How to Put a Snap Back on a Watch With a Case Press

Written by megan mattingly-arthur
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How to Put a Snap Back on a Watch With a Case Press
Reattaching a watch back with a watch case press is a snap (watch image by petar Ishmeriev from

Replacing your watch back is the final step when repairing your watch mechanism or replacing its battery. Watches that feature snap-on backs may sound like the easiest type of watch back to replace, but sometimes this seemingly simple task requires a special tool called a watch case press. While you could spend a small fortune on watch case presses with metal dies, case presses with nylon dies work just as well and can be obtained for around £13.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Watch case press and included die pieces
  • Optical cleaning cloth

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  1. 1

    Select a clean, flat surface where you can replace your snap on watch back. Make sure that the surface you choose is sturdy enough to withstand the moderate pressure that is required to replace your watch back. Position your watch case press in the centre of your chosen work surface.

  2. 2

    Examine the various die pieces that came with your watch case press. Select the bottom die piece that best fits the face of your watch. Snap this piece on to the bottom of your watch case press. Choose the upper die piece that best fits the back of your watch and attach it to the top of the watch case press.

  3. 3

    Spread an optical cleaning cloth over the die you attached to the bottom of the watch case press. Lay your watch facedown and centre its face over the bottom die.

  4. 4

    Position your snap on watch back over the centre of the back of your watch.

  5. 5

    Apply gentle to moderate downward pressure on the lever of your watch case press. Slowly increase the pressure until you hear the watch back snap into place.

Tips and warnings

  • Some snap-on watch backs can be replaced by applying to the pressure watch back with your finger, no watch case press required. Before purchasing a watch case press, check to see if you can replace the watch back manually.
  • Take care not to pinch your fingers in your watch case press. Always check your finger positioning before applying pressure to the watch case press lever.

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