Like many, I’m constantly on the lookout for an easy solution to the stubborn bezel that refuses to pop off its case. Having used a generic, stainless steel caseback removal tool for close to two years, I thought it was time to treat myself to an upgrade. Having read a few Reddit testimonials, I decided to invest in the Bergeon 4932 watch case opener. The reviews I read herald the 4932 as THE answer to the sticky bezel problem and that it was worth the eye-watering investment of $43 (compared to the $15 I spent on my current tool).
For the uninitiated, Bergeon is the premier manufacturer of professional-grade, precision watch tools. With the Bergeon name comes a level of expectation that whatever job you throw at one of their tools, it will be accomplished with ease and quality results. I am also fully aware that the Bereon 4932 was designed to remove casebacks and not bezels. That said, for the sake of this article, we will pretend that the 4932 was intended to remove bezels since the majority of modders will be using it for this purpose.
As expected, the 4932 looks and feels like a high-quality Swiss instrument. It initially felt good in my hand and was solidly constructed. No jiggly parts as I’ve experienced with other knock-off tools. Measuring about 4.5” in length x .18” in width and weighing only 25 grams, it’s significantly smaller in every capacity compared to my current knife (5” x .87” x 103g). Other noticeable differences on the Bergeon include a larger tapered blade and no option to replace it. My current knife has a blade that is anchored into the handle by three small screws. Despite having an overall thinner blade, the Bergeon’s knife’s edge appears no more thinner than my current one. I’m no metalurgist but I also believe both blades utilize the same type of steel as both knife edges proved to be resistant to any kind of deformation.
Although these differences likely make for an excellence caseback removal experience, the 4932 was no more effective at removing bezels than my existing caseback knife. In fact, I would venture to say it was an inferior experience compared to my budget knife. The Bergeon’s flat handle was too dimunitive in size to get a comfortable grip and applying any meaninglyful amount of pressure to the bezel hurt the inside of my palm. The rounded handled on my current knife was not only more comfortable to hold but distributed the pressure more evenly throughout my palm and thus avoiding any pain. This added comfort means you can be more confident and precise when trying to slot the edge of the blade in a space no wider than a few millimeters. I further hypothesize that the more dramatic tapering of my existing knife lends to a more effective bezel ejection than the Bergeon’s longer, gradual taper. Lastly, the fact that I have the option of switching out the blade on the budget knife, to me, is a bonus in case I do manage to damage it.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend the Bergeon 4932 as a bezel removal tool and, if you’re looking to upgrade, spring for this one instead. Compared to the Bergeon, it’s built nearly as well, more effective, and best of all, much cheaper. It was a good reminder that premium doesn’t always synonymous with better. If you’d like me to review any other part or tool, please let me know! You can contact me here.
CEO, Secondhand Mods