How To Open A Waltham Pocket Watch?

If you own a Waltham pocket watch and want to take a closer look at its movement or perform any maintenance or repairs, you will need to know how to open it properly.

A Waltham pocket watch is a precision instrument, and it is essential to handle it carefully to avoid damaging it. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to open a Waltham pocket watch safely and without causing any harm.

Understanding the Parts of a Waltham Pocket Watch

Before we proceed to the steps, it’s important to understand the parts of a Waltham pocket watch. A Waltham pocket watch typically has two covers, one on the front and one on the back. The front cover, also known as the bezel, holds the crystal in place, while the back cover protects the movement.

Tools Required to Open a Waltham Pocket Watch

You will need a few tools to open a Waltham pocket watch, including a case opener, a watchmaker’s knife, and a pair of tweezers. A case opener is a specialized tool used to remove the back cover of the watch, while a watchmaker’s knife and tweezers will help you remove the front cover and the movement.

Steps: How To Open A Waltham Pocket Watch?

Step 1: Remove the Watch Cover

To remove the back cover of a Waltham pocket watch, place the watch face down on a soft cloth. Insert the tips of the case opener into the small gap between the back cover and the case, then gently twist the case opener to pry the cover off.

Step 2: Remove the Watch Crystal

Once the back cover is removed, turn the watch over and locate the small lip or notch on the edge of the front cover. Carefully insert the blade of the watchmaker’s knife into the lip and gently pry the cover off. Be sure to apply gentle pressure to avoid damaging the crystal.

Step 3: Remove the Movement from the Case

With the front cover and the crystal removed, you will now have access to the movement of the watch. Use the tweezers to gently remove the movement from the case. Be careful not to touch the delicate parts of the movement with your fingers, as the oils from your skin can cause damage over time.

Step 4: Open the Movement

To open the movement, locate the small groove on the side of the case opposite the crown. Insert the blade of the watchmaker’s knife into the groove and gently pry the case open. Be sure to work slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the delicate components of the movement.

How to Close a Waltham Pocket Watch?

Once you have finished inspecting or repairing your Waltham pocket watch, you will need to close it up properly. To close the watch, follow the above steps in reverse order. Start by placing the movement back into the case, then carefully close the movement cover. Next, insert the crystal into the front cover and gently press the cover back onto the case. Finally, use the case opener to snap the back cover into place.


Opening a Waltham pocket watch can seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be done safely and easily. By following the steps outlined above, you can access the movement of your pocket watch and perform any necessary maintenance or repairs. However, if you are not confident in your ability to open your watch or perform repairs, it’s always best to seek the help of a professional watchmaker.


Can I use any case opener to open a Waltham pocket watch?

No, it is essential to use a specialized case opener designed for use with pocket watches to avoid damaging the back cover.

Is it safe to touch the delicate parts of the movement with my fingers?

No, it’s best to use tweezers to avoid leaving oils from your skin on the movement, which can cause damage over time.

Can I perform repairs on my Waltham pocket watch myself?

While it’s possible to perform some repairs on your pocket watch, it’s best to seek the help of a professional watchmaker for more complex repairs.

What should I do if I encounter any resistance when opening the watch cover?

Stop immediately and reassess your technique. Applying too much force can cause damage to the watch, so it’s essential to work slowly and carefully.

How often should I open my Waltham pocket watch?

It’s not necessary to open your pocket watch frequently, but if you notice any issues with its performance, it’s best to have it inspected by a professional watchmaker.

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