How to Replace a Watch Back With a Case Press

Updated February 21, 2017

After you open your watch to change the battery or make other repairs, you need to close the watch tightly and securely. Sometimes you can snap the watch back on with your hands, but that may not work with every type of watch. The tool designed for this job is a case press, which works like a vice, applying pressure to push the watch back into the proper position on your watch.

Inspect your watch to see what condition it is in. Before using a case press, replace any parts that may be worn out, such as the back gasket. Place the watch case press on a work surface that will remain stable when you apply pressure to the press.

Select the appropriate fittings that will hold your watch securely. When choosing a fitting, make sure it doesn't press on the glass crystal or any area of your watch that could bend or break. Choose two fittings: one that matches the back of the watch case, and one that matches the front border of the watch face.

Position the fittings into the case press, placing the fitting for the watch back on the upper arm of the case press, and the fitting for the front of the watch face in the indented space on the base of the case press. Lay a watch cloth on the bottom fitting. This will act as a soft, protective layer between the press and the watch face.

Lay your watch in the case press facing down. Line up the watch back with the back of the watch. Squeeze the two handles of the case press together, using a medium amount of pressure. If you want to apply more pressure, stop and check the watch case and back for any damage before proceeding. Continue to gently apply pressure until you hear the watch back click into place.


Use the watch cloth to softly shine your watch after you take it out of the case press.


Use extra care when closing gold watches because gold can be easily bent or damaged.

Things You'll Need

  • Sturdy work surface
  • Watch case press
  • Soft watch cloth
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About the Author

Adam Raphael has been writing technical and health-related articles for a variety of online sources for five years. His articles have appeared on a variety of popular blogs and other websites.