A Guide to Opening Pocket Watches with a Snap-Off Case

Snap-Off Case pic

Snap-Off Case
Image: heritagepocketwatch.com

A successful businessman in the San Francisco Bay Area, Craig Duling has a strong interest in antique pocket watches. Craig Duling explores this interest through his website HeritagePocketWatch.com, which offers information on a number of different topics related to timepieces, including how to take them apart. For a pocket watch, the process largely depends on the type of case used.

The snap-off cases can prove tricky to remove since they do not involve any screws or other fasteners. However, the entire back can come off to reveal the moving parts inside. Once removed, the case can easily be snapped back into place to off seal the watch once again.

To open this type of watch, individuals should try to find a case knife tool created for watchmakers as not to damage the watch. However, in a pinch, people can use a dull-bladed tool and take care not to slip while opening the watch to avoid scratching. On the back rim of these watches is a small notch that can be used to rock the case open. Typically, the tip of a knife will not fit in the notch so people usually have to use the side.

Once the blade is inserted, a gentle rocking motion should cause the case to pop. If this does not happen, individuals should not try to force it open, as this will typically lead to damage. Closing the watch also requires care. If the watch is not closing smoothly, the case may not be aligned properly. Often, watches have small marks on the rim of the case that should be lined up when closing.


An Overview of Basic Pocket Watch Case Designs


Pocket Watches pic

Pocket Watches
Image: heritagepocketwatch.com

Craig Duling serves as chairman of the board at Heritage Management Services in Northern California. Outside of his business pursuits, Craig Duling maintains a passion for pocket watches, which he shares through his website HeritagePocketWatch.com. On this website, he provides extensive information about the history and construction of watches, including their cases.

Pocket watches are designed to be hunter-cased or open-faced. A hunter-cased watch has a metal housing around the moving elements and an additional metal cover over the dial. A hunter case has a metal latch that clips into the lip of the front cover to protect the face of the watch. These watches have a stem that users push to release the latch. With open-faced watches, the metal cover goes only around the moving parts and the face remains unobstructed.

Another element of the case is the back attachment style. Individuals need to be able to remove the back to reveal the working parts. Four main styles exist. The first is a screw style, which uses threads to attach the backing. Other watches may have a back that snaps on with a notch for inserting an opening tool. The third style adds a hinge to the snapped back, and the fourth style employs a single-piece body that has no seams. To remove the back, individuals must firmly take off the front bezel and then a swing-out mechanism gives access to the moving parts.

Florida United Numismatists to Host 63rd Show in 2018


Florida United Numismatists pic

Florida United Numismatists
Image: coinweek.com

Craig Duling possesses an avid interest in antique pocket watches. He began collecting the timepieces after becoming acquainted with a colleague at work who owned an antique pocket watch. With nearly four decades of experience as a collector, Craig Duling shares his knowledge of the hobby, as well as information on upcoming events, through the HeritagePocketWatch.com website. One event of interest to collectors is the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Convention Show.

An annual January convention, the FUN Show maintains a reputation as the leading numismatic calendar event with more than 1,500 dealers, exhibitors, and Heritage Auctions. Welcoming dealers and collectors involved in numismatic hobbies, the show will include a variety of activities and highlights including educational seminars and meetings for professional groups and organizations. Attendees may also browse a diverse exhibitor hall featuring experienced dealers and collectors from across the country. Additionally, the show will host auctions through Heritage, the nation’s largest collectibles auctioneer with a network of more than 130 authorities in the collectibles field.

FUN will host its 63rd annual show from January 4-7, 2018, at the Tampa Convention Center in Florida. Admission is free to the public, although attendees must visit the public registration booth to receive a badge before entering the event.