How Do I Open an Open Face Wristwatch?

by Ellen Dean ; Updated September 28, 2017

In the early 20th Century, watchmakers began making pocket watches for the blind. These watches were typically in Braille and had hour and minute hands on them. Because of catching the hands on the clock on clothing or other objects, a glass face was created that could open and close easily to protect the clock hands from moving.

As pocket watches became less fashionable among popular culture, watchmakers created an open face wristwatch with the same aesthetic in mind. Watches are now available in both Braille and raised numbers for men and women.

Strap the watch to your wrist so the "12" is at the top of the face.

Find the hinge on the glass face of the watch. Oftentimes, it is located on the left side of the face or on the top of the face.

Find the opposite side of the glass from where the spring is located. Lift it up from where the glass meets the metal, holding it open as the time is checked. This must be done in one motion.

Release the glass after the time has been checked. The glass face is usually on a spring and will snap closed when released. Try to release the glass gently so that it does not break.

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About the Author

Ellen Dean is a visual artist and painting teacher. She has been teaching and writing articles on art since 2001, and has been a professional artist since 1999, (ChadwickandSpector.com), after studying sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is an NYFA Fellow and was nominated by the Sovereign Art Award/Sotheby's Hong Kong, two years in a row.