Level 3 - Watch Fault Finding

Here is a full summary of all the modules and lessons found in Level 3 of this course,
Watch Fault finding and basic repairs.

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What You Will Learn...

Level 3 of this course introduces you to watch fault finding within a mechanical watch movement. This level will help you understand how the various components and sections of the watch movement interact with each other. Along with some horological theory, you will be shown practical examples of how to drill down throughout the movement in order to track down issues


Watch Fault finding is a constant in watch repair. As discussed briefly in level 2, a watch repairer will be continuously inspecting, testing and perhaps even adjusting as he or she proceeds through a watch service. But what if a watch is presented where it has completely stopped? Or is running but at an excessive rate? The watch repairer will need to have a procedure for tracking down the faults and an understanding on how to rectify them.



When you receive a watch for service or repair, you may be given an indication from the owner of the watch as to the symptoms of the fault. And this information can help you zone in on the cause. 

But even if the watch has no noticeable faults and has simply been presented to you for a maintenance service, an initial inspection should be the first priority

c3.1.1 Check Hand Setting

Checking the hand setting mechanism is an essential step when you are performing your initial inspection

c3.1.2 Check The Winding

In this lesson we look at some initial tests with the winding mechanism.

c3.1.4 End & Side Shake

Side-shake is the amount of movement a wheel pivot (or the barrel arbor as in the previous lesson) has from side to side within it’s bush or pivot hole. There should be some movement. If the pivot fits too perfectly or if there is too little side-shake then the train of wheels may very well seize up or not run down uniformly

c3.1.5 Check Balance & Escapement

Continuing with the initial inspection of the watch movement, this lesson focuses on the Balance and Escapement


The process of focusing in on the cause of any fault in a watch movement will depend largely on which kind of fault you are presented with.

The methods for finding the causes of either of these kinds of faults will vary slightly but you can make the process easier by following a basic path whilst inspecting the movement

c3.2.1 The Strategy

This lesson contains a breakdown of the strategy behind the Fault Finding Pathway including some demonstrations on how to implement your checks

c3.2.2 Practice

Quite often, a watch is presented to you for a basic maintenance service with absolutely no complaints of faults or poor performance. This may be because the watch owner simply does not have high expectations for a watches timekeeping or has grown accustomed to it’s ‘quirks’.

c3.2.3 Performance

Assessing a watches current performance before you start work on it, assuming the watch is running, can also lead you to potential faults.


After performing the initial inspection, if the cause of any faults was not detected then we should proceed with fault finding and we shall start with the balance and escapement

c3.3.1 Pallet Banking

In this lesson we will be focusing on pallet banking and the amount of shake (or distance) between the guard pin and the safety roller

c3.3.2 Drop, Draw To Lock and Impulse

In this lesson we are looking closer at the operation of the pallets as they interact with the escape wheel

c3.3.3 The Escapement Parts

In this lesson we are taking a closer look at the parts which make up the escapement

c3.3.4 The Balance Wheel & Staff

The balance wheel is just that, a wheel which is balanced in it’s weight when it is first manufactured so that there are no heavy spots, the balance wheel is riveted to the balance staff

c3.3.5 The Hairspring

The hairspring is a very fine flat spiral profile coil made from metal, the length and thickness of which affecting the oscillations of the balance wheel

c3.3.6 The Safety Roller

This video discusses the safety roller and how it plays a roll in keeping the watch movement running.

c3.3.7 The Balance Cock Assembly

In this lesson we discuss the components of the balance cock assembly and we demonstrate the stripping down of the balance

c3.3.8 Balance End-Stones & Pivot Holes

This video lesson discusses the differences between regular pivot holes and balance pivot holes, and demonstrates the strip-down of a non-shock balance jewel assembly

c3.3.9 The Pallets

In this video lesson we discus what to look for when inspecting the pallets for potential faults

c3.3.10 The Escapement Operation

In order to effectively troubleshoot an escapement, it is important to know exactly how it operates. This video discusses the interaction between the balance assembly and the escapement


The next step in the fault finding pathway will be to examine the train of wheels and the power source

c3.4.1 Power Retention

This lesson discusses the various potential points of failure in and around the power source

c3.4.2 The Mainspring

This video lesson discusses the mainspring within the context of fault finding, and also details how to measure the spring in order to find a suitable replacement

c3.4.3 Train Speed

This video lesson discusses the train speed or movement frequency and reduction ratio’s within the train of wheels

c3.4.4 Investigating The Train

In this video lesson we are taking a look for potential problems with the train

c3.4.5 End & Side Shake plus Jewelling Tool

In this lesson we take a look at the train wheels and demonstrate how we can adjust end-shake by using a jewelling tool


This video lesson introduces the next chapter in level 3 of the Watch Repair Course which discusses the Keyless and Motion works in the context of fault finding.

c3.5.1 Problems With Winding

This lesson discusses some of the causes of problematic winding of a watch movement.

c3.5.2 The Setting Lever Spring

This video lesson discusses the setting lever spring and the symptoms that can appear should it fatigue or break.

c3.5.3 Rough Winding

Rough winding can be cause by quite a few different factors, this video lesson will help you to drill down to a specific cause

c3.5.4 Problematic Hand Setting

This video looks at the motion works in closer detail and discusses various faults which may cause issues hand setting.

c3.5.5 The Cannon Pinion

This video lesson discusses the cannon pinion and how it can affect the movement should it not be adjusted correctly.


As a commitment to giving you continuous value for money, you now get these extra bonus videos for FREE when you complete Level 3. This is an on-going project and there will be more coming, again – at no extra charge when they are available.


Discounted Bundle

Would you like to save money? Purchase all three levels of the Watch Repair Course in one transaction and save $189! And even better – you still get a nice 30% discount should you wish to enrol on further levels as and when they are released.

This Bundle Includes Levels: 1,2 & 3

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Recent Reviews for Level 3

by J. Brad
on May 9, 2021
Great course! Can’t get enough.

I enjoyed this course tremendously. Mark is a natural teacher and his presentation is highly polished. I’ve watched the course lectures multiple times and look ...

by Ricardo Da Silva
on April 5, 2021
Best online course

Nice to have an organised development program in place to get the basics right and to get the right tools at first. The course is ...

by Spencer
on March 16, 2021
In depth

Fantastic course really in depth. highly recommend. cant wait for level 4

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