How to replace a watch strap

Either your current watch strap is broken or you just want to change the look of your watch, learn how to replace your watch strap here. It is not difficult to change watch strap on your watch, if you do it correctly and do it gently so you don’t scratch your precious watch. This instruction is for watches without drilled lugs.

What you will need:

  • Microfiber towel
  • Spring bar tool
  • New spring bars if your old ones are broken.
  • Gloves if you want to look professional

First start with the most important, what you can do to make sure you don’t scratch your watch. Lay your watch on a microfiber towel when you change your watchstrap, if you care about style and want to look professional also use some white gloves made with cotton or nitrile.

When you have made your workstation ready with a microfiber cloth underneath your watch, have 12 o clock pointing upwards and the turn it around. That way you don’t have to turn it around and check which way its laying when you are working on it. The buckle side of the strap (the short side) mounts on 12 o clock.

Now you need a spring bar tool. The spring bar tool has a small fork (also called pin) used for drilled lugs, in this process we are going to use the large fork side.

When you put the fork in between the strap and the watchcase, you should lean the fork on the strap so you don’t scratch your watch. It is at this point it is easiest to scratch it so be very careful.  

when you remove the strap take out the spring bar and inspect it. If its bent or there isn’t any resistance when you push in the bars you have to replace it. Spring bars aren’t expensive and they are generally not appreciated as much as the should be. They are the only thing keeping your watch safely attached to your strap and wrist, so take the inspection seriously.

On a lot of watches the watch strap the previous owner used was to small, especially on vintage watches where the lug width often was 19mm some brand still use this lug width. If that’s the case you can use the pin side/ small fork to remove the watch strap. If you do this to remove the spring bar there is a bigger chance to scratch the watch because you don’t have the same control as when you use the large fork side. Therefore consider if you want to proceed witch caution or have a jeweler remove the strap for you.

Recent Posts