Budget Watch Collecting/Removing hands

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The proper way of removing hands is to use a hand remover. These have jaws that fit under the hands, with a slot to go around the posts. Most will pry against the dial.

For most hand removers, it is best to put something between the hands and the dial--A slotted piece of watch tissue is best, but other similar materials will work. (Watch tissue is pre-cut squares of thin paper, similar to wrapping tissue. Smooth and not very absorbent, unlike facial tissue)

If you are using makeshift tools, make sure you lift on both sides evenly, rather than trying to pry one side until the hand comes off. This is especially important on seconds hands, their pinion is fairly fragile, and the hands frequently have a tube. You can either pry alternately on each side, or better pry on both sides at once with two tools.

Especially with makeshift tools, it is likely that the hand will jump across the room when removed. You may want to work inside a plastic bag, or place a blob of watch cleaning putty on the tip of the hand.

On most (but not all) watches, it is not necessary to remove the hour hand, it's wheel will just lift off the dial. Most Timex mechanicals only require removal of the seconds hand, the minute and hour hands can stay with the dial.

It can be helpful to set the hands to 12:00 before removing them, especially on calendar watches.

To align the hands on a calendar watch, set the time with no hands until the calendar is advanced to where it should be at midnight, then replace the hands.

There are special tools to replace hands, but a pair of tweezers held open just enough to clear the post the hand fits on (for hour and minute hands) works well. Make sure the hands are parallel with the dial, and that all hands can travel around without touching the dial, dial markers, other hands or the crystal.