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Cyclops Removal

by Jordan Ficklin

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There are two kinds of people in the world, those who like a cyclops and those who don’t. I often see people on timezone wanting to know how to remove the cyclops from their watch. And then other people come into my shop and want me to put one on their watch. I have one customer who brings in every new watch he buys and has me install a cyclops.

So, can you do it and how? If your watch has an acrylic (plastic) crystal the answer is no, you are stuck with a cyclops. If it has a glass or sapphire crystal the cyclops is in fact glued on to the crystal after the fact. Usually this is done with a glue that cures under ultra-violet light which has optical properties similar to that of glass. These can come off, occasionally I see a watch where the cyclops came off accidently.

There are several methods for removal. These tend to work better on sapphire than mineral glass and I am not responsible for any scratched or broken crystals, there is risk involved.

  • The chisel method. — Place a sharp chisel right along the corner of the cyclops and give it a tap. Cyclops pops right off, clean up any glue with acetone.
  • Heat – Apply heat (like with a soldering iron) to the cyclops, this will soften the glue, slide it right off.
  • Remove the crystal and soak it in acetone until the cyclops comes off (1-2 days). Re-install crystal.
  • Install a new xtal without cyclops
  • Combination of all 3. Some cyclopses are stubborn, you can’t fool them all as easily as did Odysseus.

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  1. Fr. John Shinall
    Posted June 19, 2008 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I was contemplating a Rolex Explorer II but was turned off by the horrid Cyclops. I found this post and with it, hope.

    I took the acetone route soaking a new Rolex crystal in a glass of acetone for a couple of days. The bubble then popped off with my thumbnail.

    My watchmaker installed the “bubbleless” crystal and returned the original crystal along with my watch.

    The dial is beautiful and the date is now visible from wider angles rather than looking down through the magnifier.

    Thanks for the info.

  2. Larry
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to reposition the cyclop after removing it a little bit off-centered so that i can see it a little angle from my wrist.

    Where I can buy the glue and of course the sun rays can do the job, isn’t it?

  3. J.Peter
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Larry, try O.frei or Jules Borel

  4. Posted February 7, 2010 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Be careful.. Dont do it on a GMT-C as there is antireflective coating on the underside of the crystal. Images posted at


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  2. […] an additional seal against dust and moisture. 8. An ultraviolet glue can be used to attach a magnifier on a crystal. The ultraviolet glues are formulated to have the same optical properties as the glass and […]

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