Help, changing bracelet / strap for Hydrocarbon Classic, screw tubes and screw ends??

Thread: Help, changing bracelet / strap for Hydrocarbon Classic, screw tubes and screw ends??

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Brisbane, Australia

    Help, changing bracelet / strap for Hydrocarbon Classic, screw tubes and screw ends??

    Firstly thanks to Roberev for your advice on changing band/strap which you shared on the forum on September 21st, 2007. This made the process work very smoothly for me until??

    I have a Hydrocarbon Classic III which I purchased second hand. It had the SS bracelet attached and the rubber strap was in the watch case.

    I was looking to attach the rubber strap so followed Rob’s process to remove the 4 tubes and 4 screws holding the SS bracelet in place.

    I have attached some pic’s showing the tubes removed and the screw ends.
    The 2 tubes below the 6 o’clock on the dial I removed reasonably easy taking care not to damage them. Was strange but the screw end on the tube closer the dial was longer than the screw end of the tube facing the bracelet. (See the pic’s)

    I could reasonably easy remove the 1 tube and screw end above the 12 o’clock facing the bracelet. The tube closer the watch did not want to play the game.

    3 of the 4 screw ends were on the LHS of the dial. I followed the same process to try and remove the stubborn one, but to no avail. I assume the screw end has been stripped as it just turns, the tube end turns but is much tighter. So I am 1 tube away from being able to replace my bracelet with the rubber strap….damn….

    My questions as follows:

    1. Looking at the pic’s I believe the 2 outer tubes I did remove those screw ends are damaged, as I am sure the screw ends should all have the same threaded end lengths as the one in the middle of the 3 I removed. I am quite surprised in the year I have had the watch these 2 screw ends have not fallen out as there is not much to them. Am I correct should the screw ends all be the same length?
    2. I am now left with the tube above 12 o’clock closer the watch that does not want to come out. I was hoping someone could advise a way forward to remove this tube. My one and only AD is 600 miles away in Sydney, Australia and I do not want them to work on the watch as it took them 3 months to service it, not impressed. They damaged my dial and then waited another 1.5 months to get a new one from Switzerland. Nothing was mentioned to me about this in the 3 months they had the watch. They are not just agents for Ball but the company has 3 other watchmakers it is the agent for. Not the same level of quality on work done I am afraid.
    3. My initial thoughts were to secure the watch tightly and carefully on a work platform and then carefully with a small power drill, drill out the screw end very slowly and carefully, then use the helper tube to push the tube out. Really would prefer a better option, so I am open to any advice?
    4. At the moment I am trying to source some new tubes and screw ends to replace the ones I have. Anyone have some they wish to sell?

    I will be grateful for any advice / solutions…

    Will T

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  2. #2
    Ball Watch, Bremont and Longines moderator samanator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pompano Beach, FL

    Re: Help, changing bracelet / strap for Hydrocarbon Classic, screw tubes and screw ends??

    OK, the bad news is you snapped off two of the screws in the rod, and most likely the one spinning is the same issue. I would suggest using two flat end toothpicks to pry against the screw head while you turn it with a screwdriver. Measure the length of the one with the tube without the out screw in place. If it is 26.5mm then I suggest ordering a set of screws for the DeepQUEST. You'll need two Torx drivers to use them, but these are less likely to slip off of. I would suggest buying two sets of four if you plan on doing this from time to time.
    Last edited by samanator; November 3rd, 2014 at 15:47.
    BALL Watch, Bremont and Longines Moderator

    My wife buys dogs and I buy watches and to date I have never stepped in watch poop!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Brisbane, Australia

    Re: Help, changing bracelet / strap for Hydrocarbon Classic, screw tubes and screw ends??

    Thanks Michael for the advice, much appreciated. I had a look at your review of the DeepQUEST on Oct 30 2011, gave me a idea of the Torx screws as used in that model.

    I suspected the screw ends were damaged. I will use your suggested approach to see if I can remove the remaining tube and screw. The length of the tube without the screw is as damn close to 26.5mm, so I will contact my local AD and see what it will cost to get 2 sets of 4 as I do intend changing bracelets every now and then.

    Last edited by Will T; November 3rd, 2014 at 03:20.

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