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  1. ext1

    ext1 Mar 9, 2019

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    Hello OF,

    I just finished restoring a sorry looking JB Champion that had its horn chopped off and twisted to its rightful glory. I don't know if this information will be of any use to anyone, but I thought I'd share in case someone had the same issue as me.

    The bracelet in question, looked like this. Oww.....
    s-l1600 (1).jpg
    s-l1600 (2).jpg
    s-l1600 (5).jpg
    s-l1600 (8).jpg
    Honestly this would have been a really easy fix only if that horn piece wasn't trimmed. Because the piece is trimmed, we have to replace the entire thing.
    The bracelet on the bottom is the donor bracelet. It valiantly gave its life to save its more expensive brother.
    I sat down at 10pm, and I remember lifting my butt off the chair at 4am. So after 6 hours here's what happened...
    IMG_2538.JPG
    IMG_2541.JPG
    Perfect! Very happy with the result.

    So here's the process. To successfully dismantle this thing, we have to understand the anatomy of the bracelet. I have been reading @TLIGuy 's excellent posts about the bracelets and that's where I got most of my structural background knowledge before actually handling one in person.

    Here is the patent for the bracelet that @TLIGuy also posted before here.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This is quite confusing, but as we go through the guide you will see how the parts work and correspond to this diagram. This diagram will also be helpful for me to refer to the things you will see in the picture. You will notice that the bracelet at hand does not fully match the diagram as well - so keep that in mind.

    Anyway the first step is to pry off what looks like to be piece 96, or what I will call the top cover piece. I followed the steps outlined here by @Stuie. (Great guide by the way if you want to shorten your JB)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    (Pic reproduced here for convenience. Original pic of @Stuie. Forgot to take pics of disassembly)

    So the first part to the left is piece 96, aka top cover piece. The piece to the middle is the spring/lug assembly, what looks like to be consisted of piece 50, 66, 64, 80, and 74. Here is what that middle piece looks like in detail.
    IMG_2486.JPG
    I removed the donor's top cover piece first to check out the mechanism. Behold it in action!

    (Pardon my nails...but they were a very useful tool during this operation. I swear!)
    You can see that there are two pieces of horn (part 64 and.. 66?) that move side to side and expand using the spring (part 80) inbetween. You can also tell that something was wrong with the way the unfixed JB on the bottom was. Probably technically the mechanism isn't broke but it's hard to show it expanding and contracting since the horns were cut.

    So here is the problem statement.
    IMG_2494.JPG
    The one on the bottom left is the twisted part of the unfixed JB. The one on the bottom right, is the better of the two ends of the unfixed JB. However both are trimmed, so the horns need to be transplanted from the one on the top.

    First we take out the spring. You can slide it out with whatever tool you wish. But make sure it doesn't go PING! and fly across the room!
    IMG_2502.JPG If you zoom in you can see how the connector bit of the spring is latching onto the two horn pieces.

    So with the spring out how does the module look?
    IMG_2518.JPG
    It looks like that, on the donor band. But here's the tricky part. The I-shaped connector (infamous part 74) connects the base (part 50) shown at the top, and the two horn pieces together. You can see the base still has the connectors. Normally only two connectors are used for the whole piece. (So that means I have two other horn pieces with no I-connector inserted between them elsewhere.)
    The part removed from the band looks like this.
    IMG_2528.JPG
    IMG_2489.JPG
    So now the problem is to find a way to remove the two horn pieces from the base. You need to keep the original base, because the donor base doesn't fit the mesh.
    First I tried to bend the horn pieces to find an angle to wiggle the pieces out.
    IMG_2503.JPG
    It turned out to be very ugly. I went with the first attempt because the trimmed horn pieces didn't matter much, but I knew for sure when I am going to remove the donor pieces I am not going to afford to do this.
    So then I needed to find a different method, and wondered if I can pop off the I-connector.
    However, I looked through my 15x loupe and found that the I-connector is a single piece, whereas I expected it to be a combination of two top and bottom pieces. (How did the factory get it to fit in the first place? Mysteries...)
    So, I determined I need to bend the edges of the I-connector somehow.
    This connector is a PAIN to deal with if you don't have the appropriate tools.
    IMG_2524.JPG
    It is tiny, and you need small-tipped pliers for is. I tried using my tweezers and nearly destroyed the tweezers and slightly damaged the connector. Please get the right tools and save yourself the time and save the parts from damage. Please.

    You can see the I-connector has two edges on top and bottom (hence why I call it an I, except with base on top and bottom). But one edge, on the bottom of the base (part 50) is slightly curved and more delicate than the other side of the connector that you can observe on the pictures above. The other side of the connector (top side) has more of a flat disc attached to the cylindrical connector body.

    I had the option to bend either side, but I determined that I should bend the top (i.e. disc-shaped) because the bottom side is more delicate and hard to put back into shape. Also, it is the part of the connector that is exposed and touches the wrist, while the top side spends its life inside the shelter of top cover piece and two horn pieces.

    However, I found that when I am trying to disassemble the donor modules, it is much more safer and convenient to remove from the base side instead, because there was no space for me to insert the pliers to bend the disc part and I did not want anything at all to happen to the donor horn pieces.

    The method I used was to push and wiggle by inserting tweezers into the connector like this.
    IMG_2514.JPG
    But, a lot more forcefully. The picture is just like that because I had to grow an extra arm for the moment of taking the picture.

    Now removing the connector from the donor base gives us this:
    IMG_2498.JPG
    IMG_2511.JPG IMG_2512.JPG IMG_2513.JPG
    That's how it looks like in more detail.
    Push the connector further to fully separate the donor horns!
    IMG_2520.JPG
    Notice how I had to bend the connector instead on the recipient base, because I didn't want to damage the bottom end of the connector.
    IMG_2522.JPG
    Side by side:
    IMG_2510.JPG
    Great! You are now almost there.
    IMG_2531.JPG
    Now you can mount the donor horn pieces on the recipient base. Wow!!! Getting more exciting!!
    But you will notice the disc part of the I-connectors are bent. Well, you need to now flatten the disc heads to fasten the horn pieces. This was pretty hard for me. I guess it would be easier if I had a mini chisel or a mini hammer or something!
    IMG_2537.JPG
    Mount the spring back....
    IMG_2536.JPG
    Almost there!!!!
    Now put back the top cover piece and make sure to clamp on both ends of the cover to secure it tight.
    And now....finally!
    IMG_2540.JPG
    IMG_2541.JPG
    ::love::::love::::love:: The JB is back alive!!! ::psy::

    So that was the process I took. Hopefully this was helpful for you to fix your JB too, and in the very least, I hope you had some fun reading this long winded guide.

    What is this guide worth if you don't have a JB to fix you ask? Well...I guess it's good reading to know how the JB works ::book:: and also if anyone wants to convert a straight end piece to a horn piece this would be the way to do it...(Please don't ruin a perfectly fine one however. If you decide to switch end pieces, your I-connector will get pretty much trashed/beat up.) Apparently the horn pieces work best for 19mm and the straight pieces for 20mm anyway, so, live and let be all those JBs..!
     
    M'Bob, SpeedyPhill, Stuie and 22 others like this.
  2. TLIGuy

    TLIGuy Mar 9, 2019

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    Well done and a great read. This is a fantastic reference for those that might be up for the challenge in the future.

    @ext1 if you PM me your mailing address I'll drop something in the mail that will be a nice accompaniment to your bracelet.
     
    ext1 likes this.
  3. Vitezi

    Vitezi Mar 9, 2019

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    Great post! :thumbsup:
     
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  4. gemini4

    gemini4 Hoarder Of Speed Mar 9, 2019

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    Fabulous thread. Thanks!
     
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  5. Pahawi

    Pahawi Mar 9, 2019

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    Great work:thumbsup:
     
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  6. SpeedyPhill

    SpeedyPhill asked ages ago but no longer interested Mar 9, 2019

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    Amazing pottering & patience skills working with those tiny metal pieces.
    This Jacoby Bender Champion steel mesh bracelet only has a minor fault on the clasp... probably an easy fix ?
    .
    JBchampion_accutron.jpg
     
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  7. Theluglife

    Theluglife Mar 9, 2019

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    Well done. I often dream of Macguyvering various watch related matters but have not yet made the leap.
     
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  8. Omegafanman

    Omegafanman Mar 9, 2019

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    Many thanks for this info - good stuff
     
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  9. ext1

    ext1 Mar 9, 2019

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    Thank you everyone! Just a really tiny contribution to the sea of knowledge out here on OF. :D Just thought if I had a tough time, somebody else doesn't need to have the same tough time twice.

    @Togri v. 2.0 I just noticed this thread, https://omegaforums.net/threads/is-the-jb-champion-adventure-over.58899/ Looks like there was a similar problem...were you able to get it sorted???

    I think it might be possible to remove that portion of the bracelet using again @TLIGuy 's great instructions here and then straighten it out with a small hammer of some sort. "REMAIN CALM AND JB ON!" ::book:: as he said.

    @gemini4 Thank you also for your great reference guide here! It helped me guide my purchase and I'm glad I decided to take the chance with this one. "Fortune favors the bold" was what I learned on OF and I think this time being bold was the right decision.

    @TLIGuy Thank you for pretty much putting together the instruction manual before I had the chance to permanently mess up anything on my JB! Can I consider myself another graduate of the TLIGuy Online JB Champion Training Academy? :)
     
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  10. Togri v. 2.0

    Togri v. 2.0 Mar 9, 2019

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    Hey. Great great post. You are the man!! Actually I bought a donor bracelet just as you and got as far as removing the endpieces but then I put it away and has never got around to fixing it, also because I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. But your post has definitely given me some courage. Only problem is I rarely have several hours for just myself... :(

    When I have some time for myself I will give it a go :thumbsup:
     
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  11. ext1

    ext1 Mar 9, 2019

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    Thank you! I think from your post you are actually missing the I-connectors...unless they are still stuck to the post I have no idea how the end pieces separated themselves from the connector just so easily. I would like to learn their technique :D

    If you'd want, just pay for shipping and I can repair yours for free...I liked working on this. It was a cathartic experience, got a watch stolen during transit yesterday, so it was a good relief. No guarantees I can fix it though :p
     
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  12. TLIGuy

    TLIGuy Mar 9, 2019

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    @SpeedyPhill I think it is a relatively easy fix. It would be shame not to be a ably to use the bracelet because of the minor damage. It looks like someone tried to pry it open as opposed to flipping the latch. That said, I think there is an easy fix that I would have no problem trying.

    1) Add some support under the clasp so you don't crimp the mesh when pressure is applied or remove it from the watch.
    2) Slide a flat screwdriver under the bent bar.
    3) Rotate the bar so the curve is vertical.
    4) Use a second flat screwdriver the gently hammer down on the bar until it is straight.

    Remember the bar only needs to be "fairly straight" If you look on the opposing attachment there are only two tabs that need to attach so I think as close to straight as you can gets you all fixed up.

    image1.jpeg
     
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  13. timestamp

    timestamp Mar 9, 2019

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    Threads like this one are the reason why this is such a great forum. Thanks, great read :thumbsup:
     
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  14. jinson

    jinson Mar 9, 2019

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    Very nice job and great info! Thanks J!
     
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  15. OWa

    OWa Mar 10, 2019

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    Thanks for the information shared. I really like it when old stuff gets fixed again. This will probably be a future reference fo JB Champion braclet repair projects.
    I have an old JB Champion braclet that I got a couple of years ago. It is in a really bad shape and I don’t know if this is complete junk. Perhaps some parts could be used for repair jobs. I will give it away for free if someone wants it. First comes first serve. Gone!

    621069A2-6DF4-4576-A4F9-EF6A1BC7CABA.jpeg 9646EEBA-C4ED-4267-888C-C60D8D4322DE.jpeg D6909841-E1E1-4159-9D2F-79723F284C84.jpeg 979ACC96-F49C-4CBD-BD76-441F681E27DC.jpeg 56761935-5BC8-4C02-BC58-37F72D2328F5.jpeg 07A452D8-2081-46A7-8382-9D27F621F0C6.jpeg 4901277E-12CD-4FB0-9364-6BCD1550992D.jpeg

    Cheers
     
    Edited Mar 10, 2019
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  16. ext1

    ext1 Mar 10, 2019

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    Here is the next idea I have. I just suddenly had a thought when I woke up this morning. I guess these kind of ideas now come to me because I've basically done a complete disassembly of the thing.

    The idea is: I'm fairly certain I can extend the 19mm length to be 20mm, so that the abrasion issue/aesthetics issue can be alleviated.

    So I went back and looked at how the bracelet end pieces actually actually expanded and came to its rest position.
    I looked at my previous pics. I looked and this wondered, how does the lower piece actually have space to move???
    upload_2019-3-10_9-33-50.png
    Turns out, my understanding was a bit short. So I opened up my JB again and found out how.
    IMG_2561.JPG
    The connector module is pictured above. This consists of the spring mounted on the sides of two end pices.

    The right end piece is always on top of the left (from the orientation of this picture), doesn't matter on which side of the bracelet (at least, that is what my OCD self observed on the donor bracelet before).
    IMG_2562.JPG
    This is where the I-connector connects to both of these pieces.
    IMG_2564.png
    IMG_2564_e.png
    The end pieces are able to contract due to the spring force. The top plate piece moves to the bottom direction, and the bottom plate piece moves to the top direction.
    IMG_2566.png
    So now you can clearly see how the pieces actually have space to move and contract. My first picture from before turned out to be misleading even to me!

    Now! How can I modify the resting position of these end pieces? Well..that would mean the end pieces would be like this:
    IMG_2568.png
    In this picture, I used the end pieces with the horn trimmed, so it looks like the two end pieces on the left look like they are same length of the complete assembled one. Here is an annotated one for clarity.
    IMG_2568_e.png
    Now you can see that to modify the resting position, I would need to cut where I have indicated by the red holes, and also I will need shorter length springs so that the end pieces expand back to the position they are supposed to. Then, this will allow the end pieces to increase in maybe around 0.5mm on both sides and result in 20mm! I don't need to worry about overshooting, because the end pieces can slightly contract to fit. However I need to make sure I don't cut away the rails completely. Technically, even the rails being gone will be fine, it will just mean that there is nothing to stop the end pieces from contracting all the way. But I should still be careful.
    The only conceivable issue I see is that the end pieces will slightly move away from the slight downward area of the top cover.
    IMG_2570.png
    But there's no downward force from that drooping bit from the top cover, so I think it should be fine!
    The only issue is to find the right spring. I can consider trimming the ones I have, but I would like to keep them in case I need them to repair other people's JBs. My idea is to find similar looking and correctly sized small coils and simply bend the very far end of the coils. That will give me exactly what I want, I think!

    At the worst case I know there are O-ring options like this. Great info by the way @wsfarrell ! Posts like that deserve to be re-excavated..
    To be continued! ::book::::popcorn::
     
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  17. Togri v. 2.0

    Togri v. 2.0 Mar 10, 2019

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    Wow thank you for that offer! I really appreciate it. However I think my bracelet is a lost cause :(

    Here I have the one endpiece disassembled and it seems I am missing the bits you describe

    440EC447-4BAC-488D-AC64-62E30FB3E985.jpeg

    However the rivets holding the pieces in place are long gone. On the other end only one rivet is left - the right one. Without the rivets I guess it is a bit fragile.

    C06271C7-1EF3-4944-9BC4-14EF0FDA9F9A.jpeg

    I haven’t been able to locate a JB where you could do a complete transplant of the endpieces
     
  18. ext1

    ext1 Mar 10, 2019

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  19. Britinus

    Britinus Apr 3, 2019

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  20. Britinus

    Britinus Apr 3, 2019

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    Great post. Thanks. I have one of the horned bracelets (a real barn find) and it works fine but on one end the horns are a bit sticky. Did you consider putting a drop of WD 40 on the mechanism or is that just inviting dirt and clogging you think?