Fitting Crystals to Watch Bezel
When choosing a replacement crystal consider the design of the watch, the height of the original crystal, and the style of the original (high dome, low dome, flat top, stepped, tension ring, straight sided, magnifier, etc.). Next, remove movement, band, and anything else, such as a rotating divers bezel from case. Now follow these steps:
- Remove old crystal from bezel.
- Remove all old glue and dirt from bezel shoulder. You may need to use an epoxy solvent to remove old epoxy. I use Attack solvent and ultraviolet epoxy.
- Clean bezel and case.
- Measure distance across bezel.
- Choose a crystal 0.10 mm larger than measured distance.
If needed file away excess until crystal just fits bezel. Leave crystal a tiny bit on the large side, buff edges of crystal with buffing wheel and a plastic polishing compound. When fitting glass crystals, use a diamond file or grinding wheel to trim.
- Apply a small amount of plastic crystal cement to bezel shoulder (I use G-S cement). For glass crystals use an epoxy to adhere it to the bezel.
- Insert crystal with crystal press or crystal inserting tool.
- Clean watch dial and hands. It is always best to remove the hands when cleaning the dial or to straighten them.
- Replace movement into case.
- Put on case back and divers bezel, etc.
To clean dial, always use blower and a sharpened piece of pegwood or toothpick to remove dust and broken pieces of glass from surface. Then use Rodico or something like it to remove any other residue. (Rodico is like silly putty and can be purchased from most material distributors.)
To straighten hands, use sharpened pegwood and tweezers, hold hand steady by inserting pegwood through the hole in the hand and use tweezers to manipulate hand. You can also use a hand or balance tack to hold hand steady.
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About Carignan Watch Repair Company
Carignan Watch Company was officially started in January 1996. However, long before that, owner Denis Carignan was repairing watches as a hobby. It all began when he found an old pocket watch while antiquing. He was amazed by the craftsmanship and became captivated by what is known as horology.
Over the years, we have repaired and restored thousands of timepieces. We specialize in repairing the timepieces that others give up on. Carignan Watch Company has a large inventory of parts and materials, and we also manufacture parts that cannot be purchased due to age or rarity. We service a variety of timepieces. We are an independent repair shop; we are in no way authorized by, affiliated with, or endorsed by ANY watch manufacturer, company or re-seller, and we like it that way.
About Denis Carignan, Owner, Carignan Watch Company
Many years ago I fell in love with watches and, like many others, I tried having a few serviced by so-called watchmakers and was very disappointed . The “factory authorized service centers” were even worse to deal with unfortunately. When I say I fell in love with watches, I mean it. They fascinate me on many levels and I think it is an absolute shame that it is difficult to get them serviced properly. I began repairing my own watches and before long I jumped in with both feet.
From that point on, watches and the repair of them has been my passion, or perhaps obsession. I have devoted nearly all of my adult life to learning the craft and have been providing people and their watches the best possible services available for may years. When someone says “it cannot be done” or “you can’t fix this,” it sparks something in my mind that is hard for me to stop. At times I have spent hundreds of hours on a project that many other watchmakers had abandoned, determined to see it through no matter what. This is usually not profitable, but it sure is nice to see the look on the customer’s face when I hand them their running watch that is for all intensive purposes “back from the dead.”
If I don’t know something, I ask someone. If I do not have something I need, I find it. If I cannot find something I need, I make it. If something is truly beyond my ability, I admit it and try to find someone who can help. If help cannot be found, I will do everything possible to learn how to do it myself. I take pride in my work, which I enjoy, and I am grateful to God for the abilities he has given me and plan to use those gifts for as long as I can. I came from a long line of engineers, machinists, and inventors, on both sides of my family, so it’s no wonder, I guess, that I am so interested in mechanical things. Every thing I have I worked very hard for. I hope someday my daughter will get into the business, but only time will tell; she is still young.
I am self-employed and independent from any watch manufacturer at this time, for a reason. I do not like being dictated to and refuse to do things that I do not agree with. I am always working on honing the skills I have and learning new ones. I am very well connected and do not shy away from the tough jobs. I take the training I want to take. I work on whatever watch I want to work on, and I use the tools and equipment that I want and deem appropriate to use. I use both antique tools and modern tools that I have purchased over the course of many years. My shop is extremely well equipped and exactly the way I need it and want it. Very few shops have the capabilities that mine does. In my opinion, you should be able to bring your watch to whomever you want to have it repaired; it is your watch and your money. The person you bring it to should be able to get the training, parts, and equipment to service your watch easily and cost effectively, without jumping through constantly-changing hoops and hemorrhaging money. Pomp and circumstance is not something you will find here.