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Closing the case on a Timex watch


#1

OK, this is probably going to seem like a dumb question and I am
reasonably mechanically inclined. But at times a bit heavy handed.
But how do you get a the back back on a Timex watch after replacing
the &$%* battery. Popping the back off wasn’t a problem. Finding a
replacement battery wasn’t hard. I just couldn’t get the darn thing
closed. I bought watch case closing pliers from Stuller but couldn’t
close it with those. So I decided a to use the bigger hammer method
and used my 6 inch bench vise with wood blocks. That got the sucker
closed but upon checking the watch was not functioning and the stem
came off in my hands. Did I mention I’m a bit heavy handed at times?

It’s my own watch so I’m out the 20 or so bucks to go buy a new one
but for future reference, what is the proper way to close the back on
a Timex watch?

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Colorado Springs, Colorado
rockymountainwonders.com


#2

i change a lot of batteries and i wouldn’t use anything but a case
press with changeable dies. it can press virtually any shape as long
as the die is not touching the crystal. many cases can be closed in
your bare hands but more and more need to be pressed.


#3

If you don’t have a case press, and no a 6" bench vise doesn’t
qualify, try using one or two pair of setting pliers and a bit of
leather. The geometry of the offset jaws works pretty well.
Sometimes, with thin backs, using a coin helps spread the pressure to
avoid deforming the caseback. The stem and crown broke either because
your jig hit it, or you didn’t have the notch lined up completely.

Beware of some Longines and some Bucherer cases. The backs can be
pretty thin. There, you have been warned.


#4

Rick,

Bring it over and I’ll see if I can’t get it back up and running for
you. Hopefully the vise trick didn’t damage things too much.

Paul


#5

Rick,

what is the proper way to close the back on a Timex watch? 

Timex watch cases are notoriously tight and it is imperative that you
onyl press on the edges of the case back and the front bezel.
Consequently, you need a couple of brass or hard plastic dies which
are the diameter of the case and have a recessed centre portion to
clear the front ‘glass’ and the bulge in the case back. Using these
it is perfectly OK to use a bench vise as a press if you don’t have
the proper tool, however, it is also rather important that you make
absolutely sure that the recess in the rim of the case back is lined
up with the winding stem otherwise the button comes off in your hand
as you discovered!!

Best wishes,
Ian
Ian W. Wright
Restorer of fine and complicated watches and chronometers
Sheffield UK


#6
it is perfectly OK to use a bench vise as a press if you don't have
the proper tool, however, it is also rather important that you make
absolutely sure that the recess in the rim of the case back is
lined up with the winding stem otherwise the button comes off in
your hand as you discovered!! 

Thanks Ian and the rest who responded to me on and off list. It was
a cheap lesson on my own watch which I have replaced with another
Timex at Wally World. I will get a watch press before attempting
again and also be sure to pay attention to the orientation of the
back before taking it off so as to line up any notches. I think my
wife has at least 5 watches with dead batteries. Boy isn’t she going
to be in for a surprise…

I am a born tinkerer and it’s my nature to want to fix things. Why
else would I be driving to Kansas tomorrow to check out a big (18")
lapidary saw that needs work. Or maybe it’s because I’m cheap and
can’t pass up the deal… Can’t wait to get it home at get greasy…

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Colorado Springs, Colorado
rockymountainwonders.com


#7

rick; sound just like me. I do the same things. I enjoy fixing
things. Seem like if it don’t work they buy a new one, probably less
money that way but they don’t get the enjoyment ot seeing it working
again. thanks for the info


#8

ps: forgot to get you a hint about closing the back of watches. Go
to craft store and buy a cheap pliers with plastic jaws. After you
have fitted the back on and know it is right, then lightly press the
pliers on the back of the watch. I found this about a year ago and it
really work fine. Haven’t screwed up one yet.