How to use a watch case press

Updated November 21, 2016

A watch press is a special type of vice used to reassemble the back of a watch to the case. Watches will most times feature either a screw down back or a press down back. Both are designed to form a tight seal against dust and moisture. A watch press is typically made of metal and features a base with a depression for placing the watch. Exchangeable nylon dies are used to secure the back and case in the press during use. The press is operated by a lever mounted to a metal support frame.

Position the watch press on a table or other work surface which will provide support and stability. There will be pressure applied to the vice in order to attach the back to the watch. The work surface must be able to support the pressure.

Select a nylon die which closely matches the design of the watch back. Attach the die to the back press plate located in the upper part of the unit just below the lever. A small hole located in the centre of the die is used to attach the die to the plate.

Select a die which closely matches the face and case of the watch. Insert this die into the depression in the base of the unit.

Place the watch case face down in the bottom unit. Make sure the case and face are centred in the nylon die.

Place the watch back in the correct position on the back of the watch.

Apply steady and firm downward pressure on the lever until the watch back snaps into place on the watch body.


Wipe the watch face, case, back and band with a soft cloth to remove finger prints.


Keep fingers clear of the press while pressure is being applied.

Things You'll Need

  • Watch
  • Watch press with nylon dies
  • Sturdy work surface
  • Soft cloth
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About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.