How To Replace Watch Quartz Movement

Do you want to learn how to replace a quartz watch movement? Replacing a watch movement is not a task most watch users will want to tackle. It takes some special skill  and tools to perform. As it is an involved process, it would take much more than a shot article to explain. We will try to give an overview here to show how it is done. Those persons who truly wish to continue can get the detailed instruction needed afterwards.

Tools needed:

  • Watch makers screw drivers
  • Case knife
  • Caseback wrench
  • Watch dial adhesive
  • Plastic tweezers
  • Loupe
  • Movement holder
  • Hand press
  • Hand remover
  • Pith wood
  • Dial protector
  • Caseback press
  • Polishing cloth

The list of actual materials needed will depend upon some of the processes needed and the actual condition of the watch.

  1. Remove case back. Use the correct tool and remove the case back from the watch. Some watches will need the screw drivers, some the case knife and some the case back wrench.
  2. Remove the stem. Use the correct method and remove the stem from the watch. Some stems are screwed in and some are held in place by a detent.
  3. Remove the watch movement ring. Use the tweezers and remove the ring which holds the movement in place in the case.
  4. Set movement on pithwood. Use the pithwood and dial protector to sit the movement on and to protect the dial of the watch.
  5. Remove hands. With great care, use the hand puller to remove the hands from the movement. 
  6. Remove dial. Remove dial from the old movement. If the old dial is glued in place, it will need to be replaced.
  7. Purchase materials needed. Now you should know what you need to purchase, as things may have gotten damaged with being removed. Purchase new hands, dials, stems, dial glue, as well as everything you should need to finish the job,
  8. Attach dial. Use the correct method to attach the dial to the movement. Some will sit in place with tabs, while others will need to be glued in place.
  9. Set the hands in place. Using tweezers, replace the hands on the watch. Make sure to place them in the correct order: hour, minute, second. Make sure the hands travel freely. A good way to do this is watch the movement for 24 hours before placing it in watch.
  10. Place movement in case. Carefully replace the movement in the case.
  11. Replace movement ring. Using tweezers, replace the movement ring and secure the movement in the case.
  12. Replace stem.  Replace the watch stem in the correct manner using the correct tools.
  13. Replace case back. Using the correct tools, replace the case back on the watch.
  14. Polish watch. Using a polishing cloth, polish off the finger prints and grime accumulated on the watch.

That is the basic process, and while it may sound relatively easy, it is a painstaking process which requires skill, patience, the correct tools and the ability to work with small fragile parts. Obviously, it is much more involved than that. In some cases, new stems will need to be crafted, new dials will need to be put in place or other processes will come into play. For most users, it is advisable to just take the watch in to a watch maker and pay them to replace the movement when needed. But, for those individuals who want to continue, more detailed instruction is available.

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