Screw back watch cases

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by watchtinker, Jan 1, 2018.

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  1. watchtinker

    watchtinker Registered User

    Dec 25, 2016
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    I seem to see a lot of screw back watch cases in which the design on the back does not line up properly.
    Is there any way to fix this? I had one at one time and i could not see anything interfering with the case back other that the case itself. I wouldn't think that they would come that way from the factory, so I would think there would be a way to fix it without modifying the case too much.
  2. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

    Apr 20, 2013
    Linköping, Sweden
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    Do you mean that the decoration on the case back ends up being rotated in relation to the lugs and crown?

    Threads are notoriously difficult to make so that they will be just tight enough at a certain degree of rotation. On top of that, any watch that has a gasket for the case back will also have a degree of compression that will be necessary. A new gasket will offer more resistance than an old one for instance. Or a thread may be worn after a few services. I've never considered it to be a problem.

    On watches where the case back position serves as a function these tend to be held by screws or snap on. At least in my experience.
  3. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    Geologist - California Geological Survey
    Los Angeles, CA
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    I suspect that watchtinker may be referring to pocket watches with engraved backs. I often see older cases where thread wear has presumably allowed the back to rotate a few extra degrees. It is much less common that a back does not rotate enough to align properly with the pendant. Some of the latter may be due to a minor amount of dirt preventing the back from screwing down fully. I do not know of mechanical remedies for either condition. In rare cases we may be seeing engraver error.
  4. watchtinker

    watchtinker Registered User

    Dec 25, 2016
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    Yes I mean some sort of decoration that needs to align with the stem in order to look right. Some cases have just a design that can end anywhere and still look right, usually it seems these are plainer cases. However I do see screw back cases that have a fancier design and often times they do not line up with the stem as they should. Sometimes it does seem to be a little too far, but the one I had seemed to not be going far enough.
  5. rolandantrobus

    rolandantrobus Registered User

    May 17, 2016
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    If it's not going far enough I would check that someone hasn't tried to remove the case back with a knife and caused a raised bit of metal to prevent full closure. On the other hand I have one that doesn't go far enough but content myself with the knowledge that if I did try and line up the engraving I would never be able to remove the back again!

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