When it comes time to put your watch back together after removing a damaged or broken compression fit watch crystal, you will find that a watch crystal press is an indispensable aide. Learn how to use a crystal press to fit a domed compression fit crystal with this guide.
Before you can fit a new crystal to your watch case, you need to open the watch case and remove all the important parts of the movement to avoid damaging them and then measure the case to ensure that you have the right size replacement crystal.
Once you have removed the inner workings of the watch, and you have your new watch crystal in hand you will need to choose the watch press dies that fit the watch case appropriately to insert the crystal.
Holding the watch face down, choose the fittings that will hold the watch case properly making sure that the fitting is not pressing on the lugs for the band, the watch case tube, or any area that could be bent easily. A good fitting fixture would sit on the outer part of the watch case or on the watch bezel. Use a thin protective “Selvyt” cloth on between the fitting and the watch to prevent scratches on the watch case.
Choosing the fittings that match the crystal
With a compression fit crystal there are special plastic fixtures that are used to bow the crystal reducing the diameter so it can be inserted or removed.
Using a crystal press with the smallest size flat walled fixture you can attempt to bow the crystal without buying the special fixtures. If the crystal is a ladies or smaller diameter crystal, you might need to use no fixture and only the stem that fixtures rest on.
Use a protective cloth over the top fixture and place the watch face down in the press.
Use a straight walled fixture to hold the watch crystal in place covered by a “Selvit” cloth and put the watch face down on the press.
Center the watch carefully and check that the fixtures are pressing safely on the watch. The amount of pressure that you should use is medium and checking the watch case and sides for any damage before applying more pressure. If the watch crystal does not fit in with medium pressure, you may need to use a crystal that is smaller in diameter.
Once the crystal and bezel are in place, you can put your watch movement back together and then continue wearing your watch again. To learn how to place other watch types of watch crystals into a watch case, check out the rest of our Learning Center.