Timepieces:Education & Repair
Repairing Expansion Bands
Many new models require a few extra steps
By David Christianson
Certified Master Watchmaker
President, American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute
As the popularity of expansion bands continues to, well, expand, you've
no doubt been asked at some point to custom-fit or repair one. We discussed
repairing basic models of Hirsch Speidel bands in the December issue (p.
56). Now let's look at how to repair some newer models that require extra
As noted in the earlier column, the company makes one model of bands featuring
top caps wider than the bottom links. To remove the required number of links
from these bands, it's best to remove the top caps entirely.
Turn the band inside out and spread the links apart with one hand. With
a thin blade, open the four tabs that hold the top cap in place. Then count
the number of links you need to remove and perform the same operation on
the very next top cap. Open up the adjoining bottom link end along the same
edge as the now-uncapped links. Slide out both links, and those between
them will slide away also. You've now removed all the links required to
size or repair the bracelet.
To replace the links, straighten the tabs with needlenose pliers. Slip
the caps back on the links. Make sure the caps slip into their four tabs
and fold the tabs back down.
Speidel also makes a band with an end flap on each end of the cap. Instead
of folding the end flap open (which may distort the metal), slip the thin
blade under the edge of the top end piece, pry the lower end down and pop
off the upper cap.
With the cap removed, an adjacent lower link end flap can be opened.
Remove the U-clip and the band will be separated. To replace the cap, hook
it to one side of the link and snap the other side of the cap down over
the other side of the link. Restore the angle by folding the flap inward
toward the bottom link.
David A. Christianson is fourth-generation owner of Christianson Jewelry,
Kendallville, IN. In addition to serving as president of the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers
Institute, he is a certified master watchmaker and a fellow of the British
Horological Society. He discusses watch repair for the sales staff in this
column each month. Send questions, suggestions and comments toProfessional
Jeweler,1500 Walnut St., Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19102; email@example.com.
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.