GREASES, OILS & PASTES
Greases and oils are mainly used for lubrication. Grease is clearly thicker than oils, which also have different fluidities. In watchmaking, the further away from the barrel and the closer to the balance wheel, the more fluid the lubrication becomes. We start with grease and end with the most liquid of oils.
Grease is sometimes also used as a protective layer to avoid oxidation, for example on the bed of a lathe.
Pastes are mainly used for polishing. It can also be, although these two terms may be paradoxical, a “matt polish”. We are talking about abrasive pastes or polishing pastes. Diamantine, which is used to make the highest quality of polishing, the black polish, is the result of diamond powder often mixed with olive oil.
In the past, watchmakers used to take advantage of the cold winter to put their oil bottle outside and separate it into a thicker and a more liquid oil.
Greases are paste-like lubricants that consist of mineral oils, synthetic oils and thickeners. Greases may also contain additives and solid lubricants. Greases are used on the steel-steel friction points in movements.
Oils reduce friction between moving parts. In watchmaking, the rubies from the wheels and pinions are oiled. Oils are important in watches because they allow the parts to function properly, reduce operating losses and reduce wear.
Polishing any surface requires the use of an abrasive material that is intended to machine and transform a surface. The material in question is a powder mixed with a thinner which together create polishing pastes.