In the 1970s, Swiss watch manufacturers faced a crisis confronted by Japanese watch manufacturers. Swatch was their answer. The company began in 1979 and offered high-quality watches at affordable prices. Their key was to simplify the interior working of the watch from 91 moving parts to 59. Today Swatch is still making time pieces in their simplified style. Because Swatch doesn't use typical watch works, interior watch repair can only be done at an authorised Swatch repair facility. Opening any Swatch watch case will automatically void the warranty. But there are a few repairs that can be done at home.
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Things you need
- Spring bar tool
- New watch band
- Bubble wrap
- Protective box
Locate the watch band brackets on either side of the watch case. Spring bars hold the watch band inside these brackets. These tiny spring-loaded pins fit into lugs on either side of the brackets.
Slide the spring bar tool between the bracket and the side of the watch band. The spring bar tool is a thin piece of metal usually purchased at either craft stores or jewellery repair facilities. A small metal spatula or even a thin screw driver will also work.
Press the spring bar toward the centre of the bracket. This depresses the spring bar and allows the watch band to pop out of the bracket.
Place a spring bar in the top of the new watch band. Some new watchbands will have spring bars installed by the manufacturer.
Place the end of the spring bar into the lug on one side of the bracket. Slide the other end behind the lug on the other side of the bracket. Gently pull the watch band forward until the spring bar slips into the lug.
Replacing a Broken Watch Band
Write out a complete description of the problem with the watch. Include all of your contact information.
Make a photocopy of your portion of the warranty card.
Wrap the watch in bubble wrap.
Pack the wrapped watch and the note with your information, description of the problem, and the copy of the warranty with the watch in a sturdy, protective box. Do not include original documentation.
Insure the box and mail it to the service centre for your region. Regional service centres can be found on the Swatch website.
Seeking Authorized Service
Tips and warnings
- Be sure to remove and replace one side of the watch band at a time. This ensures that the correct part of the watch band goes on each side and prevents you from ending up with an upside down watch.
- Do not use a knife as a spring bar tool. It will cut the watch band and may cut fingers.
- Do not open the back of a Swatch watch.
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