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Looking for advice on removing the glass and bezel


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The mineral crystal on this "Régulateur" watch has a scratch just before 8 o'clock. The scratch looks worse in real life than in the pictures. I'd like to replace the crystal or perhaps try to polish it out. Also, I'd like to polish the case but don't want to risk polishing the bezel. So, looking for advice on how to safely remove the crystal and bezel. I think the crystal can be pressed out from the inside but I have no idea if the bezel can be removed or not and I don't want to damage things trying. I always feel insecure when handling crystals and cases 🫤 I hope the following pictures will be helpful!

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21 minutes ago, RichardHarris123 said:

I don't know for sure but on a similar looking watch, the bezel unscrewed. I believe a custom made die was made to remove it. 

I'll try to unscrew it by hand but if it doesn't budge applying medium force, I won't force it. Any other ideas?

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When I run up against this kind of situation, I use a razor blade and gently pry up to see if there is any movement.  If not, I assume it is screwed on.

I realize this may not help you, but when I have something like this that is hard to unscrew, I will often design a tool and print it in PLA on my 3D printer.  PLA will not damage the watch.

You may also consider the superglue/nut technique.  Glue the nut on the glass and see if you can unscrew it.

These situations are always tricky...and sometimes scary.

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Sometimes there is a small "lip" in the case where you can use a case tool to open. It almost looks like I see one in your last photo. (It could be the camera angle.) I can understand being careful with this watch.

Edited by JackH
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5 hours ago, VWatchie said:

I'll try to unscrew it by hand but if it doesn't budge applying medium force, I won't force it. Any other ideas?

What sort of watch is this ? Modern quartz fashion type of watch ?

2 hours ago, JackH said:

Sometimes there is a small "lip" in the case where you can use a case tool to open. It almost looks like I see one in you last photo. (It could be the camera angle.) I can understand being careful with this watch.

Might be my imagination as well there looks like a filed in notch next to the lugs. You will know for sure watchie, i would try a sticky ball on the glass first to see if you can get some rotation either way, very unlikely you will damage with that amount of force. Place a piece of masking tape over the edge of the bezel onto the case as an indication of movement, the tape will wrinkle or tear if anything is budging.

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I would say it will comes off like a Rolex bezel. Don't use a four jaw bezel removing tool. as they are crap and I don't know any decent watchmaker who uses them. They use a Stanley knife and brass hammer for really awkward bezels. A lot of the time a Stanley knife going slow along the circumference of the bezel will do it. Here's a link to my cloud storage where a video of removing a Rolex bezel. I'm not saying it is the same, as I haven't got the case in my hand, so on on your head be it. Use really thick plastic sheet for protection. Not jiffy bag stuff that you use to remove hands!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dEmHz_9pLCPeMukfk1IMFL8J0Ymju7S2/view?usp=sharing

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Just had the same problem with my Seiko 7S26-0480F. I tried my special tool with 4 blades that inserted into the bezel gap. No matter much pressure I made, I could not remove it. I then used the hand press tool. Large plastic part underneath to support the case base and a smaller disc on inside the case and onto the crystal. Increase in pressure. A loud 'crack'. Top press to bottom. Bezel and crystal removed. Phew!

So much for the specialised remover. Back to basics for me.

IMG_20240127_141936.jpg

Edited by rossjackson01
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Thanks for all the input guys, much appreciated! I'll consider it and see what I do.

3 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

What sort of watch is this ? Modern quartz fashion type of watch ?

🤣 That ugly, uhu? It houses a Peseux cal. 7040 and the dial has a classic regulator watch layout (except for perhaps the date hand). It is perhaps not haute horlogerie, and I suspect that the dial is made of some sort of plastic material. Nevertheless, I sort of like it.

2 hours ago, Jon said:

Don't use a four jaw bezel removing tool. as they are crap and I don't know any decent watchmaker who uses them.

I suspected it because I had no luck with mine! 😯

2 hours ago, Jon said:

Here's a link to my cloud storage where a video of removing a Rolex bezel.

I just watched it and O.M.G! 😆 Were you able to put it back on? If so, what did you use to press it on?

Edited by VWatchie
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1 hour ago, VWatchie said:
4 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

What sort of watch is this ? Modern quartz fashion type of watch ?

🤣 That ugly, uhu? It houses a Peseux cal. 7040 and the dial has a classic regulator watch layout (except for perhaps the date hand). It is perhaps not haute horlogerie, and I suspect that the dial is made of some sort of plastic material. Nevertheless, I sort of like it

🙂 apologies watchie no fashion watch was the wrong term, it looks modern, the 7040 is an old movement design.  I was looking for a stem for somebody yesterday for that calibre.  No i do like it, the dial has a clincal look to it though, I'd like to know if it is enamel or ceramic maybe. I also like date pointers, i have 2 Oris that have it.

1 hour ago, VWatchie said:

just watched it and O.M.G! 😆 Were you able to put it back on? If so, what did you use to press it on?

Haha that looks appropriately vicious.  I'd expect a stanley knife to cut straight through the sheet so i imagine the blade has been dulled down. If i were to attempt this i would take out the stem first and try to stay away from the lugs if at all possible.  You may have to resort to something like this.

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17 hours ago, VWatchie said:

I just watched it and O.M.G! 😆 Were you able to put it back on? If so, what did you use to press it on?

I used a Robur press and dies to fit the bezel back on.

 

15 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Haha that looks appropriately vicious.  I'd expect a stanley knife to cut straight through the sheet so i imagine the blade has been dulled down. If i were to attempt this i would take out the stem first and try to stay away from the lugs if at all possible.  You may have to resort to something like this.

I must admit, it does look pretty vicious, but very effective. You can see why a four jaw bezel removal tool is as much use as a chocolate tea-pot! Taking out the stem is a good idea if you're doing this for the first time, as you don't want to slip. The lugs are never touched when working around the bezel, as you only need to flex the blade a little at a time so as not to touch or damage the lugs

 

14 hours ago, RichardHarris123 said:

And hopefully remove the balance first!!!? Would it be better to remove the blade so the hammer action was perpendicular compared to transgential? A genuine question. 

Yes the balance was removed first. Don't use the blade on its own because it is only thin and when hitting it you want it to remain as flat to the work as possible without the blade moving about and risking damaging the case and bezel. The Stanley tool is the best thing to hit as there is more stability. Don't worry about the hammer not being perpendicular, as the end of the Stanley tool is resting on the bench. Most watchmakers use a blade to remove this type of bezel, although this was quite a tough one to remove. The trick is be deliberate in your actions. As soon as you are tentative, that's when things go South very quickly, in my experience.

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2 hours ago, Jon said:

Don't use the blade on its own because it is only thin and when hitting it you want it to remain as flat to the work as possible without the blade moving about and risking damaging 

37 minutes ago, Kalanag said:

 

Last time I had a similar bezel it was screwed on. For opening I used a 3D printed tool and double sided adhesive tape to get more grip at the bezel.

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That reminds me of the big plumbing nuts that i use for wastepipes

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2 hours ago, Jon said:

Yes the balance was removed first. Don't use the blade on its own because it is only thin and when hitting it you want it to remain as flat to the work as possible without the blade moving about and risking damaging the case and bezel. The Stanley tool is the best thing to hit as there is more stability. 

Very much like the hacking knives i use for woodwork and deglazing frames. Same principle of use, the blades mushroom over with impact above the cutting edge eventually. Stanley blades can be quite brittle though, I'd suggest a brass hammer like you're using here Jon, rawhide would be good if one that small is available to buy. I get the technique entirely which is why i said appropriately vicious 🤪

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13 minutes ago, RichardHarris123 said:

Oops, yes typo again. 

Haha, i nearly spat my tea out when i first read it. 

Edited by Neverenoughwatches
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Just now, RichardHarris123 said:

Bloody hell, I  hope your watch tools don't look like your hacking knives.  Hehe.  Brings back memories, I used to do a lot of glazing. 

I rarely use them now, this picture was pulled from ebay. A fantastically simple very efficient tool, they were a permanent fixture on my tool belt. 

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19 hours ago, Kalanag said:

Last time I had a similar bezel it was screwed on.

How could you tell it was screwed on?

On 2/1/2024 at 7:18 PM, Neverenoughwatches said:

i would try a sticky ball on the glass first to see if you can get some rotation either way

Tried that but it won't budge one bit, but it was a very good idea!

On 2/2/2024 at 10:34 AM, Malocchio said:

I have this. Great if the bezel is so stuck that a knife is no good. Kind of a spring loaded hammer.

That's an interesting idea. I'll give it a try and see if something happens. If the bezel is screwed on I guess that the worst that can happen is... nothing, no?

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