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Discussion Starter #1
I own two Enicar Sherpa Graph watches, one of which easily opens with a friction ball or a Bergeon suction/friction tool.

. . . and the other S.G. I can not open.

The one I cannot open is now in the hands of a well-known and respected watchmaker here in the U.S. and in my presence, he was unable to open the watch even with a Bergeon 5700Z and appropriately sized friction cup.

The watchmaker has a large commercial 3D printer and two CNC machines one of which is a milling machine. The current plan is to print a tool out of plastic first and if that fails, then to make a tool out of metal.

The case back is 14-sided and I measure it as 34.0mm flat to flat and 34.7mm corner to corner.

Shown below appears to be the original type of tool used:

I have looked online on and off for a couple of months and I have not run across such a tool.

There are multi-sided dies made for Breitling watches that would be just the ticket if they were made in the appropriate size, but alas, the 14-sided variety come in 30.2 and 36.2 flat to flat sizes.

I've checked with Esslinger, Otto Frei and others.

Anyone have any idea where I may obtain the correct tool for the job?
 

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Seems strange to use a friction cup instead of a normal three-bit case wrench (like an LG). With the correct bits, even as an amateur I've opened many very tight waterproof cases with polygonal case-backs without incident. However, I know there are watchmakers on the forum, so they can correct me if I'm wrong.

I carefully adjust the wrench to be a snug fit on three flats of the polygonal back. I put the case in a holder (the kind with four plastic pins), and put the entire holder in a bench vise, so that I have two hands free to use the wrench. That allows me to apply strong pressure with one hand to keep the wrench from slipping, while I rotate the wrench with the other hand. Alternatively, you can use the LG wrench in combination with an LG Openall, which will really be foolproof since there will basically be no way for the wrench to slip. I used to do it that way, but I found it to be overkill.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Seems strange to use a friction cup instead of a normal three-bit case wrench (like an LG). With the correct bits, even as an amateur I've opened many very tight waterproof cases with polygonal case-backs without incident. However, I know there are watchmakers on the forum, so they can correct me if I'm wrong.

I carefully adjust the wrench to be a snug fit on three flats of the polygonal back. I put the case in a holder (the kind with four plastic pins), and put the entire holder in a bench vise, so that I have two hands free to use the wrench. That allows me to apply strong pressure with one hand to keep the wrench from slipping, while I rotate the wrench with the other hand. Alternatively, you can use the LG wrench in combination with an LG Openall, which will really be foolproof since there will basically be no way for the wrench to slip. I used to do it that way, but I found it to be overkill.
Thanks for your input, Dan.

I am not an experienced WIS . . . and certainly no watchmaker, but I do have a small machine shop of my own and nearly a lifetime of experience with things mechanical in nature. I say "nearly a lifetime," as I am up in years but not dead yet. ;-)

I wouldn't try using a three-sided tool to open a tightly shut 14-sided EPSA case.

When I saw an obviously experienced watchmaker somewhat stumped trying to open the case before my eyes, I realized for the first time why EPSA cases generally . . . and Enicar Sherpa Graph cases in particular more often then not have badly scratched case backs with some very deep scratches.

My easy to open 1966 S.G. was badly scratched (on the back) long before I got it. Photo below.

Like many Sherpa Graphs, the front is in great shape despite the abuse of the back.

On the other hand, the 1962 watch that we are trying to open has a case back that is, so far, in much better shape and I would like to keep it that way.

The design of the tool used thus far is very similar to the LG Openall but twice the size and capable of putting a lot of torque on the case back.

I'm hoping that this thread does generate suggestions, but more than suggestions, I'd like to find the correct tool for the job.

As I've suggested above, a die like the Breitling dies would be perfect, but so far, I've found nothing suitable.

Thanks again,

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
An addendum . . .

While on the subject of opening and closing these case backs, it is my understanding that they are rotated up to 70 degrees to open and close. The photo at the end illustrates my understanding, though not necessarily a fact.

There is a "I" and a "0" on the edge which, as I understand it, aligns with the stem, "I" for locked and "0" for open.

As you see in the photo, it looks as though the back was rotated past the crown and this may explain why the case is so tight.

The construction of the case is explained in the link that I have provided immediately below:

The Watch Spot - Enicar

Scroll down to the Sherpa Graph entry.
 

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Well, in case you reconsider, this is the style of LG pin that is designed to open the polygonal case backs.

59.0605__00275.1476998321.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Dan,

Thanks again. I have such a tool with an assortment of interchangeable bits including those you depict . . . and of course, any established watchmaker has such tools.

Here's how I see the issue, by close analogy . . .

One can loosen a hex head machine screw or attempt to do so in a number of ways. In descending order of proper means to an end:

One can use a hex wrench (spanner) or a hex socket and ratchet handle or torque wrench.
One can use a 12-point box wrench or socket.
One can use a properly sized open-end wrench.
One can use an adjustable wrench.
One can use a pair of vice-grips.
One can use a slip-joint pliers.

When the bolt or nut is fully torqued down to specifications - or worse, over-torqued, using anything other than the right tool risks damaging the head in such a way that the right tool may no longer fit properly.

Now if we were discussing an exposed chromed bolt on your Ferrari cam covers where cosmetics are important, you'd shoot-to-kill any mechanic who reaches for an adjustable wrench or a pair of pliers!

Assuming the triad of angles on a 3-point tool match the 14-sided case back, any slip-up is still going to mar the back of the case. It is not worth the risk when the watch is valuable and clearly someone has previously over-tightened the back.

Had the watchmaker reached for a three-point tool, I'd have grabbed the watch out of his hands and run out into the street never to return. ;-)

In the end, a tool may have to be fabricated as indicated in my first post. The watchmaker hasn't started the tool yet as far as I am aware and so I will bump this thread a few times in the hope that someone who knows where the correct tool may be found may provide input.

~ Joe
 

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Joe, I'm not going to fill space with a list of my qualifications, but I've got plenty of experience with mechanical things, so I really don't need a lecture with explanations that assume I am a child. I'm just giving you suggestions that have worked for me many, many times, often with severely over-tightened case-backs. If you don't like them, don't take them.

A totally foolproof method involves super-glue and a hex nut. That absolutely never fails and involves no risk.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Dan,

If you took my comments as a lecture to you, I'm am sorry that you drew such an inference. It was not my intention to offend you in any way.

It's challenging at times to convey a pleasant tone in forum posts and sometimes in email exchanges, but I have appreciated your contribution and I have said as much and meant my appreciation to be interpreted as sincere.

Others who read this thread will not be inclined to suggest using a three-sided adjustable tool even if such an approach has worked for them - and that is what I wanted to convey generally.

Right upfront I indicated that I am not a watch savant and that I am looking for the right tool as opposed to a work around that carries risk.

The thread title and the initial post clearly indicates my intent - to find the right tool for the job.

I believe you too were encouraging input from others and now let us hope the quest leads to a good result.

Thanks again,

Joe

Edit: The hex-nut glued to the case back approach is really a last resort. If the glue does not hold for any reason, the case will be irreversibly marred.

The goal here is to open and close the watch without risking cosmetic damage. Even the proper wrench or spanner carries some risk, though a die would be a near-perfect solution. A wrench held in place with an opening tool like the Bergeon 5700Z or an Openall would also eliminate risk.

For those who do not know, this is what the Breitling type die looks like:

Snap1.jpg
 

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I own two Enicar Sherpa Graph watches, one of which easily opens with a friction ball or a Bergeon suction/friction tool.

. . . and the other S.G. I can not open.

The one I cannot open is now in the hands of a well-known and respected watchmaker here in the U.S. and in my presence, he was unable to open the watch even with a Bergeon 5700Z and appropriately sized friction cup.

The watchmaker has a large commercial 3D printer and two CNC machines one of which is a milling machine. The current plan is to print a tool out of plastic first and if that fails, then to make a tool out of metal.

The case back is 14-sided and I measure it as 34.0mm flat to flat and 34.7mm corner to corner.

Shown below appears to be the original type of tool used:

I have looked online on and off for a couple of months and I have not run across such a tool.

There are multi-sided dies made for Breitling watches that would be just the ticket if they were made in the appropriate size, but alas, the 14-sided variety come in 30.2 and 36.2 flat to flat sizes.

I've checked with Esslinger, Otto Frei and others.

Anyone have any idea where I may obtain the correct tool for the job?
No way would a correctly closed EPSA Super Compressor be opened with a bit of wobbly rubber on a stick.
I find the Bergeon suction toy only opens 2 of my watches and a children's rubber tennis ball is 10% of the price and far
more effective and spreads the rubber further.
My understanding is that the Enicar 'closed line' doesn't always line exactly with the crown but is unlikely to be overtightened.
I personally wouldn't risk opening the back myself because luckily my watchmaker is just a mile away. He would have opened many thousands
of Super Compressor cases and I watch him in action. He then allows me to take macro pictures of the movement and then services them.
Essential he uses what looks like a 3 pin Jaxa style wrench and goes quite pink in the face with the effort. The wrench always holds strongly
and never slips. Your case back looks in very good condition - a deep scratch would substantially devalue the watch.
 
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks, Rich,

I have both a rubber ball and a Bergeon friction/suction tool, and either works fine for my Mark III, though I prefer the "stick."

Changing gears a bit . . .

I also made a post over on the FB Enicar Sherpa International Group and I received a wonderful confirmation from a gentlemen named Romuald Kociuba that the alignment of the case back as I understand it is actually correct! See below.

So far I have stated a couple of times that my Mark Id is in the hands of a respected U.S. watchmaker but I have purposefully not identified the entity.

As a small business owner myself, I understand that this fine organization should be given an opportunity to service my watch before I unwittingly provide others with a reason to know them as "the watchmaker who couldn't open up a Sherpa Graph." ;-)

Such would be an injustice. And when I do identify them, it'll be clear I took the watch to a good place.

Note: At no time during my visit did my watchmaker reach for a three-point tool. In my first post, I identified the approach he proposed to take and with which I agreed.

When I get the watch back, I will provide a complete report.

Meanwhile, I've been trying to save some time and money by finding the right tool for the job.

I hope it is clear from my first post that I would not open the watch myself either . . . unless I had the right tool for the job and while I accept that an experienced watchmaker may successfully employ a three-point tool (I have one of these JAXA tools as well,) the right tool for the job is not a three-point adjustable hand-tool.

Any of us who have been following the Sherpa Graph in particular knows that more often than not, even when the face of the watch is in excellent condition and the case and lugs are quite good, the back may look like crap.

It's pretty easy to deduce why the backs of these watches are often beat up.

As you observe, the back of my "Id" hasn't been abused yet and as you may suspect, the price I paid for the watch is reflected in its current condition. Shame on me if I allow anyone to damage it.

Cheers,

~Joe

One more edit: Looking at the photo of the watch, you can see that the back has been turned - I would say forced - past the closed position by about 10 or 15 degrees. I have examined the mechanism up close and it can be forced. If you go to this site, you will see a discussion of the mechanism itself. Scroll down.

The Watch Spot Blog - Enicar
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi Joe , thought you might be interested in this 2016 thread re Enicar Super Compressor backs and a 3D printer.

https://www.watchuseek.com/f11/3d-printed-enicar-seapearl-case-tool-2770610.html
Thank you, again,

Actually, I ordered one of those tools from Shapeways as the gentleman who drew the tool was kind enough to release his file for anyone's use. Silly me, I did not bother to note at the time that the drawing was for the smaller Sea Pearl case as would be used for the 36mm sized watches. Now I need to buy another smaller Enicar so that I may make use of the tool! ;-)

I have a lead on a potential source of another 3D tool (in printable file format) and if it pans out, I will mention it here.

In the end, I may have to draw the tool myself. Though I have very limited experience with 3D drawing tools, this is not a complicated project relatively speaking . . . and there are some online tools that may help.

I've been trying for the easy way out, but there is often a hard way available. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
On the case back alignment issue . . .

It was only yesterday that the document above fell into my hands, thanks to a sympathetic person on a FaceBook forum.

As many may know, the EPSA case has three locking tabs and though I have not measured the separation, they appear to be 120 degrees apart. This will allow anyone who does not note the "l" and the "O" to install the back in any of three ways. Of course, in some instances the original alignment markers are either very faint of have been rubbed or polished off.

If one searches online as I have for Enicar Sherpa Graphs making note of how the case backs have been installed, its a "hit or miss" affair with the cases being installed in the "wrong" orientation as often as the "right" orientation.

Now we know. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Time to revive this thread . . .

When I started this thread, I was hoping to find the "correct" tool to open the EPSA bayonet case as used by Enicar for their larger Graph watches.

At one point, someone offered to draw one up for me and print it out of plastic. The person went so far as to say it was ready to send and asked me for my shipping address, but then . . . they seem to have disappeared.

In any case, my new S.G. Mk. 1 "D" needed service . . . and so I took it out to Roland Murphy at RGM Watch Co. in Mt. Joy Pennsylvania.

Digression:

As some here will know, Roland is one of a very few watchmakers in the U.S. who actually make watches commercially. He has his own in-house designed movement and he sometimes uses re-purposed Hamilton movements and also makes use of the ETA 2892-A2 and variants for his smaller watches where the in-house designs do not fit.

Visit the RGM site and you will find watches that dazzle with Grand Feu enamel as well as in in-house produced engine turned (Guilloche) dials.

Back on point . . .

When I brought the watch to Roland, at no time did he consider trying to open the case with a three point tool. He did try using a friction press tool, but that failed to do the trick.

RGM has a metal and plastic printing facility as well as CNC machining capabilities. What he did for us is to draw and machine a tool out of brass:

EPSA-ESG-Case-Tool-RGM.jpg

It took a couple of months to get the watch back, but now that it is fully serviced, I appreciate it that much more!

ESG-1D-061119-2.jpg

Cheers,

Joe
 
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