12 Best Watch Loupe Guide & List
A watch loupe is an accessory that all watch enthusiasts should have in their possession. The benefit of a loupe is that they are usually quite small, which enables you to bring them with you at any time. A watch loupe can come in handy when you are inspecting a watch, as it allows you to see a watch and all its intricate details up close.
With the help of a loupe, you can inspect a watch’s true condition and details, which you may otherwise not see.
With that said, a loupe is something that you simply must-have. But with so many on the market to choose from, which should you have? In this guide, we list some of the best watch loupes. They are often also referred to as a ”watchmaker’s loupe”.
What is a watch loupe?
A watch loupe may or may not be different from a regular loupe. This means a small magnification device used to see small details more closely. Most watch loupes don’t feature a handle, which makes them more compact and easy to carry. The single most important thing you want to pay attention to when buying a loupe (apart from the quality), is the magnification. The higher the magnification, the closer you will be able to see all the details of a watch up close.
There are many different variants of a watch loupe. The most basic is a simple circular loupe, equipped with a magnification glass. The most advanced also include LED lights to make it easier to see small details. They come both foldable and non-foldable.
What makes a watch loupe good and why you need one
The primary reason you need a loupe is that it allows you to inspect small intricate details difficult to see with the naked eye. This may include getting a better understanding of any damage or patina of the watch, the movement’s condition, but it also allows you to view and appreciate the great level of detail and craftsmanship that has gone into making your watch.
With so many different loupes on the market, what should you consider when buying one? There are loupes with different magnification but also different designs and tech.
A key difference between loupes is handheld vs non-hand-held. You have probably seen that watchmakers have their loupe attached to the eye which gives them free hands to work on the watch. If you are a watch collector and watch enthusiast who will only use the loupe to inspect a watch, a hand-held loupe will work perfectly. Furthermore, for several loupes, it is also possible to buy a holder afterward which enables you to fix it to your eye, shall you wish to do so.
Another specification that can be confusing is the X magnifications that different loupes have. The most common is a 10X magnification, but loupes can also be found with 20x, 30x,40x, or even higher magnification. Naturally, the higher the magnification, the more it will be able to magnify and give a closer look. The catch is that just like with a camera – when the magnification level is increased, the field-of-view and depth-of-field are reduced. Whilst it can be interesting to see a watch extremely close up, it is generally not necessary with very high magnification. These are primarily used for inspecting inclusions in gemstones. The issue with a loupe that has a high magnification is that it requires more light in order to give a detailed and clear view. With that said, there are loupes with built-in lights that can compensate this, but it will be more convenient to choose a loupe with a lower magnification, depending on how and where you plan to use it.
When it comes to loupe magnification specifications, you will also find that different loupes may have a double lens or even triple-lens. What does this mean? Generally, the cheaper loupes only use one lens. Double and triple means that it uses either two or three lenses. A double lens loupe improves the chromatic color but due to the nature of combining two lenses, it will only give a clear view in the center of the focus point. A triplet loupe, however, solves this issue by giving a perfect focal point in the whole field of view. With that said, a triplet lens is what you should opt for if you want the best performance.
Best watch loupes
Bergeon is the king of watch tools. Bergeon makes some of the best watch tools in the industry and is used by a lot of professional watchmakers. With that said, we would expect their loupe to be one of the best in the industry as well.
Bergeon makes several different loupes (more on that later), and this is the most professional they offer. The loupe has a magnification of 15x, which is generally more than most loupes magnify.
The loupe has a double lens eyeglass, and the lenses are removable.
Another watch loupe magnifier from Bergeon is the 2611-TN. Like all their products, it is made in Switzerland and is high quality. It is ergonomically shaped and lightweight. The additional viewing port gives air circulation which makes it more pleasant to use. This is done to prevent tarnishing or fogging on the lens. Furthermore, this loupe is equipped with a screw cap for easy replacement or cleaning the lens. It offers a magnification of 6.7X, which of course isn’t the best in the industry, but in many cases, it may very well be enough if you don’t need to see a watch extremely up close.
- Thickness: 1.5
- Magnification: 6.7 x
- Lens diameter: 25 mm
- Loupe Height: 33 mm
- Weight: 10 g
Bausch & Lomb is another well-known loupe manufacturer. This loupe has a lightweight glass lens magnifier and is manufactured for headband attachment, which is great for watchmakers. It comes with a protective storage pouch which allows you to easily and safely transport it and carry it with you.
The loupe magnifies to 10x. The design is quite basic, so if you are looking for a simple and straightforward loupe to get the job done, this could be a good choice.
The Jarlink loupe is a more serious watch loupe. It magnifies either 30x or 60X, depending on the lens you use. With that said, it comes with two different lenses, which is great as it allows you to switch between them as appropriate and depending on what you are inspecting.
Furthermore, it is equipped with lights on the sides which you can easily turn on. The bright LED light shines a light on the object you are inspecting and gives you a clearer view, even in dark environments. The lights also help improve clarity.
It is durable and lightweight, made in aluminum and featuring plastic housing, small and lightweight. Come with a handy little fabric bag in the package to keep the loupe magnifier safe and dust-free. It comes with a portable design that can easily be folded to fit into your pocket or bag in a safe and protected way when you are not using it.
The BelOMO 10x loupe magnifies 10x and uses 3 lenses schema. The large 21mm Achromatic Triplet Lens catch lots of light which improves the clarity and sharpness. The loupe offers a 17mm viewing area which makes it very easy and straightforward to use. Its optical quality glass lenses make its clarity and sharpness perfect. It is widely used by professionals.
As the name suggests, it uses three different lenses made of different types of optical glass. These are in turn bonded together with the purpose of straightening out the light that comes into the front of the loupe. Furthermore, the lenses are achromatic, color correcting, and anti-reflective.
The loupe is assembled with screws instead of rivets, which also allows for adjustment
This loupe offers 10x magnification and has a 6 LED Light and UV light built-in. It is also equipped with a 21mm triplet lens to enable achromatically and alphabetically corrected viewing. The light is easily switched on with a switch – one for UV and one for LED. It is made of a metal case.
Swiss Reimagined is a popular portable and easy-to-use loupe. It is lightweight and robust, made from aluminum. It is quite comfortable to use against the eye.
Thanks to the 4x magnification sapphire glass which is held in place by a screw, it allows you to adjust the magnification, which is a nice feature.
The 10x illuminated loupe is exactly what it sounds like. A loupe that offers a 10X magnification and has built-in lights. It has a field view of 25mm and features 8 LED lights built-in. It comes delivered with a synthetic leather case which makes it easy to carry around.
The Formline loupe is a pocket-size, portable, and durable loupe that is easy and great to bring with you. It has built-in led lights that help you view an item regardless of the light. To use it, simply unfold and flip the magnifiers LED.
This is another loupe from Bausch & Lomb, and like all their products, it is high-quality and well-built. This magnifier has three separate glass lenses bonded together which allows for sharper and more distinct magnified viewing. The swing plate both protects the lens when it is not in use but also serves as a handle which makes it ergonomic and easy to use. A protective storage pouch is included for easy transportation and travel. It has a focal distance of 2.0 cm.
EnTech loupe is a foldable and small magnifying glass which makes it a great travel loupe, or simply to carry in your pocket. It also comes with a protective case which helps keep it protected. It features a dial option lens and two bright LED lights for clear and easy viewing in any condition. It comes with two different lenses (30x and 60x magnification, which is always a bonus when it comes to loupes).
It has an aluminum alloy shell cover as well as environmental plastic and acrylic glass lenses.
The BronaGrand 30x loupe magnifies to 30x which is generally more than enough for most purposes. It is made of zinc alloy glass holder and has 2 pieces high quality optical glass lens. It is also lightweight and easy to carry with a size of about 40*30mm/1.57*1.18inch. The optical lens has a diameter of approximately 36mm/1.42inch.