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Old 2 June 2020, 12:55 PM   #1
B.F. Pigeon
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How to open a glued case-back?

Hello,

Some six years ago a jeweller replaced the battery in my Skagen watch. However, it turned out that the case back was a bit distorted so it would not snap closed. Instead of informing and consulting me, the guy decided to glue the thing together.

At that time I could not be bothered with it. However, surprise, the battery ran out and how am I going to open the case?

I have no idea on what type of glue was used, perhaps just off-the-shelf jewellers glue, but does anybody have any ideas on dissolving such? I would like to have some extra insight before I just start prying away at the watch.

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 2 June 2020, 09:06 PM   #2
N2theCAPE
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I want to say try letting the watch without the strap sit in a small bowl of acetone, the gasoline that they use for putting in those small lighters, rubbing alcohol or WD-40 but that might damage your watch. I would first try getting a q-tip and dipping it into one of the above mentioned chemicals and generously apply it to the back case seal. You'll most likely have to do this multiple times so be patient. Another option is just having a more experienced watch maker/ repair person do this for you. They may have experience in doing this, if not maybe take it to someone who has. Just obviously let them know of the situation ahead of time, you don't want them to damage it further.

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Old 3 June 2020, 05:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N2theCAPE View Post
I want to say try letting the watch without the strap sit in a small bowl of acetone, the gasoline that they use for putting in those small lighters, rubbing alcohol or WD-40 but that might damage your watch. I would first try getting a q-tip and dipping it into one of the above mentioned chemicals and generously apply it to the back case seal. You'll most likely have to do this multiple times so be patient. Another option is just having a more experienced watch maker/ repair person do this for you. They may have experience in doing this, if not maybe take it to someone who has. Just obviously let them know of the situation ahead of time, you don't want them to damage it further.

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Thanks, I'll try the acetone soak. The watch is not water proof so it will be a very small layer of acetone but let's see what happens.
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Old 3 June 2020, 05:40 PM   #4
bondtoys
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Don‘t go the acetone route.
It will destroy any rest of gaskets on the caseback and the crown and will probably destroy the movement.

I have no idea, why someone would advise acetone, same goes to the genius who glued the caseback on. What kind people are you letting repairing your watches?

You may try to soften the glue with a hairdrier, don‘t overdo it with the heat though
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Old 3 June 2020, 07:56 PM   #5
N2theCAPE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bondtoys View Post
Dont go the acetone route.
It will destroy any rest of gaskets on the caseback and the crown and will probably destroy the movement.

I have no idea, why someone would advise acetone, same goes to the genius who glued the caseback on. What kind people are you letting repairing your watches?

You may try to soften the glue with a hairdrier, dont overdo it with the heat though
So you're saying that the glue hasn't compromised the gasket but the acetone will?...

That's even if the person who originally did the job even left the gasket...

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Old 3 June 2020, 10:54 PM   #6
bondtoys
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Look, I‘ll not discuss your acetone proposal.
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Old 4 June 2020, 12:16 AM   #7
MILGAUSS88
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Acetone will melt plastic, which the movement is made of.
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Old 4 June 2020, 05:35 AM   #8
Lo100169
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N2theCAPE View Post
I want to say try letting the watch without the strap sit in a small bowl of acetone, the gasoline that they use for putting in those small lighters, rubbing alcohol or WD-40 but that might damage your watch. I would first try getting a q-tip and dipping it into one of the above mentioned chemicals and generously apply it to the back case seal. You'll most likely have to do this multiple times so be patient. Another option is just having a more experienced watch maker/ repair person do this for you. They may have experience in doing this, if not maybe take it to someone who has. Just obviously let them know of the situation ahead of time, you don't want them to damage it further.

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this is a very bad advise, acetone is very aggressive and will destroy plastic, seals, .....
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Old 4 June 2020, 05:48 AM   #9
mspeed76
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maybe try a hair dryer to heat it up a bit
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Old 4 June 2020, 05:59 AM   #10
77T
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Just a thought - take it back to the same jeweler who did the gluing.

Ask to have the battery replaced and request that he show you how its done.

The struggle alone should be instructive.


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Old 4 June 2020, 06:00 AM   #11
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maybe try a hair dryer to heat it up a bit


This could work if it was the typical vinyl-based adhesive some watchmakers use on snap-in crystals.


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Old 4 June 2020, 06:05 AM   #12
Ron P
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Warm the case back a bit, normally glue becomes softer when heated up. Do not overheat or you will damage the rubber seal etc.
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