How To Open A Pocket Watch

 We get a lot of questions about how to open pocket watches so we thought we'd share a quick blog for you today. At Vortic Watch Company, one of the most common things we do is convert family heirlooms and other antique American pocket watches into custom wristwatches.

The first thing we need to know before converting a pocket watch is where it came from and what specs it has. The only way to do this is by looking at the actual mechanism hidden behind the back cover of most pocket watches.

If you're like most people, you probably haven't spent a lot of time around these antique pieces, and therefore probably wouldn't know where to start when it comes to opening one up.

We're here to help!

Step 1: Is it "Open Face" or "Hunting" style?

Open face - Open face pocket watches will have a clear crystal in front of the dial and the case (front and back) either screws off or "pops" off using a soft metal (think butter knife, with caution of course).

Hunting - Hunting pocket watches were originally used by hunters. These hunters needed a way to protect the crystal on their pocket watch while they were in their pockets during hunting trips, so the developed a case that had a metal cover on top of the crystal. The cases will almost always have a hinge and pop open (think toothpaste tube cap).

Step 2: Is it a "pop off" or "screw off" case?

Pop Off - Pop off cases should do exactly that, the cover should "pop" off. There are two types of these. Some will have hinges, and others will pop completely off. You will see a great example of this in the video below.

Step 3: Open that case up and take a look

Once you know which type of case and what opening mechanism it has, go ahead and get your soft metal tool (if needed) and open up your case.

Step 4: Send us your photos!

Send us photos of your pocket watch and we'll help you convert it into an awesome Vortic wristwatch!


To learn more about how to open your pocket watch, check out the video below!


Don't forget that if you're ever looking for a way to bring your family heirloom pocket watch with you into the future while honoring the past, Vortic Watch Company is the place to start.

While we covered the most common types of pocket watch cases today, there are others and if you have questions about your case still, feel free to reach out to us for help!

Thanks for reading, and we appreciate any questions and feedback you may have.

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