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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I keep paying other people to replace the crystals in my Seikos. I like to switch the Hardlex out for Sapphire.

I'm thinking I could do this myself if I had to right tools and someone could explain the technique.

So....

What tools do I need and how do I do it?

Thank you!
 

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Few ways to go - not detailed but examples and once you decide we can talk details. If you want the watch to keep it's original water resistance leave it alone and use original crystals."IF" you Seiko had a sapphire option find the proper part and replace it. "IF" this is a modification and you want water resistance you can find an appropriate (if it exists) sapphire crystal that will work with Seiko gaskets. "IF" it is a modification and water resistance is secondary you could cement in an appropriately sizes sapphire crystal. Gasketed crystals will require a proper crystal press. Cemented crystals will require a clean mating surface and using a proper crystal cement lay down a small bead into the corner of the seating surface and embed the crystal into the cement. Any method you choose the movement should be removed from the case for a proper job. Last "IF" if you are trying to save money a crystal press and equipment will quickly outspend and crystal replacements. If you want to learn by all means go for it. Last method and maybe the best....avoid scratching crystals......;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have had some Seikos modified by pulling out the standard hardlex and replaced with a Sapphire from Harold at Yobokies. In the instances that I have had this done the person doing the work just removed the crystal while leaving the gasket and movement in the watch. The person (Jay at Motor City Watch Works) stated that the watch passed a standard pressure test and I have had no water or moisture issues at all. No resin, glue, or new gaskets were used.

Is that work that I could just do myself with a crystal puller and crystal press? I don't really need higher dollar tools for this as I would just be doing maybe one watch a year.
 

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I appreciate the expediency of the persons doing the repair. But applying a crystal press to a watch with a movement in it is improper. Crystal presses apply a lot of pressure on a crystal and sometimes crystals do break... or the crystal can go in crooked or watch can slip off the press. Things happen - and bad things happen fast. Losing a crystal is one thing crushing a movement is another. You could do it - but once again I do not agree with changing a crystal with the movement in. My opinion, for one watch a year I would go get a coffee and come back and pick up my watch from a watchmaker.
 

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I use one of the smallest hand held lever presses available, the C6047 from Cousins UK and i also bought all the extra dies available:



Removing the crystal:

  • The technique i use for removing the crystal is very simple, first i try to push the crystal out of the case with my thumb which has worked on all watches so far except my Speedmaster 57 re-reissue.
  • For crystals that wont budge with thumb pressure like my Speedy 57-reissue i mount a square die bigger that the crystal diameter on the base of the press and a circular die on top and simply press out the crystal.
Pressing the crystal into the case:

  • Very simple, find a die that fits the bottom of the case and a die that fits the crystal. Make sure any gaskets and rings are in place then press the crystal into the case.
  • Check afterwards that the crystal is seated correctly

* I also always take the movement out of the case before i start.
 
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