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One Way To Open a Stuck Pocketwatch Case

There are a few good tricks to getting a very difficult threaded pocketwatch case open. This case was one of the toughest I have encountered. The back was fine, but the front bezel resisted every attempt. It is usually the backs that are problems. On this one I finally went with this method.

It's just what it looks like, a nut super-glued to the crystal. The crystal, luckily, is very tight and secure, it did not itself turn. If it had, I likely would have had to give up on this project.

Once the glue had sat for a day under some mild pressure to hold the nut still, the wrench opened the case. Amazingly, it still wasn't easy!

To do this, it has to be the "super-glue" type of glue. It is strong against lateral force and so will stay put while slowly applying pressure with the wench. Also, by the way, it's important not to apply much pressure to the neck and stem of the case when using the wrench. Many cases are not as strong there as one might think, and the stem can be broken off. Afterwards this type of glue releases and disappears easily in Acetone and the nut comes off clean.

After removing the bezel, there was no clue as to why it was so tight. I expected to see glue or something, it was that tight. However, there were a number of little chips from the damaged dial. I think one of these might have been wedged in the threads.




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