How was the mineral crystal glass attached to the bezel in Trench Watches?
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Thread: How was the mineral crystal glass attached to the bezel in Trench Watches?

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  1. #1
    Member JOSE G's Avatar
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    How was the mineral crystal glass attached to the bezel in Trench Watches?

    I know that unbreakable crystals became available in 1916 and these replace the mineral crystal glass.
    These were made of celluloid or celluloid acetate but had to be fitted to the bezel under tension.
    Information/images from VintageWatchstraps.com © David Boettcher
    My question is if you want to replace one of these celluloid crystal or acrylic crystal today with a mineral glass.
    What would be the procedure?
    Will the glass have to be glue or is there another procedure?
    Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Member Literustyfan's Avatar
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    Re: How was the mineral crystal glass attached to the bezel in Trench Watches?

    Personally I prefer to use UV cement and a UV curing machine, but not everybody has a UV curing machine.

    You can use sunlight with UV cement, but I have never tried it.

    Rocket cement works okay but it can leave glue marks on the glass, UV cement dries crystal clear which is why I prefer it over Rocket cement.

    Some crystals do not work very well with trench watches, some do, it is all in the design of the crystal.

    Some crystals have more rounded edges, I stay away from these, they fall out easily.

    My personal favorite that I switched over to about 3 years ago is from Jules Borel in Missouri.

    It is the Borel Double Domed that is 1mm thick and has a somewhat beveled edge (angled edge), these are FAR better than the rounded edge crystals.

    These parts numbers start with a DMG so keep that is mind when shopping for a trench watch crystal.

    These crystals can be ordered in in exact sizes like 26.0, 26.1, 26.2, 26.3.............you get the picture by now I'm sure.

    There is no standard size for trench watch crystals I stock a wide range of them in my bins from 25.5mm all the way up to 28.5mm, these will be used by size 3/0s and 0s for the most part.

    If I'm doing a 6s trench watch I order by the watch as 6s crystal sizes are all over the map even when dealing with the same case manufacturer like Illinois or Philadelphia.

    Case designs changed by the year sometimes so the crystal sizes changed too.

    You will also need a digital or analog micrometer but be very careful when taking your measurement so you don't scratch the crystal lip ring or bezel itself.

    If I don't have a crystal that I need in stock I'll call Borel and order a 26.0, 26.1 and a 26.2 if my micrometer reads 26.1

    Crystals are cheap, only a few bucks, I'll just toss the ones I don't use in the bins for another project down the road, it's always good to have extra stock of crystals.

    Good luck!
    busmatt, Shum, Mirius and 2 others like this.
    Author of "Elgin Trench Watches of the Great War" & "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War"

    www.lrfantiquewatches.com

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  3. #3
    Member JOSE G's Avatar
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    Re: How was the mineral crystal glass attached to the bezel in Trench Watches?

    Thanks,that answers my question.
    Literustyfan likes this.

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