timefactors watches
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Spring Bar Pliers from China - Micro Review

  1. #1
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    The North
    Posts
    785

    Spring Bar Pliers from China - Micro Review

    I dread trying to change the straps on my better watches that have bracelets, as it seems fraught with scratchy-scratchy danger and I like to take care of my things. For this reason, I have a couple of watches which I never wear on anything but the bracelet - but then I get worried that the bracelet may get scratched through use, and have major FOMO when I see how great those watches can look on straps. My life is so difficult!!

    I've known spring bar pliers are the tool for the job for these precision-fitting end links, but the price of the well known Swiss ones I sadly can't justify, and my partner would have a fit if I said I wanted a set for my birthday. Hence I've been casually looking for a more cost effective option.

    Recently I thought I'd search and see if China had successfully cloned this tool and sure enough, they had started popping up on eBay (maybe they were there all along, but I'm sure I'd checked a month or so ago). At 27.54 delivered I thought they were worth a punt, and after a week's wait they arrived.



    In the set you get the main body of the tool, which seems to be anodized aluminium with steel fittings/other parts. There are a total of 8 double-ended tips, i.e. 4 matched pairs, with various sizes from tiny to huge, and one pair having thin round pins rather than the usual recessed ends which I am sure are useful for something. The tips come in a little brittle plastic vial held together with tape - nothing but the best, the Swiss can only aspire to be such good engineers.

    The tips can be installed to point straight out at the front, or at 45 degrees in either direction, and they are held perfectly secured by the knurled whatnot type arrangement. There is a screw which sets the limits for the pliers to accommodate different ranges for different sizes of spring bars, and as you can see in the photo I've used this to compress and hold a Seiko fat spring bar without popping out.

    I've not handled the Swiss version so cannot compare quality, I can only say that using these spring bar pliers has been reliable and effective in my use so far. The tool feels well made (at this price, for something from China, you're usually getting upper-end for Chinese quality), and I think they exceed my expectations and will last well.

    The only minor negative is that the tips themselves are a little inconsistent between the pairs (i.e. the cut-out recess is very slightly different in size) - not that this affects anything in use, it is only visually obvious they are not perfectly identical. I expect this tool would fit the proper Swiss tips if you wanted to really treat yourself in future though, but for me at my "watch user" level, these are ideal.

    I have no affiliation with China or any particular seller. There are many on eBay which appear to be the identical product and they are also available on Aliexpress (100% reliable in my experience). I went with the cheapest seller who claimed to be in the UK. They seemed to come via a Gizmo-outlets/Creation Watches type route where they ship from overseas, but arrive by Royal Mail Tracked 48 with no customs fee to pay.

    Just thought these might be of interest to others in my terrible first world predicament. Now I'm stocking up on those oh-so-sweet Shell Cordovan and Russian leather straps for my Sinns with impunity!

  2. #2
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    M25 J6 UK
    Posts
    12,144
    Thanks for the review. I've long been tempted by the real thing but put off by the price. I think that I'll try the Chinese version to see how much I like the tool.

    Question...have you found anywhere to source replacement tips...or 'needles' as the Chinese call them, please?

  3. #3
    Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    3,659
    nice can you supply the link where you got yours?

  4. #4
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    The North
    Posts
    785
    Quote Originally Posted by PickleB View Post
    Question...have you found anywhere to source replacement tips...or 'needles' as the Chinese call them, please?
    I haven't looked, but my experience in the past with Chinese spares is either ask when you are buying them as the seller often deals directly with the factory, or buy a whole new set in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrusir View Post
    nice can you supply the link where you got yours?
    This is where I got mine, the price may have changed slightly (they have a 5% off offer at the moment from the 28.99 price shown, not sure if that works out to the penny as my quoted cost) https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Watch-Bra...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •