Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

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Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:58 pm

I'm a sniveling old fuck with 10 thumbs...and as of late, I've taken to changing my own straps and bracelets, as well as doing my own sizing and battery changes. I started with a handful of junk drawer watches, and I now have the confidence to crack open any of my lesser watches for battery changes. It's all being done with the eventual hope that I eventually get the time and inclination to finally assemble a watch all by myself. I once watched a watchmaker build a watch, and I've had the hankering to do it ever since. NO, I'm not going to have the skill or talent to actually build a watch - I'm just thinking of getting a quartz movement (already purchased), case (that too), crystal, stem, etc, and just putting a working watch together. I honestly don't know why I'm doing all this, but it's just something that looks like fun.

I'm sorry I didn't do the straps and sizings a long time ago. It's not that hard, and if I can do it, anyone can. It's worth giving it a try, that's for sure.

What's been learned: Drug/department stores charge and arm and a leg for single batteries .... screwed watch case backs are a royal pain the ass ... and when you open a few cheap watches you get the best idea of why they are so cheap. The insides of a Croton watch revealed what a dime store toy it was.

I started this thread mainly because I'm hoping we can talk about something without some greasy troll jumping into the proceedings. My question: Who else here does their own watch maintenance. I know this is a hackneyed old topic, but it's a drenching rainy day on the east coast and I've spent most of it fiddling with old timepieces.
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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:29 pm

I started this thread mainly because I'm hoping we can talk about something without some greasy troll jumping into the proceedings.

First of all, Thank You. Secondly, when I was in college I did all of my own sizing and battery changes, I'll be it on junk watches, simply out of necessity. Just cheaper to do it myself. Curiousity about what was inside that case(way before I knew anything about movements) and how it worked also drove me to check it out. It's not rocket science, just depends if you want to void warranties by cracking open the back, which never really worried me because I have never spent more than a couple hundred on any watch. Would love to assemble my own watch someday. Think it would be awesome to have someone ask, what kind of watch is that and reply with it is mine. And yes, the weather on the east coast sucks today.
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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:44 pm

TemerityB wrote:screwed watch case backs are a royal pain the ass
Have you tried one of these TB?



I picked this up on Amazon for $5.95. It works better than the jaxa openers (2) I have TRIED (I haven't kept one yet). It's easy to control and actually grips the caseback. They call it a Watch Crab Case Opener or a Watch Case Spanner. 2 thumbs up.
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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:13 pm

DBCooper wrote:
TemerityB wrote:screwed watch case backs are a royal pain the ass
Have you tried one of these TB?



I picked this up on Amazon for $5.95. It works better than the jaxa openers (2) I have TRIED (I haven't kept one yet). It's easy to control and actually grips the caseback. They call it a Watch Crab Case Opener or a Watch Case Spanner. 2 thumbs up.

DB,

You must be psychic. I picked up that very opener about a month ago - best one I ever used to be honest. Does a great job on most, doesn't mar the case backs, locks in place like a charm. Much better than the "rachet" style openers. Yep, got it on Amazon for the same price you paid.

And frankly? At a local hardware store I picked up a set of large pliers that have curve at the tip like a bird's beak that is AWESOME at opening stubborn case backs. The key is patience; I rarely have slipped or caused scratches, even on the old 10 buck watches I've worked on. Again, you must be psychic because that's a great opener.


Last edited by TemerityB on Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:14 pm

I stick with strap/bracelet swaps and sizings unless the mega-irritating "pinand collar" system is used. Screw the genius who invented that!! I have changed battery or two but I don't do well with removeing screw in backs or teeny little screws.
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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:17 pm

foghorn wrote:...I don't do well with removeing screw in backs or teeny little screws.

Jeez, I hear you. I mean, I've been trying to open the case back of one of my wife's cheaper pieces - cripes, an Invicta Lupah, no less - and I've got two good mini-screwdriver sets and nothing even comes close to turning those damn things. I agree - those I'm gonna leave it to a jeweler (though in this instance, I'd rather buy her a new, better watch).
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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:57 pm

foghorn wrote:I stick with strap/bracelet swaps and sizings unless the mega-irritating "pinand collar" system is used. Screw the genius who invented that!! I have changed battery or two but I don't do well with removeing screw in backs or teeny little screws.
I have a funny story about the teeny little screws. I was trying to size a bracelet and I couldn't get the screws out. It seemed as though I didn't have a screwdriver small enough to get into the slot to break it loose. So I purchased a set of Bergeon screwdrivers.



Well I still couldn't get them out with the new screwdrivers so I gave up. Not to be bested by a damn watch bracelet I tried again a week or so later. This time I paid a little closer attention to detail. That is when I saw the very small arrows on the inside of the bracelet. Talk about being a shitbird
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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:20 pm

I've just begun to change out my own straps/bracelets but I have yet to size my own bracelets. I do like the thought of assembling my own watch. Koi posted a cool thread from a company who sells kits though there was no link. I'll try to find it.
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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:05 am

I do most of my own battery changes and almost all the sizing of bracelets and swapping straps. I generally don't fuck things up too badly.

However, I think it's always a very good idea to cultivate a good relationship with a jeweler you can trust, who can fix your screwups. I have a guy I call Aram, who does this for me when I get in too deep. He charges a nominal fee for doing this, although he also breaks my balls while I'm standing around his shop waiting. I also throw some business his way when Mrs. C's birthday or Christmas rolls around.
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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:12 am

I sized about all of my & my wife's watches. Have yet to tackle a battery change, but I think that I can do it. Getting ready to find out.
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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:23 pm

Meaningless update: Finally changed the battery in that annoying Lupah of my wife's. The key: A cheap plastic jeweler's loupe, plenty of light, and a better screwdriver set. My Dad was always right about one thing: Always use good tools, not cheap stuff.
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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:59 pm

I been doing all of my adjustments because I started with beater watches to get an idea how easy it's become.When I run into troubleI am fortunate as I have a local jeweler
never charged me more than five bucks.It's since become all ladies store and I've never paid for band adjustment ! They think I am crazy because I own more than 50 watches in my collection so far.
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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:27 pm

Stetson wrote: They think I am crazy because I own more than 50 watches in my collection so far.
It depends Stetson, what is in that "collection" of yours, brand wise.
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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:10 am

eddiea wrote:
Stetson wrote: They think I am crazy because I own more than 50 watches in my collection so far.
It depends Stetson, what is in that "collection" of yours, brand wise.

My guess.... android, invicta, sturhling, croton, swiss legend and the like.
Would also bet purchased mostly from the same source.

Sorry for the hijack TB
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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:57 pm

codguy wrote:
eddiea wrote:
Stetson wrote: They think I am crazy because I own more than 50 watches in my collection so far.
It depends Stetson, what is in that "collection" of yours, brand wise.

My guess.... android, invicta, sturhling, croton, swiss legend and the like.
Would also bet purchased mostly from the same source.

Sorry for the hijack TB
BTW Cod ..... like what you did with your avatar....
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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:50 pm

eddiea wrote: BTW Cod ..... like what you did with your avatar....

Frankly, I'm highly offended by that avatar. It's too small.
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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:53 pm

My wifes watch. Oh my
6 weeks to change a battery
Darn shop sends it to mfg. as they are afraid to change it. 18kt solid gold back. Geesh.
Of course they then find things to fix. Yet, can’t complain, 20 years or more still looks great and she loves it.
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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Watch Noob on Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:07 pm

Thanks for bumping this thread Tom. I saw above the Case Back Opener (thanks DB Cooper) and will be ordering from Amazon. I couldn't fit the existing tool I had to my JSAR so this should do nicely I hope.

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Re: Of Batteries/Straps/Bracelets

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:50 pm

Watch Noob wrote:Thanks for bumping this thread Tom. I saw above the Case Back Opener (thanks DB Cooper) and will be ordering from Amazon. I couldn't fit the existing tool I had to my JSAR so this should do nicely I hope.

As Coop brought out, we both have one - it works superbly. Bet you'll have similar success with it.
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