In order to service vintage Timex watches up to but not including the m1xx movements. You will need to remove the sweeping seconds hand only. This allows you to remove the dial from the movement. For m1xx movements you will need to remove all of the hands to separate the movement from the dial.

For the purpose of this guide i have assumed that you have used the servicing guide to get to the point where the movement and dial are now outside the case.

To remove and attach hands from a vintage timex dial you will need the following tools:

  • Hand removal tool or hand levers
  • Dial protector or some thin plastic (a sandwich bag is often a cheap alternative)
  • Tweezers
  • A hand pressing tool
  • Rodico (optional)
  • A jewelers loupe

If you can, firstly orient all of the hands so they sit on top of each other. Its often easier for you to move the hour and minute hands to the position of the seconds hand.

Next if you have a dial protector position this so the dial is protected. If your using a sandwich bag then place this over the whole dial

Using a hand removal tool position the tool either side if the center stem and push down. The jaws if this tool should fit you should see the seconds hand and it pop off. There are other tools like hand levers but i don’t have experience of those.

Remove the sandwich bag or dial protector and carefully remove the hands using teasers or Rodico and store them in a safe place.

It is often the case that more than one hand is removed. Do not worry about this as putting them back on uses the same process for them all.

Putting hands onto a vintage Timex watch

You should have read the service guide and have your dial positioned and secured to the movement at this point.

Firstly ensure your hand is orientated with the right side up. For lumed hands its often the case that the back if the hand is dull and lume is unevenly applied. You can also check the end of the hand to see if it points down. Not up and will lie over the edge of the dial as it dips down.

Put your loupe on and find a pod light source. I have a vintage machinists angle poise light which allows me to position the light where i need it and tuck it out of the way when its not needed.

Place your movement on your movement cushion or on a clean flat work surface

Using tweezers carefully position the seconds hand so it balances on top of the stem. This can take a lot of trial and error. You will often find that the hand flips over.

On some occasions the hand will tick without being fixed. On other occasions this will not be the case.

Now using your hand pressing tool push the center point of the hand down onto the stem. If the watch is wound it should start ticking. If not ensure the stem is in place and give it a wind.i

My hands are catching

Annoyingly you will frequently find that the hands catch on the dial forcing the watch to stop.the only course of action is to take the hands off and try resetting them.

Warning: this can cause the hole in the center of the hand to become fatigued and too large to reattach. In this case it will flop around on the dial when shook. You may be able to re close the hole using flat pliers however its often best to look for donor parts at this point.