How to Adjust a Watch Strap

When a watch is given as a present or bought via the internet, there is a good chance you might make a mistake with the size of its strap. A strap made of leather or rubber can be easily shortened or extended by adding another hole. But things are totally different and more complicated with metal straps. Fortunately, in some cases, it’s possible to deal with this task by yourself.

5-Minute Crafts explains how to shorten a metal watch strap at home.

How to find a comfortable length for the strap

In most cases, the length of the strap has a standard size chart. In order to find out your size, put the watch on — your finger should be able to pass through the gap between the strap and your wrist. If the size of the strap is bigger than you need, it’s better to shorten it. As a rule, you can do it yourself by removing extra elements.

Necessary tools

  • A pin knockout or other tool for removing pins, like a screwdriver, a paper clip, or an awl. It’s important that the diameter of the tool end is less than the width of the retainer groove on the bracelet.
  • Pliers or tweezers.
  • A watch or other type of a small hammer.
  • A holder for fixing the bracelet (also known as a jewelry block).

How to shorten the length of a metal wristwatch strap

Step #1. Secure the strap in the holder for fixing the bracelet, having preliminarily unfastened the watch. The holder has round holes one of which should be located under the groove in the bracelet from where you are going to remove a locking element by pressing on it. If you wish, the watch dial can be wrapped in a paper napkin so as not to accidentally damage it during the process.

Step #2. Remove extra links. For that, examine the bracelet and find the links that have arrows on them — the arrows show the direction in which the locking elements should be removed. Thus, the strap in the holder should lie with the arrows looking down.

Press the locking element with a pointy tool, you can slightly knock on it with a hammer. If everything is done correctly, the opposite side of the locking element will come out of the bracelet. Remove the bracelet from the holder, grab the end of the locking element with tweezers or pliers and then pull to remove it completely. Repeat the same from the other side of the link. Remove the link. If necessary remove the other links in the same way.

❗ If there are no arrows on the links, it’s recommended to not remove them at home.

Tip: In order for the watch case to be located symmetrically and to not cause discomfort when wearing, it is better to remove one link from each part of the bracelet. Work carefully — some bracelets can have tiny metal tips in the center of fixing segments that will fall out when the locking elements are removed.

Step #3. Once you get the necessary length of the bracelet, join the links on different ends of the strap. For that, place the strap on the fixing holder so that the arrows on the links are directed upward. Insert a locking element into the link’s groove, press with a pointy object, knock on it with a hammer if necessary. The link is now adjusted. Make sure to keep the other locking elements.

Tip: Additional links often go in one set with the watch in order to be able to extend it. In this case, the algorithm is the same — you first need to secure the bracelet on the holder, then take the locking element out to separate the strap, and then add the necessary amount of links and secure them with the help of the locking elements.

How to adjust the length of the Petite Melrose watch strap

In order to change the length of this kind of bracelet, it’s necessary to move the buckle. It can be done in a pretty simple way:

Step #1. Take off your watch and unfasten the bracelet. Place it on the table with the dial facing up. There is a small hole in the center of the fastener — place a sharp, thin object there and lift the latch.

Step #2. Then turn the bracelet around and move the latch, along with the bracelet, so that the strap of the watch fits your arm comfortably when fastened.

Step #3. Carefully fasten the latch. It’s ready!

An important note: If you face difficulty at any of the stages, we recommend that you go to a professional for help.

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