Beginners Guide to Watchmakers Putty

Written by: Maz P
Updated on:
Bergeon Rodico 6033 Watchmakers Putty

Considered a cross between Blu Tak and Silly Putty, watchmakers putty seems like an unusual addition to your watch-making toolkit. However, watchmaker putty is essential to your watchmaking experience and is a valuable tool you will use time and time again. Watchmaker’s putty is specifically formulated for a variety of uses in watchmaking. It is highly versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks including cleaning, picking up watch parts, and holding watch parts in position.

What is Watchmaker’s Cleaning Putty Used For?

Watchmaker’s putty serves multiple purposes in the realm of watchmaking. It is commonly used for various cleaning tasks such as removing excess oil and fingerprints from watch parts. Putty can clean every part of a watch including between the teeth of a gear wheel. It is a great cleaning tool that can get in where other tools can’t and perform well. It is also useful for cleaning tools including removing oil, dirt, and debris. However, some watchmakers find Pith Wood more suitable for this purpose.

Watchmaker’s putty also helps with the easy handling of small watch parts like jewels and can also remove broken-off pieces of Pegwood. Plus, it can serve as a temporary holder or positioning tool for watch components, especially when dealing with springs that have a tendency to go flying off. It can also assist in gripping and opening a screw case back, although the Sticky Friction Ball remains a preferred option for some watchmakers.

There are three types of sticky putty specifically formulated for watchmaking purposes; Bergeon 6033 Rodico Traditional, Bergeon 7033 Rodico Premium, and AF Switzerland Rub-Off.

Bergeon 6033 Rodico Traditional Putty

Bergeon 6033 Rodico the original green putty watch cleaner, is the most widely used in the watchmaking industry.  The cleaning putty designed for watchmakers has been around the longest and is easily recognized by its aqua-green color.

This soft and pliable substance is specifically designed to remove dirt, dust, fingerprints, and other contaminants from delicate watch parts.

Made by Bergeon, known for its high-quality watchmaking tools, Rodico Traditional offers excellent cleaning capabilities without leaving behind residue or damaging the materials. Watchmakers rely heavily on Rodico putty.

Bergeon 7033 Rodico Premium Putty

Rodico Premium is an upgraded version of the renowned Rodico cleaning putty. Also developed by Bergeon, Rodico Premium sets itself apart with its advanced formulation. It boasts improved cleaning properties making it even more effective at removing dirt, grime, fingerprints, and other contaminants from delicate watch parts.

The premium version offers a higher level of performance leaving behind pristine results without any residue. In contrast to the Traditional version which is iconically green, Rodico Premium is a gray color and has a drier texture. With Bergeon Rodico Premium, watchmakers can confidently maintain the cleanliness and integrity of watch parts.

AF Switzerland 18580 Rub-Off

The AF Switzerland 18580 Rub-Off is also a highly regarded watch cleaning and polishing putty widely used in the watchmaking industry. Whilst not as popular as Rodico, it is crafted by AF Switzerland, a trusted brand known for its quality watchmaking tools.

Rub-Off offers exceptional performance in restoring the brilliance and luster of watch cases and parts. It is blue in color and the driest of all three watchmaking putties available. The AF Switzerland 18580 Rub-Off is a great choice for watchmakers wanting to restore the aesthetic appeal and value of timepieces with professional-grade results.

Price Guide

All three types of watchmaker’s putty are highly affordable with a similar price tag. They also last a considerable amount of time offering great value for money. Rodico Premium comes at a slightly higher price tag.

Recommendation

All three watchmaker’s putties are highly regarded and whichever you choose will perform well. I’ve only used Bergeon Rodico Traditional myself but am inclined to purchase Bergeon Rodico Premium and/or AF Switzerland Rub-Off when I next need to stock up to find my preferred putty.

Tips for Using Watchmakers Putty

Use it sparingly, a little goes a long way.

For optimal cleaning, always start with a fresh piece of watchmaker’s putty. Soiled putty can be re-used for dirtier applications.

Use latex finger cots or gloves to keep your putty cleaner for longer.

Putty can last up to 10 years when stored correctly. Prolong the life of your putty by keeping it wrapped up when not in use. Small clear plastic storage bags are perfect for this.

Make sure not to use putty on warm watches, parts or tools as the heat will change the putty consistency. Also avoid storing your putty in a warm location for the same reason.

For precision control over your cleaning and placement of parts, place on a tip of pegwood.

Do not use a Blu Tak or Silly Putty due to their high oil content. Only use putty specifically designed for watchmaking to protect the watch parts and components.

Watchmakers Putty FAQ

Watchmaker’s putty is a sticky substance that can be used to clean, hold, and position small watch parts. It is also useful for removing dirt, oil, and fingerprints from watch cases and tools.

Watchmaker’s putty can be used for various tasks in watchmaking. To use it, simply take a small piece of putty and press it gently on the surface or part you want to clean or secure. You can also use a pegwood tip to apply the putty more precisely. Always use a fresh piece of putty for optimal results and avoid using it on warm surfaces or tools.

Rodico is a brand name of watchmaker’s putty made by Bergeon, a Swiss company that produces high-quality watchmaking tools. Rodico is specially formulated for watchmaking purposes and comes in two types: Traditional and Premium.

Green Rodico is the Traditional version of Bergeon’s watchmaker’s putty. It is the most widely used and has a soft and pliable texture. Gray Rodico is the Premium version of Bergeon’s watchmaker’s putty. It is an improved version that has a drier texture and leaves less residue. Both types have excellent cleaning properties and can be used interchangeably.

Rodico is designed to leave minimal or no residue on watch parts. However, over time, Rodico can become soiled and lose its effectiveness. If you notice any residue or traces of putty on your watch parts, you should stop using that piece of Rodico and replace it with a new one. You should also store your Rodico in a sealed plastic bag to keep it fresh and clean.

Rodico can last up to 10 years if stored properly and used sparingly. However, the lifespan of Rodico depends on how often and how much you use it. Frequent users may find that Rodico lasts only a few years or less. You can tell if your Rodico is still good by its color and texture. If it becomes too dark, sticky, or crumbly, you should discard it and get a new one.

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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