Every watchmaker has their own opinions on which oils and greases to use, and where to use them. Here I’m going to to go through which oils I use, but I strongly suggest you figure out, with trial and error, what works best for you.
The following 4 watchmaking oils and greases are the main ones I have used so far for non-automatic movements.
Moebius Natural Grease 8200 / Moebius Natural Grease 8300
Moebius Natural Grease 8200 is a semi-fluid thixotropic grease with good adhesion properties. In a static state it is quite thick but, when stressed, it will become more of a liquid state and flow easily, perfect for a spring. Moebius Natural Grease 8300 can be used as an alternative, but is a little less thixotropic and therefore more suited to hotter climates. Due to the fact I live in the UK, which is sadly not such a hot climate, I use the Moebius Natural Grease 8200.
- Mainspring, Inside Wall of Mainspring Barrel
- Moebius Natural Grease 8200: 3 Years
- Moebius Natural Grease 8300: 3 Years
New mainsprings are supplied lubricated and need no additional oil or grease. Just pop them into the barrel and you’re all set. Both Moebius Natural Grease 8200 and 8300 are available in a fluorescent variety.
- Moebius Natural Grease 8200: from £14 (20ml)
- Moebius Natural Grease 8300: from £14 (20ml)
Moebius Synt-A-Lube 9010 / Moebius Synta-Visco-Lube 9020
Moebius Synt-A-Lube 9010 is a 100% synthetic oil with very good resistance to aging and pressure, making it ideal for fast moving components. Moebius Synta-Visco-Lube 9020 is also a 100% synthetic oil with very good resistance to aging and pressure, but with a higher viscosity than Moebius Synt-A-Lube 9010, making it more suited to slower moving components. I was taught to use Moebius Synt-A-Lube 9010 and not had any reason to switch so far.
- Gear Train Pivots/Jewels on Escape Wheel and Fourth Wheel, Balance Staff, Barrel Arbor
- Moebius Synt-A-Lube 9010: 6 Years
- Moebius Synta-Visco-Lube 9020: 6 Years
Moebius Synt-A-Lube 9010 is available in blue, fluorescent and film forming varieties. Moebius Synta-Visco-Lube 9020 is available in red, fluorescent and film forming varieties.
- Moebius Synt-A-Lube 9010: from £21 (2ml) / from £47 (5ml)
- Moebius Synta-Visco-Lube 9020: from £21 (2ml) / from £41 (5ml)
Moebius Microgliss D-5 / Moebius Synt-HP-1300 9104
Moebius Microgliss D-5 is a combination of mineral and natural oil with specific additives to provide good stability and resistance to pressure. Moebius Synt-HP-1300 9104 is a 100% synthetic high pressure oil. Although they have a similar viscosity, the Moebius Synt-HP-1300 9104 is a better product than the Moebius Microgliss D-5 because it has twice the shelf life and also a wider temperature range of -25 °C to +100 °C, compared to the Moebius Microgliss D-5 that only has a range of -5 °C to +80 °C. I currently use Moebius Microgliss D-5 mainly due to the lower cost and have had no issues.
- Centre Wheel / Third Wheel Pivots, Keyless Work, Winding Stem, Canon Pinion
- Moebius Microgliss D-5 = 3 Years
- Moebius Synt-HP-1300 9104 = 6 Years
ETA recommend using Moebius Synt-HP-1300 9104 in their movements. Moebius Synt-HP-1300 9104 also comes in a fluorescent and colourless variety.
- Moebius Microgliss D-5 = from £33 (20ml) / from £66 (50ml)
- Moebius Moebius Synt-HP-1300 9104 = from £20 (2ml) / from £42 (5ml) / from £83 (20ml) / from £148 (50ml)
Moebius Synthetic Grease 9415
Moebius Synthetic Grease 9415 is a 100% synthetic thixotropic grease with good stability and excellent lubricity for effective wear reduction. It was specially developed for the lubrication of the escapement, it allows the formation of an effective lubricating film.
- Pallet Fork Exit Jewel
- Moebius Synthetic Grease 9415 = 6 Years
Moebius 9415 also comes in a fluorescent variety.
- Moebius Synthetic Grease 9415 = From £25 (2ml) / £94 (10ml)
The following watchmaking oils and greases were recommended to me as useful additions for automatic and chronograph movements:
Moebius Natural Grease 8217
Moebius Natural Grease 8217 is known as a ‘breaking grease’. It is specifically designed to help a mainspring ‘slip’ when it reaches full wind, as the mainspring is not static to the outside wall of the barrel, as in manual wind watches. This is something I have yet to purchase as we have yet to work on an automatic movement.
- Inside Wall of Mainspring Barrel on Automatic Watches
- Moebius Natural Grease 8217 = 3 Years
This isn’t instead of Moebius Natural Grease 8200/8300, as that is used on the mainspring itself.
- Moebius Natural Grease 8217 = from £21 (20ml)
Moebius Synthetic Grease 9504
Moebius Synthetic Grease 9504 is a 100% synthetic blue grease with a high stability to deformation and good lubricity under high pressure conditions allowing for reduced wear. This is also something I have yet to purchase as we have yet to work on chronograph movements but it was recommended by my teacher.
- High Friction Parts in Chronographs, Manual Wind/Automatics where Yoke Spring touches the Yoke, Winding Stem, Canon Pinion, Parts of Keyless Work
- Moebius Synthetic Grease 9504 = 6 years
Moebius Synthetic Grease 9504 also comes in a fluorescent and colourless variety.
- Moebius Synthetic Grease 9504 = from £57 (10ml)
Seiko Schematic Suggested Oils
If you work on older Seiko watches and use their schematics you will have noticed the regular references to Seiko Watch Oils S-2 to S-6 and Moebius Synt-A-Lube. You may want to purchase these specific oils/greases but I’ve found the following adequate substitutes which you most likely already own:
- Seiko S-1 =
- Seiko S-2 =
- Seiko S-3 =
- Seiko S-4 = Moebius 8301
- Seiko S-5 =
- Seiko S-6 = Moebius 8301???
- Moebius Synt-A-Lube = Moebius Microgliss D-5 / Moebius Synt-HP-1300 9104
When you are ready to purchase any oil or grease, I strongly suggest you contact the supplier first to check the expiry date for each one. You don’t want to purchase an oil that is meant to have a 6 year life span only to find that it will expire in 18 months.
If you think I’ve missed anything or have anything to add, please comment below.