How to use a spring bar removal tool to change replacement watch strap?
A springbar is a clever device that attaches a watch strap to the watch. Invisible when fitted, at the point at which the Mondaine strap attaches is a beautifully engineered and much-ignored piece of ingenuity. This is the little piece to look for, the Mondaine Swiss Railway Watch Springbar.
In this video you will learn what tools you should use and how to change your watch strap.
Water Resistant is a common mark stamped on the back of wrist watches to indicate how well a watch is sealed against the ingress of water. It is usually accompanied by an indication of the static test pressure that a sample of newly manufactured watches were exposed to in a leakage test. The test pressure can be indicated either directly in units of pressure such as bar or (more commonly) as an equivalent water depth in metres (in the United States sometimes also in feet).
The two most common markings found on the back of Mondaine watches are:
30 100 3 which means it has been tested at 30m, 100ft, 3 atm, and
100 300 10 which equates to 100m, 300ft and 10 atm.
An indication of the test pressure in terms of water depth does not mean a water resistant watch was designed for repeated long-term use in such water depths. For example, a watch marked 30 metres water resistant cannot be expected to withstand activity for longer time periods in a swimming pool, let alone continue to function at 30 metres under water. This is because the test is conducted only once using static pressure on a sample of newly manufactured watches. The test for qualifying a diving watch for repeated usage in a given depth includes safety margins to take factors into account like aging of the seals, the properties of water and seawater, rapidly changing water pressure and temperature, as well as dynamic mechanical stresses encountered by a watch. This adds to the importance of changing seals at battery replacement time for example.
So what in practical terms does this mean?
3 ATM activities at this depth might include accidental splashing from hand washing or rain, but not washing up.
5 ATM – will cope with the above plus showering or swimming in shallow water
10 ATM – will also cope with swimming or snorkelling
30 ATM – will also cope with skin diving
50 ATM – will also cope with Scuba Diving
The first indication that you have water ingress is a slight misting on the inside of the glass. IMMEDIATE action is required by a qualified watch repairer to dry the watch out before rusting occurs. See the post on How To Get My Mondaine Repaired
The weakpoint of all watches is the crown adjuster which alters the date or time.
This is an occasional problem usually associated with moving home and the clock getting knocked.
Mondaine produce a high quality product at quite a reasonable price, but the engineering and design challenge in replicating the look of the actual station clock has presented some problems for Mondaine. The second hand has, as you know, a large spot on the end which replicates the signal used by guards or conductors on the trains to let the driver know that it is safe and ready to move off. Excellent so far! However, this spot puts a strain on the pivot at the motor and makes the second hand unbalanced. To rectify this, Mondaine has put a counter-balancing weight on the opposite end. This is a very fine balance which can be upset if the clock receives a knock. Your first port of call is the Mondaine Service Centre which will rectify the issue (see where can I get my watch serviced above). Alternatively, use a local clock maker who could do the job for you. If you wish to carry this out yourself, it can be done.
The remedy is easy, but needs careful attention. You will need:
a soft cloth on which to rest the clock face down
a small to medium cross-head screwdriver
a very small cross-head screwdriver
a very sharp bladed knife or Stanley blade
a small pair of square end pliers
Place the clock face down on the cloth
Remove the battery (ies)
Remove the four large screws and take off the back of the clock
(Large clock only) Remove the power input at 6.00 position. Gently use the pliers to to unscrew the outer ring and push the socket clear of the clock.
At each stanchion around the clock on which the back sits, there is a screw. Additionally there are screws between the stanchions. Remove these also.
Withdraw the whole back of the clock from the frame.
(Small clock) there is a “sellotape” seal joining the clock and the glass. Slide the sharp knife around the join to split the glass and the clock.
(Large clock) As above, but there is a synthetic rubber seal around the glass which needs to remain on the rim. If it comes off, it is difficult to put back, but it is not the end of the world if you cannot get it back on; the clock can still function.
Carefully turn the clock over. If the second hand has become bent or unbalanced gently press the centre to ensure that it is fully home. If it is bent, try to spot at which point it becomes distorted and use this point as a fulcrum with your finger and bend the second hand up or down depending on what has happened. DO NOT bend the whole second hand as this will put a strain on the pivot mechanism and you risk distorting it and making matters worse.
Replace the glass in the frame and replace the back carefully aligning the screw holes holes.
I am sensitive to some base metals and especially have an allergic reaction to Nickel. Will I get this reaction to Mondaine watches?
Mondaine, as a thoroughly responsible company, subjects all of its range to stringent tess to ensure they comply with EC and International standards.
To quote them:
The materials used by Mondaine are subjected to severe tests in order to avoid allergies. For those who are hyper-sensitive to stainless steel we recommend you buy a watch which is made from titanium, gold or plastic.
Can’t say fairer than that! Most good retailers will I am sure be prepared to let you test drive the model you are interested in to see if there is a reaction. Obviously, you would need to return the watch in perfect condition if you prove to be a reactor.
Mondaine watches are hard wearing and made to a high standard, but even so, occasionally the watch will need a service to maintain it. The Mondaine service centre offers a range of services to keep you on time.
They offer a partial maintenance from a bracelet sizing service around £15 or so, or more complicated work including:
replace crown, gaskets and a new battery where needed
water resistance control
Case and bracelet cleaning
Final bench testing
Costs vary according to the sophistication of the watch but expect to pay £20-£35 or so.
There is also a complete maintenance service:
Movement dissembling, cleaning, reassembling, oiling, regulating and functions checked
Replace crown, gaskets and battery where necessary.
Repair or replacement of worn movement parts
Water resistance control and case and bracelet cleaning and bench testing.
Expect to pay £50-£80 or so, and of course parts are extra.
Another optional service restores your watch to near perfect condition, with cleaning, polishing and scratch removal. This is not a guaranteed restoration as obviously it depends on the depth of scratches etc. But talk to them and get advice.
The address is: Mondaine Service Centre, Locker Hull and Thornton Ltd 10 High View Close Vantage Business Park Hamilton LE4 9LJ
01664-420003 or email@example.com Go to site.
A word of sensible advice – do use a “signed for” delivery service (Royal mail is perfect) and attach a tag with your details on it. Do feel free to ask for an estimate. Allow a couple of weeks for diagnosis and estimate, and another couple or so from go ahead for the work to be completed.
Adjusting a Mondaine mesh steel strap is easy but there are a couple of pitfalls of which you should be aware.
In the next few steps I will explain how easy is to adjust your watch, if you have chosen a mesh strap particularly. Mesh straps are very popular lately they all go very well with our collection of Mondaine watches and some of our clients prefer mesh and not leather.
See steps below:
Step 1. On the reverse of the strap you should see a succession of ridges. You will also notice a corresponding ridge on the clasp. Sounds obvious, but once you have decided where the clasp should reside on the strap, you need to align these two ridges.
Step 2. Get a piece of string or ribbon and wrap it around your wrist. Snip the string so that one end meets the other and measure this diameter.
Step 3. On the other end of the strap you will see the hook which goes over the clasp – you will see the next picture. From this hook the measured distance will be where the end of the string lies.
Step 4. This is the tricky bit! Insert a small screwdriver into the hole on the main clasp part, from the right hand side and bend it down towards the strap thus opening the clasp. Do not insert a tool from the left side, under the clasp and use the bar as a fulcrum; you will bend this rod and the watch strap will not hook over it. Move the clasp to the desired position and gently locate the ridge nearest the position. Once located, press down on the open clasp until it clicks into place – voila!