Rusted Spring Bars

Thread: Rusted Spring Bars

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  1. #1
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    Rusted Spring Bars

    I received a vintage Onsa watch today, everything was fine and as described by the seller except the spring bars were corroded. The watch is stainless and was fine, but I couldn't remove the Spiedel expansion bracelet, that was included with it. I don't like expansions that well so I sacrificed it using my Dremel tool and a cutting wheel. I didn't intend on damaging the band but being cautious I erred toward the band and not the watch case. After I finished I fitted a used vintage Champion mesh I had been saving for another watch.
    How common is it that the spring bars corrode to the point that they have to be cut?

  2. #2
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Rusted Spring Bars

    Congrats on getting the Onsa!

    I have had a few watches with corroded springbars - I just wrench them out with pliers. I suppose its people who wash their hands too much.

    Pictures soon of your Onsa please.
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

    Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)


    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

  3. #3
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    Re: Rusted Spring Bars

    Here you go; I borrowed them from the seller. I don't have an adequate camera to for macro shots. I do plan on getting together with a relative that has the necessary equipment when they are all back. Right now I have seven vintage watches two should be coming back to me shortly, two waiting for parts, and two waiting to be serviced. The only vintage I have completely ready is my Mom's watch.
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  5. #4
    Member mrsnak's Avatar
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    Re: Rusted Spring Bars

    Quote Originally Posted by nsmike View Post
    I received a vintage Onsa watch today, everything was fine and as described by the seller except the spring bars were corroded. The watch is stainless and was fine, but I couldn't remove the Spiedel expansion bracelet, that was included with it. I don't like expansions that well so I sacrificed it using my Dremel tool and a cutting wheel. I didn't intend on damaging the band but being cautious I erred toward the band and not the watch case. After I finished I fitted a used vintage Champion mesh I had been saving for another watch.
    How common is it that the spring bars corrode to the point that they have to be cut?
    I've had some nasty ones from eBay purchases (mostly from humid climes- Florida comes to mind for mine). Sometimes wire cutters are all you need, but I've had to pull out the Dremel for a couple.
    "My grail showed up today"

  6. #5
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Rusted Spring Bars

    Corrosion of spring bars never bothers me. The cutting wheels on Dremels work quickly but case damage results if care is not taken.

    But I am bothered by case corrosion. Sometimes the pitting is quite ugly.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  7. #6
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    Re: Rusted Spring Bars

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeeb View Post
    Corrosion of spring bars never bothers me. The cutting wheels on Dremels work quickly but case damage results if care is not taken.

    But I am bothered by case corrosion. Sometimes the pitting is quite ugly.
    Rusted spring bars are a common enough problem on vintage watches. I find the best way to deal with it is a quality pair of side cutter (Lindstrom or another good brand) and just cut the spring bar at the lug.

    Case corrosion can only be dealt with by entirely refinishing the case. I hate it. It truly is very ugly.

  8. #7
    Member jatco's Avatar
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    Re: Rusted Spring Bars

    Springs bars often rust, if proper care isnt taken, but often even that doesnt prevent rust...(long term).
    Not a big replacement issue..!

  9. #8
    Member ltri's Avatar
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    Re: Rusted Spring Bars

    what I do for corroded springbars is to take a small screwdriver and put it in the middle of the springbar and lever it out until it snaps in half. They are easy to break in half in the middle unless they are the thick springbars, also most vintage springbars are made of brass so it is softer than ss.
    I'm a watchbreaker not a watchmaker.

  10. #9
    Member 3sails's Avatar
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    Re: Rusted Spring Bars

    I can empathize with your forum signature I am also generally a monkey wrencher and have managed to break a lug off a base metal case instead of more delicate surgeries. The solution there was to turn the piece into a baby pocket by removing the other three lugs. I was prying on a band and the force was enough to transmit to the watch (a poor Bradley Pie-Eyed Mickey).

    Sidecutters are the way to go with stubborn springbars. Dremel at one's own risks.

    Cheers

    GC

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