Once you have your watch case open, eventually you will need to close it again if you want to wear it. Luckily, closing a watch back is almost as easy as opening a watch case back when you know what kind of watch case back you have. In this article, we will be addressing how to close a watch case back that is held on with screws. These watch case backs are generally smooth like a snap off watch back, except they are held in place with four, and sometimes more, screws.
The first step once you are ready to close a watch case is to check the watch gasket. Gaskets can get old or be damaged during repair – if you are concerned about the state of your gasket, replace it. For help on this, check out our article on How to Replace a Watch Gasket.
When you are sure of your gasket quality, place the watch case back on the watch case and make sure the holes in the back are aligned with the holes in the case.
Now you are ready to replace the screws in the watch back. Take one screw from the parts tray, picking it up by the head with your non-magnetic tweezers and place it in one of the screw holes in the case back. Since these screws are generally small, it may take a couple tries to get it placed properly in the hole.
Always use non-magnetic tweezers when working with small watch parts: they prevent unwanted electrical charges in the watch movement and the screws from sticking to your tweezers.
When the first screw is in place, take your Phillips watchmaker’s screwdriver and begin to thread the screw back into place, turning it clockwise. Continue tightening until the screw is mostly screwed in, but stop before it is completely tightened.
Take the next screw and place it diagonally in the case back from the first screw you replaced. By placing the screws in this manner you ensure that the back sits on the case perfectly. Tighten the second screw most of the way into place, stopping before it is completely tightened.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 to place the last two screws into the watch case. Again, do not tighten them all the way down.
After you have placed the final screw and the back is held in the correct position, return to the first screw and finish tightening it into position. Do this for all the rest of the screws, always moving on the diagonal. This will keep you from over tightening the screws and potentially damaging the watch case or the screws themselves and ensure the watch back is securely closed.
Once the back is securely in place, you can reset your watch and wear it again.