Metal watch bands are unlike other materials such as leather and nylon. They must fit perfectly around the wrist without additional adjustments. With nylon and leather straps, you can easily adjust them anytime by pushing, pulling and securing them with buckles. With metal watch bands, it is a different process. You can only secure them with clasps.
Achieving your desired measurements for metal watch bands is tricky, honestly speaking. You have to know how to remove watch band links. That’s why most people seek the service of pros or experts just to have their watch bands adjusted. Don’t worry because we are going to give you a comprehensive guide to removing links from a watch band.
Of course, we have to measure the metal watch band first. This initial process ensures that you will be able to know the quantity of links you have to remove.
Wear the watch.
The best way to measure the metal watch band is by wearing it around your wrist. Just make sure to be sitting near a table so your arm will have support during measurement. You can place a soft cloth or small pillow on the table to cushion your wrist and the watch face. While wearing the watch, turn your wrist to show the clasp.
Hold and count the links.
Hold the links with your thumb and forefinger until you achieve your desired fit. Count the excess links. If you cannot decide how many links should be removed, subtract one from your total count. It is better to have it loose after removing some links than realizing that you removed more than you should. Why? It is easier to remove links than adding them.
Settle with an even number.
The basic even numbers are 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8. Digits ending with these numbers can be equally divided into two. The clasp holds two sides of the metal watch band. It will be easier to remove links equally from both sides. It is important to keep the clasp at the center.
After deciding how many links should be removed from your metal watch band, it is time to prepare your tools and work area.
You need a slim tool with a pointy edge. So, it is best to use a pin pusher or a spring bar tool. Then, add into the mix a pair of long-nosed pliers, a screwdriver and a small tray for tiny watch band parts.
We already mentioned that you need a table to work on. An additional tip regarding the work area is to ensure that it is free from other objects. Or, at least reserve a space big enough for your task. If there is clutter on the table, you might lose some tiny watch parts. We also recommend putting a big rug, carpet or any plain cover under the table and your chair for you to easily find tiny pieces in case they go missing.
How to Remove Watch Band Links
Finally, we proceed to the techniques on how to remove watch band links. In this section, we need to have categories because metal watch bands have a lot of types based on design, construction, and pieces. Find out how to remove links from watch bands that have flat or round pins, screwed pins, stretchy parts and snap links.
Flat or Round Pins
First, you need to separate the parts of the bracelet before removing links. Remove the clasp’s spring bar. The correct spring bar is usually found on the left side if the clasp is in your left hand. Push the pin pusher or spring bar tool to lift the spring bar and take it off the clasp. When clumsiness takes place, the spring bar can jump out of your sight and fly across the room. Be careful because there is only spring bar for the clasp.
It is time to remove some links. Focusing on one link, push its pin that secures it to the metal watch band using the spring bar tool or pin pusher. Push the pin until it shows up on the opposite side for at least 2 millimeters. Pull it out with pliers. Lastly, place it on the parts tray. Every link has two pins. Just follow the same process on the second one.
For special cases, there are some metal watch bands that have small ferrules made of metal found in the middle of two connected links. They are suddenly released whenever you remove a pin. That’s why always be careful in removing pins because a tiny ferrule may fall out anytime.
As expected with screwed pins, you really need to use a one-millimeter screwdriver for removal. Removing one screwed pin only needs a small amount of pressure and a counterclockwise motion of the screwdriver. Before the loose pin falls, use pliers or tweezers to take it out. Place it on the parts tray. Links with screwed pins are easier to remove than flat or round ones because once the pin is unscrewed and removed, the link can be separated immediately from the metal watch band.
Measuring a stretch band is slightly different than other types. After fitting the watch, what you need to count are overlapping links. Instead of subtracting, you need to add one to your total count. The good thing about this type is that it is even easier to remove than metal watch bands with screwed pins.
You do not need any tools for this. You just have to unfold the flaps located at the top and the bottom of the link section you want to remove. Then, like magic, slide the section sideways. The links in this separated section are connected with staples. The good thing about staples is that they are can be easily removed once you unfold the flaps.
Now, let’s go back to using a pin pusher. After removing the pin, hold the metal watch band firmly. One hand must be on the link with a removed pin. On the link’s side which is nearest to the case, use a slight pressure upward. While doing this, you should also apply the same amount of pressure on the side closest to the clasp. But, the pressure’s direction must be downward. Sustain the pressure on both sides until the mechanism is completely released.
After releasing the mechanism, you can now conveniently disassemble the links. Just move the band’s clasp side to the case’s direction. After disengaging the links, you can now remove them by pulling them apart. Maintain the gentle pressure.
Learning how to remove watch band links is just the first part of the complete adjustment process. Assembly for some watch bands can be too complex but usually, reassembly just needs the reverse process of removal.
Since there are other types of watch bands, check out our tips on how to change a watch strap to match with your new style. And if you don’t have any tools, don’t worry, check out our guide on how to take links out of a watch without tools!