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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to remove the bracelet from my graywater but naturally I'd like to do it with zero damage to the case.

Any thoughts as to tools and techniques?
 

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Remember, scratches add character!

Once upon a time, I remember there being all kinds of talk about spring bar tweezers, which could compress both sides of a shouldered springbar, at the same time. Is that still a thing? Does anyone have one of these mythical tools?
 

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If it's spring bars, I use wooden "fancy" toothpicks. They are literally called fancy on the package. They are way nicer then your average toothpick and work a treat....no matter how any whiskeys you put down;/)
 

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Remember, scratches add character!

Once upon a time, I remember there being all kinds of talk about spring bar tweezers, which could compress both sides of a shouldered springbar, at the same time. Is that still a thing? Does anyone have one of these mythical tools?
I have the Horotec tweezers Ofrei sells, they take some practice, but you CAN take out a spring bar without scratches from the pins.

http://www.ofrei.com/page1044.html

MSA-10.306

But remember that the likelihood of a spring bar launch across the room is inversely proportional the number of bars you have in reserve. Guaranteed.


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have the Horotec tweezers Ofrei sells, they take some practice, but you CAN take out a spring bar without scratches from the pins.

Horotec Tweezers

MSA-10.306

But remember that the likelihood of a spring bar launch across the room is inversely proportional the number of bars you have in reserve. Guaranteed.


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Okay - that's useful - thank you.

Do these watches have double shoulder or single shoulder springbars?
 

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I have the Horotec tweezers Ofrei sells, they take some practice, but you CAN take out a spring bar without scratches from the pins.

http://www.ofrei.com/page1044.html

MSA-10.306

But remember that the likelihood of a spring bar launch across the room is inversely proportional the number of bars you have in reserve. Guaranteed.
Btw, the "first quality spring bar tool" FB-504 is the workhorse, and just about as good as the near-identical Bergeon 6111. I use em both.

http://www.ofrei.com/page252.html

These work best on double-shoulder bars, but can probably be used on single-shoulder with practice and good eyes. Mk II supplies double shoulder bars.

Of course with drilled lugs, you can just push the pin from the outside.....


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I like to tape the lugs off anytime I do strap changes. I prefer electrical tape however painter's tape works fine as well.
 

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Looking to remove the bracelet from my graywater but naturally I'd like to do it with zero damage to the case.

Any thoughts as to tools and techniques?
First, you should know that some watches use smaller spring bars with bracelets. When you remove the bracelet if you use the same spring bars for leather, nato, etc., they may result too small and pop off. Check with your manufacturer. It has happened to people who own Omega watches.

Removing:

Just insert spring bar tool between the lug and the bar, find the notch and apply pressure towards the bracelet side. It should pop off.

Installing:

Put the spring bar in the strap. Insert one side into the lug hole. Tape up the underside of the lug where you will use the spring bar tool. Find the notch on the bar and apply pressure towards the strap until it compresses enough to lower onto the spring bar hole. Carefully guide the the bar towards the lug hole. Make sure the bar sets into the hole.

Pretty simple really. My spring bar tools were purchased on ebay for a few dollars. Nothing fancy.
 

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With cheap tools, you get what you pay for. Forks that get gnarly, pins that break off, tips that can't be replaced. I've had cheap tools damage straps; never again. Buy at your own risk.
 
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With cheap tools, you get what you pay for. Forks that get gnarly, pins that break off, tips that can't be replaced. I've had cheap tools damage straps; never again. Buy at your own risk.
I agree 100%. I have never been happy with "cheap" tools. They will let you down, when the chips are down!! You don't need to buy the most expensive tools, but the next level down is perfectly adequate. In our farm shop, we have found that Craftsman tools work well for us. In the dealer shops, almost every mechanic uses SnapOn, which are the very best, but considerably more expensive. To a guy who makes his living every day a top quality tool is important. Same with watch tools. The guy who does almost all of my watch work has a set of 600.00 USD screwdrivers. I have a set that cost around 100.00 USD. I'm sure his are a lot better than mine, but the 100.00 USD set is perfectly adequate for what I use them for. Ofrei sells several grades of spring bar tools, all of which I believe are good enough for the hobbyist. Just depends on how much you want to spend. One thing I would definitely look for is replaceable end pieces. If you break off one of the forks ,or break the pusher end of the tool, it's a lot less expensive to just replace the broken rather than having to replace the entire tool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
First, you should know that some watches use smaller spring bars with bracelets. When you remove the bracelet if you use the same spring bars for leather, nato, etc., they may result too small and pop off. Check with your manufacturer. It has happened to people who own Omega watches.

Removing:

Just insert spring bar tool between the lug and the bar, find the notch and apply pressure towards the bracelet side. It should pop off.

Installing:

Put the spring bar in the strap. Insert one side into the lug hole. Tape up the underside of the lug where you will use the spring bar tool. Find the notch on the bar and apply pressure towards the strap until it compresses enough to lower onto the spring bar hole. Carefully guide the the bar towards the lug hole. Make sure the bar sets into the hole.

Pretty simple really. My spring bar tools were purchased on ebay for a few dollars. Nothing fancy.
Thanks - I'm familiar with doing it, it just always leaves a trace so I only swap on 3 of my watches. The rest stay as is because I don't know a good way to ensure zero damage.
 

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While we're on the topic of springbars: where to get a quality assortment of springbars at a reasonable price?

Two springbars for $2.50 seems steep, 360 for $9.99 seems cheap. I don't mind cheap, but fear the quality of these is sub-par.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
While we're on the topic of springbars: where to get a quality assortment of springbars at a reasonable price?

Two springbars for $2.50 seems steep, 360 for $9.99 seems cheap. I don't mind cheap, but fear the quality of these is sub-par.
Wait, that's less than the cost of a cup of sub-par coffee - and it's all that stands between a good watch and disaster? I'd gladly pay several times as much.
 
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While we're on the topic of springbars: where to get a quality assortment of springbars at a reasonable price?

Two springbars for $2.50 seems steep, 360 for $9.99 seems cheap. I don't mind cheap, but fear the quality of these is sub-par.
Buy from Ofrei or other reputable source, avoid the hordes of dross punters on eBay. You shouldn't need 360..... Unless you are particularly clumsy.


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From a guy who has lost a very nice watch due to poor spring bars, I'll spend $20 a bar if it meant you never had to worry about them. Its all that is keeping these gems on the wrist
 

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Amazon has a current promotion for prime members that somehow allows a 50% discount and free shipping on the Wrist & Style spring bar tool. Great quality tool that's very similar to the FB-504 and made in the US, not a cheap Chinese import. Clean and precise machining and knurling. Hardened tips.

It's regularly over $20 after tax and shipping but you can bag one this week for under $8 shipped. Great deal for anyone looking for one.

Anyway, depending on the bars used and access and such, I normally have very little to no trouble using orangewood sticks to remove spring bars. I cut grooves in them, sand them down to fine edges, etc and they cave around the bar and shoulders. Won't ever leave a mark. Frankly, I've never left a mark using a regular spring bar tool either when taking my time.
 

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TheDude said:
Wait, that's less than the cost of a cup of sub-par coffee - and it's all that stands between a good watch and disaster? I'd gladly pay several times as much.
Point well taken and I don't disagree. I definitely don't want the horological equivalent of the STS-51-L Challenger debacle at my hands. But then, there is a point where a higher price does not equate to a better product.

Chromejob said:
Buy from Ofrei or other reputable source, avoid the hordes of dross punters on eBay. You shouldn't need 360..... Unless you are particularly clumsy.
Thanks for the suggestion; Ofrei was already on my short-list.
 

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Remember, scratches add character!

Once upon a time, I remember there being all kinds of talk about spring bar tweezers, which could compress both sides of a shouldered springbar, at the same time. Is that still a thing? Does anyone have one of these mythical tools?
:) Well....It's true that scratches add character....But... :think:

I recently had an opportunity to upgrade my tool collection. ;-)

After lusting after one for years, I purchased this bad boy, but found that I absolutely could not get the spring bars off to remove the bracelet.... argh.gif

Research!!!

20190207_135641crscewm.jpg

So...This is (IMHO) the ultimate in spring bar tools.

20190207_135835crswm.jpg

It costs a lot of money, but it makes installing and removing bracelets a relatively painless and simple task (for me anyway - YMMV)

20190207_135344crswm.jpg 20190207_135401crswm.jpg

Ofrei has it...

So Why?

My Project 300..... smiley_waiting.gif ........is not going to have drilled lugs....

:think: And I wish that it had them, but it won't... :-(

:) But I'll be ready.... smiley_waiting.gif

When it Finally does arrive.... :-!

party.gif
 
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