of debris. Therefore it is crucial that your watch is protected, particularly when it is not being worked upon.
A watchmakers dust cover does just the job. It protects the watch and its delicate parts when you are taking a break and not actively working on it. It is one of the easiest items to source and is an invaluable addition to your watchmaking.
What Are Watchmakers Dust Covers?
Dust covers specifically designed for watchmaking are very similar to a small cake cover. They are typically a glass dome with a handle on top for easy movement. The majority also feature a tray on which the watch can be placed before covering very similar to a cake board. This presents the option to move your watch around whilst it is covered.
The trays also typically have different compartments that can also be used for parts storage and easy access. There are various basic options available but renowned makers of watchmaking tools such as Bergeon and Horotec also make branded versions for a higher price tag.
Whilst watchmaker’s dust cover can be easily purchased, they can also be easily sourced from around your home. This is a great option and an element where you can cut a corner to save money. Pretty much anything can act as a cover, particularly household items such as bowls, jars or ramekins.
Personally, I use glass ramekins that come with shop-bought desserts. They are the perfect size for covering your timepiece and work well to protect against dust and debris. The ramekins are also a great size for covering the smaller end of watch cushions. However, if your watch cushions are too large to fit underneath a ramekin, there are many other options you can use as a watchmaker’s dust cover.
The only downside I have found to using a ramekin or some other alternative options is that they cover the watch on a desk. Without a tray, it cannot be moved whilst covered. However, whilst this can be a limitation to some, it is not particularly relevant. Most of the time, you will leave the timepiece where it is and return to work on it in the same place.
What are Watchmakers Dust Covers Used For?
Working on a movement can sometimes be time consuming and a task may therefore not be completed in one sitting. Whilst taking a break from the task whether it be hours or days, the movements, parts and inner workings of the timepiece are left exposed and susceptible to contamination. This is where your watchmaker’s dust cover comes to the rescue.
As the name suggests, a watchmaker’s dust cover simply covers your watch and protects it from dust. By keeping the movement protected, a dust cover helps maintain the precision and reliability of the watch. It is particularly important once all your watch parts have been cleaned and you are in the process of reassembly.
Whilst a watchmakers dust cover may seem like a one trick pony, it is an essential tool to have. Plus, it does more than simply protect from dust and debris. A dust cover can also prevent the accumulation of moisture or humidity which can lead to corrosion and damage over time. It provides an added layer of protection against environmental factors that could affect the performance and longevity of the watch movement.
For watchmakers, having a dust cover is essential to maintaining a high standard of craftsmanship and ensuring the longevity of the timepieces you work on. It allows you to work with confidence knowing that the movement is shielded from potential contaminants that could compromise its performance. A watchmakers dust cover is of utmost importance for any watchmaker as it helps preserve the accuracy, functionality and overall condition of a watch ensuring the longevity and value of the timepiece.
A basic variety is highly affordable and will cost around $9. However, a branded option comes with a significantly higher price tag and will set you back anywhere from $35.
In my personal opinion, I recommend that you save your money as there’s definitely no real advantage to using a branded option. The basic options are more than good enough and therefore the price tag of a branded alternative cannot be justified. However, you will also most likely already have a suitable solution lying around the house. An old jar, small glass bowl or glass ramekin are all perfect candidates.
Tips for Using Watchmakers Dust Covers
You can cut corners and save money here by using an item you already have. A glass item such as a jar or ramekin is a great option. Whilst they don’t need to be glass, it is useful to be able to see what’s underneath without needing to lift it up.
Make sure that the dust cover is clean before using. It comes pretty irrelevant for protecting from dust and debris if the dust and debris is on the cover itself.
Watchmakers Dust Covers FAQ
A dust cover is an essential tool for a watchmaker. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the cleanliness and integrity of a watch movement during the watchmaking process.
There are many things you can find around the house that can be used as a watchmaker’s dust cover. Pretty much anything that can cover all sides and protect from dust can be used. Bowls, jars and ramekins are all great options and it is advantageous to use something made of glass so you can see the timepiece without needing to remove the cover.
If you think I’ve missed anything or have anything to add, please comment below.