Pocket watch case back won't stay on

Elliott Wolin

NAWCC Member
Nov 18, 2019
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Williamsburg, Virginia
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I couldn't get a case back to stay on, even using a watch case press, then had a good look at the flange on the case back that normally snaps into the case. Turns out the flange on the case back was tilted inwards so that it sort of wedged in but would pop out at the slightest jarring. The inward tilt was uniform around the circumference so it doesn't look as if it was bent inward. And it's pretty stiff, probably stainless, so I have been unable so far to bend it outwards.

Also, gaskets won't stay on, they just slide off the flange.

Any suggestions on what to do?

Note that this is a relatively cheap quartz pocket watch my brother owns.

It's hard to see in the photo below, but the flange is slanted inwards:

20210503_112514.jpg
 

karlmansson

Registered User
Apr 20, 2013
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Linköping, Sweden
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Hey Elliott!

Does THIS watch back normally snap in or do you mean that pocket watch backs normally snap in place?

If this case back has at one point done so I suggest mounting it, flange forward, on a faceplate or similar (wax chuck?) and burnishing the lip outwards from the inside in the lathe.

If you don't have a lathe and this is indeed a watch of no great value, monetary or sentimental, I'd suggest making four crimps with smooth pliers at equidistant intervals along the circumference. Bend slightly outward with pliers with a narrow nose. Make sure to support the rest of the case back when you do it so that you don't dish it. That whould provide enough positive engagement so that the case back stays in place. This is if there is enough space in the case to accommodate the now enlarged lip. Hence my first question.

Regards
Karl
 

Elliott Wolin

NAWCC Member
Nov 18, 2019
416
65
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67
Williamsburg, Virginia
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As far as I can tell this case back normally snaps into place.

No lathe and no luck burnishing by hand. Perhaps I didn't try hard enough, but I have no way to mount the case back securely to get any leverage when attempting to bend it outwards.

Four crimps sound like a great idea, I'll give that a try.
 

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