How to remove a button from a rusty stem without the stem breaking inside the button.

I have a Channel Ceramic watch in for a clean and service. The watch is rusty and the water has been getting in through the crown. Normally I would recommend changing the Crown and Stem but in this case the crown is almost impossible to replace as it has a ceramic tip to it.

Any replacement crown would be very noticeable so I have no choice. Because the stem is glued and screwed into the crown I know that if I try to unscrew it the stem is going to break, possibly making it almost impossible to get it out.

The solution is heat to break the glue and rust but I cannot heat the whole crown as the ceramic tip could break of fall off. I use a pair of pliers as a heat sink and a way holding the crown (hold the crown at the blue circle) and then using a small blow torch to heat the end of the stem and crown (heat the red circle).
Note: The end of the crown is possibly brass or nickle so do not heat too much as it will melt/burn/distort.

Using pliers or end cutters the stem unscrews easily saving you lots of work.

 

 

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