In this how to we will be discussing how to replace a watch crystal, or change a watch crystal, specifically the standard acrylic plastic domed crystal. This is by far the most popular Types of Watch Crystals you will find on old or vintage watches, including pocket watch crystals, which are severely scratched and need to be replaced. This is NOT the same as a Sapphire Watch Crystal Replacement. There is no need to be nervous, with the right tools and a little effort you too can replace a watch crystal.
The first thing you will need are the tools used to replace a watch crystal. In the picture above you see two pieces called a crystal remover and inserter. The one on the right is the tool that compresses the edge of the crystal so that you can replace a watch crystal. The one on the left is to hold the crystal so you can grip it correctly before installing it on the watch. These are commonly available online at watch repair houses or on Amazon following the previous link.
If you look closely you will see a ledge on the side of the crystal just above the metal of the case, this little ledge is where you need to place the opened jaws of the tool to grab the crystal like such:
Note that the tool is on the crystal only, at no point is it gripping the case. Once this is accomplished twist the end of the tool to tighten the jaws. Slowly rock the tool back and forth and the crystal should slide out. If the tool comes off the crystal instead, the jaws were not tight enough so try again. Once it gives way you should have this:
At this point be very careful not to touch the face of the watch or hands. Many a wrist watch crystal repair has gone horribly wrong just by touching the hands. Any oil your hand leaves could damage the face or hands, not to mention you could accidentally break a hand off.
Now on to install watch crystal, take the new crystal and place it on the other tool like so:
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