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How to Remove a Watch Back With Six Notches

Case-back openers are used to remove the backs of watch cases.
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Most watches require regular battery replacement. According to BestFix Watch Repair Company, most batteries last one to two years. A common type of watch caseback, the six-notch screwback, can be removed easily at home. With a couple of simple pieces of equipment, anyone can bypass having to pay someone else to do it. All it takes is a little practice and patience.

Lay the watch face-down on a cloth to avoid damage to the crystal and bezel. Working on a sturdy, flat surface ensures that the tools don't slip and mar the watch.

Place the fork of a spring bar tool where the spring bar connects to the lug to retract it and release the band. Both sides of the watch band should be removed so that it can be placed easily in the vise or watch case holder.

Attach the watch to the vise or watchcase holder with the caseback facing up. Most vises or watch case holders have four pins to secure the case. Turn the wheel to tighten the pins to the case, making sure it won't budge.

Adjust the spanner wrench to the appropriate width for your watch case.

Fit the opposite sides of the wrench into two notches that appear around the perimeter of the caseback.

Turn the spanner wrench counter-clockwise until the case comes off. This should only take four to five turns.

Things You'll Need:

  • Spring bar tool
  • Vise or watch case holder
  • Spanner wrench


Although a spanner wrench is the most common tool used for this task, there are other tools that can be used to remove a caseback, such as a super-grip ball. Use the tool you are most comfortable using.

Although a vise is not required to open a caseback, using one will avoid damage to the watch.

Easy does it when turning the spanner wrench. The case should turn with moderate pressure. Damage to the watch case can be avoided by using a vise with pins with plenty of padding. Waterproof or water resistant watches are more difficult to remove and should be done by a professional only.

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