In a majority of cases vintage Timex watch crowns and stems come pre-assembled whereas on other watch brands the crown is detectable. If your crown and stem are separated simply use super glue to reattach them.

There are several methods of removing the crown from vintage Timex watches. The method depends on which type of crown or case in use.

M2x/3x/1xx Timex crown removal

This approach is usually found on m24-m108 movements in Timex watches from the late 60s -80s.

Having first removed the case back you should now see the back of the movement.

The crown is inserted into the case and is held in place by the setting lever which its self pivots on a screw.

It is this screw that you need to loosen (not remove) to be able to remove the crown. Loosening this screw usually means 2 full turns anti clockwise. Give the crown a jiggle and apply pressure to remove it.

If its still stuck fast you may need to give the screw another half turn.

The crown should now come free.

Replacing the crown

Move the setting arm so it is in front if the setting lever (this took me ages to work out).

Ensure the movement is aligned so the crown can be pushed back in through the case and into the movement
Push the crown into the case and tighten the setting lever screw.

Give the setting lever a push in towards the centre of the case so that it putts against the lever. You should hear a click and the tab at the stem end of the lever should click into place into a notch in the stem.

Now try and pull the crown into the first position as you would to set the time.

The setting arm should catch on the notch on the crown and the setting lever should click into action.

If this hasn’t happened then the arm isn’t aligned with the notch. Using a screw driver gently push the setting arm into position. You should hear a click when it finds its home.

Now try pulling the crown out to the first position to set the time before pushing it back in to the wind position. 

M2x Timex crown removal

To remove m21/2/9 crowns and stems you have to lift the vertical plate that sits into the notch on the stem. The stem and crown should now pull out of the case.

Putting them back in can be tricky. Reverse the proceedure. Once you think you have the stem in place give it a pull. 9 times out of 10 the stem isnt engaged and it will pull free of the case.

To fix this reinsert the stem and apply gentle pressure to the vertical plat on the end furthest from the stem, pussing this plate slightly in towards the centre of the dial.

You should hear a click. And when pulled the crown will not pull free of the case.

Its also worth noting that these earlier models have a detatchable crown. So if all you need to do is fit a donor, then it is easier to do this without stem removal.

Dial access crown removal

Some watches either have a 1 piece case with no caseback to open or have a small caseback that cannot be used to remove a much larger movement. If this is the case (no pun intended) then you will need to remove the crystal to be able to access the mechanism.

Firstly if your watch does have the smaller case back, remove this. Loosen the setting lever screw as suggested in the above guide. and release the crown and stem.

Use a crystal lift or wrench to remove the crystal from the front of the case. And remove any dial retention ring.

The movement should now pop out.

If your watch doesnt have a removeable case back then look down the side of the dial and you should be able to see the stem. Rotate the stem so that a flat recess is visible. The stem will be visually thinner at theis point. Now use a special Timex key or needle nosed pliers to grip the stem and unscrew the crown from the stem.

Once removed the dial, movement and stem assembly should be removable from the case.

Do the inverse to put the movement back into the case.