Lets begin where we left off. I now had a functioning movement with the correct dial and hands fitted. I checked the function and it was all working as expected.
My movement came with a basic stem and crown, I ordered an alternative that looked better and was of better quality. This gave me the opportunity to practice stem cutting on the basic one. Stem cutting is easy when you have the correct tools and use the correct procedure. I’m not going to lie I searched on you tube for different ways of cutting a stem to size and most used the way I’m about to describe.
On the stem there is a machined square section. I used this area as grip using a small pair of pliers. This allowed me to hold the stem in position without damaging it as I screwed the crown on.
Once the crown is attached to the stem, place your movement into its case. Line the hole for the stem on the movement into the position required on the case. Insert the stem to its time keeping position, (all the way.) On the back of the movement, there is a locking screw that holds the stem and crown in position. This is how the stem stays inside the watch when you pull on the crown to change the time.
At this point the movement was in its case and the crown and stem were in the correct position. I measured the distance from the very edge of the case where the stem enters, to the underside of the crown. I used a vernier caliper and this is what I recommend. For the life of me I cant remember what mine measured but I will give you an example.
If the measurement taken is 6 mm I recommend cutting 4.5 mm off the stem. This will leave it a bit long but you can always remove a bit more later. You cant put it back on once its gone. So on average 1.5 mm less than the measurement is a good aim. If you have a small marker, once measured, mark the cutting position. These are small parts, its easy to lose your position.
Before cutting, remove the stem from the movement, remove the crown and cut from the side the crown was situated. I used a pair of side cutters, be careful, the piece you cut off will be like a small bullet flying around the room. Cut as square as possible to make screwing the crown back on as easy as possible.
Once its cut and the crown is back on try it on for size, practice will make it easier hence cutting it with a bit extra left on. Take a look at it and repeat the above until you have the desired length.
At this point I had a working watch, the stem and crown ready to go. Before I placed my movement into the case I decided to fit my strap. I don’t know why, it made the watch harder to handle I however did it anyway.
I opted for a fairly cheap black strap. This is not on my watch at the moment, but again all in good time.
Just as a reminder, the tools I used for this part of the assembly were a small set of flat pliers, small side cutters, vernier caliper, watch strap install tool and a small flat head screwdriver set. In addition you could use some fine emery cloth to remove the sharp edge from the stem once cut. (I didn’t, naughty boy.)
I was ready to fit my movement to its case. It was at this point I learnt another lesson. Ill explain more about it in my next blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed the read over the past few weeks. I’ll be reviewing a few more watches from British designers and British micro brands so please keep reading.
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