The main Tools for shortening (clipping the bracelet and freeing the end-links)
I had bought the necessary tools quite a while ago, just never found the time to "play" with them.
Bergeon Bracelet clipping pliers
An A&F micro torch
Additional Tools for connecting
30 Watt soldering iron
Alloy soldering wire
Crystal Clear Polishing cream
Watch maker's pliers
2 dishes (as a substitute for a heat-resistant working surface)
small plastic vice
1. Using the A&F Micro Torch to get the bracelet ends out of their clasp-side end-links
The micro torch has a tank similar to a cigarette lighter and an adjustable. I had bought a large bottle of Butane gas refill. Unluckily none of the provided filling heads would match the valve of the micro torch. The reason was that most of the supplied heads were very cheap injection molded plastic pieces and about half of them had holes in their sides. So I finally decided to dump them all. I then wrapped a couple of rounds of electrician's tape around the nozzle of the gas bottle and this finally did the trick. I could start refilling the torch.
I used a wire on the buckle as a pulling loop and held the watch with my left hand. Now I was carefully moving the end of the bracelet and buckle upward and downward through the gas flame while constantly pulling on the watch and the wire loop. After a short time, the buckle half was separated.
The same procedure was applied to the other side of the bracelet. Only this time it took a lot longer for the bracelet and buckle to separate.
About 1.5 cm on either end of the bracelet had turned brown. Also the buckle looked pretty ugly, brown and black discoloration on the inside and outside.
I hoped that Crystal Clear would get rid of the black discoloration... and it did! I was very happy to have two brand new looking buckle parts after ca. 10 minutes of intense polishing with a small sponse and the aluminum based polishing agent. Autolube or Polywatch could do the job as well of course. I am not trying to endorse Crystal Clear, it was just what I had in the house.
2. Using the Bergeon bracelet clipping pliers
I did of course not bother to clean the darkened ends of the bracelets. Luck again, the shortening of the bracelet would get rid of those darker regions. The bracelet plier is a very powerful tool. I had previously tried to use another pair of pliers that would have allowed to shorten the bracelet with one cut on each side. I pressed very hard, but there was no chance of cutting through that meshed Sterling silver bracelet. I decided to give the Bergeon pliers a try, I was reluctant at first, since I did not wanted to snip off several pieces of ca. 4 mm length. The mouth of the pliers is not that deep, so one can only cut off about 4 mm at a time. But at least, cutting was a real pleasure, thanks to the clever mechanism, there was enough force on the jaws.
Missing in the tool line up - the regular 30 Watt National soldering iron
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The watch is already shortened in this picture, as I mentioned in the foreword, my workplace was not always very tidy during this work. I did not really have the experience with the torch and decided to keep my camera as far away as possible.