For a screw-off back, you should be able to see a seam-line that separates the back from the body of the case. For help on this, check out our article on How to Replace a Watch Gasket. Using a Rubber Ball on a Screw-Back Watch 1. You need to be extra careful when dealing with these watches since they can easily break. A hinged case back is like a snap-off case back, except the case back is attached to the case body with a hinge. There are different ways to open these pocket watches. As with a snap-off case, a careful examination of the rim of the case back will almost always reveal a little notch or wide-spot in the rim where you can insert a case-knife or very strong thumbnail to open the back. This is the most common way to deal with it. Have fun and be careful. You must insert the tip of the screwdriver in one of the small notches around the back plate's seal and twist the blade to pop it open. The crown (winding knob) is almost always at 12 O'clock while the second hand is at 6 O'clock. Unless you have figured out how to open it with the aid of these sharp objects, you have to stop using them first. Crystals for instance are very sensitive. Place the watch face down on your soft cloth. Those who are considered experts in opening pocket watches have tried dealing with different types of watches. SCREW BACK & BEZEL CASES (POCKET WATCH): This is probably the most common type of pocket watch cases around. My Hanilton 23 pocket watch, just back from service, still has one outstanding problem which I'm not sure how to deal with - a problem in two parts. Take note that you are dealing with old pocket watches that you have just found or was given to you. Using excess pressure, or not keeping good control of the blade, could result in a big scratch on your watch and a slice out of your thumb. Avoid pressing the pocket watch since there are sensitive parts inside that could be pressed and broken. Screw-down models feature notches around the edges of the case back. It is typical for an open-faced watch to have the pendant located at 12:00 and the sub-second dial located at 6:00. It starts to unscrew very smoothly then seizes up, with one side slightly higher than the other, and then refuses to unscrew any further. You can always get help from someone who knows how to open a pocket watch. Can someone suggest a non- destruction technique to open it? Insert the tip of a small screwdriver, the type of screwdriver that could be used on eyeglasses, into the crevice between where the pop-up watch back meets the watch case. The case body and back are made as one piece, so there is no separation between the case back and the case body. If you are really curious to see what is inside, then you need to open it slowly and carefully. Ziiiro took a minimalist approach to the pocket watch, and we couldn’t be … There might also be some thorny parts or broken glasses inside it that could possibly infect you if you use your bare hands. If the case back hasn’t been tightened down to the watch case all the way, you can use that handy, inexpensive friction ball to open it. The case front and back either thread or "pop" off … SCREW ON BEZEL AND BACK. The first step once you are ready to close a watch case is to check the watch gasket. Place your fingernail, or a flat, blunt object like a Popsicle stick, into the slot at the bottom of the watch, below the 6. Many times, hinged case backs have both an inner and outer metal cover. Use alternative methods, such as the palm of your hand or a jar opener, if your finger tips alone won't loosen the back cover for removal. If you carefully examine the rim of the case, where the back meets the body, you'll usually find a small notch, just large enough to allow you to get the edge, not the tip, of your knife in the notch. Finding an old pocket watch alone is already a rare opportunity. Open face - Open face pocket watches have a clear crystal (glass) on the front. Upon opening it, you will see its parts scattered all over the floor. The difference is that the snap-off case back isn't threaded; it simply "snaps" into place on the back of the watch case. There are cases when you can open the watch using sharp objects such as: In one wrong move, you can scratch the watch or even break it apart. Before the glue sets, press the watch back-down into the glue and allow the glue to set. Turn the watch on its side and look for a lip or notch in the seam of the back cover. These cheap watches usually have large pinions that are unbreakable. Once the bezel is removed, you'll see that the movement mounting ring is hinged, usually at the 12:00 position (sometimes at the 3:00 as in the photos below). Opening it is also another challenge. Once the case rim is worn out, the only real option is to have it repaired by a skilled goldsmith. It does not help if you keep on figuring out how to open it if the item is already about to be damaged. By then, if you encounter another rare find the next time around, you can open it yourself. To open the watch, you depress the crown (the winding knob) which is connected through a spring to the latch. The only real … I have a pocket watch with a 20 year gold screwback case that has a stuck bezel that resists all efforts to open. So to close the cover on a hunter-case watch: first depress the latch button, then close the cover with your fingers on the edge of the cover, then release the latch button. Some other watches can only be opened using a sharp knife to separate the top and bottom parts. A properly functioning hunter case has a latch, usually made of steel, which catches on the rim of the front cover, usually made of gold or gold-plated brass, and keeps the cover closed. And don't force anything! Most of the time, the bezel is hinged as well. To make it worse, when that happens, you'll be so upset that you won't notice the little broken stem part rolling around inside the case, and it will fall out and be lost, making it much more difficult for your watchmaker to reproduce the stem without being able to measure the broken pieces. An open-faced, or Lépine, watch, is one in which the case lacks a metal cover to protect the crystal. Slide the piece … American Waltham 18s in Crescent swing-out case. Here is a video on how to open a pocket watch case (screw on and snap on): Finding an old watch is a very rare chance and so you need to make the most out of it by taking care of what you have found. Whatever you do, don't force it. While we can't make you an antique watch expert with just a few web pages, we can share a little of our knowledge with you in order to help you learn more about your vintage or antique watch. This simple habit will save you from a costly case or crystal repair down the road. You have to be careful when closing a snap-off case back to make sure you have it properly aligned. View our, How to Make a Gold Pan: The Simple Way to Start Finding Gold, How to Cut a Geode: 6 Ways to Do It Successfully, 1944 Jefferson Nickel – Silver Wartime Nickel, 1950 Wheat Penny Value in Uncirculated Penny, 1907 Barber Quarter – Value in the Proof and Silver, 1952 Half Dollar – Higher Value with Full Bell Lines. Lay a soft cloth on a flat surface. Smaller pocket watches, and some inexpensive larger watches, are frequently mounted in cases whose back (and bezel) simply snap on (and off). 2. If you have tried everything you possibly could and you still can’t open the pocket watch, you need to find an expert to do it for you. Reproduced from Jewelers' Circular. The inner cover, called the "cuvette", has its own separate hinge and opens just like the outer case back... except the little groove for your knife is even smaller, and it's even easier to scratch the cuvette if you slip. By then, you won’t have to worry about breaking the item. This type of pocketwatch case is best opened with a case opening tool, or a watchmaker's case-knife. Getting to the battery Having got thus far you don't want to cause damage getting your battery out. Therefore, you can count on them to do the job. Some others are enclosed on a protective case first you can reach into the actual pocket watch. Doing so will quickly wear out the spot on the case-rim where the latch engages, especially if you're lucky enough to have a solid gold case. PocketwatchRepair.com, Pocketwatch 101™, ElginWatchRepair.com, HamiltonWatchRepair.com. The swing-ring case was advertised as the most dust-proof and moisture-proof case of its time. So the answer is simple: just be sure to pull the crown and stem out into the "setting position" before trying to swing-out the movement. Other watch tools like the crystal or case press will press on friction watch backs and fit watch crystals in the same way. A lip on the case back can be found at 6 or 12 o’clock. Examine the Tissot watch case back to determine whether it’s a snap-down or screw-down case back. To my amazement, the back began to unscrew, yielding to years of … They can also give you advice on how to properly use the watch. If you happen to find a very old watch, the parts might have been shaken several times and dislodged. There are different ways to open these pocket watches. The steel latch is much harder than either the soft gold of a karat case, or even the gold-plated brass of a gold-filled case. Site Copyright: D. Stuart, Renaissance Watch Repair © 2002 - 2018. Loosen and remove any screws holding the back plate in place using a small Philips head screwdriver. Gaskets can get old or be damaged during repair – if you are concerned about the state of your gasket, replace it. But here's where most folks get in trouble. If you can’t figure out how to open it, you need to place it on a container where it can be secure. This is the most common way to deal with it. When closing a hunter-case watch, it's important that you don't "snap" the case-lid shut. Once set, securely grip the watch case, careful to not exert any pressure on the pendant, and turn. Using Your Thumbnail. Although you can hold the watch in your hand while you work, … Ziiiro Titan Pocket Watch. You can also learn from experts how to properly open different types of watch. How To Open Back Of Illinois Pocket Watch July 30, 2018 - by Anisa - Leave a Comment Instructions on setting a lever set watch darlor vine american pocket watches illinois 21 jewel bunn special open illinois 21 jewel 60 hour bunn special antique illinois pocket watch repair This watch is good to 100m. Waltham 18s side-winder in hinged front and back karat case. You will usually notice around the edge of the case a very fine to faint line. Let's look at each of these in more detail: As the name suggests, the backs of these sorts of pocket watch cases simply unscrew. Some of them would require a snap-off on the latch. If you try to swing the movement out and it catches partway and doesn't want to come out, try wiggling and turning the winding crown a bit to see if it will come free. If you have found one that was washed off into the seashore, your first task is to open it. The winding stem, which connects the winding knob (the crown) to the watch mechanism, is still engaged in the movement. If you force it, as many people oddly seem to believe is the right way to proceed, you will almost certainly break the stem, and then you will no longer be able to wind or set the watch. Hinged-back: hinge visible on back. I would recommend using a magnifying glass to figure out how the battery is retained before attempting to remove it. To open a swing-out case, you first remove the front bezel and crystal, which is almost always a screw-off front. What does "Adjusted to Temperature and Positions" mean? I wouldn't expect it to be a snap on bezel. Move the screwdriver up and down to pry the watch case back open. I like to get the case back "hooked" on the rim on one side, and then using my thumbs slide around the perimeter of the case while applying downward pressure. the press backs use to have a slight notch to insert a "knife type tool". To open, they simply unscrew counter clockwise. Sometimes the clearance between the case lid and the crystal is VERY small, and we've seen many a broken crystal from someone closing their hunter case with a big ol' thumb pushing down right in the middle of the case-lid. Snap-backs are found on older models. I've never seen a case that wasn't a standard right-hand thread, so righty-tighy lefty-loosey applies. These are about the most common types of pocket watch cases. It's probably one of four most common types: a screw-off back, a snap-off back, a hinged back, or a swing-out case. You can read the full disclosure, TreasurePursuits.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. A watch with a cover over the face is known as a hunting case pocket watch; a watch with no cover over the face is said to have an open face. Display cases, also called salesmen's cases, are those with crystals on both sides of the watch. Web Design: Image Renaissance Digital Media. Please don't be tempted to get your 12" slip-joint pliers and start working on it... you won't be happy with the results. No amount of bending and twisting of the case lid and hinges is going to make the latch hold once the case rim is worn out. It was made by the Illinois Watch Case Co. There are different types of pocket watches and you may break it if you don’t open it properly. Search for the small groove that runs around the edge of the back casing of the watch. "You need to be extra careful when dealing with these watches since they can easily break.". If you've tried to open it by hand, or maybe with the help of a rubber jar opener and still can't get it, it's probably best to let a professional attempt to take it off. You can ask for an expert to do the job. The metal case back is cross-threaded. Pocket watches (or fob watches) carry with them an air of refinement where those who sport this classy watch, really have an old-fashioned yet stylistic trend going for them. Just open it and try to put the dislocated wheel back in and carefully screw the plates together and see if it works. Remove the back plate by prying it up with a small flat head screwdriver. When this happens the case can be VERY difficult to open. Crescent Watch Case Company ad for Swinging, Ring cases. http://www.pocketwatchrepair.com/how-to/open-pocketwatch-cases.php, https://www.pocketwatch.co.uk/page/types_of_pocket_watches/, http://www.thewatchguy.com/pages/OPENCASE.html, http://www.pocketwatchrepair.com/how-to/identify-pocketwatch-cases.php, http://walthampocketwatchinfo.blogspot.com/2013/11/how-to-open-waltham-pocket-watch.html, This post may contain affiliate links. You don’t want to wreck it just because you are very careless. On cheap, simple watches, your thumbnail is the perfect tool. Worn on a chain that connects it from inside one’s vest or pocket, this beauty is definitely something that the older generation of men will find timeless. There might be alignment marks or pins that have to be in the right places. A snap-off case back is fully detachable from the case body, just like a screw-off case back. You may need to use force, but be careful not to scratch the watch … The hinge is usually found at the 6:00 position, unless it's a "side-winder" watch (as in the photo below) in which case the hinge will be at the 9:00 position. Now pay attention, because the swing-out case is the trickiest of the bunch. You don’t know what the watch has gone through before it has reached your hands. These cases were also called "swing-ring" or "swinging ring" cases by their original manufacturer, the Crescent Watch Case Company. We hope we can provide answers to some of the more common questions you may have about your vintage watch, and help you learn more about this fascinating area of American history. TREEWETO Pocket Watch to My Son | Mother and Son - Graduation Gifts for Him 2020 - Engraved “to My Son Love Mom” Pocket Watches - for Son from Mom for … You need to analyze first what type of watch you are dealing with and if it is still in good condition. If it's a screw-off back there should be no sign of a hinge attaching the back to the body. Summary of Pocket Watch Case Opening Styles: Screw-off back: no hinge on the back, visible seam around rim of case back with no visible "notch" in seam for... Snap-off back: no hinge on the back, visible seam with notch for case-knife. It is possible that you can’t open it with your bare hands. It is better to be safe than sorry. That's because the watch movement is mounted in a ring which is hinged to the inside of the case body. It might have been dipped in chemicals or poisonous substances. another problem is poor manufactioning, the back may never "pop off". Some other watches can only be opened using a sharp knife to separate the top and bottom parts. The back unscrews OK. No obvious dents or damage, no apparent corrosion. You will need to remove the case back to change the watch battery or to perform watch maintenance. The knob will release the pin that keeps the entire piece together. Step 1: Is it "Open Face" or "Hunting" style? Sometimes it's possible to get some corrosion between the case back and the body. Steel latch catches on the rim of the front cover of the case. If there are no notches or lip, your Tissot may have a pressurized case back. Photo Instructions: How to Set a "Lever-Set" Pocket Watch. There are ways though for a non-expert like you on how to open a pocket watch easily. 1957 Silver Quarter – The Value Is In Silver and Proofs. Just a little side to side wiggle of the blade is usually enough to pop it open. More people damage their watches trying to open swing-ring cases than any other case style. IllinoisWatchRepair.com, WalthamWatchRepair.com are registered trademarks. This is where the case ring and the bezel and back come together. Weekly and Horological Review, March 13, 1901. You need to carefully analyze the watch, find out if there are loose items inside and determine how it is properly opened. It's also important that you don't press the cover down into the crystal of the watch. 2 Use the friction ball. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If we want to open the watch case so that we can see the movement (the working parts) of the watch, then we've got to figure out what kind of case it is. It's best if the blade is dull; you're asking for trouble if you use a really sharp knife and I won't be responsible when you bleed on the rug. There are different types of pocket watches like screw-off case back, hinged back and bezel, and swing out case. Work the head of a small screwdriver or the edge of a small, dull knife gently into the groove. While holding the watch stationary in your opposite hand, keep your finger tips pressed firmly on the back of the watch and turn them counterclockwise. movado watches have a snap back, meaning the back of the watch case pops open. Sometimes, these cases get stuck and are very hard to open. Of course, you don’t want this to happen. But if it doesn't open easily, don't force it or you'll break the stem. cheap watches (including pocket watches) are designed to fool you. Here's the internals. How to Tell if Your Vintage Watch Case is Gold or Gold-plated, How to Use Our Vintage Watch Serial Number / Date Tables to Find the Age of Your Watch, How to Determine the Value of Your Vintage or Antique Watch, Selected Books for Watch Enthusiasts and Collectors. In this case, simply flip the watch over, grip it in one hand by the watch strap, and hold the friction ball … This will prevent scratching the face of the watch. Some others are enclosed on a protective case first you can reach into the actual pocket watch. Even if it's a lever-set watch, you'll be able to snap the crown out a notch if it's a swing-out case. Closing the watch is just a reversal of this instructable. Place the watch down on a flat surface. Pull the knob at the top up, as if you are setting the time. This is the most common type of watch back. i use a jewelers hammer and a razor blade if i suspect its pop off. Often there's a little notch opposite the hinge where you can insert a thumbnail or case-knife to lift up the movement. Thus, you need something sharp. You adjust the wrench so that the three teeth fit snugly into three of the grooves of the watch-back and turn counter-clockwise to open. Some of them would require a snap-off on the latch. If you attempt to swing the movement up and out of the case, you will feel resistance when you start bending the stem sideways. Purchase a soft, mashable rubber ball. A case wrench will use fitted small pins to fit tightly to the back and unscrew the case back and the using a watch case holder can help hold the watch safely while you turn the tool. Rubber balls often have enough grip to pry off watch backings. Tips and Tricks for Opening and Closing Various Types of Pocket Watch Cases. Occasionally, a watch movement intended for a hunting case (with the winding stem at 3:00 and sub second dial at 6:00) will have an open-faced case.