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Watchmaker Microscopes for Sale

 

Below is selection of high resolution stereoscopic microscopes useful for watchmakers.  You can see how I use microscopes in my business here.  These all have good working distances for use at the WW lathe, Sherline mill and watchmaker drill presses.  They are also extremely useful for checking jewels for defects, oiling escapements and checking the oil ring in capped jewels. You can extend the working distance (while reducing the total magnification) by acquiring an auxiliary objective (.7x or .5x).  This will make it extremely practical at the bench for routine assembly and disassembly.

These microscopes were top of the line in the late 1990s and ran $1000 to $1500.  They were used in universities and in quality control labs.    These are now obsolete for those purposes since institutions are all using digital imaging systems instead of microscopes.  

None of the scopes here were used in production where fumes could coat the optics.  All have been checked by me for correct operation:  they stay in focus when zoomed, the image stays centered when zoomed and the zoom is smooth.  I relubed the zoom mechanisms with MolyKote.  These mechanisms are very robust and easy to care for.  Personally, I follow the general recommendations to not "clean" the internal optics; they are well sealed and there is the risk of throwing them out of alignment.  Use Isopropol Alcohol (lab grade) to clean the external optics with a cotton swab.

Most of the microscopes come with a lighting source (not usually needed at the bench or lathe) and 2 sets of matched eyepieces (10X and 15X).  These will provide magnification from 8x to over 60x depending on the scope.  The American Optical and Reichert scopes have a zoom range from .7 to 4.2 and Nikon and Olympus scopes zoom from .8 to 4.0.  Multiply that by the eyepiece magnification  to get the total magnification.

I tend to work at about 20x which is real joy.  You can really see and have your nose getting in the way!  And at the lathe you can see what is happening at the graver!  I even turn the lathe 90 degrees and use the microscope to cut female centers and drill small holes (20/100mm to 70/100mm).

All have been cleaned and lubricated with their optics checked to ensure that the image remains centered and focused when zoomed (if applicable).  There is a procedure for balancing the eyepieces to your eyes, but once done it is done.  Parfocal zooming is ensured by focusing at the highest magnification.

Compare these to prices on auctions sites.  These are tested, cleaned and lubed.  I make my name on service so if you are unhappy you send it back.  I only picked up scopes (mainly from labs and quality control departments) that I knew were useable.  Bad ones go to auctions.

NIKON SM-2B With Fiber Optic Ring Light

This is a highly adaptable scope and set up.  The Zoom is .8X to 4X giving a magnification of 8 to 40 power with the included Nikon 10X23  eyepieces which are the top of their line and deliver the brightest images.  Included is a Nikon .7X barlow (magnification reducer) to increase working distance and field of view.  Put a standard 10mm reticule in one eyepiece and measure your work while it is on the lathe.  The included Fiber Optic ringlight provides ample illumination.  The AO boom stand is readily configurable for the bench or at small machine tools (lathe, Sherline mill, drill press).

The .7 X barlow can be useful at the bench for larger pieces such as aircraft clocks while delivering mags of 5X to 28X.  The boom on this is the longest one I have seen and makes use at any bench or machine tool very easy.  At the machine tool, I use no barlows.

The microscope body rotates in its mount and has a capture screw to keep it from falling out of the mount.

Nikon SMZ Microscope for sale watchmaker, watch repair service restoration Nikon V 10 optical comparator Levin latheNikon 10X 23 eyepiece Nikon SMZ Microscope for sale watchmaker, watch repair service restoration

Nikon SMZ Microscope for sale watchmaker, watch repair service restorationNikon SMZ Microscope for sale watchmaker, watch repair service restoration

Nikon SMZ Microscope for sale watchmaker, watch repair service restoration

Price:  $435 Shipped in USA

 

AMERICAN OPTICAL 570

This scope is also highly adaptable for the bench or lathe.  It comes with two American Optical Eyepieces (10X and 15X) and has a zoom range of .7X to 4.2X.  Thus it gets you to over 60X magnification if you need it.  Again, auxiliary lenses are readily available.  This works as is fantastically at the WW lathe or turns as you can see in other pics on my website.  I use a .5X auxiliary on the Nikon used at my bench.  But I use the 570 as is at the lathe.

The AO 570 was AO's top of the line high resolution scope and should not be confused with the 569 (lower resolution) or the 571 (fixed magnification).  They only ended production when industry shifted to digital imaging.

The microscope body rotates in its mount and has a capture screw to keep it from falling out of the mount.  AO articulating arm (which does make things simpler in some setups).

AO American Optical 570 Nikon Stereo Microscope Watchmaking watch repair restoration equipment for sale

AO American Optical 570 Nikon Stereo Microscope Watchmaking watch repair restoration equipment for sale

AO AMerican Optical 570 Nikon Stereo Microscope Watchmaking watch repair restoration equipment for sale

PRICE:  $365 plus Shipping

 

BAUSCH AND LOMB STEREO ZOOM 4

This scope is excellent for all around utility work in the watchmaker shop.  Its maximum zoom factor gives a max zoom of 45 power with the included unbranded 15X eyepieces.  It comes with a pair of highly sought after Olympus 10X eyepieces.  Again, it is great for working over a lathe, inspection, lubrication and assembly.  It has the B&L high resolution optics, but a more limited zoom range (3X).

Comes with the American Optical boom stand as pictured and I left the focus mount post exposed so you can see I turned an adapter to fit it to the AO articulating arm (which does make things simpler in some setups).

FWIW, Leica purchased B&L and sold this same scope under their name.

B&L Bausch lomb Sterozoom Nikon Stereo Microscope Watchmaking watch repair restoration equipment for sale

B&L Bausch lomb Sterozoom Nikon Stereo Microscope Watchmaking watch repair restoration equipment for sale

Price:  $325 plus shipping

 

AMERICAN OPTICAL 570 on Base with direct and reflected lighting

No matter what scope you buy or from where, I highly recommend buying a light source that transmits light FROM UNDER the piece.  This is essential when inspecting hole jewels and oiled pallets.  There are LED light plates made just for this purpose.

This AO 570 is mounted on a lab base that allows the included lamp to be used above the work or under the work.  As presented here, it is useful for assembly, inspection and oiling.  Once you buy a boom you have a very versatile system.

The AO 570 was AO's top of the line high resolution scope and should not be confused with the 569 (lower resolution) or the 571 (fixed magnification).  They only ended production when industry shifted to digital imaging.

This is a great setup if you are a serious watchmaker but are not yet heavy into lathe work.

Since it IS an AO 570, you have a zoom factor of .7 to 4.2X.  Comes with original AO 10X and 15X eyepieces which provide a max. magnification of over 60X.

AO American Optical 570 B&L Bausch lomb Sterozoom Nikon Stereo Microscope Watchmaking watch repair restoration equipment for saleAO American Optical 570 B&L Bausch lomb Sterozoom Nikon Stereo Microscope Watchmaking watch repair restoration equipment for sal

 

AO American Optical 570 B&L Bausch lomb Sterozoom Nikon Stereo Microscope Watchmaking watch repair restoration equipment for sal

PRICE: $285 shipped in USA

NIKON SM-6

This is a FIXED magnification microscope that has a 2X objective.  With the two pairs of Nikon eyepieces (10X and 15X) it provides magnifications of 20 and 30 powers.  This is great for most applications and especially for working at the lathe.  I have a provided a Nikon .7X auxiliary lens to increase working distance and decrease magnification.

This scope is about the least expensive option.  While it lacks zoom, it is theoretically optically superior since there are fewer optical elements in the light path.

The focus block is included and you can either mount it on your own post and aluminum/hardboard base for inspection, assembly and oiling.  This is also a great setup for adjusting escapements.

The microscope body rotates in its mount and has a capture screw to keep it from falling out of the mount.

Nikon Stereo Microscope Watchmaking watch repair restoration equipment for sale

 

Nikon Stereo Microscope Watchmaking watch repair restoration equipment for sale

PRICE:  $285 Shipped in USA

 

 

 

 

NIKON SMZ-2B

This is a highly adaptable scope and set up.  The Zoom is .8X to 4X giving a magnification of 8 to 40 power with the included Nikon 10X eyepieces.  It is easy to locate auxiliary objectives for changing the working distance and total magnification.  Put a standard 10mm reticule in one eyepiece and measure your work while it is on the lathe.  The included LED ringlight provides ample illumination.  The AO boom stand is readily configurable for the bench or at small machine tools (lathe, Sherline mill, drill press).

I use a .5X auxiliary lens for my Nikon at the bench, but this will work just like the AO 570 w/o the extra lens at the lathe.

The microscope body rotates in its mount and has a capture screw to keep it from falling out of the mount.

 SMZ Nikon Stereo Microscope Watchmaking watch repair restoration equipment for sale  SMZ Nikon Stereo Microscope Watchmaking watch repair restoration equipment for sale

PRICE:  $395 plus Shipping  SOLD!!

 

 

 

 

 

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