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Altering and Fitting Stems

From The American Horologist and Jeweler magazine, April, 1942

Altering and Fitting Stems


Due to multiplicity of stems, of various models and sizes to which the watchmaker is subjected, we often get a stem job for which we do not have a duplicate and you can very often make another one over so I am passing the idea along hoping it may benefit some of our readers.

We may be called on for a short stem and short hub. By using an old style stem, such as figure No.1, one can readily cut a new shoulder for sleeve, shorten the hub, as shown in the black section of Figure No.2.

The threaded end may then be cut down to proper length, likewise the square end to suitable length for setting and winding the watch.

In some cases, the old American stems can be made over to the Swiss style of stems. Select a stem that the square fits the clutch. This would save filing the square part and then by cutting down the rest of the surplus material, one can readily make a stem to fit a Swiss watch, especially where the bearing part of the stem has to be extra large. The stems need not be hardened and tempered as the old stems are already hardened and tempered, which also saves time.

Before threading for a Swiss stem, it is advisable to heat the threaded end, softening it, before cutting threads. 

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