The Friction Ball watch case opener from Kassoy ($4.95) is an inexpensive and easy to use tool. It measures approximately 2 inches in diameter and is made of a plastic that has a slightly sticky “grip” like feel. I had seen friction balls, but had never tried one for myself. I felt slightly silly as I stared at the squishy blue ball in the Kassoy packaging. It seemed like it was almost too simple to work. I placed the ball against the back of the screw back watch case, applied pressure while twisting the ball and the case unscrewed easily.
I like this tool for a few reasons. Firstly I am not a watch expert. I admit that my exposure to watches hasn't been that extensive and I have a healthy fear of damaging a clients watch. The friction ball is easier to use and less damaging than other watch tools, provided that the watch being worked on is a screw back. I was also able to use the ball on more than just watches. I am frequently confronted with small decorative trinket or pill cases and the ball was able to safely loosen a stuck lid on one item and able to unscrew the top off another.
After using the friction ball for myself I can see that the tool has been fairly underrated. The ball not only offers users with less watch experience a safe first choice before attempting possibly damaging methods, but i believe that it will prove to be more versatile and could be used for more than just opening watch backs. The extremely affordable cost and ease of use make the Friction Ball a welcome addition to my tool kit.
Kathleen Marino M.A, G.G., AJP, NAJA