How to open a watch case is just one of the many important things a pocket watch collector or a pocket watch owner should know. Pocket watches require cleaning so they have to be opened at times. It is not advised to open a pocket watch especially if you do not know the inner workings of the pocket watch. This will cause damage on the watch. Not all pocket watches are opened the same way. For example, a Harley pocket watch is opened differently from a railroad pocket watch.
Here are the different methods of opening the pocket watch, depending on the type.
For bezel pocket watch cases, run your fingers along the sides of the watches and you will feel tiny bulges. These are two small hinges located on the 6 o’clock position. The “lips” are located opposite the hinges. These will help you pry open the hinged back. Use a knife especially made for pocket watches, other knives will scratch the surface of the watch and you do not want this to happen.
For swing ring or swing out pocket watches, there is a different method. These cases are designed to keep the watch dust-free. Swing out pocket watch cases have one line running along the side. This is where the bezel and the pocket watch casing fuses. All you need to do is to unscrew the bezel counter-clockwise to expose the dial. There will be a small indentation below the six o’clock position where you can lift the pocket watch movement and pull up the crown. There is a small hinge anchored to the case ring and this keeps the movement in place.
For bulldog pocket watch cases, the steps are different. First, bulldog pocket watches are those made by the American company named North American Watch Company (NAWCO). These pocket watches are difficult to find nowadays. These pocket watches have a cuvette, these are secondary back covers found usually in Hunter pocket watches. All you need to do is to simply lift the cover.