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How to open a snap down caseback

Opening a watch's caseback is simple as long as you have the right tools to open it. We will be discussing how to open a watch with a snap down (also known as a snap back and snap off) case back.

You can tell that a watch has a screw-down case back by looking at the back of the watch. If the caseback has an indentation or cut on the edge of surface then you know that the watch has a snap down caseback.

Tools Needed:

  • Watch Case Knife

  1. Before you start, you may need to remove the watch band/bracelet, so that your tools can fit on the watch back.
  2. Take the watch case in your hand and find the indentation or cut that will help you pry the back off. It may just be a slight cut or indentation so you might want to use a magnifier to help you find it.
  3. Once you have identified the indent or tab, turn the watch case so it will be easily accessible and slide your bench knife's blade under the tab with your other hand.
  4. Once the blade is in place, use it like a lever to pop the back open. Gently push the handle away from the watch back by slightly twisting your wrist away from the case back. Use a little downward pressure to help you get under the watch case tab.
  5. Be careful not to let the blade slip because it might scratch the watch case or worse, damage the delicate movement inside.
  6. With your efforts, the back should easily pop off the watch, and when it does you can lift it off with your fingers. Now you are ready work on the inside of the watch.