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  1. #1

    Default Stuck Bezel on Screwback Pocketwatch

    I have a pocket watch with a 20 year gold screwback case that has a stuck bezel that resists all efforts to open. It was made by the Illinois Watch Case Co. The back unscrews OK. No obvious dents or damage, no apparent corrosion. Can someone suggest a non- destruction technique to open it? I wouldn't expect it to be a snap on bezel. I've tried heating the bezel and cooling the case.

  2. #2

    Default Stuck Bezel on Screwback Pocketwatch (RE: dkc599)

    I have a pocket watch with a 20 year gold screwback case that has a stuck bezel that resists all efforts to open. It was made by the Illinois Watch Case Co. The back unscrews OK. No obvious dents or damage, no apparent corrosion. Can someone suggest a non- destruction technique to open it? I wouldn't expect it to be a snap on bezel. I've tried heating the bezel and cooling the case.

  3. #3
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Stuck Bezel on Screwback Pocketwatch (RE: dkc599)

    Welcome to the NAWCC Message Board!

    Finding a watch case with a screw on back and a "snap" bezel would be very unusual. I don't recall ever having seen one.

    My wife tells me that my hands are too strong to remove tight lids! Many is the time I've handed an obstinate jar to her, and she opens it without breaking a sweat. I sometimes feel this has to do that we tend to "bear down" real hard when we run into a stuck lid, when the gentle approach is often the way to go. Persistence often pays, so use the light-handed approach and keep "massaging" the bezel while you watch your favorite team on TV.

  4. #4

    Default Stuck Bezel on Screwback Pocketwatch (RE: dkc599)

    I read a post one time about useing a jar lid and I have tried it and it has worked everytime for me. Take a small Metal lid, I used a jelly jar lid, put super glue on the back of the case and then place jar lid on back of case let it set up and then just turn the lid. If its On the bezel side and crystal is out take hands off then drill a small hole in the center of jar lid so it will not be touching hour wheel and canion pinion, put some superglue on top of bezel right about where the crystal goes in let it dry then turn, I always use the back side of the lid on both, If crystal is in and wont come out flip jar lid over and glue the rim to the top of bezel, I use cotton swab and fingernail poish remover to remove the glue, sometimes times I use hairdryer if watch back dosent want to come loose from the lid,This procedure may sound ode but it has worked everytime for me and there has never been no damage, Just take your time. I used this also on a skindiver watch that wouldn't open and it worked on it to. Rantime

  5. #5
    Registered user. bchaps's Avatar
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    Default Stuck Bezel on Screwback Pocketwatch (RE: dkc599)

    I recently picked up a 16s Elgin at a flea market and the bezel was badly cross threaded. So, I had the same problem...can't remove the bezel and as a result, couldn't remove the movement. Several years ago, I had the same problem with a back cover and this forum provided a fantastic suggestion:

    Make a puddle of hot glue the size of the watch on a piece of heavy glass or clean smooth steel (make a ring of hot glue in your case DKC so the glue adheres to the bezel, not the crystal). Place the obstinate side into the glue and allow it to set. Then, carefully begin turning the case without placing force on the pendant. The glue provides enough adhesion that normal strength can break it free. So, far that technique has opened three "impossible" covers and one cross threaded bezel. And the best part!!! Cleanup...just peel the glue off. Works for me.

    Bill
    Bill...
    Member Chapter 1

  6. #6

    Default Stuck Bezel on Screwback Pocketwatch (RE: dkc599)

    Good News - the superglue technique did the trick. I bonded a large flat chunk of metal to the bezel, and put some real force on it. The bezel very grudgingly moved a small amount before the glue bond broke. I was then able to unscrew it by hand. Thanks to those responding, I appreciate the help.

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