How to Open Hampden Pocket Watches

Founded in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Hampden Watch Company manufactured fine pocket watches from 1877 until the company was sold and relocated to Russia in 1927. Though not particularly valuable, Hampden pocket watches are attractive timepieces that can be easily restored to preserve your own slice of the early 20th century. Opening the case of a Hampden or Dueber-Hampden pocket watch for repair is a simple process that can be completed in one to two minutes.

Place a potholder or neoprene mouse pad on a clean, flat work surface in a well-lit room.

Lay your Hampden pocket watch facedown on the padded surface.

Examine the watch to locate the slightly raised lip on the back of the case, near the crown (sometimes called a winding stem). Note the thin seam between the lip and the rest of the watch case.

Insert the tip of a PDA case-opening tool into the seam between the lip and the rest of the pocket watch case.

Work the tool around the edges of the pocket watch until the back cover comes free. Work gently to avoid scratching the case or damaging the movement.