How to Remove a Watch Winder

Updated April 17, 2017

A winder is the small metal stem with a ribbed crown on it used to control the time hands on the face of a watch. If you ever need to remove the winder of your watch, you cannot simply pull it out, as it is held in place within the watch movement with a small mechanism. These instructions are for push stem watches, which means the watch is holding the winder in place by means of a pressure system that is disengaged through pushing.

Set the watch in a case back remover with the face of the watch downward. Open the case of the watch so you can see the internal workings.

Take the watch out of the remover and place it so there is plenty of light on it. Find the small divot on the back of the watch, just near the stem of the winder.

Blunt the end of a straight pin by rubbing it against a stone. The pin should be rounded rather than pointy.

Set the blunt tip of the pin into the divot on the watch back and press down with a little bit of pressure.

Grasp the crown of the watch winder while pressing down on the movement. Pull the crown out and away from the watch until it comes off.


Take your watch to the store when you buy your remover tool so you get exactly the right tool for your piece.


Do not use anything that can mark or mar the surface of the watch when working with it, as watches are easily damaged and scratched.

Things You'll Need

  • Case back remover
  • Straight pin
  • Stone
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About the Author

Based in Santa Rosa, Calif., Cindy Paterson has been writing articles on travel and lifestyle since 1991. Her work has appeared on and Paterson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing from Columbia University in New York.