How to use a spring bar removal tool to change a 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.

How to fit your Mondaine Watch strap

This is how to change it without the removal tool, it can be done, it is just a little more fiddly.

Is my watch waterproof?

No!  But it is water resistant.

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

Will I get skin reactions to Mondaine watches

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.

Where can I get my Mondaine serviced?

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, or more complicated work including:

  •     Rating/regulating check
  •     replace crown, gaskets and a new battery where needed
  •     water resistance control
  •     Case and bracelet cleaning
  •     Final bench testing

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.

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

01664-420003 or

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.

The hands on my chronograph won’t go back to zero.

Sometimes when you zero your Chronograph after using the stop watch and pause function, the second hand does not go back to zero.  You need to reset it and this is how you do it!

Instructions for re-setting.

  1. On the right are 3 buttons lettered from the top A, B and C, and you will need to adjust the second hand (S), the 10th second elapsed hand (10th), and the minute elapsed hand (M).
  2. Pull crown button B out to position 2. Press buttons A and C simultaneously for at least 2 seconds. This enters the adjustment mode.
  3. Adjusting second hand (S). Press A and the hand will move once; press sufficiently to allow chrono second hand to work towards 12 at the top.
  4. Confirm the adjustment by pressing button C.
  5. Adjusting 10th second hand (10th). Press A as above and it will move once, continue until the hand goes to 10 or 0 at the tiop. Confirm the adjustment by pressing button C
  6. Adjusting chrono minute hand (M). Press button A until the hand is set to 30. Confirm the adjustment by pressing button C
  7. Press B crown button back in and this is now reset.

Tip – for fast forwarding button A, press and hold for at least 1 second.