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I began taking work from a local jeweler and finding again that fashion watches can be surprisingly hard to open and close, so I decided to refresh my weaponry a little.

First, the oversize Jaxa tool. I have a bench opener but I'm too lazy to use it on every time.

PA101002.thumb.JPG.49aeec0d4e93d3ad4cf20ea108652339.JPG

It is built well and tight, with no play. The screws are fine thread and allow precise adjustment. Inserts are held by a flat spring instead of a lousy ball, and include the most used square tips - which is not a given with other types. Very happy about it for  $12.88, and will get the regular size from the same brand.

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Then the Japanese style openers, all the four types. Getting the original Seiko wouldn't have broken the bank but I decided to give these a chance for just $7.61 and receiving in the relatively short time of 2 weeks and an half. I think the rounded tips are good for safety but one may use a bit more grip by flattening it.

I have more coming and will add to this thread. 

 

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7 hours ago, Peterburke340 said:

Best opening tool I ever bought. Expensive but worth every penny
7b587bf6a89e6ab15b045a41ab175d8d.jpg


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

7 hours ago, Peterburke340 said:

Best opening tool I ever bought. Expensive but worth every penny

Horotec original, £218.95 + VAT, before lugs holding blocks, and, of course, specialty dies.

The Chinese price aren't much lower, much is is the shipping cost. Chainda makes an exact copy
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32891251913.html

There is also another type that can do snap back and crystals. Now that is a real space saver!
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32782220492.html

If and when I'll replace the always great 5700, I'll certainly want a compact one.

 

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This is the Rolex tool I had. Worth its weight in gold. I have seen it on ebay for over £2,000. I had a few genuine opening tool, Longines. Tissot and Omega. My favorite was the Jaxa double handed tool, I never came across a screw watch back it wouldn't open.  

2e25a9553163a5dc0d44720136a1d061.jpg

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I feel like a bit of a barbarian, when I superglue an M10 nut (other sizes will also work) to the back of some particularly gunked up, cross threaded, corroded or mauled case back, but it does work, and if you take care when removing the nut/glue with acetone, the case will be none the worse for the experience.

I do have a couple of case back removal tools, but sometimes you are up against damaged notches or so much corrosion that you fear the tool may slip, or something will break. Don't try the superglue and nut trick on soft precious metals or some forms of plating, as it may not end well. Stick to stainless backs. One other obvious advantage is that you get a helluva lot of M10 nuts for £2,000

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1 hour ago, oldhippy said:

My favorite was the Jaxa double handed tool, I never came across a screw watch back it wouldn't open.  

Just for you OH...

 

P1080209.thumb.JPG.8137cc09805ed1309ddb054434b4eb8d.JPG

It has a bit of a mix'n match assortment of bits but it's a great tool.

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23 minutes ago, AndyHull said:

I feel like a bit of a barbarian, when I superglue an M10 nut (other sizes will also work) to the back of some particularly gunked up, cross threaded, corroded or mauled case back, but it does work, and if you take care when removing the nut/glue with acetone, the case will be none the worse for the experience.

I do have a couple of case back removal tools, but sometimes you are up against damaged notches or so much corrosion that you fear the tool may slip, or something will break. Don't try the superglue and nut trick on soft precious metals or some forms of plating, as it may not end well. Stick to stainless backs. One other obvious advantage is that you get a helluva lot of M10 nuts for £2,000

     if you use penitrating oil on the back seam,     you might not need to go to all this trouble.   vin

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1 minute ago, vinn3 said:

     if you use penitrating oil on the back seam,     you might not need to go to all this trouble.   vin

It depends what is gumming or binding them up. Some of them feel like they wouldn't budge, even with an oxyacetylene torch. Don't forget, I'm not always dealing with the tidiest of watches when sprucing up candidates for the 404 club. Years of neglect pretty much comes as standard. Penetrating oil works in many cases, as does warming them in front of an electric fan heater, not too hot obviously, just enough to make them hot to the touch, in combination with penetrating oil may work, but if some ancient seal has turned into adhesive or the influx of verdigris and ancient DNA has set like concrete, then penetrating oil may not get to the heart of the problem.

Cunning and careful use of technique beats brute force and ignorance any day. If it feels like you are about to do some damage, then re-asses and try a different tack.

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2 hours ago, oldhippy said:

That's the one. With the vice it was bloody good. Made some other opening tools redundant. 

Here's my case vice..

P1080210.thumb.JPG.4e49abb520f3e2d9f444f8ce3ab5a629.JPG

Mounted on a "T" block so that I can drop it into a bench vice to use it, but keep it in a drawer when not using it.

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2 hours ago, vinn3 said:

that tool looks very good!   can you buy one today?   vin

 

Cousins do this one..

https://www.cousinsuk.com/product/double-handed-up-to-060mm

It's not too bad a price either.

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2 hours ago, oldhippy said:

That's the one. With the vice it was bloody good. Made some other opening tools redundant. 

Yes, very effective and less cumbersome than a bench opener.
From Cousins UK £22.95+VAT https://www.cousinsuk.com/product/double-handed-up-to-060mm
Direct from China $26.89 https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32862783435.html

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5 hours ago, Marc said:

Here's my case vice..

P1080210.thumb.JPG.4e49abb520f3e2d9f444f8ce3ab5a629.JPG

Mounted on a "T" block so that I can drop it into a bench vice to use it, but keep it in a drawer when not using it.

 

7 hours ago, vinn3 said:

   that tool looks very good!   can you buy one today?   vin

 

7 hours ago, vinn3 said:

   that tool looks very good!   can you buy one today?   vin

       thanks;  ill try to find one in the US..vin

 

 

Cousins do this one..

https://www.cousinsuk.com/product/double-handed-up-to-060mm

It's not too bad a price either.

 

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7 hours ago, AndyHull said:

It depends what is gumming or binding them up. Some of them feel like they wouldn't budge, even with an oxyacetylene torch. Don't forget, I'm not always dealing with the tidiest of watches when sprucing up candidates for the 404 club. Years of neglect pretty much comes as standard. Penetrating oil works in many cases, as does warming them in front of an electric fan heater, not too hot obviously, just enough to make them hot to the touch, in combination with penetrating oil may work, but if some ancient seal has turned into adhesive or the influx of verdigris and ancient DNA has set like concrete, then penetrating oil may not get to the heart of the problem.

Cunning and careful use of technique beats brute force and ignorance any day. If it feels like you are about to do some damage, then re-asses and try a different tack.

   one step at a time, if it is stuck - and, or not a screw back, i  use P.O. first.   vin

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2 hours ago, jdrichard said:


It can open anything...over engineered. ..and I'm an engineer:)

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    as an E, you might uderstand;  HONDA  made a new watch with a case opener in the box. it looked like a knurled disk, about 2 or 3 inch o.d.,   a hole in the center with the case notches. like an inturnal gear.    i did not keep the photo of it.   vin 

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    as an E, you might uderstand;  HONDA  made a new watch with a case opener in the box. it looked like a knurled disk, about 2 or 3 inch o.d.,   a hole in the center with the case notches. like an inturnal gear.    i did not keep the photo of it.   vin 

Sounds like a nice option, include the opener with the watch.


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Here's the new one I was waiting for, I have received it today for $33. Why am writing all this, I have ran into a $20 quartz which was surprising difficult to open, so I've ordered the tool and my initial review here. There are various other similar pivoting ones available, form $15 all-plastic one, to the "King of the Orient", $100+ Seiko S-261.

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Sturdy construction. The reversible blade has two widths, 12 and 16mm, but the prying slot (where present) of some snap-back watches is like 5mm wide. That will be easy to correct, even if a replacement blade is relatively expensive for about $10.

I think that in theory it could be improved. As it comes, the blade pries down, meaning that case hast to be put dial up and maybe one finger on top of it. Now, I'm sure that it will easily open 99.9% of snap-backs, and even remove stubborn bezels or similar feats, but I had liked it more if there was a way to hold down the case opposite side from the screw, and prying up.

However the Chinese (or whatever Swiss maker it was copied from) may be right after all. Because in theory, theory and practice are the same thing, but in practice, they aren't.

 

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