Tension Ring Falling Out Of Crystal

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by Paul Raposo, Sep 12, 2017.

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  1. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User
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    I picked up an Eterna Matic and I removed the movement to blow some dust off the dial. As I wiped the inside of the crystal the tension ring fell out.

    The crystal fits tightly into the watch case and the tension ring fits snugly into the crystal but when I put the ring into the crystal and press the crystal into the case the ring falls out of the crystal.
     
  2. 12V6GT

    12V6GT Registered User
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    I also have a question related to this topic. With regards to an acrylic/plastic crystal with a tension ring is one suppose to remove the tension ring first and then use a crystal lifter to pull the plastic crystal out. I assume so since I removed a crystal with a tension ring and I think I just about ruined, if not ruined, my crystal puller. Sigh. When a I remove a crystal without a tension ring it's dead simple and not much pressure has to be used. Anyway, I would love to hear comment from the experts. Thanks a million.
     
  3. dAz57

    dAz57 Registered User

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    The tension ring is there to compress the plastic and provide a water tight seal, don't use a crystal lift to remove them unless it's a one piece case.

    To remove these you take the movement out and push the glass out from the inside, and to fit them you need a glass press with the correct die.

    The principal is the same as the glass fitted to a Rolex type case, there the glass fits over a lip on the case, then the bezel is pressed on which compresses the acrylic resin glass on the lip giving the seal, the tension ring glass or armoured Plexi as it's called here tightly fitted to the the case compresses the plastic between the tension ring and case.
     
  4. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

    Apr 20, 2013
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    Just as dAz57 says these should not be compressed along the circumference. Tension ring Crystals have straight sides and need to be both inserted and removed straight up or down. The tension ring in your case Paul should seat itself when you press the crystal in. If the ring is falling out you may have a crystal that is too large for the case. If you force the crystal against the outside of the bezel it will expand and the ring may fall out. As also mentioned Before, if anything the ring should be forced against the inside of the crystal.

    A good thing to mention whilst we are on the topic of these Crystals is that for monocoque cases where you can't access the crystal from inside the case, using an air filled syringe with some ziploc baggie plastic as a gasket over the case tube will usually pop the crystal out if you push down hard enough. No marks on the crystal at all. It's the best method I've found so far. Using a crystal lift to extract one of these Crystals will usually result in a crystal that is neatly sheared off right at the tension ring.

    Best regards
    Karl
     
  5. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User
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    Thank you dAz57 and Karl for your posts, they were very helpful :thumb:

    I think you are right about the crystal being too big for the case Karl, as it goes in very tight without the ring so the ring must be popping out when the crystal is pressed into the case.
     
  6. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    I think you are misunderstanding me. If the crystal actually goes into the case it should be the right size. But if the crystal, in the process, gets an edge caught on the edge of the bezel/case and expands a tiny amount, that could cause the ring to fall out.
     
  7. 12V6GT

    12V6GT Registered User
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    Many thanks for the education guys. Okay, got it, don't use a crystal lift with a tension ring crystal. Sigh. I just knew I was screwing up when I did this. :( How do you know? Because it was too hard. :) I kick myself because it didn't make logical sense to use a lift when there's a metal ring right there.

    Okay, another question, I have a Waltham Swissonic wrist watch. It's the one with the tension ring. The crystal is busted. I'm able to find plenty of high dome crystals that will fit this watch but not so easy to find one with a tension ring. Should the old tension ring be able to be used in the new crystal or will I need to find an OEM type crystal with the tension ring?

    I have seen Seiko's for example that used tension ring crystals that people have replaced with just regular crystals. While that seems okay, the tension ring does make the face more finished.

    Anyway, would love to hear comments... thanks again. Many thanks to you Paul for opening up this discussion!
     
  8. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    The seats for tension ring crystals in the bezel or case itself is different from the regular, unbreakable type. The tension ring, domed crystals have straight sides and a seat to match. The regular unbreakable crystals are compressed to be inserted and have a wedge shaped profile that secures them in a wedge shaped seat in the bezel.

    So the answer is no, you can't replace the crystal with a different type if that type doesn't also have straight sides. Why are you having trouble finding a new crystal? Sternkreuz are still in business and make a wide variety of crystals, tension ringed ones included.
     
  9. 12V6GT

    12V6GT Registered User
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    Okay, that helps a lot. Thank you for taking the time to respond. Greatly appreciate it. With regards to finding a crystal... I'll check them out. The biggest problem for me is I'm a complete novice at this and usually learn it all the hard way. :) In other words, I was having a hard time finding a crystal on ePay. :) Thank you for explaining the technical stuff! The crystal I have is 31.3-31.4 mm with a gold tension ring. The case measures the same. I'll research the Sternkreuz part number. Thanks again and thanks for the tip!
     
  10. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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  11. 12V6GT

    12V6GT Registered User
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    I really like cousinsuk.com. They seem to have everything. Okay, so right after my last post I searched ePay for a 31.4 mm gold tension ring crystal and sure enough there was a place selling them. :) It's a matter of knowing what to search for. Ha! Also, just so I'm clear about this. You remove the crystal by pushing it out of the case from the inside and to install the new one I press it in from the outside of the case right? Thanks again!
     
  12. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    #12 roughbarked, Sep 13, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
    The easiest way to remove a tension ring crystal is to use the multi fingered waterproof glass removing tool. Tighten it until it is just tight then use a knife blade to lever the whole crystal and tension ring out.

    If the ring is falling out when pushed in, it is the wrong ring. The glass is the wrong glass. Seiko make a glass that is 310T. The rest of the part number relates to other things ie: the height of the side, the height on the inside, the type of ring and etc. there are about a dozen versions of Seiko's 310T
     
  13. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    If one can easily push it out from the inside then the crystal has shrunk.

    In most instances one doesn't need to remove the movement to change the crystal.
     
  14. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    I've always kept old rings for the time when the ring is wrong for either the crystal or the case. In many instances the ring only holds the crystal but in many others, it also holds the dial.
     
  15. 12V6GT

    12V6GT Registered User
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    "multi fingered waterproof glass removing tool" - Is this just a standard crystal lift tool? I don't know what that is specifically. I think I get the jest of what you're saying. Take a standard crystal lift tool, attach it, and then use a case opener knife to pop it off. Did I understand that right? Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  16. dAz57

    dAz57 Registered User

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    Unless it's a one piece case I prefer to remove the movement, then the glass, clean the case then fit a new armoured Plexi, yes you can use a crystal lift, but you also run the risk of topping the armoured Plexi like a boiled egg and leaving the tension ring and ring of plastic in the case.

    It's just a lot easier to push the glass out from the inside, if a new glass is being fitted then just smack the old one out with a hammer.
     
  17. Al J

    Al J Registered User

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    I agree - unless it's a one piece case (front loader) I remove the movement and push the crystal out from the inside, and I do use a watchmaker's hammer if the crystal is being replaced.

    Using a regular all purpose crystal lift does risk snapping off the crystal, so with a one piece case you can use air, or sometimes manufacturers will make specialized crystal lifts for thei watches. On this Omega Cosmic, there is a notation on the back that says "Tool 107"

    [​IMG]

    Tool 107 is a crystal lift, but it's quite different from the general one you see around. Instead of having many small fingers, it uses larger segments (there are 7 segments) inside that grip the entire circumference of the crystal. When you turn the handle on the top of the device, it grips and then lifts the crystal, with the edge of the tool seating on the top of the watch case. Using this I've never snapped off a crystal, but of course you have to have several sizes as they are not as flexible as the typical finger style are...

    [​IMG]

    Cheers, Al
     
  18. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    The only thing I've succeeded with using a lift like that is shearing the crystal off at the ring, as I mentioned before. Compressing the crystal won't work as the ring is keeping its shape. So the only thing you can hope to do is grab it enough to be able to pull it out, and that will leave marks on the crystal. The dedicated tools that Al shows is a different animal. But as I don't have one, I'll stick to my fingers and my syringe.

    Best regards
    Karl
     
  19. dAz57

    dAz57 Registered User

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    Yes same here, my preferred method is compressed air to pop the glass out on a one piece case, I do have a couple of tools that are supposed the lift the glass out but the only thing I found them useful for is to top a boiled egg, if the plastic or acyclic resin is a crazed or old then this tool will just cut the top off the glass.
     
  20. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    OK, well it has always worked for me. Just enough tension so that it doesn't slip and mark but enough so it can be levered against with the knife. Out it pops.
     
  21. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    It it is old and crazed it needs replacing anyway.

    I use syringes to pop one piece case plexis.
     
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