Under the Loupe/General Tips for Uncasing a Watch Movement

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General Tips for Uncasing

If you have a general tip for uncasing a watch movement that doesn't warrant creating an entirely new article to discuss, add it here by clicking on the "Edit this Page" button in the upper left hand corner of the page.

Snapback Cases

  • You can open, or at least start to open, very thin or hard to open snapback cases using a thin razor blade
  • If a snapback is particularly gummy, or stuck, apply a small amount of naphtha or one dip around its perimeter

Removing Watch Hands

Sometimes hands (especially chronograph hands) can be difficult to remove. Following are some suggestions to follow.

  • On very tight, fragile hands, such as a chronograph's sweep second hand, grab the hand by its tube to remove it
    • A stripped down presto tool with indented tips comes in handy to achieve this
  • Apply a small amount of penetrating oil, such as WD40, around the inner perimeter of a hand's tube to remove very, very tight hands
  • When dealing with mother of pearl dials, use a stripped down presto tool to pull the hands off without touching the dial at all
    • If this fails, protect the dial with a thick sheet of plastic (or several layers of thin plastic) and use broad hand lifters


  • Gently remove thin bezels using a razor blade