A Simple Guide on How to Replace Your Watch Crystal

If you’re like most people, you don’t think about your watch too much after you put it on. You carry on about your day, bumping into people, brushing your hand across different objects, and so on. Your watch, of course, is subject to all this wear and tear, and sooner or later, scratches are going to appear, especially on the glass.

Sometimes, even with scratches, you might be able to polish it away, leaving your watch looking brand new. However, what happens if your watch’s crystal is severely cracked, even on the verge of breaking? Well, you’ve got no choice but to replace it.

If you’re looking to try and replace your watch crystal by yourself, here’s a short guide on how to do so.

Step 1. Grab a Watch Press

If you already have a watch press, you can skip this step. Otherwise, grab one. A watch press is a tool designed to help remove watch crystals from watch cases. It is a cost-effective tool, usually costing between 15 and 25 dollars, and comes with a set of plastic dies of varying sizes that can be used to remove any watch crystal.

Step 2. Pick the Dies

Keep in mind that by this step, we’ve assumed you’ve already removed the caseback, movement, and other sensitive parts of the watch. You can check out a video guide for that.

Now, to start, you will need to select two plastic dies from your set. The first one should be slightly larger than the watch case, and it should have a concave shape, meaning that the centre is deeper than the rim. This die will hold the watch crystal. The second die should be slightly smaller than the size of the watch crystal. Once both dies have been selected, you can start the process of pressing the watch crystal into the concave die.

Step 3. Set up the Dies

Now, you will place the two dies in the watch press; the smaller one at the top, and the larger one at the bottom, with its concave side facing up. After that, place the watch case onto the large die, with the glass side facing downwards.

Step 4. Get the Crystal Out

You can use your hands to carefully remove the crystal from the press. First, use your left hand to hold the press steady and then use your right hand to apply light pressure on the press. As a result, the crystal should easily come off the press.

Step 5. Measure the Crystal

To make sure you get the right replacement, you need to measure the diameter and thickness of the original crystal that you just removed. Also, we recommend swapping it out for sapphire glass if it isn’t already sapphire glass. This is because sapphire glass is incredibly tough and won’t be scratched by anything other than a diamond or sand.

Step 6. Order the Crystal and Put It Back

Once you have your new crystal, you will have to put it into the case. This time, you will need to use a full (flat) die for the bottom of the press rather than a concave die, as in the first picture. You can use the same die for the top of the press that you used to detach the crystal.

Now, you need to start by placing the watch case with the bezel facing up. Next, you will need to put the new crystal inside the bezel. Finally, you should press down on the crystal gently until it is secure in the case.

And once that is all done, you can reassemble your watch.


And with that, you’re done! It isn’t as hard as it seems, but for newbies, it can be a little scary and challenging to get started. As such, we always recommend reaching out to an expert if you want to remove your watch glass in the fastest and safest way possible. But of course, if you have the tools and want to try it out yourself, then, by all means, do so. This is an invaluable skill to have, especially if you’re looking to become a seasoned watch modder!

Seiko Mods manufactures and designs sapphire crystals and various other mod parts for Seiko watches. If you are looking for help on how to replace glass on watches, do reach out to us today and check out our content.

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