Question about Skagen 358SSSD Wristwatch
Watch crystals are pressure fitted to their cases so that they are resistant to popping out. Think of a champagne cork, and how it expands when it comes out of its bottle.
Crystals are set into cases in one of several basic methods. First, a crystal may be installed from the back--watch cases are commonly assembled before the movement is installed. So, one potential way of reinstalling your crystal is to remove the watch movement from the case (if it isn't already) and try pushing the crystal from the back forwards. If this is indeed the way it was installed, the crystal should pop into position with a noticeable click or light thump to let you know that the other edge of the crystal has found the shallow groove in which it's supposed to sit.
Second, some crystals can be installed from the front using a tool called a "crystal lift." This tool has many little fingers that compress the edge of the watch crystal so that it can be slid into the case. Pressure is then gradually removed from the crystal, permitting it to expand into the shallow groove into which it's supposed to sit. Crystal lifts are easy to use in theory but somewhat finicky in real life; the crystal must be grabbed equally by all the lift prongs or else the crystal will have a tendency to squirt out of the tool before it's been completely set.
Looking at pictures of your wife's watch, it doesn't look to me like a crystal lift would do any good. I think instead that your crystal might have been installed using a third method. Looking at the pictures, it looks like the bezel--the metal top of the watch--separates from the watch body. If this is the case, gently pop off the bezel and push the crystal into it from behind. Then, push the bezel back onto the watch movement. It's possible that the crystal is kept in place by being squeezed between the bezel and the rest of the watch case.
If all of this sounds daunting, putting the crystal back in--assuming it's not cracked--is a minor job for a watch repair technician. It literally might only take 5-10 minutes to complete the job. If you're concerned about the appearance of the watch, it might be safest to pay someone the small amount of money to get this done right. Replacing a watch crystal with a new one usually runs about $15-25, around where I live. Replacing an undamaged crystal that's popped out should cost appreciably less, since a new crystal costs a jeweler between $5-25 for most standard sizes (diver's watches and strange specialty shapes will cost more).
Posted on May 16, 2011
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