Quick Primer on Sizing Current Production Christopher Ward Bracelets

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NationOfLaws
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Quick Primer on Sizing Current Production Christopher Ward Bracelets

Post by NationOfLaws »

Many of us have been intimidated by resizing bracelets. The pins and collars and screws are tiny, and the things you need to manipulate the fasteners are thin and sharp. It doesn’t have to be scary.

I, a stupid person, have now successfully resized a handful of bracelets without the help of a jeweler. I have procured some special equipment, yes, but I have now broken even on my investment by not having an old guy with a loupe and a chip on his shoulder do the work for me. Come along with me as I show you, a person who is surely smarter than me, how to resize the two types of bracelets in use today in Christopher Ward’s lineup.

Caveats: I am not responsible for damage that occurs to your bracelet or your hand or your watch or equipment, etc. This is advice from some dude on the Internet. Heed it at your own peril, or take your bracelet to a jeweler if you’re not feeling confident.

Part one: pin and collar.

First, let’s familiarize ourselves with how a pin and collar bracelet is constructed.
9B80D768-583B-4630-891B-D1AAFB3A4AC1.jpeg
As you can see, you have (from right to left, counterintuitively) the narrow inner bracelet link, that link’s collar, then the pin that holds those pieces plus the outer link together. The goal is going to be applying force to the pin sufficient enough to displace it from the collar but not so great as to drive the pin into a neighbor’s engine block or propel it fast enough to achieve escape velocity and overcome the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of god.

To do this, we will need some tools.
2906817E-7E98-4D7A-9165-C497035F4C9C.jpeg
I acquired the tools in that photo from a crappy Amazon bracelet kit. It cost me $11. Other sellers will have nicer kits that cost more. For this type of bracelet you need what is shown above: a small hammer, a pin removal contraption, a bracelet block, and a pin pusher tool. Those are not industry terms. You’ll also want a soft, clean surface to work on. Esslinger threw that pad I’m working on in for free with an order; it is literally a mouse pad.

Ok, let’s get to work. First, apply a little tape to the areas surrounding the holes. This will keep your bracelet from getting scratched. I have skipped this step here for picture clarity. Now, take your bracelet off your watch and place it in the loving arms of the pin removal contraption.
34C82F6B-1CFC-4724-972B-D1B566F3B33B.jpeg
Line the pin of the tool up with the hole in your watch band. In my experience it does not matter what side you’re coming from UNLESS YOUR BRACELET CLEARLY IDENTIFIES THAT SIDE WITH AN ARROW. Christopher Ward bracelets do not, at least from the ones I’ve seen.
84143325-C457-4182-9FD0-7AD2DC50D497.jpeg
Turn the screw in that pin tool until it has begun to push out the bracelet’s pin. At some point you will encounter more resistance. Stop and back the tool out of the hole.

Here comes the hammery bit. Place the bracelet into the block so the pin that is being pushed out sits in one of the holes in the block’s base.
2F612F34-2C3F-453F-8F49-724E00070058.jpeg
Take your narrowest pin pusher tool, place it in the center of the pinhole on the bracelet, and then delicately tap with the hammer until the pin comes free. Note that I am not holding on to the pin tool in this photo. That’s because I’m taking the picture. Use both hands.
32631318-5211-4EF8-8AE5-8F07D17B0BB3.jpeg
At this point the pin should be loose. Likely the collar will still be inside the inner bracelet link. Be careful not to lose it.

Add a link if you need it or repeat the above steps to get a link completely off the watch (following just the steps above will split your bracelet into two pieces, accomplishing nothing).

When it comes time to reassemble, recall the anatomy of the bracelet. You will need to insert the collar back into the inner bracelet link. You will need to insert the pin into one side of the outer bracelet link. You will need to line up as best you can all the holes. Apply slight pressure to get the pin back into all holes, then lightly tap it with your hammer to seat it back in the collar.
D415655A-E1B1-435B-A27D-E6E1D9F4FCBB.jpeg
You may at this point choose to use the pin contraption to reposition the pin so it sits recessed in the holes. Repeat all the above until your bracelet is reassembled, remove the protective tape, reattach the bracelet to the watch, and drink a beer or two.

Quick addition I thought was critical:
iain wrote: Wed Jul 20, 2022 7:43 am One point about the pin and collar bracelets. If you zoom in on your first photo you will see a small indent in the centre of the pin and the collar. These are designed to meet and they hold them I’m place to prevent them coming out. Once you have reseated the pin, if you use the screw tool again on the side which sticks our most, then you can gently turn the screw until they lock into place. If you have a loupe it is worth watching as you do this as you can actually see it jump into place. That’s when you know you’ve fitted it back correctly.
Read below for part two: double ended screws.
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Re: Quick Primer on Sizing Current Production Christopher Ward Bracelets

Post by jkbarnes »

Outstanding post, clearly explained and illustrated. This will make an excellence reference for members.
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Re: Quick Primer on Sizing Current Production Christopher Ward Bracelets

Post by JasperCat »

Awesome post and I eagerly await your second part, having just received an Aquitaine :lol:

Superb photographs too... thank you :clap:
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Re: Quick Primer on Sizing Current Production Christopher Ward Bracelets

Post by NationOfLaws »

Part two: double ended screws

Currently Christopher Ward watches use double ended screw connections only on its Aquitaine bracelets. These connectors suck compared to pin and collar. You may not require any specialized tools outside of TWO 1.4mm/1.5mm jeweler’s screwdrivers, but a $20 piece of kit makes it much easier in my opinion.

Let’s again start off with the bracelet’s anatomy. From top to bottom you have the inner bracelet link, the female screw, the tiny little male screw that probably drives a Porsche and yells at its dog to compensate for its small size, and the outer bracelet link.
08A55757-EBA9-40B4-9560-921DDDE66714.jpeg
The real pain here is that the male screw threads into the female screw, which means you have to arrest the movement of one side to unscrew it from the other. This is not fun. Also, that male screw is tiny. TINY. If you rush this or you attempt this in a room appointed in deep, lush shag carpet you will lose this screw and you will be sad.

Prepare the same way as above. Remove the bracelet from the watch and apply tape to the areas immediately surrounding the screw hole. You will almost definitely slip at least once so I do strongly recommend it to prevent marring.

For tools you’ll want at least two 1.4/1.5mm jewelers screwdrivers and some weak Loctite (I’m using 222, the purple stuff). Optionally but recommended is a specialized screw tool.
9734466A-B909-4D95-9185-569FF44C0895.jpeg
Either line your screwdrivers up, one on each side, into the slot on each screwhead in the link you want to replace OR use the tool to accomplish the same thing. You’ll have to move the bracelet around a bit to get it on the post in the tool, then move the other side in. I’ve demonstrated here on two links separated from the bracelet for ease of visibility.
E02E93AA-17EC-4B11-BCA7-A65580F840AF.jpeg
AFADA3E3-F1D8-4E15-A05A-E5ACCF6030ED.jpeg
Now you’ll unscrew. In my tool picture you’ll see I have a third screwdriver. That’s to poke the screw out if necessary from the opposite side of the bracelet.

Repeat as necessary to size the bracelet.

To reassemble, place the tiniest drop of loctite imaginable on the FEMALE threads. Place the female side through the outer and inner links, and place in your block so it’s facing with the receiving end up.
0A278CFB-BA64-4BD1-837C-CE182208F051.jpeg
Place the tiny male screw in place, turn a couple times counterclockwise to prevent cross-threading, and screw lightly to get it started. I recommend using two screwdrivers to tighten since the tool is more difficult when reassembling than when disassembling.
B92536C3-1207-4A2B-805D-01C11D24A997.jpeg
Peel the tape off, throw the bracelet on the watch, and enjoy your favorite Everton players as they bathe in the glow of a fresh corporate sponsorship.
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Re: Quick Primer on Sizing Current Production Christopher Ward Bracelets

Post by Thegreyman »

Part one - spot on, I have the same cheap tools but they have always got the job done. I often do such jobs on an upside down old shoebox lid, as if any screws or pins come loose then they are caught by the lip of the lid. A decent sized tray would possibly also work well.
NationOfLaws wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 7:28 pm
Part two: double ended screws

the tiny little male screw that probably drives a Porsche and yells at its dog to compensate for its small size,
:lol:
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Re: Quick Primer on Sizing Current Production Christopher Ward Bracelets

Post by jkbarnes »

Thegreyman wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 7:40 pm ….I often do such jobs on an upside down old shoebox lid, as if any screws or pins come loose then they are caught by the lip of the lid. A decent sized tray would possibly also work well.
That’s a really smart move. I’ll do this next time I have to resize.
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Re: Quick Primer on Sizing Current Production Christopher Ward Bracelets

Post by StrapMeister »

Excellent stuff :thumbup:

Just to add to part 2, and based on the fact that I have a number of bracelets (specifically Bremont ones) that have double ended screw connections.
What you need is a Bergeon 6670-S Vice Set For Bracelet Screws:
https://www.hswalsh.com/product/vice-se ... s-hb6670-s
Expensive but, imo, worth every penny and will save you money in the long term.
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Re: Quick Primer on Sizing Current Production Christopher Ward Bracelets

Post by NationOfLaws »

Some of those photos are upside down (perhaps the server is in Australia). I will try and fix that later, but first I will nap.
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Re: Quick Primer on Sizing Current Production Christopher Ward Bracelets

Post by NationOfLaws »

StrapMeister wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 7:57 pm Excellent stuff :thumbup:

Just to add to part 2, and based on the fact that I have a number of bracelets (specifically Bremont ones) that have double ended screw connections.
What you need is a Bergeon 6670-S Vice Set For Bracelet Screws:
https://www.hswalsh.com/product/vice-se ... s-hb6670-s
Expensive but, imo, worth every penny and will save you money in the long term.
Yeah, I didn’t feel like spending $90 and Esslinger had this one for like $20. Worth it if you have lots of bracelets with screws. I don’t.
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Re: Quick Primer on Sizing Current Production Christopher Ward Bracelets

Post by Thegreyman »

I think that vice set is going to make the job so much easier. I think I'd find it difficult to have the dexterity to operate the two opposing screwdrivers, one in each hand...after all we men can't multi-task.

Perhaps CW don't but I think some brands and certainly with some second hand purchases may have already had loctite applied to the screw threads. A brief submerging in hot water should help to loosen this.
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Re: Quick Primer on Sizing Current Production Christopher Ward Bracelets

Post by rkovars »

NationOfLaws wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 8:00 pm
StrapMeister wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 7:57 pm Excellent stuff :thumbup:

Just to add to part 2, and based on the fact that I have a number of bracelets (specifically Bremont ones) that have double ended screw connections.
What you need is a Bergeon 6670-S Vice Set For Bracelet Screws:
https://www.hswalsh.com/product/vice-se ... s-hb6670-s
Expensive but, imo, worth every penny and will save you money in the long term.
Yeah, I didn’t feel like spending $90 and Esslinger had this one for like $20. Worth it if you have lots of bracelets with screws. I don’t.
I see that Esslinger has just the vice for $55. It has a 1.8mm tip. A smaller tip is $3.50. Still more than $20 but hurts a little less.
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Re: Quick Primer on Sizing Current Production Christopher Ward Bracelets

Post by tikkathree »

Excellent stuff well done and thank you.

I get by with double sets of screw drivers for the occasional bracelet with screws-both-sides. Collar and pin links I used to use the vice with a push pin extending from one side but mostly these days I use the tiny hammer, pins and jig arrangement.

And, thinking about watch service facilities that either decline bracelet reduction tasks or charge enthusiastically I'd say that s/h watch purchase comes with the attendant risk of link pins with "missing" collars.
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Re: Quick Primer on Sizing Current Production Christopher Ward Bracelets

Post by Bident »

Great stuff! Thanks, Jameson. I've used the exact same cheap tools for my pin and collar bracelets and have never had any issues. For removal, I just use the hammer straight away without bothering with the pin removal tool. I have also found it far easier to knock the pins out/in if I hold the hammer towards the end of the handle, creating more leverage. Simple physics, I know, but working on watches can easily turn me into a fool at times.

My only bracelet with double sided screwheads is my Oris Aquis at the lugs where the integrated bracelet connects, and it's even more of a pain because it uses these tri-wing screwdrivers. I've found the easiest thing to do is separate the bracelet at the clasp, then lie the watch head dial down onto an elevated surface. I use a Bergeon gel pad which I initially purchased for my watch modding/building. This may not be as easy with bracelet screws which are smaller than the tri-wing screws on the Aquis lugs, but maybe worth trying. The inverted shoebox lid Patrick mentioned is a great tip and would work well with my setup when I change the Aquis bracelet to the rubber strap and vice versa.

One other thing I would add is good magnification and lighting are key for my 55 year old eyes. I've gone through a few magnification/lighting headsets from Amazon, as they are all fairly cheap (both price and construction). My current one has held up well:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B088Z ... UTF8&psc=1
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Re: Quick Primer on Sizing Current Production Christopher Ward Bracelets

Post by NationOfLaws »

Bident wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 9:25 pm Great stuff! Thanks, Jameson. I've used the exact same cheap tools for my pin and collar bracelets and have never had any issues. For removal, I just use the hammer straight away without bothering with the pin removal tool. I have also found it far easier to knock the pins out/in if I hold the hammer towards the end of the handle, creating more leverage. Simple physics, I know, but working on watches can easily turn me into a fool at times.

My only bracelet with double sided screwheads is my Oris Aquis at the lugs where the integrated bracelet connects, and it's even more of a pain because it uses these tri-wing screwdrivers. I've found the easiest thing to do is separate the bracelet at the clasp, then lie the watch head dial down onto an elevated surface. I use a Bergeon gel pad which I initially purchased for my watch modding/building. This may not be as easy with bracelet screws which are smaller than the tri-wing screws on the Aquis lugs, but maybe worth trying. The inverted shoebox lid Patrick mentioned is a great tip and would work well with my setup when I change the Aquis bracelet to the rubber strap and vice versa.

One other thing I would add is good magnification and lighting are key for my 55 year old eyes. I've gone through a few magnification/lighting headsets from Amazon, as they are all fairly cheap (both price and construction). My current one has held up well:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B088Z ... UTF8&psc=1
I’d love to see some of the modding you’ve done and hear about how to get started. Those magnifiers would be great for the electronics projects I do, even if they’d catch me a raft of insults from my wife.
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Re: Quick Primer on Sizing Current Production Christopher Ward Bracelets

Post by Bident »

NationOfLaws wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 9:46 pm I’d love to see some of the modding you’ve done and hear about how to get started. Those magnifiers would be great for the electronics projects I do, even if they’d catch me a raft of insults from my wife.
I'll try and get a separate thread on the watches I've built/modded. I just started last year and it began as a simple fascination with YouTube videos watching modders and watchmakers. Try watching LumeShot on YouTube as a first start.

No insults from my wife yet, but I try not to wear the headset outside my home office where I do my tinkering. Only a watch nerd would wear this type of thing (see Des's thread :lol: )
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