1950s era watch back case openers

Submitted by levine98 on October 11, 2022 - 2:41pm


I've gotten into restoring and repairing 1950s era Bulova (and Gruen and Wittnauers).

One issue that I keep coming across is how to open/close screw on (ring type) case backs. 

Did Bulova make a specific tool for this? If not, what generic tool do you use?

I've included two examples of the kind of case back I'm referring to. 

Any help is greatly appreciated. Levine98

CMC Caseback

11ACC Caseback

Posted October 11, 2022 - 11:29pm

Yes Bulova did make special pressed metal tools that was just a ring with the prongs.  Most people now use a universal case back opener.  You can pick them up off of ebay for about $6.   Walmart used to carry them as well as Northern Tool here is the US.

Posted October 12, 2022 - 9:22pm

I try to find the plastic ring ones with the prongs.  I find it too danged easy to scratch with the metal ones.

Reverend Rob
Posted October 14, 2022 - 3:10pm

You can still find the old Bulova openers at things like the NAWCC Marts. (or online) Otherwise, most watchmakers use a Jaxa case wrench. There are many cheap copies of this wrench, and they are so loosely and poorly made, it is fairly easy to damage case backs with them. A real one will cost more, but is a quality tool.