How to Take Links Out of a Watch Without Tools


So, you want to take links out of a watch without tools? Not a problem. There are easy ways to do this. These techniques are easily done with things you already have in your home. But if you want to know how to use the official tools to do this, here is how to remove watch band links using tools you can buy from the store or online.

Know that this does not apply to all types of watches. Sports watches and running watches are some of the ones you can’t adjust the same way because they use a different type of watch band.

In any case, it makes a lot of sense to just take links out of a watch without tools on your own rather than taking it to a repair shop which could cost you money. The steps are simple and all you would need is a little bit of patience.

Types of Watch Links

Is there more than one type of watch links? You probably already know that there are different types of straps or bracelets, like leather or casual straps. But when it comes to different watch links, there are a few classifications as well.

  • Material

    Watch links are made with different types of materials. This is important to know when you’re learning how to take links out of a watch without tools.

    There is stainless steel, gold, titanium, and sometimes wood. A lot of people prefer watch links or bracelets rather than leather because they can be very classy and are quite durable, too.

  • Oyster

    This was first used in Rolex watches back in the 1930’s. It’s a classic and looks very stylish. It’s also the most popular type of link strap. This type of link has long and thick 3-piece link design. Its wide center bar makes the links strong and less prone to stretching. The Oyster bracelet is quite durable. It is usually stiffer than others and can also be made out of wood.

  • President

    The width of the links in this bracelet is a lot similar to the oyster but there is a drastic difference in the number of individual links. It’s denser than the oyster and each link is shorter. Because of this, it’s not as stiff but is not as durable as well.

  • Jubilee

    This band has 3 narrow links between thick side links that are usually matte-finished. Designers often make them two-toned so that they look very formal and can be considered as dress watches. It’s used in large and small watches. However, it’s more prone to stretching.

  • Engineer

    Lastly, there is the engineer which is a chunky band that comprises 5 large links. They are sometimes angular and tend to be heavy and thick. But it’s quite durable. It has a bulky appearance so people with smaller wrists may not choose to wear it.

Those are the types of watch links that you need to know when learning how to take links out of a watch without tools.

How to Take Links Out of a Watch Without Tools?

So how do you take links out of a watch without tools? No matter what type of link your watch has, these steps are proven to be effective.

  • What You’ll Need

    As mentioned, you don’t need any official watch repair tools. Instead, you can use the ones you already have at home.

    A pin – this can be thumbtack or anything small enough to fit through the link hole. You can even use the ends of an LED light bulb or anything at all that is small enough but strong enough to be able to push the link.

    A hammer – or anything that is strong enough to push the pin into the link. It can even be a metal nail cutter.

    Pliers – optional or anything to pull out the pin on the link

  • Locate the Adjustment

    First, determine which part you want to remove the links. This is up to you but, do not make it too uneven so that the watch doesn’t look awkward when you wear it again. If you just need a small adjustment, it’s okay to just remove links from one side.

  • Locate Where the Pin Goes Out

    Next, you need to inspect your watch links and find out where the pin should go out. In some watches, there may even be an arrow indicating that the link should be pushed out on that side. If it doesn’t have that indication, simply look for the side that has a line through the end of the pin that is more noticeable.

  • Pound the Pin

    Once you’ve located that, pound the pin on the side opposite the one with the arrow or the line to take links out of a watch without tools. Line your push pin along with the pinhole. Make sure that you are doing this on a flat surface that is a bit soft so that the pin can go out the other side.

    Tap or pound the pin with your hammer or whatever you are using as a hammer to take links out of a watch without tools. Be careful not to hit your fingers.

  • Take Out the Link

    Once the small pin inside the link is sticking out, you can pull it off. In most cases, you can just pull this out with your hand, though with a bit of effort. Other times, you may want to use pliers or you can use tweezers or anything small that can hold the pin firmly and pull it out to take links out of a watch without tools.

  • Put the Links Back

    Once you’ve removed the necessary number of links, you can connect the remaining links back. Simply push a pin inside between the two links. This time, you must insert it the opposite side that you pushed it out. You can use your hammer again to push or your pliers to squeeze it in.

You can now enjoy your newly adjusted watch after you take links out of a watch without tools.