A cheap set of watchband springs and their associated removal tool

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/08/28/a-cheap-set-of-watchband-sprin.html

Most places will change the watch band for free (if you’re buying the band from them). But if you have several watches and/or like to change bands to fit an outfit or occasion having a set like this would be great

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Those pins seem to pop loose on a vintage Rolex far too often. I needed new pins.

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I hope that these spring bars are well made, so that your expensive watch doesn’t take an expensive tumble. It doesn’t seem like a thing to be scrimping on. As a watchmaker, I buy good quality spring bars from a supply house that’s been around for decades and stands by its products.


I’m 103, so this is relevant to me. I’m also in the market for some white-out strips for my typewriter, and a good buggy whip repair kit.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m off to the five and dime to see if I can pick up some hoops and sticks for my great grandchildren’s birthday.


The tweezers look real handy, at least.

I have yet to learn of an appropriate means of keeping such things safely capped such that one does not get unwittingly stabbed when hunting around for them. And also an appropriate means of keeping the cap from rolling away and being lost forever as soon as it is removed from the tweezers.

I have found that tweezers that are fine-tipped enough to bend easily aren’t useful for this sort of work anyways. I use a pair of 00 tweezers for most work that needs narrow tips, and 2A for work that needs thin, wide paddle tips. They last for years with normal care.

Oh, buddy.


For the non-watchmakers in the audience (who like to go down internet rabbit holes), who is your preferred supplier(s)?



I have been using ofrei.com for many years.


I am also a watchmaker.

Otto Frei is a perfectly good choice, I use Jules Borel (http://www.julesborel.com/)

To anyone contemplating this- NixieBunny is spot on above. If you have a watch that has any value at all or any value to you personally don’t use discount spring bars.

The most important part on your watch that keeps it from getting destroyed are essentially the spring bars holding it to your band.

Improperly fit bars or poorly made ones will disconnect and dump your watch, right on to the floor, or the road, or the lake you are boating above.

A competent watchmaker does not reuse spring bars when they service your watch. Those are replaced at the slightest sign of wear for a reason. Improperly fitting them can also lead to wearing out your watch lugs, and requiring laser welding to fix, though this is a bit of an extreme case.

If you have to do this yourself, get the correct tools from Otto Frei or Borel, along with good spring bars. Using discount spring bars on an expensive watch or any watch is kind of like using a Chinese pot metal axle for your car drivetrain. It’s just not smart.

Protip- it is possible to do this yourself properly, but the risk of damage is there.

If you do insist on doing this yourself know that there are some watches that have odd sizes between the lugs, and some standard size spring bars will not fit.
In cases such as these, it is acceptable to carefully bend very very slightly the tightest springbar that would otherwise not fit, to fit. Obviously if you attempt this you had better know what you are doing, because otherwise you make it even easier to detach. Also- there are many, many actual types of spring bars, not just sizes. Make sure you are using the right style for the case or it will come out.


Thanks randomdude and nixiebunny. A while ago I bought a cheap watch that I really liked. The spring bars popped out after just a few weeks and all the spring bars I found on amazon and ebay looked even cheaper than what came with the watch. Definitely not as beefy as on decent quality watches. I gave up. Maybe I will give it another shot now that I have sources for good spring bars.

random off topic cream cracker question…
anyone know of a pocket watch with a musical box in it

since I saw the good bad ugly again it hit me… :relieved:

I use only the finest spring bars, forged in the sacred dojo atop Mt. Fuji, for my p u r e c l a s s Seiko 5.

You laugh, but seriously- brand made spring bars are often made to much higher quality standards.

Even something as simple as a spring bar has specific tolerances that either make it useful or complete garbage


The plastic sleeves that metal nailfiles come in are perfect for keeping fine-point tweezers in, and the small caps that small bottles of superglue have on them pushed into the end of the plastic sleeve will stop the tweezers from poking out of the end.


Which is one reason for using a NATO or ZULU nylon strap, which has a separate keeper strap to hold the watch if a spring bar breaks.


True. That’s a big part of the reason why I replaced my two most-used watches’ straps with NATO straps; if one spring bar goes, the watches stay on my wrist via the other spring bar. I also find NATO straps to be more comfortable (and gentle on my skin) than metal bands. Plus, they’re inexpensive, and invite occasional mix and matches depending on my mood.


I didn’t see yours above! :slightly_smiling_face:

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