Changing a watch strap or buckle can generally be completed at home without any problems. For these simple tasks you will not need to go to a Watchmaker.
The use of a so-called spring-bar tool is highly recommended. You can find a range of spring-bar tools in our 'Watch Tools' category under "TOOLS & PARTS". To change the odd watch strap a simple spring-bar tool is perfectly fine. If you regularly change watch straps you should consider purchasing a more expensive tool with exchangeable ends.
You should also consider that the process will need to be carefully carried out so as not to damage or scratch the watch or watch strap!
1. Removing/Exchanging a Watch Strap
For Watch Straps with Spring Bars (See Pictures above): Nowadays watch straps are attached to wrist watches with spring bars/spring pins. Spring bars/pins are small metal bars with ends that are sprung.
The first job to do is to take the spring-bar tool, and using the forked end, find the end of the spring bar between the strap and the lug (horn) of the watch. You should now be able to push the end of the bar inwards to remove it from the hole in the lug end. You should now be able to pull the strap away form the watch. Repeat this process for both sides of the watch strap.
If your spring bars are still in good condition they can be reused for your new watch strap. If you would prefer new ones, they can be found in our shop in the 'Spring- and T-Bars' category under "TOOLS & PARTS".
Next, thread the spring bars through the ends of your new watch strap. Ensuring the watch strap is the correct way around, and that the piece with the buckle is attached to the 12 O'clock' position, slot one end of the spring bar into the small holes on the inside of the lug. Using the forked end of the watch strap, press the other end of the spring bar inwards, before releasing it into the small hole on the other lug. To finish, you should check that the spring bars are properly in the holes and that the strap is securely fastened to the watch so that it won't fall of unexpectedly.
For Watch Straps with Screwed Attachments: Some watch straps are attached to watches with screws instead of spring bars. For the most part this is with visible screws on the sides of the watch lugs. For these types of attachments, simple unscrew the screw with a small screwdriver, remove the watch strap, thread the screw through your new strap and secure the screw back in place.
For Watch Straps with Screwed Attachments (e.g suitable for Skagen and similar): In this case the screws are visible from the underside of the watch. For these types of attachments, simple unscrew the screws with a small screwdriver, remove the watch strap, thread the screw through your new strap and secure the screw back in place. Please note that in the case of leather straps, there may not be holes in the watch strap to thread the screws through, the watch strap will simply be clamped down by the screws.
For Watch Straps with Fixed Bars: Older wrist watches often have fixed bars, that don't come away from the watch as spring bars do. For these watches we have special watch straps with either clip-, stick-, or split pin straps ends to go around the fixed bar. They can be found in out shop in the 'Open End Watch Bands' category under "SPECIAL BANDS".
2.Exchanging a Buckle on a Watch Strap
For Buckles with Spring Bars (See Pictures above): Buckles and most clasps are fixed to a watch strap (leather and synthetic) with a standard spring bar attachment and therefore can be exchanged. In the same way, a defect buckle can be replaced for a new one, or an original branded buckle could be used on a new watch strap. For this last case, you will need to make sure you buy a watch strap with the correct lug width and buckle size.
In order to release the buckle from your watch strap, take a spring-bar tool and using the forked end, place it between the buckle and the strap on one side and push the sprung end towards the centre. The spring bar, strap and middle part of the buckle will now be separated from the rest of the buckle.
Thread the spring bar through the end of the new strap, remembering the middle piece of the buckle! Place one end of the spring bar into one of the holes on the inside of the buckle, ensuring that the buckle is the right way round, and using the forked end of the spring bar tool, press the other end into the other hole in the buckle. Once again, give the buckle a good tug to check it's firmly secured in place and won't fall off unexpectedly later.
For Buckles with Side Holes: If you can see holes on the side of your buckle, you can also use the pointed end of your spring-bar tool to remove the spring bar by pushing through the hole from the outside. The spring bar should then release from the buckle and the strap will come away. In order to replace the buckle on your new strap, please see the technique in the point above.
For Buckles with Screwed Attachments: Some watch straps will have buckles attached to them with screws. This is obvious from the screw ends visible on the sides of the buckle. In order to remove it, use a small screwdriver. This will release the buckle. You will then need to change the strap and screw the bar in again.
For Wide Buckles: Buckles with wide centre pieces are only suitable for new watch straps when the new watch strap has the same wide holes as the original watch strap!.
Shop Tip On WATCHBANDCENTER.COM you will find a great choice of tools, buckles and clasps in various colours and designs to help give your new watch strap the perfect look you're looking for, all at a great price and with minimum effort. Customise your watch strap yourself and save! Our selection of buckles and clasps can be found in the 'Buckles & Clasps' category under "TOOLS & PARTS".
**All prices shown include value added tax (VAT) and exclude shipping costs and possible payment type dependent charges. The shipping cost is dependent on the selected delivery country and the sum total of the products purchased. More information regarding the shipping costs and payment type charges can be found on the information pages "Shipping Costs" or "Delivery Info".
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