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I just ordered the first...

June 23 2010 at 7:24 AM
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technoguy 
from IP address 65.55.67.193

new watch tool for myself in a very long time...decades actually. It's an "SE Watch Case Wrench, Adjustable, Jaxa Type
by Caddy Bay Collection". I found several different models of these wrenches being sold on Amazon and this was one of the least expensive.

About 99% of the watches I've repaired in the past had the pry off type back covers on their cases, but, of late, it seems like the screw off back cover has become "standard" on wristwatches. For the few such back covers I did encounter in the past, I was usually able to remove them by VERY carefully using the spread blades of a pair of scissors to engage the notches on their covers and slowly twisting the scissor blades to screw the covers off after I had chilled them with pieces of ice to contract them a bit.

However, this technique is very risky to use and, if the tip of the scissor blade should slip out of an indentation in the back cover, it can leave a nasty scratch on the cover that can be a pain to try and polish out.

I encountered a screw off type back cover on my the Invicta "Pro Diver" watch that I purchased about three years ago when I needed to access its Miyota automatic movement so that I could correct an unacceptable daily timekeeping error it had. The back cover on this watch's case was so tight that my usual scissor and ice technique would not budge it and I had to take it to a local jewelry store and then pay $5 for their watchmaker to use the correct wrench to loosen the it up for me.

Lately, this Invicta "Pro Diver" of mine, while one of the most attractive diving watches I've ever owned, has become very unreliable and, at unexpected times, will suddenly stop running and, when it does run, it is losing up to a minute a day...a sure indication that it's movement is due for a good cleaning and relubrication which I am a bit surprised at since the movement has only been in daily use for 3 years now.

This time, however, I want to be ready for the servicing with my OWN adjustable pin wrench so I won't have to visit the jeweler again to open its back cover for me. I also want to avoid having to answer any questions about WHY I am not letting him do the servicing for me.

I also expect to be getting more use out of this tool as I slowly add to my analog quartz watch collection over the coming years and eventually have to remove their screw off back covers in order to change their batteries.

For the cost of only $5.18 USD (plus another annoying $5 USD for postage) every watch owner and amateur watchmaker nowadays should consider investing in such a special tool. Considering the money one will save by being able to install his own batteries and perform his own movement servicing, such a too will quickly pay for itself.

Anybody else here have any experience with this particular brand of adjustable pin wrench? If so, how would you rate it for ease of use, durability, etc.?


technoguy

 
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AuthorReply
JerseyMo

12.233.96.228

Caseback tool

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June 23 2010, 9:35 AM 

TG....I purchased an inexpenvise case back tool about one year ago. Made in China,came with a wooden box and various tips. I think I paid somewhere around $12, free ship.

I bought it much for the same reason as you. At that time I had been buying large lots of watches from Goodwill. Almost off of which were quartz and required battery replacement.

In my opinon the tool is 'crap'. reason is the adjustment wheels are poorly placed on the head, and they tend to loosen when pressure is applied.

Since I do not come across many screwbacks these days I have no need to get a better tool. So for now it will have to do.

I was told by my watch maker the he has found the same issue with Invicta watches that you are having. They are not reliable timepieces. He has many customers bring them in for repair only after a few years or even months. 'All looks and no go' as we would say about a car that looked fast but did not have the horses under the hood.



JerseyMo

 
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Paul

64.136.114.9

Case back tool

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June 23 2010, 10:31 AM 

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

I have this one which ssems to work fine for what I need
(from RLT England)
Cheers Paul

 
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technoguy

65.55.67.171

Thanks for the...

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June 23 2010, 10:55 AM 

feedback, JM.

The wrench I just bought was probably also made in the Orient, yet it did gather a few good reviews on Amazon. I'll try to reserve judgement until it shows up.

Yep, I'm very disillusioned with my Invicta "Pro Diver" watch, but the problem seems to be those Miyota movements they use. They are probably the cheapest, mass produced mechanical movements to come down the pike since those used in the early Timex watches! Those Timex mechanical movements, however, would often run for a DECADE or more before requiring servicing (which usually consisted of just buying another new watch and chucking the old one in a drawer).

The idea that my Invicta's Miyota movement is only a mere 3 years old and is already in need of servicing is VERY disappointing. That can indicate such problems as gear wheel teeth that were not cut quite perfectly and have actually been slowly GRINDING themselves into the proper shape as the movement ran for the last 3 years!

All of that grit from those grinding parts then accumulates between the teeth of the gear wheels and their pinions, held in place by a combination of oil and magnetic fields, until it finally builds up to the point where it literally chokes the movement and prevents it from running altogether. I would never expect to see this type of problem in a fine swiss mechanical watch movement.

Still, Invicta does have one benefit...their watches tend to be very inexpensive when purchased on the web or on such cable television home shopping shows as "ShopNBC" where I bought mine during a Clearance Sale for only $76 USD INCLUDING postage.

Well, hopefully, low cost mechanical movement makers like Miyota will eventually get their acts together and begin supplying more accurate and reliable movements for the world's low cost mechanical watches. If not, then the current popularity of these types of watches may finally fade away as the even less expensive, but FAR more accurate and reliable analog quartz watch movements take their places.


technoguy

 
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MCV

67.102.35.164

I have a cheap case wrench...

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June 23 2010, 10:57 AM 

an Indian knock-off of the expensive one. It's a three-point type with different heads that you can put in depending on the type of caseback you're removing. Works fine, just take your time and go slowly when using it.

I also have one of those rubber balls, while they might not remove a super tight case back, they do work, and are also useful once you've cracked the back intially and then use the ball to remove the caseback the rest of the way, with no worries about scratching anything.

Cheers,

-Marc

 
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Paul

64.136.114.9

Ball

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June 23 2010, 11:10 AM 

I have looked a buying one of those balls - thanks pjh

 
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RonD.

96.245.95.159

I bought one of those balls...

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June 23 2010, 6:56 PM 

Works okay, but only if a back is lose enough to open, and really only seems to work best on watches that you have used the ball to close. happy.gif

After 6 months, the air has pretty much leaked out of it. Not sure if you can put the air back in.

Ron

 
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technoguy

65.55.67.171

I saw that...

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June 23 2010, 11:46 AM 

three pin wrench, but decided not to get it because, aside from being a bit more complicated to adjust, it was about double the price of the two pin one I got. I guess the simpler two point wrench I ordered will be okay for the few times per year that I might actually use it.

However, I do think that using three pins to open a screw off back cover on a watch would tend to provide a better grip on it than just using two pins which are diametrically opposed to each other when they are in contact with the back cover. That is, three pin wrench will probably be alot less likely to slip when torque is applied to it.


technoguy

 
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Bill D

74.89.179.90

Re: I just ordered the first...

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June 23 2010, 12:16 PM 

If I'm not mistaken, I believe the true Jaxa type wrench is the 3 pin. A 2 pin is sufficient for most cases but the 3 pin is necessary where the slots are arranged where they are not directly opposite each other as they are on some watches that have an uneven number of slots. Also engaging 3 pins gives a more secure purchase on very stubborn backs IMO. I have had some that I had to clamp the case in a jewelers bench vise and use all 3 pins with a lot of force to loosen. I have also ground a set of pins for my 3 pin wrench, with a dremel, that work better than any other method on those stubborn old Timex cases.
If one is going to work on many different watches the ball is very handy to have and the best choice for screw off case backs on pocket watches. The worst cases are the ones that are like hex head nuts but all different sizes and numbers of sides. I have probably 10 different watch spanner wrenches and none ever seem to be the right one I need.

Bill D

 
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EdH

199.36.14.19

WELCOME back, BillD...were sure have missed you. (more)

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June 23 2010, 12:48 PM 

Check the posting below where we wished you Happy Birthdays.

Cheers, happy.gif

Ed

 
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Bill D

74.89.179.90

Re: WELCOME back, BillD...were sure have missed you. (more)

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June 23 2010, 2:06 PM 

Thanks Ed and thanks all for the birthday wishes. Getting slowly back to normal (whatever that is) here so will drop in from time to time. Trying to get healthy with some walking so that takes up some time and also keeps me away from sitting so long at the computer.
Bill D

 
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technoguy

65.55.67.185

Welcome back, Bill, and the next time...

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June 23 2010, 3:02 PM 

you encounter a screw off back cover that seems to require extreme force to get it moving, try my trick of applying an ice cube to the center of the back cover for about 30 seconds. The contraction in the metal of the cover caused by its sudden chilling can definitely lower the amount of torque needed to remove the cover.

Hmmm...sounds like your absence was due to health problems. Well, I hope you are well on the path to a full recovery. I've been sick myself, on and off, since last November with several cases of acute bronchitis followed by weeks of "post infection bronchial inflamation" after each bout. During these times, my bronchial lining becomes VERY sensitive to any food I eat that might have any sort of allergenic proteins in it. Unfortunately, that list of foods contains practically all of the foods that I usually eat and which do not normally bother me when my lungs are working properly!

After consuming the food, my bronchial linings will swell up and begin hyper secreting mucus which, needless to say, does not make it easy for me to breathe. I'm taking a variety of natural anti-inflamatory vitamins and minerals which help with the problem but have not completely eliminated it.

Fortunately, I continue to recover day by day and am now taking extra precautions to say AWAY from anyone in public places that looks like he or she has any sort of flu-like symptoms. One of the worst things a person can do is hold onto a hand rail that hundreds of others, some with their own infected mucus on the fingers, have been using and then inadvertently touch his hand to his own face or eyes. Lord only knows how many people get infected that way. I'm even thinking of wearing a disposable plastic glove whenever I have to hang onto a hand rail in a public building! Either that or always carry those little packets with me that contain a folded napkin saturated with alcohol so I can actually sterilize my hands after using a public hand rail!


technoguy

 
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Mel

82.41.210.140

TG - have you tried - -

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June 23 2010, 3:46 PM 

- - the small bottles of "Hand Gel" you can get nowadays? Excellent for the situations you describe and for "washing" before eating in any public place happy.gif

The hands don't need to be dried off and the gel contains the same ingredients as used in hospital hand gels. I have a "two or three" pack of the dispensers, and refill them myself from a larger bulk buy container, much cheaper.

*********************************

Sorry to hijack the original thread, but also Bill D. hope you can get yourself fit again. we were all concerned that youw ere not posting - look aftyer yourself so you can look after yourself! happy.gif

*********************************

Back to Normal Transmission - I have the three pin version as BIll desrcibes, and I've also trimmed down a set of tips to fit the Timex screw ring backs, works a treat on those. I'm also thinking about a ball type opener, but I often use the "Sellotape" (Scotch Tape) or Duct Tape method on stubborn backs I don't want to scratch - just scrunch up a ball shape of adhesive tape to the size of the caseback, sticky side out, and use that - works a lot of times!

e~gards

Mel

Frae Edinburgh, Bonnie Scotland

http://www.timekeepers.me.uk
Affordable and Everyday Watches

http://www.sequencedance-online.co.uk
My other hobby - Sequence Dancing

 
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technoguy

65.55.67.168

Thanks for the tip...

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June 23 2010, 10:42 PM 

My girlfriend is going to pick me up a bottle of that gel hand sanitizer and I will give it a try. Sounds a lot more convenient than the little towelettes which have to be carefully unfolded to use and then have to be discarded properly.

Yep, nowadays one has to assume the worst when venturing out into the public many members of whom are sick and should really be home in bed! Since about 1/3 people DIE from an infection and older people have weakened immune systems that make them more susceptible to being infected, it pays to be on one's guard when in public.


technoguy

 
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JerseyMo

12.233.96.228

benvenuto di nuovo - Bill!

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June 23 2010, 3:32 PM 



JerseyMo

 
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Dorsey H.

71.63.44.236

Very Happy to See You, Bill

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June 23 2010, 3:41 PM 

Nobody can fill your place here on the Forum as our resident Historian and In-Depth Source for all vintage Timex information. I wish you a speedy and full recovery. Blessings, Brother Bill.

Dorsey H.

 
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TNT

72.89.90.46

I like to use gentler methods first.

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June 25 2010, 2:52 PM 

Ball > Cane Tip Opener > Pin wrench

 
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Bill D

74.89.179.90

true but

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June 26 2010, 10:29 AM 

ball and cane tip do not work on backs where there is a slotted separate ring holding the back cover on such as early Timex and Accutrons. Pin wrench is the only right way to go on those.

Bill D

 
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