No. 6 - Removing and Replacing Stem and Crown From Your DIY Timepiece
Why Would You Need to Do This?
The removal of the stem and crown is a very frequently performed process in watch assembly modding and servicing since this is usually a required step before you remove the movement and dial from the case. Besides, there are several reasons for you to learn this skill.
- Maintenance: Over time, your watch may require servicing or battery replacement. Being able to remove the stem and crown is the very first essential skill.
- Customization: If you're a watch aficionado, you might want to swap out the crown for a different style or color, adding a unique touch to your timepiece.
- Learning Experience: DIY watch assembly isn't just about putting the pieces together. It's also about understanding the inner workings of your watch, and handling the stem and crown is a part of that knowledge.
Before you embark on this horological journey, gather the following TOOLS:
- Case wrench: To open the watch case back.
- Hand remover: To safely remove the hands from the movement.
- Movement holder: It can be the watch cushion (this can be found in SM DIY's professional toolset) or a piece of soft fabric to secure the movement while you work on it.
Removing the Stem and Crown
Step 1: Prepare Your Workspace
Begin by selecting a clean, well-lit area where you can work comfortably. Lay out your tools and have them within easy reach.
Step 2: Open the Case Back
If you want to do this step with a completely installed watch, you need to open the case back first. Refer to: No.8 - How to open screw-in case back - SM Timepiece DIY. If you do this technique with Steve Mille's DIY Watch set, please skip to step 3.
Step 3: Locate the Stem and Crown
Once the case back is off, you'll have a clear view of the movement. Find the stem and crown; they're usually on the right side of the movement.
Step 4: Release and Remove the Stem and Crown
Look for a tiny release button or lever near the stem. It's often minuscule, so a magnifying glass might help. Gently press or lift it to release the stem from the movement.
Replacing the Stem and Crown
Step 1: Inspect Thoroughly
Before you reinsert the stem and crown, give them a close examination. Remove any dirt or debris and check for any damage.
Step 2: Align the Stem and Crown
Ensure the stem is correctly aligned with the hole in the movement where it was previously. This alignment is crucial for the hands to move accurately.
Step 3: Reinsert the Stem and Crown
Gently insert the stem back into the movement. If you encounter resistance, don't force it. Verify the alignment and try again.
If your watch has a release button or lever, press it down to secure the stem in place. Without one, push the stem all the way in, ensuring it clicks into position.
Step 4: Test the Crown
Wind the crown if necessary to power the movement. Test the functionality by adjusting the hands in different positions (e.g., time-setting or date-setting).
Step 5: Close the Case Back
Once satisfied with the stem and crown's operation, carefully close the case back using the case wrench. If you are assembling our DIY Timepiece, continue with our next step in the Instruction Guide: No.7 - How to install and remove a watch case (turn on subtitles) - STEVE MULLER Timepiece DIY
Mastering the removal and replacement of the stem and crown is a significant step in your DIY Timepiece journey. However, if you ever encounter difficulties or have a watch with unique features, please contact us for instant support or seek assistance from a professional watchmaker. Happy watch crafting!