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Strap/Bracelet removal and reinstallation instructions!

Okay, I feel like an idiot. I am trying for the first time to change the band on my Mad Cow, from the bracelet to the rubber. I am using the little screwdriver (why the heck is is so awkwardly designed--with the heavy round disk?) and when I turn the screws, nothing happens. In fact, I can't figure out why there would be a screwhead on both sides of the pin. No matter which side I unscrew, it just spins.

What am I doing wrong?

Thanks
 

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Okay, here we go:

Removal:

- You should have 2 screwdrivers that came with the watch. You'll need them both. One is easy to find, you'll see it the moment you open the box (it has the fat round base). The other one you have to search for by pulling the watch holder of the box. You'll find it hidden underneath (it's a regular jeweler's screw driver).

- Turning your attention to the lugs, what you'll see is a lug tube that appears to be slotted at each end. In reality, each screw tube is long, running the full width of the lug. Only one end of the tube is slotted. The other end of the tube is threaded (female). Into the threaded end of the tube is a tiny lug screw. The tiny screw is very similar to what you see on a watch bracelet with screw pins in the links.

- Using both screwdrivers, loosen the screw tube from each end of each tube. I find that it works best when I use the round-bottomed screwdriver by sitting it on the table, putting one end of a screw-tube on top of the screwdiver, and then using the other screw driver to loosen the lug screw. (I figure that this is why Ball made one of the screwdrivers with a round base)

- As you unscrew the tube, you will find that one end turns easier than the other. This is the tiny lug screw. The tube itself is harder to turn. I try not to turn the screw tube itself due to the resistance. Once you find out which end turns easier, you may have to switch screwdrivers around. You want to use the handheld screwdriver on the lug screw, not the screw tube. Remove the tiny lug screw. Be careful not to lose it (I've lost one before, they're so small).

- Included with your Mad Cow should be a little paper envelope with a ziploc baggie inside. Inside the baggie is a little tube that is threaded on one end and solid (no slot) on the other end. (I'll call it a "Helper Tube"). You'll need this now.

- Once you have removed the tiny lug screw from one end of the lugs, screw the Helper Tube into the same end. The Helper Tube will stick out of the lug a centimeter or so. CAREFULLY push on the Helper Tube to force the screw tube out of the lug. You may have to wiggle the end link. You may have to gently tap the Helper Tube with a wooden mallet. Just be careful not to bend the Helper Tube.

- Do this for all four lug holes. The Bracelet will fall out. Don't lose the end links as they are not affixed to the bracelet.

Installation:

- Installing is the reverse. Use the Helper Tube to install each tube. This is important to ensure that the tube "seats" all the way in the hole. If the head of the screw tube doesn't nestle down into the lug hole, you have not fully installed it. Some tricks to get it to "seat" are: 1) wiggle the Helper Tube and strap/endlink, 2) turn the tube with a screwdriver, and 3) do both. Getting it to "seat" can be exasperating.

- Once the screw tube is fully seated, unscrew the Helper Tube and carefully install the tiny lug screw.

- Once you have reinstalled the lug screw, use both screwdrivers again to tighten both ends at the same time.

- Be careful not to overtighten! It is possible to both strip the screw slots and to ruin the threads inside the screw tube.

If my instructions do not help, please PM me. There's a reason why I've never written instruction manuals. I'm out of town right now, or I'd take and post pics. Maybe I'll do it next week.

I am happy to call anyone to talk them through the process.

I have become adept at this and it still takes me 15 to 20 minutes. This is not something to be done quickly since it's so easy to mess up the slots and threads, and to lose the tiny screws.

Rob
 

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By the way, if you haven't found the second screwdriver, look in your box. Pull up the little base that the watch sits in. There's a screwdriver tucked up in the slot underneath.

Rob
 

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Thank for writing this up Rob :-!

However, after reading these instructions I am not sure anymore that I
want to do this myself. It seems more complicated than AP ROO.
It took me about 1 hour the first time and about 20 minutes the second
time on my ROO....(but a lot of nerves, cussing and sweat )

Changing it on Hydrocarbon seems ever more complicated than ROO though.
If you ever do it again, can you please take some pictures ?
I hope that once I see them - I will lose my fear doing it on Mad Cow ;-)
TIA.

Milos
 

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Milos,

Since when have you been scared of changing a band ?

This has to be a first for you.
 

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That will be handy for me.

You will be here in about 48 Hours ..

Will you teach me a trick or two please.
 

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I was lucky....went to see BALL USA guys today and Jerry showed me the
tricks. Piece of cake now ;-)
When the Tour comes to town next week, I'm half-expecting the Ball guys to tell me that I got the strap-changing protocol all wrong. I'd feel alot less insecure if they'd post an "official" protocol w/pics.

Rob
 

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OK, I just bought a EM II diver. NOw how do I change the strap? this watch got no holes nor space to fit a screw driver?
I plan to change into the SS strap
 

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Hello, new guy in here too. Got the NT a few days ago and was wondering about the same thing. There is absolutely no gap between the lugs and the strap. In fact the leather sqeaks when it swivels because it is quite tight. My main concern is the DLC coating might get scratched when changing straps, even when professionally done. Is it really that hard to remove as I imagine it would be?

My other concern would be the size. The NT has a 21mm strap as we all know. Some say 22mm leather fits theirs by squeezing them a bit before installing. The Ball rubber strap is the right size, but expensive..and I'm not sure if they have sizes for length. I'd really like it in smooth rubber, and short since I only got about a 6.5 wrist. Has anyone fit a 22mm rubber strap? Or should I choose 20mm?

Thanks in advance!
 

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hey guys. i have a Ball moonphase. how do i adjust the length of the bracelet? do the pins push out or are they screwed in? i need to remove 1 link, possibly 2 for proper fitment. thanks!!
 

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are they just push pins in the links of the bracelet?
 

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are they just push pins in the links of the bracelet?
Ball bracelets use screws to connect the links, not push-pins. A good jewelers' screwdriver will do the trick. Be sure to use the right size screwdriver, or else you may mess up the slot.

Rob
 

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Hey all, have a Spacemaster X-Lume and am trying to remove the half link immediately next to the diver extension (on either side of the clasp but in this particular instance its the one south of the "6" not the "12"). I have no trouble removing the full link next to it but I either end up too tight or too loose for my wrist. The half link would be ideal I think but there's no removable screw on the one end and I can't figure out how to remove the pin. Doesn't seem to press in. Any advice please?
 
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