Watch Repair Projects & Info

How to open and how NOT to open a Breitling

The issue with the newer Breitling watches is the back has 15 sides and requires a special set of dies (there are more than 10 sizes) to open them. Many professional Jewellers will never attempt to open a Breitling for a watch battery replacement for fear of scratching the back. And whilst some will have the correct equipment and training, others will attempt this with a Jaxa watch case opener which is a big mistake.

Jaxa ToolThe image above shows a Jaxa tool which is great for opening many types of screw back watch cases. BUT be warned – they are not safe to use with the 15 side Breitling watch back. Many of these watch backs are screwed on very very tight and the Jaxa will possibly slip. This will cause scratches on the back – possibly damage the faces of the back and may even cause injury to the person attempting this method.

Breitling Watch

In my opinion any method which may cause damage to your expensive watch is just silly and should be left well alone.

The proper method is to use a special watch case opener tool and the correct fitting for the particular model of watch you have. This is very cost prohibitive for the average jeweller who may get asked to do one every six months so not many jewellers hold this type of equipment.

Breitling Watch Back

The above picture shows a Breitling watch back with the 15 sides. In this case there was a little damage to the faces caused by the use of an incorrect tool. Whilst the damage is small, it actually made it very difficult to place the correct die in place because the die fitting is very precise.

In this case I had to file away the burrs caused by the wrong tool so that I could place the die.

Breitling Battery Fitting

This is the Breitling in place on the tool – you can see the die is an exact fit with the case back. In this way the back simply screws off with no damage or risk. Plus importantly it is possible to close the back with the correct tightness required for water resistance – this would be hard to do with a Jaxa tool.

There is always the right tool for every job. Most watchmakers are obsessive about their tools (I certainly am) but in this case I have to say, it is MOST important to use the correct tool for the job. Please do not be tempted to use a Jaxa or any other two or three jaw tools. They will only cause more trouble than they solve.

Leave the first comment