- I tried out a new bezel removal tool. It was a rollercoaster of emotions.
- Requires more patience and finess than you would think.
- Once I learned how to use it correctly, it has worked ~ 90% of the time.
- Highly recommend getting one.
My search for the most effective, bang-for-your-buck, bezel removal tool continues with this, the “Professional Watch Bezel Remover”.
You’ve probably seen similar ones in your own searches as these are common “knock-offs” of the more upscale (and vastly more expensive) versions offered by Bergeon and Horotech.
For years, I’ve heard that unless you spring for the “good stuff”, these clamp-style tools were pretty useless at their intended purposes. Nevertheless, I purchased one off of Amazon for $43 which arrived a few days later in a cheaply made plastic case (the locking clasps snapped off within a day) and a handful of dies.
Eager to test it out, I had three cases queued up that required de-bezeling. Although no instructions come with the kit, using the tool is straightforward and fairly intuitive. Simply position the bezel between the leading edges of the dies and slowly squeeze so that the die edges (which act like wedges) slide underneath where the bezel meets the case. Slowly apply pressure and eventually, the bezel should pop right off.
My first bezel came off surprisingly easily, albeit, rather dramatically as it was catapulted off the case, across my shop, settling in a dark corner of the room. This, I learned, is normal and it’s important to perform this over a soft surface or wrap a towel around the case to catch the bezel as it unseats itself.
Shocked by how easy that was, I immediately tackled cases two and three with great excitement and vigor. Again, no issues, and, even better, no collateral damage to the case, bezel, and most importantly, myself!
I’ve resorted to some pretty drastic and dangerous methods, in the past trying to pry a bezel away from its case including (but not limited to): chisel and hammer, razor blades, and a torch. Somehow, I have managed to keep all my fingers and vital organs intact. My pride, on the other hand…
Nonetheless, I was ecstatic. Three bezels up, three bezels down. Is this the answer I’ve been searching for?
Unfortunately, bezels four and five would send my high crashing down. Excited, and perhaps, overzealous, I attacked bezel four with reckless abandon. I approached it the same way as I had with the previous bezels but this time, I was met with considerable resistance. Instead of backing off and re-evaluating my position on the case, I continued to apply pressure until the bezel reluctantly gave away.
What I didn’t know at the time was that I had deformed the die installed on the tool, preventing it from easily sliding underneath the bezel. As I started on bezel five, I was met with the same resistance as before, and, again, I chose brute force over finesse. With the die acting as an obstruction rather than a wedge, it had nowhere to go but to crumple and the aluminum handle fractured under the pressure. Predictably, the bezel remained.
Without a doubt, a more patient and measured approached would have extended the tool’s lifespan but I was surprised at how fragile these dies were after only four uses. A failure this quickly into it’s deployment seemed egregious.
Nevertheless, I was so impressed with the results of the first four bezels, that I purchased the same bezel remover again, this time as a more informed operator. Knowing that more finesse and precision are required, I’ve been able to consistently remove the bezels that want to be removed.
That said, if you find yourself using this tool and encounter resistance, back off and reevaluate your position. If that still doesn’t work, it is better to abandon it altogether and resort to an old tried and true bezel removal tactic. Since implementing these best practices, my success rate has been about 90%, which is considerably better than any other method I’ve tried to date.
Overall, I would definitely recommend modders of any skill level to add this tool to their collection.
Modder’s Score: 7.5 out of 10