Aimeri’s recent post on distance education sprouted a lengthy conversation that eventually touched on the subject of tools, with several of our readers requesting more information on what tools are worth investing in and what tools aren’t.
We’ve covered most of the basics, tool-wise, here on the blog already. If you weren’t aware of it, take a look at our Tuesday Tools page, which offers a fairly good overview of the tools used in the day-to-day operations of a typical watchmaker or watch technician. If you would like to dive right into the very basics, some form of magnification, good tweezers, a good set of screwdrivers, a movement holder, and oilers are indispensable.
Today, I’ve chosen to get a little more specific and review a tool that I would recommend you not waste your money on – the same way I would recommend that you not throw your money away on an $8 set of screwdrivers or a $2 pair of tweezers. Typically, investing in a decent set of precision screwdrivers will set you back upwards of $80 (reaching as much as $350 for a top of the line set) and a good pair of tweezers upwards of $20.
Up for scrutiny today, is A★F Switzerland’s bezel remover, which is intended to safely remove a bezel from a watch case without scratching or damaging either of them. The product costs around $16 and appears to me to be a simplified take on Omega’s very effective bezel wrench.
To get right down to it, A★F’s product simply doesn’t do the job well at all. The Omega version utilizes a hard plastic with a small lip protruding from the lower circumference of the tool that serves to lift the bezel when the wrench handles are squeezed together. A★F’s version, on the other hand, is made of a soft, rubbery plastic that quickly got chewed up by the bezels it was used on. Of the dozens of bezels I did try it on, I was only ever successful in removing two or three at most, and I quickly retired the tool from my arsenal. Opting, instead, to use the plethora of other options at my disposal.
My two cents on this tool, is that it’s not worth two cents. To quote one of our blog readers, Greg, “the most exspensive tool in the box is the one you don’t use.” A★F’s bezel remover simply isn’t worth the money I paid for it.