How To Lubricate Pocket Watch Main Spring

The mainspring is an absolutely vital part of any spring driven clock so, naturally, you should know how to lubricate a pocket watch main spring. This is true of wrist watches, pocket watches and the larger mechanical clocks that are often given out to employees who have decided to retire or who have been forced into retirement by the employer. The process for oiling the mainspring of most mechanical clocks is similar, regardless of the size. The first step is determining whether or not you need to oil the pocket watch before you begin.

Things you will Need:

  • Good hearing

  • Jeweler's Screwdriver's

  • Watch Oil

To Determine If You Need to Oil the Mainspring: Put the watch next to your ear. Listen to the ticking carefully. Keep the watch up for 15 seconds or more. If you hear a snapping sound, look for the jeweler's tool kit. You will need the screw drivers to access the components. Having a ready supply of curses is useful for the next few steps, but it is not strictly necessary.


  1. Remove the back cover of the pocket watch if there is one. Most pocket watches allows the owner to access the gears and cogs in the watch in case it needs maintenance or repairs. Some models may require the user to remove the front panel and the clock face.

  2. Locate the pocket watch  mainspring. It's usually the largest spring in the watch. Check to see if it needs cleaned. If it does not need to be cleaned, proceed with the next step. Cleaning dust and dirt from the mainspring can be achieved with an air duster. Jewelers may have a special ultrasound cleaning machine to remove dust, dirt and grime from this component.

  3. Place a small amount of lubrication grease on the mainspring and spread it evenly over the device. Close the cover of the watch and wind it up if needed. Listen to see if the watch is still making a snapping sound.

Newer wrist and pocket watches may have springs made from Teflon. Teflon springs do not require oiling or any lubrication.

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