Removal, cleaning and greasing of buttons

Partes de un boton

It is possible that over time, we may notice that the buttons are harder to press or even that the watch button gets stuck if a lot of dirt accumulates.

  1. Necessary tools
  2. Opening the watch case
  3. How to remove the button from a watch
  4. Cleaning the button, seals, washer and spring
  5. Cleaning the watch case
  6. Button assembly
  7. Waterproof button test

Necessary tools

First of all, we will need a number of tools to be able to perform the operation smoothly:

  • Jaxa key or screwdriver to open the watch.
  • Flathead screwdriver.
  • Container with soap and water.
  • Needle and toothbrush and interdental brush
  • Oilers or stick to apply the silicone grease.
  • Silicone grease.

Opening the watch case

First, we must open the watch case so that we can disassemble and clean the buttons properly.

If the watch cover has this kind of indentation, it is a screwed cover, so we will need a jax key to open it.

Tapa trasera junto a llave jaxa
Rear cover next to jaxa key

If you don't have one, you can try an alternative method on how to open a watch cover without tools.

How to remove the button from a watch

Once the watch case is opened (either a screwed or screwed cover), the module or movement must be carefully removed. It is very convenient to take pictures with the mobile phone, in order to have a guide of assembly and of the different pieces that we will need to assemble later.

Caja de reloj abierta y bata quitada
Watch case opened and gown removed

We must be very careful with certain models of digital watches, as they include small springs that must be in contact with the back of the watch. If we lose them or do not place them correctly, the clock will not work the sound, and the alarms and the hourly beep will stop working.

Muelle de sonido
This little dock is more important than it looks, don't lose it!

Once the gown (plastic or metal ring that surrounds the movement to fix it in the box) and the movement are removed, we will proceed to disassemble the buttons.

The first thing to do is to place the clip that holds the buttons with the opening upwards. Once placed, with a piece of rod or your finger, we hold it (since they are famous for jumping when removed and lost) and with the edge of the flat screwdriver we push down the clip until it is released.

Extraer Presilla con rodico
The knee is necessary so that you don't lose the loop
Extraer presilla con el destornillador
So we can better see how to release the clip

We save the clip and we can release the button on the box.

Presilla de boton suelta
The clip is already loose, we can release the button on the box

As we can see in the following image, each button usually has a spring, a washer and one or two gaskets

Partes de un boton
Usually the buttons have two joints, but there are exceptions in some models

In some Casio models, the adjustment buttons have the particularity of having only one joint, instead of two, as usual.

Cleaning the button, seals, washer and spring

We prepare the container with a little water and soap. We disassemble the parts of the button, and insert the spring, washer and seals in the needle. And we start cleaning with soap and water, rubbing them with the interdental brush.

Juntas y muelle del boton sin limpiar
Needle with button parts before cleaning
Botones a remojo limpiándose
Buttons soaking clean

If on the inside of the button we see that it has a lot of accumulated dirt and is difficult to remove, we can leave it submerged for a while in a kh7 type grease remover to soften it.

Juntas y muelle del boton limpios
Parts of the button cleaned together with the interdental brush

We put the spring, washer and joints on a paper towel to dry. After cleaning the button with water and soap, we take advantage of it to remove any residue that may have been left on the inside of the button and we put it to dry.

Make sure that the stem of the button is not twisted, if so, we must straighten it. With some pliers, very gently and gradually try to straighten it to leave it as straight as possible. It is important not to be in a hurry and to do it little by little, since we can break the stem of the button and have a more serious problem.

Once the parts of the button are dry, we will repeat the process with all the buttons of the watch.

Cleaning the watch case

Once the box is empty, we must clean the holes where the buttons are placed with a toothbrush, water and soap. Then we will dry it carefully (including the button holes).

Once the case is dry, we will proceed to apply silicone grease to the button holes of the watch case. We apply a small amount with an oiler or a toothpick.

Grasa de silicona en caja
Greasing the button holes in the box

Button assembly

At this point, we'll have to reassemble the buttons. Remember that the order of assembly of the buttons is spring, washer and gaskets.

Partes de un boton
Button mounted before greasing

Once the button is mounted we will proceed to apply a small amount of silicone grease through the spring, washer and seals to lubricate them.

Bote de grasa de silicona
The silicone grease

We place the button inside the hole in the box, taking care that the stem of the button coincides with the hole in the box. If we see that it does not match, we must straighten the button shaft, dismount it again.

Now comes the most delicate operation, placing the clip on the button stem again inside the box. We place it on the button shaft with the opening facing down.

With a little bit of rolling, we hold the clip in this position so that it does not escape. Now, with the screwdriver, we push down on the edge of the clip until we hear a "click". We must be careful with the screwdriver so that it does not escape by damaging the inside of the case or the glass.

We take advantage of the magnifying glass to check that the clip is correctly placed and check that the button is correctly pressed.

We repeat the process for each button, taking care in case the adjustment button is smaller, as it happens in some models, to insert it in its correct place.

Waterproof button test

Once the buttons are mounted, I like to check that everything is correctly assembled by doing a "home" waterproofing test.

We mount the gasket and the back cover, tightening them with the jaxa key again until the watch box is closed. This "homemade" waterproofing test consists of submerging the case in water and then directing the water jet over the buttons to check that no water enters.

Obviously, it never replaces a professional waterproofing test, but it can give us an idea that the assembly is correct and the seals will withstand at least a little soaking.

If we want to take a bath with the watch, we should make sure with a watertightness test carried out by a professional watchmaker, where the appropriate machinery is used and the watch is submitted to enough pressure to check its correct watertightness.

Once it has been checked that no water has entered the watch case, we will proceed to put the watch calibre in and check the correct functioning when pressing the buttons. Place the gown and the sound spring if you have one.

Finally, we apply silicone grease to the gasket of the back cover, place it correctly and close the watch case with the back cover, without the back gasket coming out of its position.

Engrasado de junta
We grease the rear gasket
Cerrar caja
And we closed the lid on the clock

With this we can now conclude the cleaning and greasing of the watch buttons.


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