Renaissance man Tim Hunkin wrote an article in the latest issue of MAKE detailing his experiences getting his feet wet in vintage watch restoration. After inheriting from his aunt a nonworking Swiss pocketwatch from about 1800, he jumped headfirst into the miniscule world of pocketwatch repair. Read all about his adventures with escapements, springs, lube jobs, itty bitty screws, and catches in MAKE Vol. 33.

Tim reflects on what he gained from the experience:

Rather than owning a valuable watch that doesn’t do anything and that I don’t understand, I now own a slightly less valuable scratched watch, but I know what makes it tick.

Here are some pocketwatch images to whet your appetite.

Start the slideshow

Laura Cochrane

Laura Cochrane

I’m a DIY editor at Instructables and I used to be an editor at MAKE and CRAFT. I like hiking, biking, rock climbing, and etymology.

  • Jeff

    When I was young and foolish I applied to Watch Making (repair) School. I already had an undergrad degree in East Asian Languages….but was obsessed with repairing old pocket watches (I currently own over 20 vintage watches both pocket and wrist). Prior to being accepted I was offered two jobs….as an archeologist and working for a railroad….I took the railroad job….and was subsequently accepted into watchmaking school. I didn’t go. Good thing, who would have thought that some day watches would be throw away….and my eyes after 40 wouldn’t have worked too well. Retired from the railroad at 58 and living comfortably on my pension….but still have a passion for timepieces, and have the textbooks I would have needed for school….oh well…….