Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How to Pry off a Watch Backing Without Proper Tools

If you have an inexpensive watch with a dead battery, you can replace the battery yourself. However, it is often difficult to remove the back cover of the watch case. Every watch is different, some may unscrew, while others will pry off, particularly common in less expensive watches. If your watch back prys off, and you don't have anything resembling proper watchmaker's tools available to you, then this article is for you.
1. Locate a very small tab (or recessed area) on the edge of the back cover. This is the access point for removal.
2. Get a kitchen knife with a rigid blade. It doesn't have to be razor sharp, it only needs to be inflexible. You can also use a small fine screwdriver.
3. Very carefully slide the blade under the tiny metal protrusion on the back cover (or across the length of the recessed area, depending on which type of cover your watch has). Do not attempt to insert the point of the knife. Use the length of the blade.
4. Get under the tab or recessed area and gently but firmly turn the blade upward, popping the cover off.
· After you get the back off, you may need a magnifying glass to see the battery area details clearly.
· The battery may be held in place with a bracket, that may require an extremely tiny screwdriver blade. Try using a knife point-edge if that is all you have.
· Be sure to replace any rubber gaskets that may fall out when you open the case. If you don't, the watch may lose its water resistance.
· Walmart changes watch batteries for the brands of watches that they sell for free. You just pay for the battery. (Not all Walmarts offer this, due to liability concerns).
· Use the same safety rules with knives you would with a chisel: never press the knife towards your other hand, in other words position your hands when using the implement so that if it does slip it will not plunge into the hand you are using to hold the watch still.
· Be careful with knives. You're trying to open the watch, not your fingers. If it is stubborn and you are worried about a possible mishap, take it to Wal-Mart instead. They will replace the battery while you wait.
· Never try to use the point of the knife. It is much more likely to slip and cause injury, and it could also snap off, ruining the knife. Use the blade.
· Do not do this to an expensive watch. Don't be hacking away at a Rolex with a steak knife. If you need to open the case (and you shouldn't, because few expensive watches take batteries), go to a jeweler.
· Don't open the case of any kind of waterproof watch. These watches are made waterproof through the use of a vacuum inside the case, opening the case yourself will destroy this vacuum. Nor should you take a watch like this to Wal-Mart or anything else like that. Ask your jeweler if they have a vacuum case for replacing batteries in these kinds of watches, like most Tag Hauers, for example.
Things You'll Need
If the watch back doesn't have a tab or indentation then here is what to do.. Take a flat blade jewelers screwdriver and grind or file the tip to a knife edge. Mount the watch horizontally in a vise with the back facing up. Position the screwdriver edge on the parting line between the back and the case and tap the end of the screwdriver gently with a small hammer. The back will pop off!

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