How To Open A Screw Down Case Back

Need to know how to open a screw down case back watch? There are several methods which a watch company can choose to secure the case back to their watch case. They can use small screws, or a press fit case back.  Those are not the methods this article is interested in however. This article will concentrate upon opening case backs which have threads on their edge. These threads screw into threads within the case of the watch. This type in conjunction with a good gasket provides a very secure and water resistant method of securing the case back.  Each screw down case back uses some method which allows the use of a tool to open the case back. Most companies use a series of small slots in the case back which allow the use of a special adjustable wrench. This is the type which will be discussed here.

Items needed to open a screw down case back watch.

  • Case holder
  • Soft cloth
  • Adjustable case wrench
  • Screw driver
  • Springbar tool

The process of opening a screw down case back watch will go as follows:

  1. Position watch in case holder.  If you have a case holder carefully position the watch in it. If you do not have one lay the watch on a soft cloth to protect the crystal.
  2. Remove  watchband/bracelet if needed. If there is no room to work properly with the adjustable case wrench, follow the watches instructions and remove the band or bracelet. You will need enough room to turn the case wrench in a 360 degree arc so check carefully. For this you may need a screw driver or a spring bar tool depending upon your watch. A glance at the watches lugs will tell you for sure. If there are small holes in the side of the lugs with screws you will need a screw driver, if not you will need the springbar tool. If you need a screw driver make sure it fits perfectly so as not to wreck the screwhead.
  3. Apply adjustable case opener to case back.  Before starting insure the wrench has the lugs inserted which fit the slots on the case back the best. Proper fit is important. Fit the lugs on the case tool into the slots in the case back. It will take some adjusting to get it in place correctly. Patience here will insure a proper fit which is important. Tighten it down until it does not slip free. Take care not to slip and scratch the case back or watch.
  4. Unscrew case back.  Unscrew the case back in a counter clockwise motion until it comes off. Go slow and be careful, you do not want to wreck the gasket and have to replace it .
  5. Inspect gasket.  Inspect the case back gasket carefully. If it is damaged it must be replaced to retain water resistance.

That is how you open a watch with a screw down case back. It is not a hard thing to do, but it does require a a few special tools and a bit of care. Do not forget to be very careful of the gasket. If you damage it you will need to replace it in order for the watch to retain maximum water resistance. Making sure of proper fit of the case back wrench is important as it can easily slip free while you are working and scratch the case back of your fine watch. Enjoy working on your fine watch and take care.

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