How To Open A Waltham Pocket Watch?




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Waltham pocket watches are pretty famous among antique collectors. They give off a nostalgic vibe paired with having a fantastic design. However, these need maintenance from time to time. This may lead you to wonder about, how to open a Waltham pocket watch.

Open A Waltham Pocket Watch

Accessing the intricate machinery of these watches is tricky. You have to disassemble it step by step with proper caution.

We have a related article for you on How Do I Identify My Elgin Pocket Watch And Its Value? 

Without precise work, your watch might even get damaged. So, it is better to know the proper methods before trying to open the watch. 

Why don’t you jump into the procedure right now? That way, you can also follow along and open your Waltham pocket watch by yourself.

How To Open A Waltham Pocket Watch? Step By Step

Opening a Waltham pocket watch is not an easy task. However, You won’t need so many tools. But, you need to have precision. 

Let’s have a look at the tools you’ll need to get. Then, we will dive into the details of the procedure.

Necessary Tools and Material

  • A pocket knife
  • Tweezers
  • Screwdriver
  • Movement Holder
  • Mylar 

How Do I Open The Back Of A Waltham Pocket Watch?

To open the back of a Waltham pocket watch, you’ll need to verify a few things first. You have to check what type of watch back your pocket watch has.

It can be a full plate back, or it can be a snap-off watch back. Then, you have to open the watch back accordingly.

If you have a full plate watch back, simply rotate it in a counterclockwise direction. The watch back will come off.

However, in case your watch has a snap-off back, get a pocket knife. Then, slightly press around the ridge of your watch. The back should open up with a snapping sound.  

Here is an article on my website that you must read, its about the Best 7 Pocket Watch Chains In 2023.

How To Open A Waltham Open Face Pocket Watch?

Opening a Waltham open-face pocket watch requires the execution of a few steps. 

Firstly, you have to push the winder downwards from the top. This will cause the case to flip open. Following that, you need to get a pocket knife. With the help of the knife, press along the ridge of the watch.

However, you need to inspect the watch first to locate the ridge. After gently pressing for a few seconds, the pocket watch should open up.

How To Open The Crown Of A Waltham Pocket Watch?

The stem inside the crown is connected to the movement through a top plate. Locate any indentation or screw in the top plate just below the neck of the crown. 

In case the stem is screwed in, take a screwdriver and rotate it anticlockwise. The screw should come off. Make sure not to scratch the top metal plate.

Then, take off the top plate carefully, unscrewing all the surrounding screws. After that, carefully remove the stem from the watch with your fingers.

How To Open The Hands Of A Waltham Pocket Watch?

You will need a tweezer for this job. Well, it will be better if you have a hand puller. However, you can get the job done with a tweezer.

First, place a piece of mylar underneath the dials. Using mylar will prevent your watch from getting scratched.

Then, try to place the tweezers below the dials and pull them out one by one. You need to be gentle in this step. After you’ve removed the dials, remove the mylar.

The second hand of the watch is generally very small. You need to exercise utmost caution while removing it. Just like before, place the mylar under the second hand.

Following that, pull the dial out using either a tweezer or a hand puller. All of the dials should be opened from the watch. 

How To Open The Balance Wheel Of A Waltham Pocket Watch?

If you have opened the back of your Waltham pocket watch, you will see a wheel rotating. That is the balance wheel. To open this, firstly, you will need a screwdriver. Do not panic in case you see the balance wheel rotating. 

Simply unscrew the screws from the plate surrounding the balance wheel. Also, take the hairspring off by unscrewing it. While opening the screws, be cautious.

The screwdriver may not fit the screws and you may end up scratching the watch.

Finally, take the balance wheel out after carefully taking off the metal piece that keeps it in place. Place the balance wheel in such a place that you don’t accidentally knock it over.

How To Open A Waltham Pocket Watch From The Case?

This is quite a simple process. The watch is kept in place within the place with some screws. You have to open the screws first.

Using a screwdriver, rotate the screws anticlockwise to open them up. Then, slightly push the watch using your index finger while holding the case with your thumb. In that way, the Case and watch should be separated.

Here is an article that I have written about How To Wind A Pocket Watch With And Without A Key?

How To Open The Dial Of A Waltham Pocket Watch?

  • Place the watch you’ve just opened from the case on a movement holder.
  • Then, unscrew all of the screws you have on the back of your watch.
  • After that, locate the notch between the dial and the watch.
  • Then, gently press it with a pocket knife to pry it open.
  • Now, you’ll see the dial coming off the watch.
  • Take the dial off with your fingers and place it someplace safe.


As we’ve discussed how to open a Waltham pocket watch, you should be clear about how to do it yourself.

However, doing this work needs extreme precision as mentioned before. Otherwise,  your watch may end up damaged. You wouldn’t want that, would you? 

So, if you are unsure about opening the watch yourself, hire a professional to do this job. In that way, your watch will be safe.

Also, you have to check out my post on the Will Apple Watch Count Steps If In A Pocket? [Everything To Know].

But, if you follow the instructions properly, it is quite easy to do it yourself. Although, it will take some time. We hope that we were able to be of help to you. 

Best of luck!

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