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Discussion Starter #1
To encourage everyone here, I took pictures while doing my first crystal replacement. I have no experience with this, so maybe I overlooked some things - please reply with notes on how to improve my process.

This "tutorial" is also available as an album on imgur: http://imgur.com/a/GnFY0

I linked the original resolution images to each picture here, so click on them to get lots of details.


We have here a Seiko SKX171 that had a rough life. The crystal is very scratched and a new one will make it look a lot better.


I've got a special tool for opening the SKX sized casebacks from our user bry1975. It won't scratch the caseback, as the pins are made from a metal softer than steel.


Caseback open...


To release the stem, you have to push it in to the first position and find the little tab that comes out of hiding only in this crown position. Press down and pull the crown/stem assembly out.


With a bit of patience, remove the movement by prodding the movement holder (the black pastic around the movement). It will come out eventually. Be careful to keep it straight until it is out of the case, so you won't catch any of the hands on the case!


Press the case knife in at the 12 o'clock position (or thereabouts). Do not lever, simply push in and go around the circumference of the bezel.


If you do this, the bezel will pop off and you can simply take it off the watch.


Disassembled bezel and case.


I use my tweezers here to point out the bezel gasket that's not inside the groove where it should be. This led to the bezel being stuck.


The metal shim that's lying on the watch case is the bezel click sping. Remeber to replace this before re-assembly.


To press out the crystal, we need a die to hold the case and leave enough room for the crystal to pop out. Here I found one that will do.


The die will go on the lower side of the press. Here the watch is placed as it will be under the press.


Now we need a die to actually push out the old crystal. I tried several, as they have to clear the chapter ring but should be as wide as possible.

...continued in the next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)

That's the best fit of all my dies. Now, assemble the crystal press with the selected dies. Mine has a base die where the lower die resides on. Watch out for the pin that holds the die - it must not stick out of the used die, or you will break your crystal!


Place the watch with the face down in the press. Obviously you want to press the crystal OUT of the case, not in!


Now apply force and press that crystal out.


Done! There is a crystal gasket that might either stick to your crystal or still be in your watch case. Separate this from either crystal or case and remember which side is up. Check for damage if you want to use it again. In this photo you can also see the little notch in the case and the little tab on the chapter ring that's used to align these two.


Select a base die that is level and put it in the press on the lower position. Another die, the size of your crystal, goes on the top.
Place the gasket (either old or new, if you have one) in the case. The crystal goes on top of that, make sure it is level. Place the case with the crystal under the press.



After carefully applying force to the crystal from the top, check that the crystal is pressed in correctly by viewing it from the side and all around.


Check for any parts that might have been inside the case before you pressed out the crystal. In my case, I forgot to replace the chapter ring!
Out it goes again...



...well, it's all practice.


Now, before you assemble the watch again, grease all the gaskets with silicone grease. This helps to keep the watch water tight and movement of the bezel smooth. If you have new gaskets, now is the time to replace them... ;)


Make sure the bezel gasket sits nicely in the bezel. Place the bezel spring on the watch. Then place the bezel level on the watch case and press down with a fitting die. Try turning the bezel. If it moves smooth, everything sits as it should.


Use an air blower to remove dust. Do NOT use your mouth. You'll get moisture on the movement and dial.


Remove dust from the dial. You don't want to be angry with yourself when you look at the finished watch and notice dust inside...


...and remove dust from the inside of the case. Also, you should clean the crystal from the inside with a soft cloth to remove fingerprints etc...


Carefully place the movement in the case. I use a watch cushion and put the watch case over the movement. Then I turn it around and use tweezers or cocktail sticks to put the movement in it's final position. The movement spacer ensures a tight fit in the case, so try and keep the movement level with the case, as it will go in easier.


Replace the stem and crown. If you put the movement in correctly, the stem will easily click into place.
Close it up and tighten the case back with a Jaxa tool.



Done! Now we have a watch that looks much nicer than before.

I hope this proves helpful to others, especially if you always thought it is too hard to do it yourself.
 

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Excellent post.
Just one tiny thing.

Don't use kitchen paper to line your table as it sheds tiny fibres which could get into your movement.
Ask me how I found that out

+1 on the press query.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks. The press is old stock that had (and still has) rust. They are sold relatively cheap (40 instead of 100 Euros).

Thanks for the tip with the paper towel. I will change to foam someday ;)
 

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Thanks. The press is old stock that had (and still has) rust. They are sold relatively cheap (40 instead of 100 Euros).
That is an MKS Japan made press, or pretty good copy of it. Still being made, a steal for 40 euro. Nothing is more appropriate to work on Japanese watches.
Thanks for the tip with the paper towel. I will change to foam someday ;)
Just get a free piece of linoleum at the flooring shop. Some even look nice.
 

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Nice tutorial and thanks for sharing!

I like the press so much and try to Google it but with no luck.

Someone please share a link or source as to where I can find one? (new or used)

Many thanks in advance!

Cheers!
 

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Good write up there Jonas!

Good to see you using a small blower rather than compressed air aerosols. Use them wrong and moisture can spray onto to your work piece.

Is it possible to put some high density rubber on the metal dies - to prevent scratches?
 

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excellent post my friend...what kind of press is it and where did u find those dies like that?...never seen that nylon one...really appreciate all the help...God Bless,John
 

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Sorry, I'm late to the thread. Thanks Mr. J for a great tutorial! One question - why no silicon grease on the crystal gasket? Because it could work its way onto the crystal or dial?
 
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