Warning: the button material is brittle, so will snap if you bend them.
Use at your own risk. We cannot refund buttons unless they are broken on arrival.
Stuck buttons? Watch this video first if your buttons won’t move
Buttons moving? Watch here for fitting instructions
Step 1 – Check & clean your new buttons
The buttons are 3D printed with a wax support material. Some of this material might still be on the buttons you receive, giving them a slightly rough or sticky surface. If this is the case, soak the buttons in a mix of dish soap and hot water (60°C to 70°C, 140°F to 160°F).
The waxy material will melt above 60°C and can be removed with a soft brush or your fingernails.
Warning: do not use boiling water. The buttons will soften and deform.
Check that you can move the buttons individually. If they are stiff, there is still some wax support material inside them.
Gently manipulate the buttons until they move freely.
Step 2 – Remove all the old button material from your watch
Remove as much as possible of the old soft button material from the case of your pebble 2. Try not to lose pieces inside the watch.
You can use a cocktail stick, dressmaker’s pin, or anything similar to do this. You are aiming for the case to look like the watch at the top of this picture. The one underneath still has some material which should be removed.
Fig 1: pebble 2 cases without buttons
Step 3 – Check which type of pebble 2 case you have
Figure 1 above shows 2 different inner profiles for the pebble 2 case; Type A and Type B.
- Type A cases don’t have any change in the depth of the button recesses.
- Type B cases get shallower at the watchstrap ends.
Fig 2: Type A case with “flat” inside profile
Fig 3: Type B case with shallower ends circled
If your case doesn’t look like either one of these, please get in touch, as we’d love to get some photos & feedback on how well the buttons fit!
If you have a Type B case, the buttons should push fit tightly without requiring much additional sanding or filing. They will fit flush with the existing sides of the watch
If you have a Type A case, the buttons will require additional sanding or filing. Do NOT try to glue the buttons to a type A case without following Step 4 first.
Step 4 – If you have a Type A case
In order to get the buttons to fit correctly, you will need to use some sandpaper or a nail file to chamfer the back edges of your button plates. You might also need to file off a small amount between the buttons on the back of the three-button side.
Fig 4: Chamfers before & after
Fig 5: Chamfer close up
Remove as much material as is necessary for Step 5 to work.
Step 5 – Test fit your buttons
Before you use glue, you should test fit your buttons. Try the one button (back button) side first.
Gently press the button plate onto the case, starting at the ends (Fig 6) and working towards the button (Fig 7). The plate should fit tightly and not pop back out of the case.
Fig 6: Push fit from the ends first
Fig 7: Gently press towards the button
If the buttons fits, you can move onto the three-button side.
If they don’t fit, sand off some material from the top & bottom edges, and/or from the back edges (like in Step 4), and try again.
Repeat with the three-button side.
Start by pressing gently between the buttons with your fingernails (Fig 8) and then pressing the ends onto the case (Fig 9).
Fig 8: Push between the buttons first
Fig 9: Then press fit the ends
If the buttons fit, you can move onto Step 6.
If they don’t fit, sand off some material from the top & bottom edges, and/or from the back edges (Step 4), and try again.
Test out the buttons to make sure you are happy that the watch is working before you glue them on.
Step 6 – Glue the buttons on
Carefully remove the buttons, using either a fingernail, or a flat thin blade to lever them out of the case.
You can use the following glues to fix the buttons to your watch:
- Silicone craft glue
- B7000 “mobile phone” glue (a pre-mixed epoxy glue)
- A good quality 2-part epoxy glue, or
- Superglue (not recommended, but will work; please use a gap filling or viscous slow setting superglue and NOT a thin or fast superglue)
Take note of the pot/setting time on your chosen glue.
Apply your chosen glue in a thin layer to the single button side of the case, being careful to avoid getting glue inside the case. We suggest using a pin or thin cocktail stick to apply the glue if your glue doesn’t have a precision nozzle.
Before the glue sets, re-apply the buttons as in Step 5.
If the buttons stay flush on their own, you can leave the glue to cure as per the glue’s instructions, and repeat with the three-button side.
If the buttons don’t stay flush on their own, you can either use a strong rubber band, or a set of woodworker’s clamps to hold the ends to the case (avoiding pressing the buttons).
Warning: do not over tighten any clamps as the back plate of the watch will come off!
Once both sides have cured, your watch is ready to use again.
One final warning: your watch is no longer waterproof, so do NOT immerse it in water.
If you have any questions or feedback on the above, please get in touch via email@example.com
© Favourite Human Design – 2020
3 thoughts on “Pebble 2 buttons – fitting instructions”
Where can I get the 3D button? Thanks.
Buttons are available on the website shop here or you might find it cheaper (depending on where you live) to buy them from my shop on Shapeways’ marketplace.
I think I’ve found a slightly easier way to clean up old rubber: rub it with a cotton bud drenched in isopropyl alcohol for a few minutes.
IPA should not react with polycarbonate case, and sadly it doesn’t do much for dissolving the rubber, as I hoped. But it seems to weaken the bond between the rubber and the plastic to the point where rubbing it with a cotton swab separates them.
Of course, care must be taken to not let IPA seep into the case, because if it gets inside the screen – the screen will likely die.