Does NATOS/ZULUS cause spring bar failure? Myth or truth?

Posted by TERRY williams on

So here is my opinion on it. If you wear ANY strap to tight it will put excessive force on the spring bars. This is not just Natos/Zulus that would have this issue.

Now I do see if you use a NATO this is too wide for your watch lugs then it might be able to wedge itself up against the spring bar flanges which could cause an issue.

My suggestions are this:

1-If you have a weird size lug width then get a spring bar that is one size up. Just make sure the middle of the spring bar is smaller than your lug size (example 19mm lugs needs a middle section that is 18mm or smaller).

2-Use the correct size strap, regardless if it is a nato/Zulu/leather/canvas etc.

3-Don't be a cheap ass and get some good spring bars. They are not all created equal, I got some on one of my Seiko SRP's that collapsed when removing them (they were not Seiko Fatties).

4-If you have a strap that you have to force a spring bar into it too use it, then don't do it. It keep the tips of the spring bars from fully extending and they won't engage the lugs fully, which leads to it releasing (I did this with some Seiko Fatties on a Isofrane back before I started researching spring bars).

5-Get the correct size spring bar tips that fit your watch case. The wrong spring bars will move around in the lug hole and it can damage them, or even let they release at the wrong time.

6-If you have drilled lugs then use shoulderless spring bars. They will extend fully into the lugs and they will work more like a solid bar. If you don't have drilled lugs then don't use them, unless you don't mind cutting them out.

7-Use Double flange spring bars, Seiko Fat Bars are some of my favorite spring bars. But when you go to remove them you will end up hatting them. And that is because they don't have flanges to grab onto with your spring bar tool.

8-Some spring bars are a certain thickness in the middle too ensure the bracelet on your watch fits yours lugs correctly. For example, on the Seiko MM the best spring bars with a nato/Zulu is the Rolex #23-9291. It fits into the lug holes perfectly. But if you try and use them on the bracelet they are too narrow in the middle, so you will have bracelet endlink-case gap fitment issues.

****The Image is not mine, I found it online

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