Watch This!

I bought a new watch a year or two back and it’s mostly run well. A few months ago, I started having problems where it would periodically lose several hours, but it wasn’t a constant thing. Last Wednesday though, the digital date display stopped working and by Friday morning, the entire thing was dead.

Taking the back off took about 20 minutes work a couple small screwdrivers, finding a replacement battery wasn’t overly complex either and swapping the new battery for the old was 10-15 minutes work.

I’ve spent the last two or three days trying unsuccessfully to put the cover back in place. Finally today I took two pairs of pliers, put tape on the ends to prevent scratching, and tried squeezing the pieces back together that way. The only thing I achieved was to chip the crystal.

Going online, I discovered that I’m not the first to encounter this difficulty. The current crop of Timex watches are apparently notorious for this problem. It turns out that the preferred method of replacing the cover is to clamp the entire thing in a vise!!!

I don’t own a vise, but I do have a C-clamp. After a bit of digging, I managed to locate it (Now if I could only find my electric blanket!). I put the watch between two paint stirrers and tightened it up in the clamp.
That did the trick! Now there’s a much bigger crack in the crystal*.

But at least the back is staying on.

*I’ve had worse. The previous watch was scratched across the entire left side by the time it was replaced. But next time I won’t tighten the clamp so much.

Update: November 9, 2022 Looking back over the intervening years, I’ve moved away from battery-powered watches altogether. My preferred watch these days is self-winding or “automatic” (a strange adjective to be sure). By removing the need to replace a battery, I have also greatly increased the lifespan of my watches.

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