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Bergeon 3153 Watchmakers Springbar Tool

Review: Bergeon 3153 Spring Bar Tool

Bergeon 3153 Watchmakers Springbar Tool

Brand Bergeon
Model
3153
Length
5.5″
Thickness
10mm
Total Weight
12 grams / 0.4 ounces
Handle Weight
9 grams
Fork Tip Weight
~2 grams
Point Tip Weight
~1 gram
Material
See below…
Country of Manufacture Switzerland, Swiss made

The Bergeon 3153 springbar remover is a staple tool for watch enthusiasts of all levels – particularly those who like swapping straps.

What’s included?

The plastic hexagonal handle (with a special secret… keep reading to learn more).

Bergeon 3153 Plastic Hexagonal Handle

A screw-in fork style tip, also referred to as a “spatula” tip. This tip is reference number 3135-A.

Bergeon 3153 Pointed Tip Spring Bar Watch Tool

A screw-in pointed tip, or as Bergeon calls it: a cylindrical point. This side is reference number 3153-B.

Bergeon 3153 B Cylindrical Pointed Tip

Note: although the individual references for the tips are listed above, Bergeon also offers ref: 3153-R which is a package of both tips.

Also: Bergeon (and others who copy and paste their specs) list the length as 148mm. Not a big deal, but that seems to be incorrect. The tool presented in this review is actually about 5.5″ which converts to roughly 141mm with the tips screwed all the way in.

Materials:

Bergeon specs state that the hexagonal handle (the main long part of the tool) is made from black PVC material, but apparently they are also made from Bakelite (such as the one example being reviewed on this page), which is a phenol formaldehyde resin. Back in the day (and maybe still to this day) Bakelite had asbestos in it. PVC, on the other hand, is an abbreviation for polyvinyl chloride. Be it PVC or Bakelite, neither one is exactly the healthiest plastic, so don’t go holding your springbar tool over a candle and breathing the fumes. As for handling it on a daily basis, you should be wearing finger cots or gloves anyway! But still, it makes you wonder why a big brand wouldn’t go out of their way to use the absolute safest and most environmentally friendly materials possible, especially for one of their more widely distributed products.

Bergeon 3153 Watchmakers Springbar Tool Bakelite Pvc

The tool being reviewed has a grainy texture to it, so I’m going with Bakelite on this one. I think I have seen shiny versions (but they could have been knockoffs), and if so, maybe they are made from PVC.

Editor’s Commentary: I’m digging into the materials more because I think it’s an oversight in an industry like ours that tends to be clean and safe, with minimal exposure to chemicals and other job related hazards (except for disgusting customer watches or a cramped neck from an improper bench setup). Perhaps the materials of the parts and tools we handle every day should be examined more.

As for the tips, they are made from blackened hardened steel. Bergeon tech docs state that the tips are between 50-52 on the Hardness Rockwell C Scale (aka HRC).

There is a similar Bergeon 3153 springbar tool with silver tone tips. The reference number for that is 3153-I. The tips on that model are tempered steel, also with a hardness rating of 52 HRC – basically the same as the black.

Update: it appears that the silver tips on the 3153-I are also used on the 6767-S (more info way at the bottom of this page).

What’s cool about the Bergeon 3153?

A few of the things I find to be cool about the 3153 are:

  • The hexagonal shaped handle to prevent rolling on the bench.
  • The replaceable tips and ease of finding replacements.
  • The hidden storage compartment for spare tips or springbars!

That’s right, the 3153 has a secret stash space! This is where the ingenuity of the brand beats the competition. Interestingly, I never see anyone else pointing out this nifty feature, and even Bergeon doesn’t mention it. See the video below…

Also cool is the built-in ruler for quickly measuring lug-width and spring bar sizes.

Bergeon 3153 Watchmakers Springbar Tool Ruler

What is it good for:

The 3153 springbar tool is good for changing non-metal watch bands and installing spring bars on watches that you’re going to install a nato-style military strap on.

The reason why I say non-metal bands (aka bracelets) is because the fork tip is around 3mm wide. It may not fit in the notch-like opening that metal bracelets have for a tool. See the Seiko below and how the fork simply doesn’t fit:

Bergeon 3153 Fork Tip Watchmakers Spring Bar Tool

Another example, it will not work with a Rolex Oyster or Jubilee style bracelet – unless you have a vintage Rolex with pierced lugs, then you can use the pointed tip side of the tool. For many bracelet configurations, you would be better off with a watchmaker’s screwdriver set.

The pointed tip is also good for pushing the spring bar on a clap or sizing for micro adjustments. This cylindrical tip is 0.8mm in diameter.

Bergeon 3153 Pointed Tip Watch Bracelet Clasp Tool

Conclusion:

You can find cheaper alternatives out there, but the tips will likely not be as hard as the Bergeon 3153. With that said, it’s possible that official Bergeon tips will fit the cheaper knock-off handles, but it’s probably not worth trying. If you buy a cheaper tool, you will probably end up replacing it due to bent tips. That’s not to say the Bergeon tips won’t bend or break – there’s a reason they sell replacements. The only other thing to consider about the 3153 is that, as mentioned above, the wide fork tip most likely won’t be compatible with your bracelet watches. But all that aside, the 3153 is a must have in your tool collection or watch box.

In the side-by-side below, you can see a generic no-name tool similar to the 3153. Notice the bent pointed tip on the knock-off.

Bergeon 3153 Spring Bar Tools Compared

Where to Buy?

The 3153 is one of the most accessible Bergeon tools because it covers all levels of watch enthusiasm and tinkering. Therefore, you can find this tool available at most watch parts sellers or on Amazon at this link (your purchase will support this site). The price on Amazon is about $28~29 USD with free Prime shipping. You may find it priced lower by other sellers, but they will probably charge around $10 shipping, so it’s only worth it if you plan to buy other stuff with it. Replacement tips can be found here (cylinder) and here (fork).

Update:

Matt @dad.watch asked about the Bergeon 6767 (this 6767-F is probably the one you want)  springbar tool in the comments section. Eventually there will be a review of it, but in the meantime, below is a list of pros and cons that you can use to compare with the information above:

6767 Pros:

  • All stainless steel, no plastic or undesirable materials.
  • Knurled grip handle for grip and looks cool.
  • Ability to have a smaller fork tip to get inside those bracelet endlink notches (2mm vs 3mm).
  • Costs up to $10 less than the 3153 (makes no sense, right?)

6767 Cons:

  • Rolls around the bench because it’s… round.
  • Doesn’t have a lug ruler on the side.
  • Doesn’t have a secret stash drawer!

The 6767 is heavier at 27 grams vs 12, but that can be a pro or con depending on the individual.

Note – the 6767 comes in 3 styles. The handle is the same but the tips are what vary:

  • 6767-S: Standard with thicker base diameter tips similar to the 3153 (3mm, refs: 6767-A, 6767-B).
  • 6767-F: Slimmer tips with a smaller diameter and smaller width fork tip (2mm, refs: 6767-BF, 6767-AF)
  • 6767-SF: Two fork style tips, but one of each size (2mm and 3mm, refs: 6767-A, 6767-AF)

Comparison Conclusion:

Both the 3153 and 6767 are Swiss made and manufactured Bergeon. Both have tips with hardness ratings of 52 HRC. Both have .80mm cylindrical points. The 3153 is black, the 6767 is silver tone (steel).

Here is where it gets interesting… it looks like the tips can technically be used on either handle. That means theoretically, the black plastic 3153 can also “handle” the narrower 2mm 6767-AF tip. I have set of tips incoming and will update this with confirmation when they arrive.

It really just comes down to preference. Personally, I think both are excellent, must-have tools. Not a bad idea to have one of each. However… I do prefer a springbar tool with caps over the tips (stay tuned for a review of a tool with caps).

Additional Resources:

Not to be confused with 3135, bergon, burgeon

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Matt - @dad.watch
Matt - @dad.watch
1 month ago

What’s better in your opinion, this, or the Bergeon 6767 all metal springbar tool?

Christine
Christine
7 days ago

Excellent review, thank you. I just ordered mine!

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