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Horotec case opener: Size of bits?


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I have more or less decided to get the Horotec MSA 07.320 case opener, after reading good things about it here.

However, I work primarily on Vostoks, and I'm worried that the bits are too large for the small grooves found on the special caseback on russian watches. The opener is quite the investment, so I want to be able to use it on all the watches I work on.

I can't find any dimensions for the available bits, so if someone who has a Horotec opener are willing to measure the size of the square bits, I will be grateful. Thanks.

 

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Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!

I would like it to fit a caseback ring like this one. It's hard to measure exactly, but the notches are about 1,50 mm. The elongated bits are square, so I might be able to modify them by filing off a small amount?

20171216_201712.thumb.jpg.ee49c876913600e3b2d5d89def17c8a5.jpg

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It certainly looks like they should work. The Horotec opener has not let me down as yet. I originally purchased it because I could not open a never opened  Rolex with a Chinese opener. However the Horotec just worked with hardly any effort. It also opens the largest Breitling's with no problems. 

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Considering  a price of $379 (Esslinger) personally I would not recommend this tool.

First issue I have with it is that the bolted construction and the small pillars makes it susceptible to be bend when pressure is applied. Admittedly, that is more an issue with a press than with a case opener. And I can't see if it has a screw mechanism which holds the shaft in position when turning.

Second, when you need to have significant torque applied, you will find that the next weak point becomes holding the case, this one has the four pin held plastics posts, that can be convenient to leave the band in place, but not nearly effective as tabs inserts in between lugs.

Finally, the price is frankly exorbitant.

Suggest that you give a look to similar tools on AliX, if not the traditional, heavy die-cast column tool you will find many others with a much better quality/price ratio. I can also point you to an high-quality press/opener combo developed by an Hong Kong company if you want. 


 

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I have considered the Chinese version, but I'm afraid it will have issues, and it is still a big investment. I have a Chinese pressure tester, and the build quality is great. However it had some rust on it and the air escape valve let out air too fast. I got a replacement lid because of the rust, and got a better valve with the new lid, so it got sorted. But it still has a design flaw; the rod is too long, making the watches touch the bottom when plunged down and secured. I have also read about an instance where the lid has been blown off when pressurized.

So I feel there is a chance of these kinds of issues with the Chinese case tool as well. With Swiss tools, and especially Horotec, I know the quality is there, and it is good to go out of the box.

But again there is a big price difference, and it would be cool to have the big tool. Hmmm, this is not easy at all.

 

Btw, case holding  tabs are available for the Horotec as well: 

5a36be7252c32_Skjermbilde2017-12-1719_57_27.png.8e32ca21c8546cd14e296ca32023c2a9.png

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22 hours ago, jdm said:

Considering  a price of $379 (Esslinger) personally I would not recommend this tool.

First issue I have with it is that the bolted construction and the small pillars makes it susceptible to be bend when pressure is applied. Admittedly, that is more an issue with a press than with a case opener. And I can't see if it has a screw mechanism which holds the shaft in position when turning.

Second, when you need to have significant torque applied, you will find that the next weak point becomes holding the case, this one has the four pin held plastics posts, that can be convenient to leave the band in place, but not nearly effective as tabs inserts in between lugs.

Finally, the price is frankly exorbitant.

Suggest that you give a look to similar tools on AliX, if not the traditional, heavy die-cast column tool you will find many others with a much better quality/price ratio. I can also point you to an high-quality press/opener combo developed by an Hong Kong company if you want. 


 

I have not found any bending when a lot of pressure is applied. The tool is solid and has  not let me down so far. If on a budget and you see one on the bay buy this. This is the opener I usually use. The one I own came with loads of stumps.

5a36bfb0dd6c1_ScreenShot2017-12-17at19_02_43.png.b067957b77cd87ee4834abb9d7e7a158.png

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49 minutes ago, Halvis said:

I have considered the Chinese version, but I'm afraid it will have issues, and it is still a big investment.

I understand your concern but I would be more bothered in paying 10 times the industrial cost of something. Below what I've got and recommend:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/High-quality-5700-unlock-caseback-machine-watch-case-back-opener-watch-repair-tool/32782184898.htm

Only issue was some brass screws painted black, and one or two mismatched tips. As with everything from China it comes with a low declared value so you don't pay VAT. I agree it's bigger and heavier than what it could be but who cares, I keep it under the desk when not in use.

For a smaller unit check:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/High-quality-unlock-caseback-machine-watch-case-back-opener-watch-repair-tool/32781301330.html

There is a long discussion about bench openers somewhere in this forum. 

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On 12/18/2017 at 3:32 AM, jdm said:

I understand your concern but I would be more bothered in paying 10 times the industrial cost of something. Below what I've got and recommend:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/High-quality-5700-unlock-caseback-machine-watch-case-back-opener-watch-repair-tool/32782184898.htm

I agree with the overpricing. I think Bergeon, Horotec etc just target big professional repair companies that don't need to care about tooling budget. It reminds me of RS Electronics, which is great for some small things, but insane for others (test equipment, etc). They seem to target largish electronics companies that apparently don't care much about equipment price.

All fine with me though; I mostly buy stuff second hand, or buy Chinese clones that need a bunch of work to make them more pleasant to use. 

The opener you linked looks great. Onto the watch list!

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Yes, the 5700 is the "standard" opener, all attachments are made for it.
Thanks. I have never bought anuthing from AliX before. Do they have a system like ebay to protect the buyer if something is wrong with the merchandise?

How is the quality of the wooden baseplate on your tool? I notice that there are a lot of different versions of the opener, and the main difference seems to be the baseplate. Because it's going to be quite visible on my bench, I do want it to look good.
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9 hours ago, Halvis said:

Thanks. I have never bought anuthing from AliX before. Do they have a system like ebay to protect the buyer if something is wrong with the merchandise?

How is the quality of the wooden baseplate on your tool? I notice that there are a lot of different versions of the opener, and the main difference seems to be the baseplate. Because it's going to be quite visible on my bench, I do want it to look good.

Yes, AliX protects the buyer. The base is good, some pictures:

 

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I usally open Vostok with my jaxa tool. And the smallest Bergeon bits. they never sit that hard. As that is part of the ything with this kind of diver. They have a very large gasket and caseback lid is like a compressor case. the deeper you go the harder the caseback should press on the gasket. For other watches i would like to have this kind of tool though. 

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I constantly use the Horotec and am also partial to Vostok so can confirm the case back jaws will not fit sufficiently to avoid slippage without some modification with a file.
Replacement bits are readily available from decent retailers.
As for the Horotec, these are constructed from quality Swiss steel they ain't going to bend ! And boy I've done some heavy work and abused mine in the past.
As for the price, well they seem to have risen a bit since I bought mine but are quality Swiss tools worth their price, that depends on your point of view.
What does amuse is the person who is quite happy to spend £500,£1000 + for a watch but when it comes to tools to service.. expects a cheap Chinese hammer and chisel to be sufficient.
Not that I'm anti Chinese I do have some tools I use and have a water pressure tester of this origin, that's faultless.

Sent from my SM-T585 using Tapatalk

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I usally open Vostok with my jaxa tool. And the smallest Bergeon bits. they never sit that hard. As that is part of the ything with this kind of diver. They have a very large gasket and caseback lid is like a compressor case. the deeper you go the harder the caseback should press on the gasket. For other watches i would like to have this kind of tool though. 
I'm not getting this kind of opener just for Vostoks, but to be able to open all kinds of watches, including more expensive pieces and avoid the risk of slipping. When I first get it, it sure would be nice to use it on Vostoks as well. I guess it is no big deal to modify some bits regardless of wich model I choose.
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I constantly use the Horotec and am also partial to Vostok so can confirm the case back jaws will not fit sufficiently to avoid slippage without some modification with a file.
Replacement bits are readily available from decent retailers.
As for the Horotec, these are constructed from quality Swiss steel they ain't going to bend ! And boy I've done some heavy work and abused mine in the past.
As for the price, well they seem to have risen a bit since I bought mine but are quality Swiss tools worth their price, that depends on your point of view.
What does amuse is the person who is quite happy to spend £500,£1000 + for a watch but when it comes to tools to service.. expects a cheap Chinese hammer and chisel to be sufficient.
Not that I'm anti Chinese I do have some tools I use and have a water pressure tester of this origin, that's faultless.

Sent from my SM-T585 using Tapatalk


I have basically the same philosophy as you. I have bought some Chinese and Indian tools in the past and pretty much descided to not bother anymore and just go for quality. I'm partial to Horotec since all the products I have from them are fantastic and a joy to use.

If I had lived in the UK and just had to pay the price Cousins ask, I'm sure I just had went with the Horotec. But I have to pay a lot in shipping, taxes and import fees in addition.

At 1/3 of the price, I'm starting to think it is worth the risk to try the Chinese opener. People say they are happy with it, and the Chinese pressure tester I have has great build quality.
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I have basically the same philosophy as you. I have bought some Chinese and Indian tools in the past and pretty much descided to not bother anymore and just go for quality. I'm partial to Horotec since all the products I have from them are fantastic and a joy to use.

If I had lived in the UK and just had to pay the price Cousins ask, I'm sure I just had went with the Horotec. But I have to pay a lot in shipping, taxes and import fees in addition.

At 1/3 of the price, I'm starting to think it is worth the risk to try the Chinese opener. People say they are happy with it, and the Chinese pressure tester I have has great build quality.
The opener Jdm pointed out looks absolutely fine. In fact there's a thread Jdm started giving info from menbers advice on what and what not to buy in the Chinese range.
What ever your choices, enjoy your purchases and have a very merry Christmas [emoji16]

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

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The opener Jdm pointed out looks absolutely fine. In fact there's a thread Jdm started giving info from menbers advice on what and what not to buy in the Chinese range.
What ever your choices, enjoy your purchases and have a very merry Christmas [emoji16]

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

I can't find the thread you are referring to, but it seems the higher priced Chinese tools are pretty good.

Thanks, a merry christmas to you too [emoji16]
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Bear in mind that if you ever want to modify the “bits” for most of these case openers, they should be glass hard. I shattered a Bergeon one recently, so I know! Anyway, if you want to modify the shape of one then you’ll need to be familiar with tempering. 

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