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  1. #1
    Registered user. bchaps's Avatar
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    Default Unable to Remove Wristwatch Back Cover

    I received a clients Lucien Piccard (Dufonte Model) wristwatch which was his Grand Father's and given to my client just before his Grand Father passed away. Apparently, a timepiece isn't that important in eternity! However, I am unable to remove the back cover. It has the appearance of being a "screw down", but my Jaxa tool just can't budge it loose, even after soaking the back in liquid wrench for 24 hours. I also looked very closely to see if it may actually be a "Snap-on" cover, but it doesn't have any apparent lip to use a case knife on. I am at a loss how to proceed. Any ideas or suggestions will always be appreciated. Bill

    When Fried and deCarle haven't discussed it, ask the NAWCC Message Board.
    Bill...
    Member Chapter 1

  2. #2
    Registered user. bchaps's Avatar
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    Default Unable to Remove Wristwatch Back Cover (RE: bchaps)

    I received a clients Lucien Piccard (Dufonte Model) wristwatch which was his Grand Father's and given to my client just before his Grand Father passed away. Apparently, a timepiece isn't that important in eternity! However, I am unable to remove the back cover. It has the appearance of being a "screw down", but my Jaxa tool just can't budge it loose, even after soaking the back in liquid wrench for 24 hours. I also looked very closely to see if it may actually be a "Snap-on" cover, but it doesn't have any apparent lip to use a case knife on. I am at a loss how to proceed. Any ideas or suggestions will always be appreciated. Bill

    When Fried and deCarle haven't discussed it, ask the NAWCC Message Board.
    Bill...
    Member Chapter 1

  3. #3
    J.C.
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    Default Unable to Remove Wristwatch Back Cover (RE: bchaps)

    Bill, Not sure what you have with out seeing it, but to hazard a guess...

    A lot of these types of watches have what looks like a removable back, but in reality are one piece and come out through the crystal side. If it has a split stem, this would be the answer to your problem. Without seeing it, my response is merely a guess.

    My watch school instructor told me a long time ago "if you are forcing it, stop, you are doing something wrong" ......... good quote.

    As an aside do not soak a watch in anything!!! EVER!! In 30 years of trade work I have not seen a watch that the back could not be removed by use of a proper case wrench. By proper I mean some type of case wrench unit that can have downward pressure applied and the case mounted in a case holder.
    Good luck, hope my guess helps you.
    j.c.
    nawcc #0123794
    member AWI
    www.jcengraver.com

  4. #4
    Registered user. bchaps's Avatar
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    Default Unable to Remove Wristwatch Back Cover (RE: bchaps)

    Thank You J.C. I have confirmed the movement does NOT come thru the crystal. The dial is larger than the bezel, which is one piece with the case body. That causes me to conclude it really is a screw-off back, and my hand tool is just not adequate to release this "Water Pressure Tested" back. Since this would have been a "pro bono" service, I can't justify the $200+ expenditure for a Deluxe case opener. Thank You for the advice, Bill
    Bill...
    Member Chapter 1

  5. #5
    Gnomon
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    Default Unable to Remove Wristwatch Back Cover (RE: bchaps)

    The screw on backs on waterproof watches can become very hard to remove. Particularily on watches where the last mechanic who worked on the watch really tightened down on the back... something that is never necessary.

    I will offer this bit of advice, your success in removing an overly tight back will be proportional to the number of points on your wrench. Never, I repeat NEVER, use those POS adjustable wrenches that have only 2 points! 9 times out of 10 they will slip and scar the back of the watch. The fancy universal wrenches (Vigor, Jaxa and others) that have 3 points gripping the back are better, but you will have to bear down on the wrench to keep the wrench from slipping and scarring the back. The best, cheap wrenches to use are the type that were provided by the watch manufacturers. They are usually stamped steel, with 6-points to engage all of the notches in the watch back. Bulova made a nice set that fits just about everything (except Rolex). To use these, find the one that fits your watch, and engage it in the back's notches. The handle is gripped with your 3 smallest fingers in the palm of your hand, your thumb presses the middle of the wrench against the back of the watch, and your clenched fore finger presses on the crystal. Use your other hand to rotate the watch.

    When replacing the back, use a tiny smear of o-ring grease (silicone) on the seal, and tighten just snug. Using a piece of Rodico as a wrench is usually adequate (on 1 piece backs)

    -Chuck Harris

  6. #6
    Registered user. bchaps's Avatar
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    Default Unable to Remove Wristwatch Back Cover (RE: bchaps)

    Well, there is a happy finale for my "case", (pun intended). I knew my father, who was a jeweler since 1946, had a wooden case holder, but I couldn't find it among his old tools. So, I purchased a new inexpensive model from Casker. The watch case was carefully positioned between the plastic coated pins, mounted in a vice and then with a whole lot of torque on the Jaxa wrench, the back began to turn loose. I guess it's just a situation of having the right tool to do the job!

    Gotta try that "super Glue Fix" on a cheap case sometime!

    Thank You everyone for your comments. Bill
    Bill...
    Member Chapter 1

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