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Author Topic: when taking apart a pocket watch...  (Read 13163 times)
mythdude
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« on: November 28, 2008, 08:09:42 am »

Recently, I was attempting to take apart a pocket watch I have, and must say i was rather stumped how you actually get the back off and what not...I tried prying with a small screwdriver, but as i felt nothing give i decided it would be better to find a different method than to break either the watch or the tool...help would be much appreciated.

Thanks
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Gaspard de Coligny
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2008, 10:00:57 am »

Recently, I was attempting to take apart a pocket watch I have, and must say i was rather stumped how you actually get the back off and what not...I tried prying with a small screwdriver, but as i felt nothing give i decided it would be better to find a different method than to break either the watch or the tool...help would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Beware... our beloved watch taliban might be around...
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lilibat
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lilibat
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2008, 10:16:01 am »

Some backs pry off, some screw off. I'm not telling you to screw off, but the watch might be.
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Sir Nikolas Vendigroth
Captain Spice
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2008, 02:24:46 pm »

Is there a nail nick that you can get a fingernail into, so that you can prise it off?

Pictures would help in deciding what sort it is.
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HAC
Steam Theologian
Zeppelin Overlord
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HAC_N800
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2008, 02:59:56 am »

Depends on the watch.. If its new and Chinese or quartz , its probably a snap-on -  look for a nail nick in the seam. If its vintage and American, most likely its a screw on back, and should unscrew..
I refer you to:

http://brassgoggles.co.uk/brassgoggles/200805/the-horological-steampunk-episode-i
   

Cheers
Harold

« Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 03:01:42 am by HAC » Logged

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mythdude
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2008, 12:02:19 am »

I had no idea that it could be a screw on back...that would be why i couldn't figure it out.


Thanks
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HAC
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HAC_N800
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2008, 12:42:24 am »

No problem... (and I didn't even ask why you were taking it apart Grin )
I should really get my act together and finish the rest of those BG aryciles on pocket watches...

Cheers
Harold
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Kor Greenfield
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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2008, 03:26:58 pm »

Mine has neither a nail nick, nor does it screw off. It just snaps on and off, but the whole thing is bloody difficult to get apart. Do some of them require a blade of some kind to remove?
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HAC
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HAC_N800
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2008, 10:57:22 pm »

Mine has neither a nail nick, nor does it screw off. It just snaps on and off, but the whole thing is bloody difficult to get apart. Do some of them require a blade of some kind to remove?
A case knife is your friend - rounded thin bqlde, not sharp, insert into the seam and twist GENTLY..

Cheers
Harold
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mythdude
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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2008, 06:44:33 am »

so my problem now is when i try to unscrew it, i get the faceplate (i dunno if thats the correct term...the part with the glass and such), but not the back....suggestions?
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Zwack
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And introducing the wonderful Irish (Mrs Z).


« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2008, 03:22:05 pm »

so my problem now is when i try to unscrew it, i get the faceplate (i dunno if thats the correct term...the part with the glass and such), but not the back....suggestions?


A photograph would definitely help...

Of my two pocket watches one has a front and back that are hinged, and the other has a bezel holding the crystal that screws on.

Once the bezel is removed the movement is hinged and will swing forward when the crown is pulled out.

Is it possible that yours does the same?  Is there a line on the case showing that the back should unscrew?

Z.
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mythdude
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United States United States


« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2008, 07:45:53 am »

sorry for no picture, I'll try to get ahold of a camera...there is a line which makes it seem like the back should unscrew, after unscrewing the faceplate (bezel?) i tried to move the movement, and it did not move, although i did not use much force.
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Sir Nikolas Vendigroth
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« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2008, 10:40:18 am »

Movements, in my experience, are held down by a pair of screws inside the back of the case.
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Zwack
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And introducing the wonderful Irish (Mrs Z).


« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2008, 03:36:48 pm »

I guess I should have been clearer.  One of my pocket watches has a removable front bezel.  Once that is removed there is a visible nail nick in the case under the bezel.  The crown is pulled out (as is done for setting) and then the movement can swing forward on a hinged section of case.  The movement is screwed into the case, but in a hinged section.  Some movements are held in with a single screw and a pin, but they are all held into the case.

Z.
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rogue_designer
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clockwork gypsy


« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2008, 03:43:11 pm »

mythdude - I suspect that the back is also a screw on - but is just a bit stuck.

Try using a bit of leather, or rubber padding to try and get more purchase. I usually hold a pocketwatch whose back I want to open (with the crystal still on it) face down in my palm and stem between my thumb and forefinger - then I can prevent the face from opening, and only work on the back.
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« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2008, 03:44:54 pm »

Harold recommends wearing rubber kitchen gloves for better gripping while pressing. There's a special too for it too, but I dont see why rubber dish gloves wouldn't doo just as good.
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HAC
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HAC_N800
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2008, 06:46:37 pm »

The rubber gloves trick works well, gives just enough grip for most cases. If its really stuck, or cross threaded, then you might need some of the more specialized tools. One that my wathcmaker has is a set of suction dies for his Horotec case opeinng tool. the Horotec base system is about $1000.00 and the suction dies are another $300.00 or si, but that setup willl open any screwback case, without marring or other damage to the watch. Bergeron, makes a $4.00 pocket watch case operne that looks a bit like a hockey puck with a concave fase. Its flexible soft rubber and uses a combination of friction anc suction to open cases. Its a very good gadget.

Cheers
Harold
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Prof. Friedrich VonHart, PhD
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United States United States


The clockwork crusader of truth


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« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2008, 09:16:03 pm »

I've got one of the cheap $4 ones, and it works great.
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