How To Resize A Watch Strap, Make It Smaller Or Larger

If your watch has a metal strap then it’s likely not easily adjustable, it has set size links which need to be added or removed in order to resize it. The good news is that you don’t need to take it to the manufacturer or a jeweler to resize, you can do it yourself with just a couple of tools you’ve likely already got. Its actually quite an easy process once you know what to do.

Tools You Need

How To Resize Your Watch Strap

To start with, you’ll need to find the original spare links which should have come in your watch’s box when you bought it. Although you’ll only need the actual links if you’re making your watch strap larger, the spare pin(s) are going to help you to remove the pins which are currently installed in your strap if you don’t have a watch tool kit.

You Should Have Received Replacement Links With Your Watch

If you can’t find the original links or you don’t have a loose pin with them because the pins are also installed in the replacement links and are not easily removable then you’ll need to find a thin and strong piece of wire (a thin paperclip would work), small screw driver or blunt needle to push the pins out with.

You need an edge to place the strap over and tap the pin out of the bottom. Try use the edge of a strong box, a piece of soft wood or the spin of a book. It needs to be strong enough to support the watch strap while tapping but not too hard or rough that it scratches or scuffs your watch.

Position The Pin To Be Removed Over An Edge

Place the pin which you’re trying to remove over the edge and then line up one of the loose pins or your thin wire with the tip of the pin in the small hole on the side of the strap.

Align Pin With The Pin In The Strap

Most watches use solid round pins but there are a few which use split pins which have a bulging rounded end and the other end has two folded over half circles. With these type of pins, you cannot push the rounded end through the strap, you’ll need to tap on the split (two piece) side to push the pin back out the way it was pushed in. Likewise, when re-installing it, you’ll need to push the end with two piece in first.

Once you’ve got it lined up, gently tap the back of the loose pin with a hammer or solid object to push the pin out of the other side of the strap.

Tap The Pin So That It Protrudes Enough To Grap With Pliers

You don’t need to push it the entire way out or you’ll then struggle to get the loose pin out. Just tap it enough so that the end of the pin protrudes enough to grab it with your pliers and pull it out the rest of the way.

Now that you’ve got the pin part of the way out, grab it with your pliers and pull it the rest of the way out.

Use A Pliers To Pull The Pin From The Watch Strap

Your watch strap should now come apart at the links where where you’ve just removed the pin.

Strap Opened Up

You now need to decide how many links you need to add or remove. Remember that if you are going to be removing multiple links, always try to remove an even number from each side of the clasp so that the clasp stays on the opposite side of your wrist to the face of the watch. If you add or remove too many links from one side then you’ll land up with the clasp on the side of your wrist instead of on the bottom of your wrist. Obviously if you’re only adding or removing a single link then it doesn’t matter which side you remove it from.

To remove links, repeat the above process, tapping the pin of the adjacent link out such that the link comes completely free from the strap.

To add links, get your replacement links ready and follow the below process to re-seat the pins, adding the new links into the gap you’ve created in the previous steps.

To replace the pins. Align the two links on your strap.

Align The Two Links

Now gently feed the pin into the hole until it goes tight, this should only happen for the last third or so of the pin’s length. You may need to wiggle the links around a little to get the holes aligned properly for the pins to go through. You shouldn’t need to force the pin until the last portion, applying excessive force to the pin may result in damage to the pin or the strap.

Push The Pin Back Into The Link

Once the pin is most of the way through and has become tight, place the strap onto your edge again and gently tap the pin with your hammer until it is seated all the way into the hole. You can even tap it slightly further with one of the loose pin so that the end it not protruding from the strap.

Push The Pin Into The Strap As Far As Your Can

Pin Seated Back Into Strap

Repeat the above above for both sides of any links you’re adding and then you’re done. You’ve now managed to resize your own watch strap without having to take it in.

Let us know in the comments section below if you’ve tried resizing your own watch strap.

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How To Resize A Watch Strap, Make It Smaller Or Larger

Michael Klements
Michael Klements
Hi, my name is Michael and I started this blog in 2016 to share my DIY journey with you. I love tinkering with electronics, making, fixing, and building - I'm always looking for new projects and exciting DIY ideas. If you do too, grab a cup of coffee and settle in, I'm happy to have you here.


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