Trafalgar LED, seems rare, how to remove back?

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Phil Harmonic
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Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:41 pm

Trafalgar LED, seems rare, how to remove back?

#1 Post by Phil Harmonic » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:19 pm

First there's a little into. fluff small talk since I'm new... if you like, skip past the next line-break to the actual topic/query:
I do love those 70's watches that have bright LED digits which require the display to be dark most of the time so that a regular, non-rechargeable battery of the day doesn't get eaten up overnight.
I got the bug to find my brother's old Texas Instruments LED watch from the '70's to see if I could finally attempt corrosion removal and do micro-fine work it might need (I am not at all watch educated, but have worked on fine electronics and am a machinist). I couldn't find it (I will...) but so I got to looking online at auction, the unexpected variety of vintage, momentary-switch LED watches out there. I also noticed there's a Hamilton replica or clone type of watch inspired by the "James Bond" Pulsar P2. I especially thought I'd mention that since there seems to be Hamilton influence here, and I may post another thread about it.
Anyway I got a good price ($40 - my kind of range just now) for a Trafalgar of this sort. I got to searching the web and am yet to see another exactly like it. There's a relatively common one a lot like it, but they're all shaped just a little differently and don't come to a slightly pointed angle on the sides as does this one.
I'm extremely happy with my purchase... even if I get an everyday knockabout that's a replica, none of the replicas have these thin, fine-line LED's that still looked like a glowing wire filament (as the original digital displays actually were on old machines and gas pumps, prior to LEDs). So cool.
Anyway, I'm such a watch dolt that I can't even figure out how this back comes off, and Trafalgar is just barely obscure enough not to have much about them online easily found in minutes for me.
The pictures aren't very good, just to let you know -- there is no protruding bit to pry on, nor is there an obvious depression on the back (lid or case either one).
What there is, is a single, little slash-mark on the back perpendicular to the perimeter, which almost just looks like a deeply scratched gouge, but too deliberate and possibly functional (maybe?). This made me wonder if I'm supposed to secure something into that groove and twist to unscrew the lid and not pry. But for other watches that unscrew I've seen more nut-like grooves or notches more on the side on the back for getting ahold of (that would have been nice). This mere, one "slash notch" is neither perfectly on the flat of the back nor on the side, but 45 degrees along them both.
Someone has pried on it before, gouging a little bit on the back (the only real damage) but I don't know if I should pry there, maybe they never got it off that way and it has threads.
If anyone knows by this crude description what kind of removal this is -- unscrew or pry/pop off, I'd be better off and thank you in advance.
Thanks a lot. Sorry the pics are so bad, right now I'm relying on the auction pics to show you.
You can see the only, real "notch" at about 2 o'clock on the back in the second pic, blurry, but there if you look for it.


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Re: Trafalgar LED, seems rare, how to remove back?

#2 Post by 441victor » Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:05 pm

Welcome to the forum Phil. There's not much official love for electronic watches here on VWF but occasionally you will see a post or WRUW pic of a calculator or LED model. I can see how your Trafalgar would attract your attention, it's a hansom watch. A pic or two showing the joint between the case and back will help with your problem. I recommend trying to unscrewing the back first. If it turns out to be a snap on it will just spin and shouldn't do any damage. You might find a spanner which is what I call a hook shaped wrench with a nib on the end to catch in the slot. Otherwise you could cut a hole in something the diameter of the back and drill and tap for a small screw that would engage the notch. Often I find myself spending hours making the tools to do a 15 min job. Good luck, Joel

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