The design and purpose of the pocket watch has not changed much over the years. First introduced in the 1600s, a pocket watch was originally owned by only very wealthy gentlemen. As the ability to make these watches improved, they became available in a wide variety of styles from elaborate engraved and filigreed gold to plain tin cases affordable to the common working man.
Inspect the case of the watch. You are looking for a tiny indentation on the rim of the watchcase.
Gently insert the edge of a thin, flathead jeweller's screwdriver into the indentation.
Carefully twist the screwdriver. The back of the pocket watch should pop open, revealing the mechanical workings inside. In some cases, a second back cover is under the outer slightly domed shaped cover.
Repeat this procedure if the watch has the second cover. This second cover is known as a dust cover.
Open the front glass cover of the watch by gently pressing on the crown, or top, of the watchcase. The glass front should pop open.
- Some pocket watches have screw-on bezels and backs. If you cannot locate an indentation on the watch, hold the watch flat in one hand and unscrew the back or bezel from the case.
- If you find you cannot open your pocket watch, take it to a jeweller and have him show you the proper method. Forcing a pocket watch open can destroy the locking mechanism and the watch may not close properly again.