General Purpose Tools

Pittsburgh Watch Case Opener


Opens watches affordably

Watch battery replacement is not a dark art, left only to hunched-over jewelers. Most watches I owned had a small notch between the case and the back where you could pry off the back and access the battery. A tedious operation, but anybody could do it.

But this tool isn’t for those watches. This tool is for a watch has a back that screws on.

For years, I took my Citizen watch to a jeweler, and paid a little bit of money to get a new battery installed. I was not aware that the magic tool was this easy to use, and so affordable.

This case opener tool works with watch backs that have even or odd spaced notches, and has an assortment of tips to fit differently-shaped notches. Simply fit the appropriate tips into the tool, adjust for the number and spacing of the notches, press the tool down into the notches, and turn. It was surprisingly easy.

I have no idea whether jewelers have access to a better-made tool, but for my purpose, it was sufficient to do the job. I wish I had discovered this tool sooner, because it would have saved me time and money. The last time I tried to get my battery replaced, some jewelers said didn’t have this tool, while one told me theirs was broken. It took me a few shop visits to find somebody who had one.

The purchase price was only $4.99 (cash and carry from a retail store near my home, no shipping involved), and the battery for the watch was less than $5.00. In just one use, I saved money and time, since I have been charged close to $12.00 the last time I took my watch to a jewelry repair shop for a new battery.

I look forward to the next opportunity to use this tool, not because it will lay idle for a long time, but because I will be saving time and money. I also feel somewhat empowered, capable of handling a task previously handled by somebody else.

-- David Titzer 08/22/12

(We first reviewed the Pittsburgh Watch Case Opener back in 2009. --OH — editors)