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Thread: First Successful Foray

  1. #1
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    First Successful Foray

    Just a quick one.
    My first semi-successful, very basic foray into the world of repairs:
    Partially completed crystal replacement.
    Replacement the cracked sapphire crystal on my cheaper Skagen beater, which are apparently very prone to cracking, with a nice soft acrylic crystal.

    I've just ordered some GS Hypo glue to seal it in place, but I'm pretty please with what's probably a very easy job for most.

    Especially after I lodged some of the glass I was removing into my thumb!



  2. #2
    Grand Master
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    An acrylic crystal is flexible and it should be possble to fix it in place without adhesive. The trick is to buy the correct size, or buy a couple and use the one that fits best, using a crystal lifter to fit the crystal if it doesnít have a tension ring. If it has a tension ring a crystal press will be needed to press it in.

    I have a simple test to check if a crystalís fitted tightly: press hard on the crystal and attempt to twist it, if it moves the next size up is needed.

    Paul

  3. #3
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    Thanks Paul. This one is 35mm and doesnít twist, but it does creak ever so slightly when pushing down on it and has a slight wobble now now and again.
    Iíve got a 35.2mm on the way which Iím going to try as soon as it arrives.

    Iíve got a crystal press to hand.
    The tension ring, does it look a little. It like a seal around the inside of the bezel?
    The crystal that I removed originally was sapphire. Would that have likely been glued, as I assume a glass crystal wouldnít be used in combination with a tensioner. Would that be correct?

    Thanks for the tips. Theyíre very much appreciated!


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  4. #4
    Grand Master
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    The original glass crystal is likely to have been fitted into a very thin white plastic /nylon gasket thatís L-shaped in profile. Sometimes theyíre glued but usually thatís the case with cheap watches.

    The tension ring that fits inside an acrylic crystal serves two purposes, firstly it allows the crystal to be squeezed tightly against the case and secondly it a ta as the rehaut ring and sits on top of th3 edge of the dial. Acrylic crystals without a tension ring are more flexible and need compressing around the edge to get them to fit. The correct tool to do this is a crystal lifter, but often itís possible to fit them using thumb and finger pressure pressure.

    Paul

  5. #5
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    Ah I see!
    Looking up acrylic tension rings online it looks like you have to buy a crystal pre loaded with a tension ring, and you can't just buy a tension ring separate from the crystal. Is that correct?

    Thanks again for the help!


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  6. #6
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    If you get stuck,XI have plenty of tension ring crystals in the cupboard, I can send a selection for you to try.

    mike

  7. #7
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    Nice job, very satisfying I am sure.

    Here is a picture of a tension ring in place - it's the inner piece of curved steel. It was separate to the crystal and just clipped in before fitting. No glue needed and it gave a waterproof/resistant fit.

    Mike (seadog) was one of several who generously helped me do something similar to you.


  8. #8
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    Thanks both!
    So would the watch normally come with its own gasket/tension ring, or would the replacement crystal have the gasket/tension ring?

    I'm struggling for find a 35mm domed crystal with a tension ring online. I'm probably not searching with the right keywords though.

    The watch original had a glass crystal so I'm not sure if it was glued or if it had some sort of gasket with the original crystal.

    Thanks again!


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  9. #9
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    The tension rings and gaskets are consumables like the crystal. Mine was for a Boctok and Lampoc kindly sent me a kit that had the crystal, tension ring and gaskets together - they are available like this from Boctok. I have used Cousins for parts but an easier option is to look on eBay and search for acrylic watch crystals if you haven't done already. You'll find loads of sellers who will also offer crystals with tension rings etc.

    I'm just passing on what I have recently been told by the experts - hopefully some more will be along with better suggestions.

  10. #10
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    Thank you!
    Is the same the for mineral crystals.
    Iíve got a ladies watch in need of a crystal replacement. It was a mineral crystal and thereís a white rubber seal left behind within the bezel.
    Do I just get a mineral crystal thatís the right size and use a press to get the mineral crystal into the bezel?
    I tried with pressing In a few sizes that seemed to be the size and ended up breaking 2 crystals. Then went down in size by the smallest increment and the crystal slotted into the bezel but with some slight wiggle.
    As I say, trying to press in the next size up resulted in a cracked crystal.

    Sorry I know theyíre amateurish questions. I really do appreciate all of the help. :)


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  11. #11
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    Treat yourself to a good quality digital vernier caliper for measuring with. Without being able to measure crystals accurately youíre going to struggle.

    You canít simply fit a tension ring into a crystal thatís not profiled to take one, it doesnít work that way. You can replace a tension ring with a similar one, I do that when I have the right size crystal with the wrong colour ring.

    If youíre breaking crystals trying to fit them youíre doing something wrong. Glass crystals are unforgiving, but if the size is correct and youíre usng a sensible press to spread the load, they go in OK.

    I trust youíre using decent magnifiers, trying to do this work with the naked eye is likely to end badly. The devils in the detail, you have to look very closely to see exactly whatís happening........and you donít learn this skill overnight.

    If youíre trying to fit an acrylic crystal into a recess designed for a gasket and mineral glass, be sure thereís enough depth for the crytal get enough purchase otherwise itíll only take a slight knock to dislodge it. Thia comes down to careful observaion and judgement. Frankly, I donít favour modifications for this reason and I flatly refuse to get involved in them........another lesson learned hard way.

    Paul

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the info Paul, that's really helpful!

    Sounds like I've been making some mistakes. I've been using a crystal press but didn't think to use the loupe to check.

    I'll definitely invest in a vernier calliper to make sure I'm getting the right size crystal.

    Thanks again!


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonesy9 View Post
    Thanks for the info Paul, that's really helpful!

    Sounds like I've been making some mistakes. I've been using a crystal press but didn't think to use the loupe to check.

    I'll definitely invest in a vernier calliper to make sure I'm getting the right size crystal.

    Thanks again!


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    The biggest mistake people make when trying to work on watches is trying to work with their naked eye. Even with good eyesight you cannot see whatís really going on, and believe me the devil really is in the detail where watches are concerned.

    Paul

  14. #14
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    I must admit I don't know why I didn't think to use the loupe. I have one for tinkering around the movement.

    I'll take another shot at it when my replacement crystals arrive.

    Thanks again!


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