WS 21: How to use a Spring Bar Fork tool

Objectives:

Preparation and Precautions

Please note that the Bergeon tool tip, the thin fork, is very sharp. Many people have punched their finger tips with it. The finger tips contain a lot of nerves to increase our tactile capabilities. That is why this is - albeit a little - yet very painful injury that is best avoided by never rushing, working with clean non sweaty or oily hands and fingers. If you tend to lose spring bars, please prepare a magnetic sweeper and prepare to spend some time under the table. Almost every amateur trying himself as a watchmaker will "absolve the apprenticeship" under the table. And many good watchmakers I know are not shy admitting it too :) It is however a lot easier to have a certain stock of the most used spring bars in the sizes 17 mm (vintage), 18 mm (smaller gents, very popular size for case sizes 36 mm), 19 mm (some Citizens) and 20 mm (the most popular width today) and 22 mm (classic Seiko Diver's). If you are into Panerais, then you need also 24 mm and 26 mm spring bars. I like to have these little items in stock. I have to make a tedious taxi trip to the watch parts shop that takes 20 to 60 minutes depending on how clogged Bangkok's roads are... that is a good reason to have a little stock of the most common parts at home. Most common battery types (depends on your Quartz watch collection - why not make an ongoing list every time you change a battery?), gasket rings and spring bars are in my eyes the core stock that every DIY WIS should have at home. Ah yes, a little bottle of watch silicone which has no expiration date to my knowledge to "oil" gasket rings is also very helpful. Besides of course a core set of watch tools, and the spring bar fork is probably the first watch tool* most of us will get. I am using a Hong Kong made spring bar fork tool for this tutorial that uses original Bergeon tips. PMWC offers this spring bar tool with a promotional price if purchased with a watch from PMWC.

You can also "walk through" the tutorial by clicking here and then on each picture inside the tutorial pages>>>

The TOOLs and the EASIER DISASSEMBLY or REMOVAL PART

The spring bar fork

The thin fork end

The wide fork end

Removing a bracelet - Step 1

A word of warning!

Removing a bracelet - Step 2

Removing a bracelet - Step 3

Removing a leather strap

Removing a rubber band - Step 1

Removing a rubber band - Step 2
PUTTING IT BACK TOGETHER - MORE DIFFICULT but getting easier the more you practice!
   
Some HINTS when replacing straps or bracelets (updated)
   

Reto Castellazzi, Bangkok, July 26th 2005, updated (added HINTS) on September 12th, 2006