WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I seem to have broken my retainer spring on my Vostok Komandirskie. The bezel turned WAY too easily, so I popped the bezel off and then proceeded to (gently) bend the spring to give a little more resistance. Well, it broke. I was wondering where to get another and maybe if it's possible to make another? It's springy, but non magnetic so I'm not sure what kind of metal to use.

Any help would be appreciated.

Oh, and thanks to all the members for making this site so great. I spent a lot of time lurking before I finally joined! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,426 Posts
I would try to ask MERANOM, ZENITAR or CHISTOPOLCITY (this forum/ebay/google) for a spring including or not a new bezel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
732 Posts
Getting an OEM bezel spring, from Meranom or elsewhere, would be ideal...

...but I have to admit, in this and other matters, I wonder about the possibility of using generic materials, and wonder if anyone has any experience. Both brass spring wire and steel spring wire are sold online, by both watchmaking and musical instrument suppliers. Pictures of the Vostok bezel spring make it look like brass. Would brass spring wire, or some other similar generic material, work? If so, it would be necessary to measure the diameter/gauge of the bezel spring to obtain the correct equivalent and then cut and bend to shape.

(Incidentally, there are many discussions of replacing Vostok bezels online; none that I've seen give the specifications for the bezel spring. Anyone?)

I don't have the craft experience here; I guess I'm just naively wishing to ask whether this is in fact a repair for which only the original part will do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,499 Posts
Keeping in mind too that my only experience with Vostoks is from pictures, it seems to me that just buying the right diameter of spring steel wire at a local hobby shop might work. My only concern would be with magnetism, but as long as you're not cutting the wire with magnetized tools, it shouldn't become magnetized (and after all, other parts of the watch are steel as well).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,596 Posts
The material is a copper alloy that work hardens very quickly, that is why it broke. Once it is bent and needs adjusting the wire has to be annealed to soften it again. I use a propane torch to get the metal red then dunk it in water. This is not for the novice, the wire is very thin and too much heat melts it. The diameter is .019" or .4826mm. I have made bezel wires before. It's easy for me because of my machining and fabrication background. If you do try it, use 2 duck billed pliers available at craft and bead stores. They might have the wire also. Use the broken wire as a template and match it up as close as possible to the original form. The craft store may have other non-magnetic wire that will work also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
732 Posts
Thank you both for the master class! That looks like about 24 gauge wire in the US (B&S), which is readily available, unless that is slightly too big and you need something like 25, which is not. 26 looks slightly smaller. But trying to figure out differing wire gauge systems has just made my head explode.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
759 Posts
Excellent exposé Mr. Murphy!

Imagine an entire Vostok repair manual done this way! One can only dream.

Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Thank you both for the master class! That looks like about 24 gauge wire in the US (B&S), which is readily available, unless that is slightly too big and you need something like 25, which is not. 26 looks slightly smaller. But trying to figure out differing wire gauge systems has just made my head explode.
Wire size equivalents are:
SWG 25
AMWG 8 (Piano wire)
INCH 0.020
MM 0.50
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,426 Posts
Not that easy as it looks, I say. A lot of "try" needed and more luck even, especially for the overall roundness of it!

And then again, the cost of a spare one including a brand new bezel is not so high....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
With grateful thanks to Dave Murphy for uploading his excellent how-to. :-!

I made a quick Amphibian bezel spring to test the theory/practicality.
On the left the original spring clip, on the right the quickly made test version.
Material used was 0.20 inch (0.5 mm) diameter music wire. LINK


Checking the length of the sectors, the Dave Murphy article is correct, 8 sectors each 12mm long.

I cut a strip of thin card 12mm wide to use as a guide when bending the wire. I gripped the wire 12mm from the end and slightly pressed down on the wire with my thumb close to the pliers the make the first bend. I continued along the wire measuring each section with the card, applying the pliers and bending the next sector until the wire had 7 bends in total, I then cut the wire 12mm along from the last bend.

When I came to fit the new spring into the bezel groove I noticed that the ends of the wire were overlapping slightly so I removed it and cut a small amount off one end of the wire and fitted it into the bezel again. This time everything was OK.

I fitted the bezel back onto the watch, remembering to turn it round a few times to double check that the spring was in it's groove all the way round.


Result, perfect. The bezel needs more effort to turn with the new spring, in fact it needs even slightly more effort to start turning then it turns easier but even then it requires more effort than the original did.

In my opinion I would think that the bezel with the new spring would not get turned accidentally due to the extra effort required to get it turning initially. Please don't think that it's hard to turn the bezel, I think the effort required is a perfect balance of the ability to turn it without the chance of it turning accidentally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Excellent work, slowcoach.

I made a perfect spring on my first try as well.

You have proved a very important point: one must make a gauge. You made one from scratch, I used my caliper jaws. But without the 12mm gauge, it would certainly be frustrating.

As to the stiffness of your bezel: I think that any spring can be made looser if the segments have a concave shape. If the segments are straight, the bezel will be stiff.

Regards,

Dave

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,129 Posts
Some great information in this thread. I would like to have a go. Your 2 attachments slowcoach will not open for me. Comes up as invalid. Perhaps an administrator could sort this.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top