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Posted by Esslinger Staff

Replacing watch hands can sometimes require you to take some measurements so that you can order the correct replacement watch hands.

 

Below you will find two ways to get the correct measurement using both a specialty watch hand measuring tool and using a basic measuring caliper.
You can find the hole size of the hands needed to fit your watch movement by:

 

measuring_watch_handsThis gauge (Bergeon 30464)  allows you to measure the hole size of the hour and minute hand by placing them on the posts of the gauge. Next to the post where your hand stops is a number which is the hole size of the hand that is on that post.  In the example shown you will see that the hands on the gauge are measuring .70mm X 1.20mm which is the hole size of the hands that you need for your watch. The smaller hole size is the minute hand and the larger hole size is the hour hand. Along the top of the gauge you can lay your hand to find the length of your hand which is measured from the center of the hole to the tip of the hand and you always use the minute hand to determine the length needed as this is the longer hand in the pair.

 

 

 

-OR-

 

measuring_for_watch_handsBy using a digital gauge (#35.185) to measure the hour wheel diameter you can determine the hole size of your hour hand. Simply place the flat sides of your gauge against the hour wheel and this will show you your hand hole size. The hour hand is the last hand removed or the first hand put on your watch for a basic 2 or 3 hand movement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

measuring_for_watch_hands2By using a digital gauge (#35.185) again you can next measure your minute hand which is the canon pinion diameter. Simply place the flat sides of your gauge against the canon pinion which is the next step up on the hand posts and this will show you your hand hole size. This is the 2nd hand removed or the 2nd hand you put on your watch for a basic 2 or 3 hand movement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

measuring_for_watch_hands3By using a digital gauge (#35.185) again you can next measure the sweep second fourth wheel which is the diameter of the pinion that the sweep second hand will fit onto. Simply place the flat sides of your gauge against the sweep second pinion that is sticking out the farthest on your hand posts. This will show you your hand hole size and is the 1st hand removed or the last hand attached to your movement.  This dimensions is only needed or used when you have a 3 hand movement.

 

 

 

 

WATCH-HANDS-MEASURINGFind the length of the hands needed by measuring the length of the hands from the middle of the hole to the end of the hand.

120/70/18 =
Hour Hand hole 1.2mm
Minute hand hole 0.7mm
Second hand 0.18mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Pan oRoya

    Hi. I have seen a watch hand spindle measuring gauge made by a company called WIT but I’m unable to source one. This seems like a simpler method than using a micrometer. I would have thought that most vernier calipers were not accurate enough for measurements this small. Any suggestions?

    • The Bergeon hand guage is designed specifically for this purpose; http://www.esslinger.com/bergeon-30464-hand-gauge-watchmakers-tool/
      Shown above, you can find the watchmakers tool in our store under number 30464 or by using the link above.

      • Pan oRoya

        NO. It isn’t. It’s designed to measure the fitting diameter of watch hands. Re-read my original post which seems specific enough to me. I need to measure the diameters of the pinion where hands are missing. Look up the WIT tool.