The watch crystal is the clear plastic or glass portion of your watch that protects the watch dial from dust and other kinds of damage while being worn and allows you to tell the time without having x-ray vision. Over time your watch crystal can be scratched, cracked or broken and need to be replaced. Instead of throwing out your favorite watch when the crystal is damaged, learn how to replace with with this guide. In this guide you will learn how to insert almost any type of watch crystal into almost any watch.
Some of these guides may require you to remove all the inner workings of the watch movement from the watch case to safely replace the watch crystal, and others may involve high heat or adhesives. If at any point you feel unsure about one part of the process, you should stop and take your watch to a professional watchmaker to avoid damaging it permanently.
Glued In Crystals
If your watch crystal is held in place with glue, there are several different types of watch glue you can use to reattach the crystal to your watch case. Be aware that you will most likely want to remove the watch movement from the watch case before attempting to glue your crystal back into place to keep from damaging it or getting it covered in any of the recommended adhesives. To learn how to attach a watch crystal to the watch case with glue, check out these links:
Compression Fit Crystals
If you have an unbreakable crystal for your watch, chances are good that it is held in place with a compression fitting. The easiest way to replace a compression fit watch crystal in your watch case is to use a crystal lift. Check out this link to learn how to insert a compression fit crystal.
Gasket Fit or Tension Ring Crystals
If you have a watch crystal that is held in place with a gasket or a tension ring, you will most likely need to use a watch crystal press to press it securely into place. To learn how to use a crystal press, check out this article: