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Open Face Cases. Position of the Lip

Open Face Cases

Open Face CasesThe Hunting Case is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, the open face case now being the only style of pocket watch that is carried by modern retail jewelers. However, like other older timepieces there will be some Hunting Cased watches brought to the watch repairers for a long time to come. Like everything else there is a constant evolution in the styles of watch cases. Some of these changes are brought about in a comparatively short time as when the ladies bracelet watch was introduced. Others come much more slowly as the change from the Hunting style to the Open Face. Of late years there has been a tendency toward pocket watches of more distinctive shapes and designs as compared to the round shapes that have been standard for so many years. Manufacturers have recognized this tendency and created a variety of new and interesting patterns. Some of the popular shapes are the Pentagon or five sided, the Octagon or eight sided, the Decagon or ten sided, the square and cushioned shaped cases, all of these in open face models.

Assembling “Snap” Cases

In Open Face cases the bezels and backs are assembled either by having them threaded and then screwed into place or by having such a close fit that it is possible to snap the parts together. This latter style is known as a “Snap Case”. In some snap cases the back and bezel are jointed to the center while in others they are entirely free. When the back and bezel are jointed to the center, the case would then be much like the Hunting Case shown in figures 11 and 12, if the cap and bezel were removed and the front was cut out to take a watch glass or crystal. When the back and bezel of a snap case are attached to the center by joints, they of course always will occupy the same position when snapped together, but where the bezel and back come off entirely it is necessary to have some means of replacing them as they were originally, especially on engraved cases in order that the engraving may be in the position intended by the manufacturer or engraver.

Position of the Lip

In this style of the regular round case there is generally a lip for the case opener to rest against or if not a lip, a small cut out place to facilitate the entering of a case opener or other wedge shaped object. In replacing a back and the same of course applies to the bezel, this lip or cut out should be a little to the right side of the pendant as shown at H in figure 13. As stated before this lip is for the purpose of inserting a thin blade, such as a case opener, in order to pry open the case. In figure 14 is shown the manner of holding a case when opening it with a case opener. The case opener which is thin at the edge is inserted between the center and back and by means of a twisting motion pries open the case. Care must be used in order that the edge of the case opener does not come in contact with the movement caused by using too much pressure or that it doesn’t slip across and mar the case.




Screw Bezel and Screw Bach Cases. Swing Ring Cases
Assembling Fancy Shaped Cases The Fancy Shaped Cases come under the class of "snap cases" and are generally provided with a key or pin on the center which fits into a "key seat" or opening on the bezel or back. In figure 15 is shown a movement in an octagon shaped case


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