Home Forums General Discussion Forum Crystal issues.

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      Quite a few vintage watches have been passing through my hands and I haven’t had many problems with repairs but crystal replacement has been a real problem. I have purchased many vintage crystals for the watches I have been working and not one has fit and used as of yet. Maybe it is my sizing measurements or my ordering. Can anyone here explain the best way to purchase? What info should I present and how should I measure to be exact/close? Also any good dealers names you can forward. One other thing, can I replace plastic with glass? Example,


        Most if not all of the “fancy” plastic/acrylic crystals like you see on older tank style watches are meant to be ordered just a tad larger than the measured dimensions, so that you could “snap”them in for a snug fit without using cement. The cement just adds some protection against moisture/dirt. I work them in until I have just one corner left to go, and then very carefully push the last bit in with thumb pressure.
        With a round one, you can use a press or a crystal lifting/placing tool that squeezes it enough to fit into the bezel ring easier.

        Glass crystals are not much different, but you need to be very careful with how you place them…many times the bezel needs to be heated a bit in order to allow it to swell so that you can pop the crystal in place, and then when it cools it holds even tighter.
        You can warm them ( just the bezel!!) with a hairdryer, warming oven on Low, hotplate, etc.
        Experiment with one that you don’t mind damaging prior to working on one you want to keep !

        I order them just 1 mm larger than measured.
        You’ll find enough variable even then, that you may have to file it to shape a bit,..taking off rough edges from the mold, etc.

        I use the manicurist type files ( the ones that come in different grits/colors ) on the acrylics, and a fine diamond file on glass.

        You’ll find your own method as you go.

        Oh,…and don’t forget to buy two crystals…you will hate yourself for waiting for one only to break it, and then have to re-order.

        I buy from everyone
        G-S crystal
        Jules Borel
        Otto Frei

        Whoever has the best price, right product.




          Dont forget also you can buy polishing kits to get out scratches on the plastic crystals, there are some great videos on youtube that show how this is done.


            True !
            I’ve also had real good results with MAAS polish.
            It’s like a rouge paste..works ok so long as the scratches aren’t too deep.

            Nice picture Paul !!!


              Thanks Randy :)
              I will be changing it by the end of today!



                Not that anyone here needs it, but this fellow has some good information on how to replace crystals. I found that, in lieu of having an expensive watch bezel warmer, I just use a Mr. Coffee warmer which works just fine.

                Anyway, here’s the link…

                You can find a link to a PDF on removing scratches from crystals from the above URL as well.


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