Bracelet pins stuck really bad - suggestions?
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Thread: Bracelet pins stuck really bad - suggestions?

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  1. #1
    Member Dan T.'s Avatar
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    Bracelet pins stuck really bad - suggestions?

    Trying to remove some links on a Hamilton bracelet. This is the (presumably) pin & collar variety, where there are no arrows indicating which direction the pin can be removed. So I'm guessing it doesn't matter which side I pull out the pin from. (First time I've seen this variety - most of mine are screws, or they're the split-pin variety that are pushed out along with the arrow indicators).

    And man, are these things stuck. Maybe my watch sat on the shelf for a while and the pins have seized, or maybe it's today's weather, or climate, or something, but man I am vexed here. Been doing this for about 30 years with great tools and never once had this issue.

    I can use my punch and pin removal tools to get the pins out about half way, and I saw on YouTube a guy who just grabbed some pliers and yanked them out the rest of the way (on a Hamilton bracelet, no less...), but I tug and tug and cannot get them out. I fear I'm going to bend them or ruin the collars or something.

    I thought of buying a super long punch with an extender that is longer than the width of my bracelet but online descriptions for long punches in the < 1mm caliber are vague or not descriptive. Not even Esslinger has one that I think will work (without spending a fortune on a new punch kit).

    I've thought of heating it, putting it in the freezer for a bit, putting a dollup of WD-40 into the pin holes, etc. etc. But before I do something unorthodox or "crazy" I thought I should ask. I'm guessing someone here has had this same issue and figured it out successfully without messing things up permanently.

    Any suggestions? I'd go to a jeweler but I'm pretty far from one I trust.

    Thanks!

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    "I think I may make bold to say, that there is neither any other Mechanical or Mathematical thing in the World that is more beautiful or curious in texture than this my watch or Timekeeper for the Longitude..." ~John Harrison F.R.S., 1759

  2. #2
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    Bracelet pins stuck really bad - suggestions?

    I’m assuming you are using one of the inexpensive eBay bracelet sizing tools that drives the bracelet pin only so far. What you may need is the longer driving pin used for Omega watches. Bob Davis at mywatchmaker.net has them along with his own sizing tool. I could never find find the longer pins on eBay. I have used pliers to pull the pin outs but you have to be careful to pull it straight out and not twist it so the pin bends. Hope that helps.


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    Last edited by AFG08; May 31st, 2019 at 16:34.
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  3. #3
    Member Dan T.'s Avatar
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    Re: Bracelet pins stuck really bad - suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by AFG08 View Post
    I’m assuming you are using one of the inexpensive eBay bracelet sizing tools that drives the bracelet pin only so far. What you may need is the longer driving pin used for Omega watches. Bob Davis at mywatchmaker.net has them along with his own sizing tool. I could never find find the longer pins on eBay. I have used pliers to pull the pin outs but you have to be careful to pull it straight out and not twist it so the pin bends. Hope that helps.


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    It helps a lot, thanks. I'll check it out.

    Oh man, "just say no" to the cheap eBay/Amazon kits. My son has one. Even the zipper case it comes in is awful quality. I'm using a Horowitz, and I have a Bergeon somewhere in the closet, but I didn't bother with the Bergeon because the punch pin in both sets are the same length.

    Again, much appreciated.
    "I think I may make bold to say, that there is neither any other Mechanical or Mathematical thing in the World that is more beautiful or curious in texture than this my watch or Timekeeper for the Longitude..." ~John Harrison F.R.S., 1759

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  5. #4
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    Re: Bracelet pins stuck really bad - suggestions?

    Been there, done that....

    Personally, I would take a drop or two of good penetrating oil on a toothpick, apply to both ends and let sit overnight, then hit it with a blow dryer or heat gun and try to remove.

    Hamilton's pin and collars can be VERY finicky, so proceed with caution and have patience. If you find yourself trying to force it, then you might consider taking it to a pro for assistance to avoid any other damage.

    Using a pliers/etc, usually results in further damage/distortion to the pin, so be careful.

    Good luck.
    "Either he's dead or my watch has stopped"
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    "The only reason for time is so that everything does not happen at once..."
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  6. #5
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    Re: Bracelet pins stuck really bad - suggestions?

    Put the bracelet in the freezer overnight and try when it's still cold. Hammer and gentile strokes.

    Temp. changes and stretching of material are an interesting thing.


    Never tried on a bracelet, but whenever I had a problem unscrewing or detaching a part, it usually worked.
    Last edited by excalibur-x; May 31st, 2019 at 22:09.
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    Re: Bracelet pins stuck really bad - suggestions?

    I was thinking Liquid Wrench or a touch of heat, but probably not both at once.

    I'd try the Liquid Wrench first. Let it sit a few hours, then refresh it with another drop. That stuff has moved all kinds of things for me that resisted everything else.

    I've heard better things about Kroil, but never tried it.

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    Re: Bracelet pins stuck really bad - suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Weetabix View Post
    I was thinking Liquid Wrench or a touch of heat, but probably not both at once.

    I'd try the Liquid Wrench first. Let it sit a few hours, then refresh it with another drop. That stuff has moved all kinds of things for me that resisted everything else.

    I've heard better things about Kroil, but never tried it.

    Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk
    Thanks, Weetabix. Liquid Wrench worked just fine. I used a very conservative amount, and the pins pulled out with a nominal amount of force.

    My only worry now is that the Liquid Wrench keeps those pins/collars "lubed" and prone to working themselves out. Does this stuff sort of "dry out" in time?

    Also I'm sort of vexed why Hamilton went with this bracelet system. I'm no stranger to pin and collar, but I've NEVER had this much trouble. Seems like a good bracelet, but the brushing on the bracelet doesn't quite match up with the brushing on the case as well as I was hoping (I have owned cheaper Asian watches with a better match), and I would have preferred some other method like the bifurcated pins with the arrows, a more robust pin/collar system (like Orient's Pro divers), or a screw method over this. Oh well. Looks great now though!

    Thanks again guys.

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    Re: Bracelet pins stuck really bad - suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan T. View Post
    Thanks, Weetabix. Liquid Wrench worked just fine. I used a very conservative amount, and the pins pulled out with a nominal amount of force.

    My only worry now is that the Liquid Wrench keeps those pins/collars "lubed" and prone to working themselves out. Does this stuff sort of "dry out" in time?
    I'm not sure. I've never been worried about that on anything I've used it on before.

    As long as you're going all automotive, you could hose it down with brake cleaner.

    Actually, you might try flushing it with alcohol and rubbing it all really dry.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Bracelet pins stuck really bad - suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Weetabix View Post
    Actually, you might try flushing it with alcohol and rubbing it all really dry.
    I'll do that! ¡Muchas gracias!

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    "I think I may make bold to say, that there is neither any other Mechanical or Mathematical thing in the World that is more beautiful or curious in texture than this my watch or Timekeeper for the Longitude..." ~John Harrison F.R.S., 1759

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