Case Cushions - The Essential Basic Tools of Watchmaking
Case cushions are another less essential but still useful tool for a watchmaker. In most cases your bench mat may be a little too hard to work on your movement or more fragile parts. Also putting a watch crystal side down on your bench mat or work bench while trying to open the case back is just asking for trouble. This is where a case cushion comes in very handy.
They are available in a variety of materials including leather, silicone and gel as well as multiple sizes, common sizes are 55mm and 75mm diameters. Some may even include a dust cover.
I currently have two case cushions, a 50mm diameter padded case cushion and a 75mm diameter gel cushion. They both serve a purpose: the 50mm padded cushion is the perfect size for movements and parts (less so for cases) and has a good level of give, but the black colour makes it harder to see parts. The 75mm gel cushion is a much better lighter colour and a better size for cases. It is slightly too firm to work on parts but offers a better grip on a crystal for opening a notched screw case back.
Bergeon and Horotec are the two main case cushion manufacturers.
Basic Variety = from £4
Branded Variety = from £20
Not essential but useful when working on a movement outside of the movement holder and reviewing parts. Definitely not worth the investment in a branded option as cheap options are good enough.
If you think I've missed anything or have anything to add, please comment below.