Changing straps - can I manage this?

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adriatikfan
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Changing straps - can I manage this?

Post by adriatikfan »

Hi everyone - having looked through a number of posts on the forum, there are some interesting comments about using different straps and some great pictures to go with them with Hadley Roma and Hirsch straps.

My question is - I've never changed straps on watches myself before, always had a jeweller do them. Some of you seem very experienced at this.

Do you need special tools - can these be easily found? Are they cheap/expensive?

Any comments/help/guidance would be much appreciated.

Thankyou.

Best Wishes
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El Tiempo
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Post by El Tiempo »

David, welcome to the forum. I got my spring bar tool off ebay, but there are plenty of sites to get watch tools from. The TZ Tool Shop is one.

Once you get a spring bar tool, strap changes are very easy.



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Post by Hans »

Changing straps is very easy indeed, but it is also easy to scratch a watch while changing, so best to 'practise' a few times on an old watch where a scratch wouldn't be a disaster...
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Post by joerattz »

I got my spring bar tool from Otto Frei:

http://www.ofrei.com/page_226.html

I got the FB-504 model which seems to be the model of choice. I change my own straps as needed, but I wouldn't call it easy. Maybe in comparison to more difficult movement repairs or service it is comparitively easy, but to someone not accustomed to doing that, I don't find it easy at all. It is not unusual for me to spend 30 minutes changing a strap. You should see my snail-like progress removing links from bracelets! :D

I am not wanting to discourange you, but just want you to know how easy it is for me.

I am sure it can be done quicker, but I am always trying to be so careful not to scrach the watch, or damage the strap. This is why I posted that I would like to see quick change pins on CW straps, or even better yet, a modification made to the case that makes every strap or bracelet a breeze to change.

How long does it take most people here to change a strap?
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Post by Hans »

Are you serious Joe, 30 minutes?? :shock: I never measured the time, but I am sure I can change a strap within 2 minutes, doesn't matter if it's leather, steel with SEL or non-SEL. And no scratches. I have more than 30 straps and bracelets for my watches and change often.
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Post by joerattz »

Hans wrote:Are you serious Joe, 30 minutes?? :shock: I never measured the time, but I am sure I can change a strap within 2 minutes, doesn't matter if it's leather, steel with SEL or non-SEL. And no scratches. I have more than 30 straps and bracelets for my watches and change often.
What is "SEL or non-SEL"

Yes, I am serious. But, that is including getting my watch tools out of the box I keep them in. Getting my loupe attached to my glasses. Making the change, and putting everything away.

Maybe I am making it harder than necessary, or not doing it correctly. I know one of the biggest challenges I have is getting the spring bars back in. I can't seem to get the correct down angle to often get the spring bar compressed enough using the tool. If I try to use my fingernail, it usually tears after enough tries. Then there are the number of times the spring bar shoots out of the strap altogether.

I am probably scaring the crap out of adriatikfan. ;-)

adriatikfan, perhaps you should ignore my feedback. Based on Hans' response, I am apparently a WISI !!!

Maybe I need a video on how to properly change a strap? What am I doing wrong?

BTW, Hans, did you just update something about the site, such as the software or skin? I feel like the Topic review panel below looks snazzier than I recall it looking in the past.
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Post by Hans »

SEL stands for Solid End Links, steel bracelets can have different types of endlinks which can have impact on the way you replace the bracelet. Next time I change a strap I'll make a video of it (in realtime offcourse!) and put it on youtube, that will be fun! :)

I didn't change anything on the website lately Joe, but I do have plans!
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Post by Hans »

As promised, I uploaded a small video, demonstrating how to change a strap and proving it can be done well within 30 minutes :wink:

Sorry for the horrific quality of the video, I'll do better next time, promise!

Here's the video:

Changing a strap
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Post by El Tiempo »

Hans, great video. Quality is fine, but the sexy voice is very distracting.

I'll post a way to save Youtube videos later today.
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Post by joerattz »

Hans wrote:As promised, I uploaded a small video, demonstrating how to change a strap and proving it can be done well within 30 minutes :wink:

Here's the video:

Changing a strap
Great video Hans. The quality is just fine. My one criticism of the video is that you failed to mention my name. I was under the impression that all videos pertaining to Christopher Ward watches were required by law to mention my name. But you did reference my 30 minutes, so it's close. Other than that it was all aces!

So that's how you change a strap huh? Interesting... I think my way is a lot more fun. You didn't even get to play "find the spring bar" one time...the way you do it. To each his own. :D
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Post by joerattz »

Hans wrote:Here's the video:

Changing a strap
Oh yeah, some serious questions for you, are you right or left handed? Because of the side of the strap you worked on, I am guessing you are left handed. If so, are you equally successful changing the other strap?

Also, what is holding your watch still?
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Post by Hans »

joerattz wrote:Great video Hans. The quality is just fine. My one criticism of the video is that you failed to mention my name. I was under the impression that all videos pertaining to Christopher Ward watches were required by law to mention my name.
Oops, I forgot! My lawyers talked to your lawyers, and they agreed to add a disclamer at the start of the video:

Changing a strap
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Post by Hans »

joerattz wrote: Oh yeah, some serious questions for you, are you right or left handed? Because of the side of the strap you worked on, I am guessing you are left handed. If so, are you equally successful changing the other strap?

Also, what is holding your watch still?
I'm left handed, but that doesn't make any difference, the springbars are symmetrical, so simply turn the watch 180 degrees and you can perform exactly the same trick.

Nothing is holding the still, that is: I am stabilizing it myself.
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Post by joerattz »

Hans wrote:Oops, I forgot! My lawyers talked to your lawyers, and they agreed to add a disclamer at the start of the video:

Changing a strap
That's more like it!!!

You know, at this rate, I will have a top notch library of watch videos. I can see the DVD now...

"Using a Watch for Idiots" brought to you on DVD because if you can't use a watch, you probably can't read.

I am guessing the Dummies books will pass as they probably can't get low enough to the level to reach people like me.

I am really looking forward to the installment on "How to tell time". Once I have that one, all my watches will really start to payoff then.

Man do I feel stupid. Love the video though!

Thanks.
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Post by DB »

Thanks for the video.