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You know you’re late for the train. You look down at your wrist to check the time. But, your precision timepiece is way off. How could that be?

You put your left hand into your pocket and pull out your phone to look at the time on the display. Surely, you missed your train. With your phone in your left, you tug on the crown of your watch with your right. You turn the crown to try to adjust the time. But, the hands don’t wind.

Since we enjoy helping jewelers keep their skills sharp, we thought we’d tell you how to remove a watch stem.

Father Time eventually takes his toll on every watch stem. We’ll share everything you need to know about how to remove a watch stem and make your own repair.

How to Remove a Watch Stem

It’s not too difficult to remove a push-style watch stem. You’ll need to remove the back from the watch to begin. If you’re too nervous about working on your watch, take a quick moment to familiarize yourself with the anatomy of your watch.

Step 1: Find the Dimple

First, you’ll need to find the dimple. Each movement is different. Some watch stems will have to be in the time-setting position for you to see the dimple. If you don’t see it, pull the stem in and out to help locate it.

If you’re not familiar with the movement, look at it as you pull the crown into the time set position. You’ll see a part that moves. That’s the bolt.

The bolt is a wee watch part, often hidden like a diamond whisked into a wishing well. But it has to be there, connected to the movement. Look for it down holes, on the side of the movement, or in certain positions.

Some watches have no moving bolt visible. These watches usually have some kind of marking, dimple or screw. A screw may be holding the bolt. Loosen the screw while gently pulling on the stem. Do not unscrew it completely!

Step 2: Press the Dimple

Take a pair of tweezers and press down on the dimple. Be gentle! If you press too hard, you could cause damage to the movement. You only need to press hard enough to release the watch stem. Remember that your watch is a delicately crafted machine, so be careful with those small parts!

Step 3: Remove the Stem

While pressing down on the dimple, you’ll be able to remove the stem. The stem will slide out without much force. If it’s hard to remove, stop! Be sure that you’re pressing on the dimple properly. Try a different tool to release the stem.

Recap of How to Remove Your Watch Stem

In these three easy steps, you can perform your own watch stem replacement. Always remember to be gentle with your timepiece! That’s the most important part of knowing how to remove a watch stem.

Visit the C.R. Time Company for more watch repair resources. It was easy to learn how to remove a watch stem, wasn’t it? And you’d fix other problems with your watch if you knew how, wouldn’t you? Order parts, supplies, and accessories to get all your timepieces ticking!