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Spring bars

by J.Peter

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Spring bars are those little metal springy bars that connect a watch bracelet or strap to the case. They can cost anywhere from a couple of dollars to about $50 for 18K gold ones, but they are really important.

Good quality spring bars keep your watch from falling off your wrist and there are a few things you should know about them.

Types of Springbars:

  • Double flanged: For use with lugs whose holes do not penetrate to the outside of the watch case (blind holes). The second flange allows you to get a tool in there to remove the spring bars.
  • Shouldered: For use with lugs whose holes penetrate all the way through. – No flange is necessary because you can push on the tip of the bar through the hole to remove them. It can be quite difficult to remove these from “blind” lug holes because there is no way to compress the spring. Because the holes pierce the entire lug these bars can penetrate deeper providing more support but the “blind” hole is more aesthetic.
  • Clasp bars: These are usually flanged but with a very short tip which will not stick out beyond the edge of the clasp. It is a bad idea to use these to attach the bracelet to the case because they provide very little support.
  • Curved bars: Some manufacturers design their lugs so that it requires a curved spring bar to hold the strap to the case. I am not aware of any advantage to this type of spring bar.

The spring bars you choose should be made of a non-corrosive material like stainless steel. Base metal spring bars will corrode and break much sooner. It is also common practice to use spring bars made of the same metal as the watch case. This prevents any sort of electrolytic plating action from taking place when sweat contacts the two metals.

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  1. that guy
    Posted March 7, 2008 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    How about listing what spring bars you like or maybe where people can get them?

    I have an assortment, I usually pick them up with new straps. Some I like Some I hate.

    I love the blog, keep up the good work!

  2. Posted March 7, 2008 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Update: I forgot to mention that spring bars come in a variety of sizes from 1.3mm in diameter to 1.8mm in diameter, or bigger.

    My favorite spring bars are Rolex, they make a sturdy spring bar. For most watches I use stainless bars from Jules Borel, they seem to be fine quality. My only complaint is that even though they advertise them as metric they are really based on English measurements, their 12mm is really 12.5mm!

    I have a set of AF stainless steel swiss made spring bars. They are nice too, but the cost is really prohibitive, maybe like 50 cents each.

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