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September 1st.

Bank holiday here so i have started the project a couple of days early while i had a little spare time :)


  • “Project” 6309 !!
    Case back removal, tools and methods.

    Gather your tools together, sticky ball (blue is best LoL), Jaxa type back opener(mine is a cheepy and one of these days i will get a better one), case holder, cloth, bench vice and of course the project watch bought specially for the project from Ebay.

  • Try sticky ball first imo the safest method, by that I mean the method least likely to damage the case back. Method make sure the back is clean and the ball, place the ball on the back and then press down and turn anti clockwise at the same time, some times you will have to repeat this process a few times to get a good grip, hopefully now the back is turning J

  • So the case back has been put on by a power press or just never been opened in years (which can be a good thing or bad !!) but it will not budge with the ball so now we need the “heavy” equipment :( . First off I put the case holder in my small bench vice, open the case holder to the size of your watch and I then cover it with a micro cloth so that hopefully there can be no damage to the case, crystal or bezel. Now adjust the Jaxa type tool so that the tips are a good fit in the case back cut-outs, place the tool tips in the cut-outs and press down firmly on the top of the tool while gently putting pressure on the handle to turn it anti clockwise, don’t try to jerk it or do it to quickly just rather slowly put pressure on while at all times pressing down on the tool to keep the tips in the case back cut-outs and hopefully it has now started to move.

  • In all honesty this particular back started to come undone with the ball but I still continued with the other method because of the project!! What I will often do if the case back is being really stubborn and the Jaxa has to come out is to put electricians tape or any other tape I have over the back so that it I was to slip the tape would protect the case from damage in the form of a scratch etc (I hate to see case backs that have been scratched).

  • The case back is now off and our first look at the movement and case threads on the back and case, great this one has no corrosion to either, the movement looks to be very clean and running well (so it seems), at this point I also remove the old gasket that has normally gone flat with age and they often dry out and go brittle, I always keep a sewing pin in a pin vice as I find this tool comes in very handy for lots of little jobs like removing the gaskets etc, this gasket is not to bad thought still pliable and a bit of shape to it so this has helped the movement keep clean.

  • Observation time, movement clean and all the screws look good so not been butchered, corrosion around the edge of the ratchet wheel? , running, movement holder good complete with spring, case threads and gasket seat good and the same on the back cover so all in all first impressions are very favourable J J







Disclaimer.
At no time do I say my methods are the correct way, best way, proper way or the only way just that these methods work for me ;) you copy or use these methods at your own risk J

Why have this project? Two reasons,

  • To perhaps help some of you guys to do a little more to your watches and have the satisfaction of doing it yourself.
    Ulterior motive of mine to pick up tips from others ;)
 

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Well, my three pronged tool managed to get the caseback off with no scratches, then after having a peek inside and putting it back together, I had another go with the magic yellow ball.


The yellow ball was a lot easier to unscrew the caseback, but a bit harder to get started - on something that's quite tight, you will probably need to use the tool to start it and then unscrew it with the ball.


I don't know what the correct technique is (or even the correct name) for the three pronged tool, but I found that if I rested it on the caseback and tightened up the middle thumbscrew to get two of the prongs relatively tight in the notches on the caseback, then I could hold it in place and tighten up the handle screw and it seemed to grip pretty well. You need to apply a LOT of downwards force as the last thing you want is the tool slipping out of the notches and scratching the case!


This is the first time I've opened a watch up!
 

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I have noticed an interesting fact when I opened my case back, strange scratches on the inside of the back, on close examining, notes left by previous repairers, very interesting !!!!
 

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daveeb said:
I have noticed an interesting fact when I opened my case back, strange scratches on the inside of the back, on close examining, notes left by previous repairers, very interesting !!!!

Yes exact same thing on some of mine! Looks like a date etched in - service or inspection perhaps as you suggest? - in a funny kind of way lends a bit of history to it!
 

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daveeb said:
I have noticed an interesting fact when I opened my case back, strange scratches on the inside of the back, on close examining, notes left by previous repairers, very interesting !!!!
Hi,
I believe this is commonplace practice among watchmakers, if the case back inner face is not decorated (i.e. for inexpensive watches). It provides an indication of when the watch was last serviced and by who. Of course for 30 year old watches serviced a few times by a watchmaker on the other side of the world, the usefulness of this practice can be questioned. :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
Cheers,
 

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ADB said:
Hi,
I believe this is commonplace practice among watchmakers, if the case back inner face is not decorated (i.e. for inexpensive watches). It provides an indication of when the watch was last serviced and by who. Of course for 30 year old watches serviced a few times by a watchmaker on the other side of the world, the usefulness of this practice can be questioned. :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
Cheers,

Echo that, and especially given that there isn't really any guarantee that the caseback hasn't been swapped over for any reason during the course of it's life..


As an aside, I'm always a bit sceptical of the 'servicing' as advertised in the sales pitch of some of the ebay sales from far flung shores - a visit to a local, reputable service centre is certainly worth consideration, in the UK such as either Steve Burrage or Richard Askham for example.
 

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howie77 said:
...
As an aside, I'm always a bit sceptical of the 'servicing' as advertised in the sales pitch of some of the ebay sales from far flung shores - a visit to a local, reputable service centre is certainly worth consideration, in the UK such as either Steve Burrage or Richard Askham for example.
And I'll echo that.
:)
I actually feel safer when I read "service history unknown" i.e. the watch hasn't been serviced for ages. :D :D :D
Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter #10
When ever i receive a watch the first thing i do after cleaning it is to change gaskets, i don't always service the movement unless needed but not changing the gaskets is false economy in my eyes.
 

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[edit] I just noticed you mentioned putting tape on the back cover so I've removed this bit of advice..[/edit]
The ball (I have the pink one because i'm comfortable with my masculinity) works well for opening and closing although your final should be snugged with the wrench to assure the gasket is properly seated/compressed.

When putting the case back back on I use the ball and and turn the cover counterclockwise until it "drops in" or aligns to the threads and seats squarely. After that, turn clockwise to tighten.

_Tim
 

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Seikosonic said:
When putting the case back back on I use the ball and and turn the cover counterclockwise until it "drops in" or aligns to the threads and seats squarely. After that, turn clockwise to tighten.

yup that's good - similarly useful when tightening the crown so as to avoid any issues of cross threading or damage to the crown or tube threads!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Often when replacing a case back i use two cocktail sticks, i "feel" the back on to the case and gently rotate the back until it catches the case thread and then tighten it up a couple of turns using the "sticks", this way like the ball no marks and no chance of cross threading as using the sticks i can put no pressure/force onto the operation.

 

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kai_h said:
I don't know what the correct technique is (or even the correct name) for the three pronged tool, but I found that if I rested it on the caseback and tightened up the middle thumbscrew to get two of the prongs relatively tight in the notches on the caseback, then I could hold it in place and tighten up the handle screw and it seemed to grip pretty well. You need to apply a LOT of downwards force as the last thing you want is the tool slipping out of the notches and scratching the case!
Hi Kai_h,
You technique is sound, but one thing I would mention is that too much downwards force can definitely be a bad thing- as it can damage (strip) the threads in the case or on the caseback. By applying downward force, you are creating more friction for your turning to overcome, which can make it even harder to open a stubborn case. The best type of tool in these situations is one that locks the case and the opener in place relative to each other, so that extra downward force is not necessary to keep the tool engaged with the case back. A good example is the Bergeon 5700 case opener tool, which has a threaded stop to firmly engage the tool without extra downward force. The large wheel on top also gives much better leverage. (not my pic):
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I always keep a sewing pin in a pin vice as I find this tool comes in very handy for lots of little jobs like removing the gaskets.

Please note i would NEVER use this "tool" if i intended reusing the gasket because of the chance of damaging the gasket with the needle point.
 

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Can the case back be sufficiently tightened using a sticky ball, or will we indeed need the jaxa-type tool to fully tighten it (compress gasket, etc.)?
(Also, will we require a case holder?)
 

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lalanda said:
Can the case back be sufficiently tightened using a sticky ball, or will we indeed need the jaxa-type tool to fully tighten it (compress gasket, etc.)?
(Also, will we require a case holder?)
Hi,
All these tools: the ball, the jaxa-type tool and the case holder, are imho "must have" tools, and they are all relatively inexpensive if you look around on El Bayo.
Also imho the ball will provide a tight enough case back, if properly used. But then I am not going diving with any vintage diver's watch, ever.
Cheers,
 

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ADB said:
Also imho the ball will provide a tight enough case back, if properly used. But then I am not going diving with any vintage diver's watch, ever.
Cheers,
Hm.. that prompts a question that's been on my mind for a bit - with renewing the seals/gaskets and application of a bit of silicon grease, what kind of waterproofing is being achieved? I mean, I don't suppose it'll ever have factory fresh waterproofing as spec, but with new seals and ensuring everything is nipped tight...?

Obviously pressure testing would confirm, but I can't see what else there would be to 're-proof' the watch other than seals and silicon - what do we think chaps?
 

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howie77 said:
Hm.. that prompts a question that's been on my mind for a bit - with renewing the seals/gaskets and application of a bit of silicon grease, what kind of waterproofing is being achieved? I mean, I don't suppose it'll ever have factory fresh waterproofing as spec, but with new seals and ensuring everything is nipped tight...?

Obviously pressure testing would confirm, but I can't see what else there would be to 're-proof' the watch other than seals and silicon - what do we think chaps?
Well, apart from the case back gasket, there are the crown and crystal gaskets too, and I don't intend to change either, so personally I would settle for not-having-to-take-off-the-6309-when-washing-my-hands water resistance. But that's just me, I am comfortable with this kind of limitation.
:)
Cheers,
 

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howie77 said:
Hm.. that prompts a question that's been on my mind for a bit - with renewing the seals/gaskets and application of a bit of silicon grease, what kind of waterproofing is being achieved? I mean, I don't suppose it'll ever have factory fresh waterproofing as spec, but with new seals and ensuring everything is nipped tight...?

Obviously pressure testing would confirm, but I can't see what else there would be to 're-proof' the watch other than seals and silicon - what do we think chaps?
Sorry should have been a bit more specific - I was going slightly off topic with this, and meant with renewing all seals, ie bezel, crystal, crown and caseback....! Perhaps a topic for later on!

Howie
 
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