The spring bars are your watch’s most important safety link. Most watches have spring bars, which serve as a protective feature that holds your bracelet or strap attached to the watch. Your watch will fall off if the spring bar fails or breaks, possibly damaging it or losing it forever.
As a result, the spring bars are tiny but important components of your watch. This emphasizes the importance of having high-quality spring bars and checking and replacing them regularly to avoid making a potentially costly error.
As a result, we’ve compiled a list of excellent spring bars and spring bar sets to assist you. But first, take a closer look at spring bars and what makes them special. The spring bars for your watch are the last thing you want to compromise on.
What are watch band spring bars, and how do they work?
A spring bar is a small bar that is connected to the lug of your watch and contains springs inside. The spring bars are used to secure a band or bracelet to the watch and keep it in place. Since a bracelet or band is connected on both sides, a watch will have two spring bars, one on either side.
The spring bar has a spring inside that can be compressed to shorten the length, allowing you to secure it to the lug, and when the spring is removed, it is locked into place. To extract the spring bars correctly, you can use a tool. Some spring bars are more difficult to access and remove than others, but some spring bars can be removed with simple tools such as toothpicks, but it is recommended that you use proper tools.
Watch Band Spring Bar Types
Single Shoulder Spring Bar
The single shoulder spring bar features a single flange on one end, providing a secure fit for your watch strap. This type of spring bar is widely used in many traditional watches and is easy to install or remove using a spring bar tool.
Double Shoulder Spring Bar
Double shoulder spring bars offer additional security with a flange on both ends. This design provides a more stable connection between the watch case and strap, making it ideal for heavy or premium watches.
Tapered Spring Bar
The tapered spring bar has a unique cone-shaped design, gradually narrowing from one end to the other. This type of spring bar is often used for watches with tapered lugs or bracelets, ensuring a snug and secure fit.
Fat Spring Bar
Fat spring bars are characterized by their thicker diameter, providing extra strength and durability. They are commonly found in sports watches and other heavy-duty timepieces that require additional support.
Generic Spring Bar
The generic spring bar is the most common type of spring bar, featuring a standard size and design. It is suitable for a wide range of watches and is typically an affordable option for watch repairs or replacements.
Quick Release Spring Bar
Quick release spring bars are designed for easy installation and removal, featuring a built-in lever or button for quick adjustments. They are perfect for those who frequently change watch straps or prefer hassle-free strap replacement.
Screw-in Spring Bar
The screw-in spring bar offers superior security and stability, utilizing a threaded design that screws directly into the watch case or strap. This type of spring bar is often found in high-end or luxury watches and requires a screwdriver for installation or removal.
Fixed Spring Bar
Fixed spring bars are permanently attached to the watch case or strap, providing a secure and stable connection. These spring bars are not removable, making strap replacement more challenging, but they offer increased durability and reliability.
Sizes of spring bars
It’s important to keep in mind that different watches need different spring bar sizes. This applies to both thickness and width. Larger watches have wider lugs, which necessitates wider spring bars. It will only work if you have the right-sized spring bars for your watch, so first, figure out what size lugs your watch has.
A quick Google search will usually disclose the spring bar size you need. Look for “Your model + lug size” or “Your model + Lug width” in the search box. While you can theoretically calculate the distance between the insides of your lugs, a Google search should suffice and provide you with an accurate response.
Lug widths range from 18 to 24mm on most watches, but they may be smaller or larger.
Length of the spring bar
It’s easy to see how different watches necessitate different widths of straps/bracelets. The width of the watch is determined by the distance between the lugs, which are the pieces of the watch. The width of this space determines the length of the spring bar.
The duration of the spring bar is crucial.
Spring bar pin
The pin is the tiniest part of the watch that slips into the lugs. The pin depth and diameter have different dimensions, with the diameter being particularly important. A pin with an excessively large diameter would simply not work. A spring bar with a small diameter can or may not match, but it may enlarge the lug hole by moving inside it. This might allow the bar to fall out of the hole, causing serious harm. I’m not sure whether an expanded lug hole could be fixed, but it wouldn’t be inexpensive, and it wouldn’t be practical for certain watches, such as a $250 Seiko SKX007, from a cost standpoint.
Make sure the spring bar pin diameter on your watch is right.
The thickness of the spring bar
Its longevity and compatibility determine the thickness of a spring bar with straps and bracelets. The Seiko SXK007 that came with the “Far” bar pictured above was used to create my dress mod. This pin is a gold standard in terms of strength and longevity, but it’s too thick to fit the bracelet I wanted to wear. To suit the pin diameter of the watch and the barrel on the bracelet through which the spring bar is fitted, I’m using ToxicNatos SlimFat bars.
I still use the thickest, most robust spring bars possible for a pull-through strap (i.e., NATO/RAF). A fat (2.5mm) bar that matches the smaller pin diameter is shown in the image above. When it’s appropriate, I like to use these. They’re available from Seiko and are of excellent quality.
A 1.8mm spring bar isn’t bad, but a 1.5mm (or smaller) spring bar isn’t very solid. For a low-stress scenario, such as a dress watch, a thinner spring bar is best.
WATCH SPRING BARS: SHOULDERED VS. SHOULDER-LESS VS. FLANGED
This is a little more esoteric, but it’s important if you want to change your strap/bracelet quickly.
The Seiko fat bar is the only one without flanges in the picture. Flanges make changing a strap/bracelet easier because they provide something to grab onto for a tool (especially a spring bar tool). A polyurethane dive strap was included with the Seiko fat bar. Using a utility knife, I was able to easily cut the spring bars. I’m not sure whether these same spring bars are used on watches with bracelets or how easy/difficult it will be to access/remove a flangeless spring bar with a bracelet or thicker (leather, cloth, etc.) band.
Another kind of spring bar that isn’t seen here is the shoulder-less spring bar. Only lugs that are drilled through are used with a shoulder-less bar. This indicates that the spring bar hole is drilled through the lug and is visible from the outside. The ONLY way to extract these spring bars is to compress them from the outside by inserting a tool through the opening.
This is a simple and common option for owners who like to change their straps and bracelets frequently. If a watch without drilled lugs had this sort of spring bar attached, it would have to be cut out with a Dremel or similar tool, possibly ruining a nice bracelet or strap. Since these spring bars are more uncommon, a mistake like this is impossible. However, it’s the kind of blunder I’m likely to make in my search for long-term stability.
The benefit of different styles of watch band connecting bars
The watch bands are the instruments that connect to the wristwatch and secure the watch to the wrist. A watch band can be made of a variety of materials. Leather, metal, or a solid and long-lasting cloth-like fabric are examples of these materials.
A leather or long-lasting cloth watch band consists of two parts, each of which is connected to the wristwatch by a pin. A buckle-like feature on the other end of the leather watch band allows the other end of the strap to be slipped in and latched together by inserting the pin into the reset hole.
The majority of a metallic-looking watch band is made up of connected units that move independently of one another. When the wrist is moved, this separate motion provides a more stable but comfortable fit. A metallic pin also connects the metallic watch band to the wristwatch. Each end of the watchband is secured to the wristwatch with these two pins.
The connecting pin, which secures the watchband to the wristwatch, can be integrated into three different ways. Standard release, lever, and screw pins are the three different types of pins.
The Standard Release
The standard release pin that secures the watch band to the wristwatch is long enough to pass through the looped ends of the band. The pins’ ends are intended to be inserted into the prefabricated holes on the top and bottom of the wristwatch’s casing. Frequently, a small jeweler’s screwdriver or other similar setups may be used to pull the pinout.
The pin is hollowed out, and spring is inserted inside. When one of the pin’s ends is rubbed against something, it retracts. This technique allows one end of the pin to be inserted into the prefabricated cavity while the other end is retracted and placed near the opposite hole.
When the pin is above the hole, the stress on the withdrawn side is released, allowing the pin to pass through the crack. The other half of the watchband is then attached to the other half of the case in the same way. It’s important to remember that the pin is spring-loaded. As a result, if the individual inserting the pin is not careful, the pin can be launched violently.
A lever mechanism is used in the next form of a pin. This lever pin is located in the looped section of the watch band and functions similarly to the standard release pin. Despite this, instead of using a jeweler’s screwdriver or other similar setups, this type of pin uses a lever mechanism.
Simply locate the lever and pull it inwards toward the opposite end. This will relieve the pin’s stress and allow the end of the pin to be comfortably withdrawn from the prefabricated hole.
Controlling the removal of the pin’s end from the casing, as with the standard release pin, is critical. This type of pin is constantly under tension, and if it is released without restraint, the pin can be lost.
A screw style pin is the last type of pin available for securing the watch band to the watch case. This type of pin is not a spring-loaded pin but rather a short metal rod inserted into one end of the casing and securely connected to the other end with a small screw. As a result, while the structure of a watch band can appear simple, it is very complex to provide you with maximum comfort.