on 14 September 2010
Considering the price (IRO 7 GBP) this is good value for money - as long as you are not expecting top end products i.e. the materials used are soft and tools poorly manufactured, you should be happy. Definitly only for occasional use, the strap pin removal tool will be ok as long as the pin's are not too tight - if they are, the plastic part of the tool will deform and the tools press pin will bend (the tools press pin is so soft you can straighten it back up with your finger!). The hammer is fantastic and worth the money by its self, watch back removal tool / blade works well and is much better than using a small screwdriver (much less likely to damage the watch), the strap support block is handy with various width slots for different strap thicknesses, pin punches will come in handy too - screw drivers and spring pin removal tool only fit for the bin..... All in all I'd definitly recommend this kit for the money - you're bound to find bits of it really handy.
Excellent value kit. Will pay for itself after a few uses. The main piece for link removal is the blue tray with a screw pin to push out or push back the link pins - easy to use (there are demos on YouTube). But it includes all manner of tools from tweezers, screwdrivers, pin tools, knife, watch back remover, toffee hammer etc and they are all well made. This is not a cheap plasticky kit that last a few uses. A genuine bargain!
on 11 February 2011
For the price I am happy with most of the kit. The only problem is with the pliers. I have never seen pliers so badly made in all my life! They're not very strong, came covered in a horrible black gunk and the jaws don't meet when you close them so you can't hold anything less than about 4mm thick. Oh and the snap-on back remover isn't thin enough to open the back on one of my watches but I can fix that by sharpening it.
EDIT: The snap-on back opener knife is useless. As I mentioned, it wasn't thin enough to open one of my watches, it disintegrated while trying to open another. I am now going to have to spend the money I was hoping to save on getting the battery changed at a Jewellers. And I hadn't gotten around to sharpening it, so it wasn't anything to do with that, just poor build quality.
on 31 March 2013
Well, as many of the other reviewers have stated, you get what you pay for, and these tools are pretty far from being the finest quality available. That being said, this kit is extremely cheap, it's perfectly possible to carry out simple home watch repairs (bracelet adjustments and battery changes) with it, and even if only a few of the tools are really up to scratch, they're worth what you'll be paying.
Here's my verdict on the various tools:
Hammer: rather neat, and can be used effectively with the pin punch and the watch holding block to remove bracelet links. It works!
Watch holding block: this is the grey square block thing with various slots in it. It's plastic, so won't scratch your watch case or bracelet, and it's solidly made, and useful for holding the bracelet while you remove pins or spring bars. Yup, this works too.
Pin punches: there are three of these - they are used to remove the split pins from steel watch bracelets. Quality is adequate, but all three are the same size, which is either a bit dumb or a pragmatic recognition that they aren't going to last forever.
Tweezers: reasonable, but nylon tweezers would be more appropriate for battery replacements.
Precision screwdrivers: there are three of these, and like the pin punches, they are all the same size. Why?! Standard cheapo quality.
Plastic-handled screwdrivers: these are horrible, worse than the screwdrivers you get in Christmas crackers, and I threw them away immediately. I would never attempt any kind of job with a tool this shoddy.
Pin removal press: this is the blue thing that looks like a vice, and is supposed to operate something like a bicycle chain link splitter. Unfortunately, it is crap. The body is made of flimsy plastic, the thread on the handle is very coarse, and it's pretty much impossible to align with the watch bracelet to push out the split pins (I tried it out on some scrap links I had lying around). The job it's intended for is much more effectively carried out with the hammer, the holding block and a pin punch, so I ended up throwing this away as well, although I kept the drive pin, because it can be secured in a pin vice and used as a spring bar pusher, so it's not totally useless. But I really wouldn't recommend trying to use this on an expensive watch bracelet - you'll scratch it up and get nowhere fast.
Case back knife: didn't work for me, but that could be because I'm left-handed, and this is a very right-handed tool. I still go back to the trusty Swiss Army knife for getting pop-off backs opened!
Screw-down back removal tool: this is the two-pin wrench, used for opening waterproof watches with screw-down backs. It's nothing fancy, but it does work on smaller watches. Some of my larger watches, however, exceed its range. Not as good as a proper three-pin Jaxa-type wrench.
Pliers: pretty generic cheapo pliers, haven't actually used them for anything since I have lots of much nicer pliers.
All in all, a mixed bag, but given that you'll save the cost of the kit if you only manage to carry out one or two repairs with it, I'd recommend this to anyone savvy enough to know what's worth having a go with and what needs to be chucked. And I found a very suitable two-tray sorter box to keep the whole lot in at a certain well-known hobby electronics supplier!
on 10 September 2011
We have a number of watches with pin and link bracelets, and the last one we had adjusted cost £20 at the jewellers - crazy for 2 minutes work. This kit does exactly what it says, and included all the tools needed to adjust bands/bracelets. Some of the tools are excellent quality (the hammer and pincers for example), and some are more cheap and cheerful.....but if you figure you will maybe use it once every 1-5 years, and that it costs one-quarter of one visit to a jeweller then it's a straight forward buy. I didn't have any issues and removed and refitted four very tight fitting pins in a matter of minutes. Excellent buy.
on 18 September 2011
If it's cheap, there's something wrong with it. That rule definitely applies here. Looking at the pictures, this looks like a pretty useful kit. However, when it arrives, you realise that is not the case at all. Unfortunately, a lot of reviewers, who have given this kit 5 stars, don't seem to have actually used many of the tools in it.
The whole kit arrives in a terrible clear vacuum-formed plastic package with sharp edges, with most of the tools inside stuck in it with sticky tape, because they would fall out otherwise. Once you open it, trying to avoid injuring yourself in the process (the plastic package comes in two halves that are stapled together in various places), you notice the utterly terrible quality of the tools inside. Also, there are no instructions on how each tool should be used, which could result in damage to watches and injury to the user, unless they have been fixing watches for years and throw the kit out immediately, as soon as it arrives.
Staying on the subject of quality, everything seems to have been made of the wrong material. The plastics and metals are too weak to carry out the tasks they are designed for. That's assuming you know what they are designed for, as there are no instructions. For example, as some people have already said, the link re-adjustment tool is the most useful one in the pack (the blue plastic thing). However, the pin in its handle (which pushes the link pins out) is made from such a soft metal that after two uses, it bent and broke off, rendering the whole tool useless (as there is no way of replacing that component). There are other pins in the pack that you'd have to use separately, but these are also made of the same soft metal and mostly come already bent and almost broken in the pack.
Then there are the 3 screw drivers that are of the same shape and size. Why the heck would you want three of the same screw drivers in a toolkit? They are only useful if you want to scratch the heck out of the watch you're trying to open as the business ends are too fat to fit in screws. Also you can badly injure yourself using them, because the top ends, where your palm should be when screwing and unscrewing, has been made of some thin and badly cut metal with extremely sharp edges. Like the screw drivers, the knife in the pack (used for removing snap-in-type watch covers) is too blunt and fat to actually get under the battery cover. Add to that the need to be forceful and the extremely weak handle that it has and you can easily end up in A&E after trying to use it for the purpose you assume it's been made for.
In summary, if you value your money and your health, stay well away from this product. I am amazed that anyone is allowed to sell such badly-made and dangerous set of tools in the UK. And I am offended that I can't give this a zero star rating.
on 2 August 2013
Excellent piece of kit for minor watch repairs (changing batteries, changing watch straps, removing links). My reason for buying such a kit was no jeweller or local watch repair shop wanted to touch my Adidas digital watch because it meant removing the straps to get to the battery casing. So I thought I would have a go using the kit: pushing in the sprung pins to remove both straps, unscrewing four small crossheads, removing the back plate, unscrewing one of the battery compartment crossheads, replacing the battery, then a matter of putting everything back together again. The only fiddly job was putting the sprung pins back in with the straps. Maybe someone can make a gadget for that and add it to the kit. No problems replacing the watch strap for a Swatch Chrono again something a local watch repair shop doesn't want to touch because its not a standard strap. Removing links not a real problem unless the pins are tight as the extractor is a bit flimsy but by being methodical the job gets done.
Overall a great experience, barring the cost of watch straps and batteries the kit pays for itself on each repair job.
I would recommend this kit for the jobs mentioned above. I haven't used all the bits of the kit but the kit could be improved with finer crosshead and flathead screwdrivers. A good kit to have in your self repair armoury.