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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I'm not a watch expert by any means - my daily watch was an old Seiko 5 and I have a Seamaster for dressier occasions. Other than that, I don't know much about watches, so please bear with me: I bought my first Hamilton, a Khaki Navy Sub (auto), and it was shipped to my office last Thursday. Everything looked good, with good packaging (as far as I can tell), and all the protective plastic in the right place. I had a watchmaker adjust the links for $10, and I go about my merry way. Tonight, driving out to dinner, I felt something loose and heard a claspy noise. At a traffic light, I looked at my watch, and *gasp* to my surprise, the case-back is detached from the watch and rattling in between the space between that and my wrist. Naturally, I'm now in "gentle mode" (and pulled off into a parking lot), I press my fingers on the case-back to the watch, take off the watch, and begin to reposition and turn it clockwise to screw it back on. I don't have the tools, so all I did was hand tighten it as much as I could.

SO ... is this normal? I'm somewhat disappointed with Hamilton - the watch wasn't that expensive (bought via the last sale) at a few hundred bucks, but I wouldn't expect the case-back to fall off with normal use ... newly shipped as well. I'm an office worker so nothing hard on the watch, but most importantly I've only had it for a few days! Why wouldn't the case be screwed on tight and I shudder to think what would've happened if I went swimming and it came off? :-(

Second question is - what do I do next? There's very little chance of water risk, in the few days I've owned it, it hasn't been exposed to any water - maybe whatever sweat my wrist has in our Southern California winter, so that's likely minimal. How can I go about it tightening it? Does it need a pressure check or a test on the mechanics of the movement? I don't want to overtighten because I read stuff about squishing the water seal :-s , so would rather just pay someone to do it right, and I can only hope they know the torque specs? And lastly, is this something I need to do a return on, and even if I do, would they just tighten it anyway and ship it back to me (ie am I better off saving weeks of shipping/out of use and just pay the watch store a few $ to tighten and test it?)

Anyway, I'm a bit disappointed - if these things are factory tightened and sealed, no matter the reason, opening it up and exposing it even for a few seconds (and who knows how much more as it's been loose for a while, I presume) isn't something I'm happy with. Still not as good as factory sealed, but I can live with it and move on if you guys/gals see this as no biggie.

Advice? Thanks all!!
 

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Something ordinary
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Sorry to hear about your poor experience, that is quite unusual for Hamilton. I have owned two with no issues at all. That is not normal or acceptable. Reach out to the seller and request a refund or replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Mediocre, that's kind of a bummer. The watch is almost-perfect in every way (except the bezel is a 1/4 minute off center, and the ETA 2824-2 is running about +5sec/day which I think is acceptable and subject to my iphone being accurate to begin with), and I would've been happy if the caseback was screwed on properly.
 

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Man, am I glad I stumbled on your thread! Just got mine in a couple days ago from Ashford. Checked the caseback just now and it indeed came loose by hand. I tightened with a rubber ball.
 

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Welcome to the forums! Sorry to hear about your bad experience. This is definitely not normal. Return to sender for satisfaction...
 

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Agreed. Any watchmaker can tighten the caseback if you do not have a wrench and they can likely pressure test it. However, I'd contact the seller. Assuming it was sold as new, I'd be suspicious they were selling something that had been returned for warranty work as a new watch. There's no reason it wouldn't be shipped tight from the factory because it had to pass a pressure test at the factory.
Let us know what you decide and how it turns out!
 

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I have a Hamilton khaki king that I bought off the Grey market about 2 years ago and haven't had any issues it. Although, the case back definitely should not come loose like that. If it's worth it to you, I'd return it. Otherwise you can buy the watch back tightening tool online for relatively cheap. I bought one for my automatics, along with some fine screwdrivers so I could regulate my watches. Hope all works out!


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