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Old 15 July 2018, 03:30 AM   #1
Gibraltar
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 43
Bergeon 7825 killer - Mini Review!

I decided it was time to try the rubber strap on my trusty Pelagos, and knowing the reputation of this bracelet I started researching springbar tools.

My usual go-to is my Bergeon 6262, which has served me faithfully for years but clearly isn't up to the task.

The two tools that are most often recommended are the Bergeon 7825 tweezers (~$150) and the Horofix springbar pliers (~$90). The consensus seems to be that the 7825 is superior, so I planned on picking these up.

I had some free time this Saturday afternoon, so I headed over to my friendly neighborhood watchmaking supply shop, Nam Hing Watch Material & Tools. These guys are the real deal, they mostly serve the professional watchmaking community in HK. No Chinese discount tools here, only the good stuff from Bergeon, Horotec, etc.

I asked for the 7825 and they brought one out for me. Out of curiosity I asked if they could suggest any better alternatives, and the owner smiled and asked me to wait a minute. He came back with this:




He popped open the little box and this was inside:



It turns out they manufacture their own tool in Hong Kong.

It's not cheap, costing around $125, so price-wise it sits between the other two tools. He showed me how it works, having a couple of advantages over the other tools, and I was sold!

The design is quite novel so I thought the folks here might enjoy a mini-review


Overview

The body of the tool is manufactured from anodized aluminum. On one end is a pair of replaceable stainless steel springbar tips, and on the other is a pair of plastic projections. There is a spring in the main body of the tool which forces the two sides apart. The maximum width can be adjusted with the screw knob on the side.




As you might have guessed, the end with the springbar tips is used to remove the bracelet, and by flipping over the tool the plastic projections can be used to easily compress the springbar when re-attaching the bracelet.




Build Quality

Manufacturing tolerances are tight. Sharp edges and corners are slightly beveled. The anodizing is not the thickest, but is silky to the touch and has excellent consistency.

Both the springbar tips and plastic 'tweezers' are replaceable and secured with hex bolts. There is a small amount of play between the two halves, so the action is best when squeezing near the center of the tool. Squeezing too far off center can cause binding.

The steel springbar tips are as far as I can tell unique to this tool, and have a nice frosted finish. The tips themselves are the perfect size for Rolex/Tudor and have a geometry very similar to the 7825.






Usage

I used the tool to remove the bracelet on my Pelagos. I started by adjusting the screw so that the width of the tips matched the springbar perfectly. The tool supports springbars up to approximately 24 mm wide, an can support wider straps if the tips are moved to the outside of the body. This adjustment made it simple to avoid scratching the lugs/end-links. The design of the tool makes it very easy to insert the tips while avoiding contact with the bracelet.





I applied a bit of downward pressure and squeezed, and the bracelet popped off with ease. The whole process probably took 10 seconds and couldn't have been easier.



Using the opposite end to re-attach the bracelet took a bit more effort since the bottoms of the lugs are slightly concave and the plastic tips on the tool couldn't sit perfectly flush. I found it easier to squeeze the springbar and slide the end link in from the tips of the lugs rather than the bottoms. The tool compresses the springbars perfectly flush with the edge of the bracelet so it can slide in easily without scratching the lugs.




Conclusion

This is a clever alternative to the Swiss tools on the market and offers several advantages. The tips remain perfectly perpendicular throughout the motion rather than on a slightly variable angle with the tweezer-type tools. It also allows adjustment of the maximum tip width and provides the plastic tips for re-attaching the bracelet.

Overall I think it's a very nice effort from Nam Hing!
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