Thread: Can't get the back of the watch on?

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  1. #1
    Member Ecko's Avatar
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    Can't get the back of the watch on?

    I didn't see a repair forum so I figured I would ask this question here.

    I just received my first watch repair kit from Amazon, so I figured I would mess around with some old beaters I have.

    I removed the back of the case with the pry tool and took out the battery with ease but, when I tried to pop the back, back on I couldn't. It's just an old Fossil watch so I tried banging on it and even put almost all of my weight on it but, it won't snap back on.

    My wife told me that when she bought one of her Fossil watch to the jewler to change the battery he had to use some special machine to put it back on.

    Is there some trick to doing this or are some watches just a pain?
    Last edited by Ray MacDonald; December 22nd, 2009 at 02:20. Reason: Language

  2. #2
    Mod. Public/Cafe and MaL Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get the back of the watch on?

    Moved to Watchmaking.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  3. #3
    Member skoochy's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get the back of the watch on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ecko View Post
    I didn't see a repair forum so I figured I would ask this question here.
    There's the watchmaking forum here!

    Is there some trick to doing this or are some watches just a pain?
    Yes, and yes. Some difficult to close snap backs can be put on with a press intended for closing the snap backs. If you don't care too much about the watch, you might have luck with some sort of clamping device (vise, pliers, etc.) as long as you use something rigid on the back and front of the watch so you don't bend the case back or break the crystal. Ideally, the dies that fit the caseback press have a cutout so they only press on the front of the watch on the bezel rather than on the crystal.



    You can even get a cheap one at Harbor Freight.

    -s-

  4. #4
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    Re: Can't get the back of the watch on?

    Also, many watchmakers quickly develop strong thumbs. Perhaps a word of caution is in order about what Skootchy appears to be showing in the photo above. Apologies in advance if I am wrong, but that appears to be a potence for inserting tension ring crystals, not a case closing potence. These are equipped with nylon blocks that are shaped somewhat similar to the aluminum blocks used in a tension ring inserting machine, but unlike the aluminum block of a tension ring inserting potence, they won't scratch the case.

    They call this levered tool a "potence" in French, by the way, but I am tres desolee because I have no idea if there is even an English word for it other than "case closing tool".

  5. #5
    Member skoochy's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get the back of the watch on?

    You're correct, that tool is a multiple use tool when equipped with the proper dies. I use it with nylon dies for closing casebacks.

    -s-

  6. #6
    Member vinylgreek's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get the back of the watch on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Somewhere else View Post
    Also, many watchmakers quickly develop strong thumbs. Perhaps a word of caution is in order about what Skootchy appears to be showing in the photo above. Apologies in advance if I am wrong, but that appears to be a potence for inserting tension ring crystals, not a case closing potence. These are equipped with nylon blocks that are shaped somewhat similar to the aluminum blocks used in a tension ring inserting machine, but unlike the aluminum block of a tension ring inserting potence, they won't scratch the case.

    They call this levered tool a "potence" in French, by the way, but I am tres desolee because I have no idea if there is even an English word for it other than "case closing tool".
    I believe the English word is "press" but could be mistaken (it wouldn't be my first time either).
    I know nothing except the fact of my own ignorance. Socrates

  7. #7
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    Re: Can't get the back of the watch on?

    That would be a BB Crystal press. It does work nicely for closing case backs giving a lot of control for those hard to close cases. I usually use the nylon dies also.

  8. #8
    Member Ecko's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get the back of the watch on?


  9. #9
    Member skoochy's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get the back of the watch on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ecko View Post
    Not good, but if you're just closing up some Fossils it should be OK. However the lever may be too short to get good leverage on backs that are really tight, so you may need to bolt it to a workbench or use a pipe or something to extend the lever.

    -s-

  10. #10
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    Re: Can't get the back of the watch on?

    get a tower and put the watch against the door frame with crystal on the door frame side with tower between it and put all your body and weight behind and push with your thumb.

    hope it will snap into the grove.
    KOBOLD x 4, ROLEX , Corum, concord im

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