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    Horological DIY: How To Open A Screw-Back Watch Case

    Opening a screw-back watch case is a fairly simple operation and allows you to change the battery of a quartz watch (as long as the watch has a screw-back) or to diagnose some common problems in a mechanical watch (eg. so long as you know what you’re looking for, but that’s a topic for another post).

    Understand that this procedure requires some finesse and patience (and may scratch your watch case if you’re not careful), but once you get the hang of it, it’s fairly easy to do and can help. save a big bill at your local watchmaker – just try not to leave the case out of the watch for too long, as you’re just inviting dust, hair and all sorts of dirt into a very delicate mechanical system.

    Reading: Open back of watch

    1Get the right tools. While you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on the grade of tools used by professionals, there are a few things that are essential if you want to open your own cash fund ( see buying guide below). At a minimum, a friction ball, a snare back wrench, a snare stand, and a common vise will make your life easier (you could possibly do without the snare stand and vise, but if If you want to drastically reduce the chance of scratching the back of the box, we highly recommend these. Plus, you should already have a shop vice lying around. What kind of man doesn’t have a shop vice?)

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    2Use the friction ball. If the case back hasn’t fully fitted to the watch case, you can use that handy and inexpensive friction ball to pry it open. in this case, simply turn the watch over, hold it with one hand by the watch strap, and hold the friction ball against the case back with the other hand. apply a little pressure and turn the ball counterclockwise; if the back of the case is loose enough, it should unscrew fairly easily.

    3Set up your workspace. If the friction ball didn’t work, chances are the last person who tinkered with your watch screwed the case all the way down, and in this case , you’re going to have to use the back box key to open it. First things first: take the box holder and place it in the vise, securing it in place so it doesn’t move. then place your watch (dial down) on the case mount and tighten the nylon pins to secure it (if you want to make sure you don’t damage the case at all, we recommend running a cleaning cloth over the pins before placing your clock). clock on the stand).

    4Install the caseback key. Although it’s probably better to invest in a thinner caseback key designed by Jaxa or LG if you’re a professional watchmaker, a less expensive version is usually fine for our purposes (note that the cheaper the tool, the quicker and more likely the threading will come undone). your wrench will likely come with several different types of chucks, which are the little pieces that fit into the actual slots on the back of the case (some are polygonal, some are slotted, some are small holes, etc.). Find the type that matches the slots on the back of your case and screw it into the three threaded slots on your faucet; make sure you screw each one all the way in, or they’ll be at different heights, and you won’t be able to grip the bottom of the box very well.

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    5size the key. ok, now the tricky part begins: to fit the key to the case back of your particular watch, you must first carefully hold the key on the case so that one of the chucks aligns with one of the slots on the back of the case; this way you can see what kind of adjustments need to be made to the key (of course this needs to be done carefully and with a steady hand, lest it slip and scratch the case back). once you’ve lined up a chuck, size the key so that the opposite chuck from the first one fits into the opposite slot in the back of the case; this is done by adjusting a thumbwheel on the key between the two chucks. now try to carefully fit the chucks into the slots on the back of the case; if they don’t line up properly, readjust the thumbwheel on the wrench until they do.

    6start opening the back of the box. At this point, if you find that you have a good grip on the back of the box with just the two chucks, you can try opening the back of the box. later. very carefully, holding the key firmly with one hand and while applying slight downward pressure with the other hand, try to move the key counterclockwise. if the case back is really stuck there, you may need to put a third chuck in the third key holder and adjust until all three fit into the slots in the case back (to move the third mandrel). of the other two, turn the handle of the key on the back of the box clockwise and counterclockwise). you now have three evenly spaced chucks gripping the back of the case, and the extra surface area should help you get some leverage (again, be careful not to let the chucks slip and scratch the back of the case! !).

    7Open the back of the box with the ball. Once you have partially unscrewed the back of the box, you can lower the key and use the friction ball to open it all the way. without any risk of scratching it. if you’re working on a quartz watch, you can now change the battery, and if you’re working on a mechanical watch, you’re now free to do whatever you need to do there (what exactly are you doing there, just looking around for the sake of it?) fascination? okay, okay, I’m guilty of doing this myself), just keep in mind, once again, that the longer you’re out of the box, the more opportunities there are. for schmutz to get in there and stir up the motion (if you don’t know what “schmutz” is, find a yiddish dictionary; that’s your homework for the day), so don’t put the case behind you for too long. do what you have to and reverse these steps to screw it back on so that it forms a tight seal, but not so tight that it’s impossible to remove again.

    the team

    These are some good options for the aforementioned tools:large clock movement & esslinger case $18esslinger friction ball to open watch case $6esslinger waterproof watch case key $17microfiber cloth to polish jewelry by esslinger $3

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