How To Open Swiss Army Watch

Are you wondering how to open Swiss Army watches? Removing the back from a Swiss Army watch is not a difficult procedure, if you have a few tools and a bit of patience.

Tools which may be needed to open Swiss Army watches:

  • Watch makers case knife
  • Small screw drivers
  • Adjustable case tool
  • Case holder – nice to have
  • Soft Cloth
  • Paper cup

The procedure to open the Swiss Army watch will be as follows:

  1. Put watch in the case holder. Correctly position the watch in the case holder if you have one. If not lay it down on a soft cloth to protect the crystal.
  2. Inspect the case and determine what tools are needed. There are basically three types of watch case backs which your Swiss Army watch may have. The first is the press fit case. This type of case back will have a small groove or slot along the edge of the junction of case back and watch case. This is to accommodate the case knife which is the tool you will need. Move on to the press fit case back procedure. If it has four screws along the edge of the case back it uses the screw drivers. Move on to the screwed down case back procedure. If there are a series of regularly spaced notches the tool needed is the adjustable case tool. Move on to the screwed down case back procedure.

The procedure for opening a press fit case back:

  1. Slip case knife in case opening. Slip the edge of the knife into the slot in the case back and case.
  2. Twist case knife gently. Using sideways pressure twist the knife gently in a manner similar to that of opening an oyster. Once the case back moves up move the knife along the edge continuing to push up the case back until it pops off. Take care not to damage any internal gasket if there is one.

The procedure for opening a screwed down case back:

  1. Make room if needed. Check to see if there is room to use a screw driver on the case back. If not, remove the strap or bracelet.
  2. Select correct screw driver. Test each screw driver in the screw slot to insure proper fit. A sloppy or too thick fit will result in damage to the screw head.
  3. Remove screws. Unscrew each screw and drop it into the paper cup. The cup will keep the screws from being lost.
  4. Pop off case back. If the back does not come off easily slip the edge of the case knife between the back and case and pop it off. Take care not to damage any internal gasket.

The procedure for opening a screw down case back:

  1. Make room if needed. Some bracelets will not allow the case wrench to spin in a 360 degree arc. If it will not, remove the bracelet.
  2. Fit adjustable wrench to case back. Adjust the case wrench until the tips fit into the slots on the case back. Tighten slowly until it holds onto the case back. Take care not to slip and scratch the case back with the tips on the wrench, as they are often sharp and square to fit tightly into the slots.
  3. Remove case back.  Turn wrench in counter clockwise direction, unscrewing the case back until it comes off. Take are not to damage any internal gasket.

You have now opened up the case of your Swiss Army watch. If you at any point damaged an internal gasket make sure to replace it when putting the case back on. Failure to do so will make the watch no longer water resistant.

Tip: Not all Swiss Army watches will require all the tools listed. The type of case back the watch has will determine which tools are needed.

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