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Hi there, I searched for a thread on how to swop the SS bracelet for leather strap and vice versa on a Breitling Navitimer but came up empty hande... maybe I'm doing it wrong? :-s

Please indicate whether this is feasible to do myself or whether it is best left to a jeweller. (I'm a big Robert Pirsig fan and as such, from a quality perspective, I don't believe that the general staff working at the AD are always going to do a better job than me).

Suppose I can do this myself, do I need any special tools etc?

TIA
 

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Re: DIY question: How to replace/swop the bracelet and leather strap on Breitling Navitime

Hi R D,

You need a quality spring bar tool to do the job. The 1-1.5mm slot in the solid end piece gives access to the retaining pin. The tool of choice for this task is the Bergeron 3153b I believe available from Otto Frei in the USA.

I think this link should work.

http://www.ottofrei.com/store/product.php?productid=7907&cat=0&page=1

tips..

http://www.ottofrei.com/store/product.php?productid=7908&cat=0&page=1
 

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Re: DIY question: How to replace/swop the bracelet and leather strap on Breitling Navitime

I have always bent the kind of spring bar tools that SnapIT refers to above. Nowadays, I either use a heavy-duty needle, or my bracelet tool set. Not sure about the Navi, but the bracelet spring bars on the other Breitling bracelets have one thick collar, as opposed to the two thin collars on most ordinary strap spring bars.

My recommendation is to put the two collar spring bars on if you use a strap, and save the bracelet spring bars for just the bracelet.

Good luck.
 

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Pil-Mil, Breitling Forum Moderator
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Hi, RC. This should help you with straps and bracelets...

Hi there, I searched for a thread on how to swop the SS bracelet for leather strap and vice versa on a Breitling Navitimer but came up empty hande... maybe I'm doing it wrong? :-s

Please indicate whether this is feasible to do myself or whether it is best left to a jeweller. (I'm a big Robert Pirsig fan and as such, from a quality perspective, I don't believe that the general staff working at the AD are always going to do a better job than me).

Suppose I can do this myself, do I need any special tools etc?

TIA
Excerpts (edited) from a post of mine on another Breitling forum...

These are original Breitling strap and bracelet springbars. Sorry for the lack of detail but if you look close you can see a conical point on the bracelet springbar. This is to help guide it into the inner interhorn holes while CAREFULLY attaching the bracelet. Notice it also has a chamfered shoulder on the outside diameter of the barrel. This is to help position the springbar tool onto the springbar shaft for insertion into the interhorn hole. (Note: the Bergeon 6111 has removable tips for both types of springbars and is the perfect tool IMO. Link to a source is here: http://lonestarwatches.com/accessories.htm? ) The strap springbar doesn't need this chamfered shoulder because the springbar tool bit is more of a notched "shovel" as opposed to a sharp "fork" for the bracelet springbar tool bit. You can use the bracelet springbar for strap attachment but it is unwise to use strap springbars for bracelet installation because of the likelihood of slippage and scratching. Please don't trust a jeweler or anyone who does'nt know the difference between springbars. I hope this helps clear up some confusion for those of you who would like to swap between straps and bracelets. Two or more watches for the price of one! :) To illustrate the difference...








Every Breitling wtih its original bracelet has the springbars as shown on the right in those two pics. Every strap I have (7 at this time and 7 bracelets as well) has the springbars illustrated on the left. In addition to all of the 22mm springbars I have I also have packages of 15mm, 16mm, and 18mm springbars for my familie's Breitlings. All of them are exactly the same for bracelet and exactly the same for strap. Their watches all were originally equipped with "Pilot" bracelets and all configurations concurr when straps were ordered and/or added. I have a Breitling Authorized Service center here which will corroborate this information because that is where I received and validated it. That is also where I was shown how to properly adjust a Breitling bracelet by "biasing" the links to the North side of the watch which ergonomically balances the deployant clasp correctly. Here are examples of correctly balanced Navitimer and Fighter bracelets...





Hope this helps! santasmile
Cheers,
Ron
 

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Re: DIY question: How to replace/swop the bracelet and leather strap on Breitling Navitime

Hi Guys, thanks a million. The information is very valuable and the pictures helped a stack Ron |>

As you can see I am still relatively new but I can confirm that I got something special in the Christmas sock...no prizes for guessing though :-!

I will post some pictures by latest thsi weekend. Thanks to the forum members and my wifes bargained consent (I'll divulge more details later) I purchased the leather strap with fold-over clasp and the SS bracelet.

Chat to you soon again.
 
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