How to Open a Pocket Watch

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The design and purpose of the pocket watch has not changed much over the years. First introduced in the 1600s, a pocket watch was originally owned by only very wealthy gentlemen. As the ability to make these watches improved, they became available in a wide variety of styles from elaborate engraved and filigreed gold to plain tin cases affordable to the common working man.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat-head jeweler's screwdriver
  • Inspect the case of the watch. You are looking for a tiny indentation on the rim of the watchcase.

  • Gently insert the edge of a thin, flat-head jeweler's screwdriver into the indentation.

  • Carefully twist the screwdriver. The back of the pocket watch should pop open, revealing the mechanical workings inside. In some cases, a second back cover is under the outer slightly domed shaped cover.

  • Repeat this procedure if the watch has the second cover. This second cover is known as a dust cover.

  • Open the front glass cover of the watch by gently pressing on the crown, or top, of the watchcase. The glass front should pop open.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some pocket watches have screw-on bezels and backs. If you cannot locate an indentation on the watch, hold the watch flat in one hand and unscrew the back or bezel from the case.
  • If you find you cannot open your pocket watch, take it to a jeweler and have him show you the proper method. Forcing a pocket watch open can destroy the locking mechanism and the watch may not close properly again.

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References

  • Photo Credit gold pocket watch image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com
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