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Removing glass from karat gold watch

I have a 14K watch that is broken near the case and I have to remove
the glass in order to solder where it is broken. Anyone out there
know of a solvent that will desolve the glue? I tried soaking in
acetone overnight and then tried crazy glue remover. Neither worked.
I could break it out but I don’t want to send it away for a
new glass.

I am a watchmaker and goldsmith and in answer to your question it
depends on the shape and type of glass. If it is round and has a
dome the circumference of the glass will be compressed to inserted
the glass, if it is round and flat in will be glued or possibly an
interference fit ( glass is slightly larger than bezel it fits in
)and pressed in. If it is an irregular shape, generally anything
other than round, it will be glued in.

Taking these glued one out will be a problem because generally the
glue used sets rock hard and even if you break the glass to remove it
there is often further difficulty in removing the glass fragments and
glue which is left in the bezel and care needs to be taken not to
damage or distort the case whilst removing these. Using a solvent
may work as long as you know the glue used and the glass material

The compressed type will push out from the inside but you will be
unable to refit it without the correct tool.

I would respectfully suggest you take this to your nearest
watchmaker and have him take it out for you and replace with a new
one as required and include this in the repair price.

Regards Alan UK

The Watch & Jewellery Workshop

Are you sure it’s glued? Most high quality watches have a friction
joint between the case and the glass. In other words it snaps in and
out under pressure.

Tony Konrath
Gold and Stone

Hi there

Anyone out there know of a solvent that will dissolve the glue? I
tried soaking in acetone overnight and then tried crazy glue

I use a product called Solvo-plast, that I get at the local drug
store, here it is London Drug.

Karen Bahr “the Rocklady” (@Rocklady) May your gems
always sparkle.

There is a product, available from jewelry supply houses, called
"Attack." It will even dissolve cured epoxy cement. David Barzilay,
Lord of the Rings

I can’t remember a watch crystal that was simply glued in being so
well glued that it couldn’t just be pushed out. Some watches have
crystals that are fit with such close tolerances that heating the
case provides the expansion necessary to remove the crystal. My
experience suggests that these crystals are sapphire and can be
heated successfully. It must be remembered that if they come out
while being fired, they may need to be replaced in the same manner.

If you are unsure of your particular case, or unwilling to assume
the risks, I’d suggest that you take this particular watch to a
watchmaker for verification or other help.