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Once again, this post was from the Poor man's Watch Forum run by Reto Castellazzi, prior to his passing:
A&F Bracelet Sizing Tool - and HOW TO resize the MONSTER bracelet
How to use the Tool
Make sure the pusher and bracelet are perpendicular, that is all you need to observe, then slowly turn the wheel and the link bar will come out. The bar is relative thin, that is good, because it will make sure, that also link bars with a collar (a cylindrical tube that makes sure the link bar sits in the bracelet hole) like the one, e.g. found on the Seiko 779/781, can be pushed out easily. I did not had this tool when I got my "Monster" (nickname for 779/781) and I ended up with the collar stuck on my pusher...
HOW TO resize the SEIKO SKX779K/SKX781K MONSTER bracelet
The instructions also work for the SEIKO Samurais, Knights and all watch bracelets with pins and collars
Resizing the Monster bracelets is a somewhat nifty task! Many of those (I colored them pink below) link collars were destroyed or lost during the process and thus I created these illustrations. I was also not aware of the link pin collars when I resized my Monster in 2002 and one collar got stock on the tip of the pin pushing tool. I only found it after having been crawling around under the desk for 30 minutes. So please read and follow the tips carefully. This might save you quite some time. Important: you do not need an A&F or similar bracelet sizing tool to do this. You can also use a resizing block and hammer or better push the link pin out. Just be careful and do not make ugly traces on the bracelet holes when hammering. Use a small hammer - find a picture of a watchmaker's hammer here - and hammer perpendicularly and not too forcefully. GOOD LUCK!
Two words of warning:
1) Be careful not to lose those pin collars, they are very hard to get! We have sent out many of those collars to our customers. It takes us phone calls and lots of negotiations to "WRANGLE" THE COLLARS OUT OF THE HANDS OF OUR SUPPLIERS! SO PLEASE, BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO LOSE OR DAMAGE THEM.
Latest update: we have now found an online hardware store that sells very similar items, see the link at the bottom of the table!
2) Even with the CLEVER RESIZING TOOL, this is NOT AN EASY JOB! You will need some manual skills in order to perform the steps outlined below. HOWEVER with our instructions, the task SEEMS MANAGEABLE FOR ALL AMATEURS given they possess some basic manual skills
Step 0: Open the bracelet, it is a lot easier to work! Press on the spring bar next to the clasp
Step 1: Removing the bracelet pins and collars (disassembly)
The A&F or our similar tool (left most on page in new window) are great for this kind of bracelet because hammering on the pin is somewhat dangerous. If you do not place your pin into the center of the link pin and inside the link collar you could simply end up hammering on the link collar itself and destroying it.
Step 2: Replacing the pins and collars (assembly)
Comparing the dimensions of the SEIKO Samurai SBDA001 with the Monster SKX779K
Where to find these collar spares on the net?
Since many forumners kept losing the pin collars - and believe it or not, when I prepared the parts for this picture, I was crawling ten minutes on my office floor too to find the lost collar in the picture below - I have measured the collars and the pins with a precision caliper. I am now hoping to find a source for these parts other then SEIKO. Once I have found such a source, I will of course update this page. Until then, please use the information below to eventually make these parts yourself. A possible work around might be to have a workshop turn the pins for you by simply using an 18 mm long 1.2 mm pin in diameter and then turn it down to 0.85 mm on 15 mm length. Then bevel the and a little bit so the collar can slide over easily and you are done. A possible work around for the collar could be to cut off a 3 mm tube of a matching "ball pen refill". Those short ones made for the multi-color pens are probably a very close match.
As soon as I have the information on where to get these spares below, I will post it here. I will also check out my watch parts shop. It might be that there are generic watch pins and collars that match.
Update 12th Feburary 2007
PMWFer Dave Murphy found a very close match already! Check item # 91611A065 (the very first item on that page) at McMaster-Carr. If you are a perfectionist, file those down from 4 mm to 3 mm for the Monster. Leaving them at the original 4 mm length will work too because the recession in the Monster bracelet is more then 4 mm. And these pins found by Dave Murphy will fit the Samurais perfectly, although the original Samurai collars are 4.5 mm in length. A pack of 100 sold at USD 10.67 in February 2007.
Another hint if you are missing a pin
Find a paper clip with diameter close to 0.85 mm and slip a collar onto it on each side. If you have the split collars ready, you can easily check that the shear force is sufficient and that the collars will not slip off. This makes a very inexpensive replacement part. At least you will have a work around until you can locate a real pin. Be aware that some paper clips might not be made from anti-corrosive material, thus I consider this a temporary work around. Of course a stainless steel pin with diameter 0.85 mm could be converted into a useable pin this way.