Sometimes the winding stem and crown of a watch have to be removed, for example to access the dial or to tighten a loose crown. Here’s a quick look at how to remove the stem on a Jet Autodater. Once the back is removed, either by levering off the snap-on back, or unscrewing a later screw-on back, the button which releases the stem can be found close to the stem itself. On this Autodater Monthly, the snap-on back is off and the release button is identified:
Important: Before the button is pressed the crown, or stem if the crown is off, should be pulled out to the time setting position
Once the stem / crown is at the time setting position, the button should be gently pressed using a suitable tool, and the stem should come out – using a watch holder allows one hand to hold the tool to press the button and the other free to pull out the stem. The button is located slightly under the rotor, so care is needed to avoid it when pressing the button:
If you are re-fastening a loose crown or replacing one, then the stem can be held in the ‘wrong end’ of a pair of tweezers, again being careful so as not to damage the flats on the stem as in this example:
If the crown has come loose it is important to check that the threads of the stem and crown are still ok so that it will tighten nicely. Some lock thread can be applied before fitting to help bond the crown to the stem:
Whilst keeping a sound grip on the tweezers to prevent the stem from turning, the crown is then twisted clockwise onto the stem, tightening firmly, but not too strongly to avoid damage. If the stem and crown threads are good, the crown should seat square on the stem and tighten properly.
Replacing the stem is the opposite of removal – the button might need to be pressed gently again to allow the stem to get fully into position, and the stem may need to be turned slightly as it is pushed back in. On my movement the stem went back in with a nice click and the button didn’t need to be pressed.
This is intended to be a simple guide, showing how I did this on my watch – I hope it is useful, but please carry out the work at your own risk and only if you feel confident that you can do it and have the basic tools to carry it out properly.