How to replace a watch strap

2023-03-24 14:13:00

Instructions on how to replace a watch strap

In order to replace your new watch strap fast and without effort, we recommend that you take a look in the section Watch strap tools. With the spring bar tool that can be found there you will have the perfect tool for a smooth substitution of the watch strap. You don't need any special skills, but of course you are free to let a trusted watchmaker perform the task. The important thing is not to press too hard against the watch case with the spring bar tool during the process, in order to avoid scratches.

How To Change Watch Straps

In this video we show you in detail how to remove and install or replace a watch strap. We recommend to use a spring bar tool. If you like this tutorial video, we would be very happy about a positive thumb.

Description of the spring bar tool

Our spring bar tool has two end pieces screwed together, a fork and a pin pusher. Both can be replaced by unscrewing them. You can find replacement forks and pins for spring bar tools in our shop as well. Our accessories will accompany you for a long time and serve you well. The middle section in aluminum has an internal female thread in on each side for the above mentioned end pieces.

Unser Federstegbesteck
Spring bar tool replacements

Description of the spring bar

Watch straps are mostly held in place by a spring bar, which consists of a small spring-loaded pin. Both its ends are closed by a tip that can be pressed inwards. The spring ensures that both tips maintain their maximum extension. The reversing of the spring bar's tip inwards prevents the end pieces to slip out of the lug pinholes.

Our spring bar

Installing a watch strap

If you fit a watch strap held in place a spring bar, you must introduce one tip into a lug pinhole and at the same time press the other tip inwards inside the spring bar, while sliding the latter between the lugs. The spring inside ensures that the bar does not go off after the watch strap has been fitted.

We recommend that you order suitable spring bars every time you replace your watch strap, since the spring inside them gets worn out over the years which can cause the strap to accidentally separate itself from the watch. You can find spring bars and spring bar tools in the Accessories section.

Choosing the width of the spring bar

Please always select the same size you have chosen for the strap attachment while shopping for spring bars. The actual size of the spring bars is always a little bigger than the selected size. For instance, if you have a 20 mm strap attachment you will also need 20 mm long spring bars: these are actually 23 mm long, but you can press each tip about 1,5 mm deep into the bar. This additionally increases the pressure on the inside spring after the fitting.

Choosing the width of the strap
Choosing the width of the buckle

Changing the watch strap

If you remove your old strap in need of changing, we also recommend that you buy a spring bar tool. You must carefully slide the spring bar's fork between the bracelet and the watch case on the spring bar. Our spring bars are double shouldered and the fork can grab between both pivots. Now you only need to apply pressure in the middle of the strap in order to free the spring bar.

Changing the watch strap
Changing the watch strap

Replacing the watch strap of models with fixed bars

There are also watches, especially older models, whose spring bars are fixed to the watch case. In such a case you need a „watch strap for fixed bars“. Most of our watch straps for fixed bars have a clip at each end, which you can wrap around your fixed spring bar.
We also have two kinds of straps with open ends: some with glued ends and some with metal tabs at the ends (for example our military watch strap with pad).

How to replace the buckle

To replace the buckle you must follow the same procedure for replacing the watch strap. In fact, in most cases the buckle is held in place by a spring bar, just like the strap is fastened to the watch by a spring bar. You must put the forked end of the tool between the bracelet and the buckle in order to apply a light pressure on the spring bar towards the middle of the bracelet. If you don't use double-shouldered spring bars you should check if there are holes in the side of the buckle. We always deliver our replacement buckles with a new double-shouldered spring bar.
When you choose a new buckle please don't forget to take the width of the strap at the buckle's end into account.

Replace the buckle
Replace the buckle
Lug width (spring bars' width at the watch) - 22 mm
Buckle's width (spring bars' width at the buckle) - 20 mm

In this example you would need to buy 20 mm large replacement buckles. Besides, you have to ascertain that the thickness of the watch strap at its end corresponds to the specifications of the buckle. Otherwise the strap may be too thick and therefore not slide through the buckle.
Replace a watch strap
Replace a watch strap

© Watchstrap Berlin 2023 / Autor: Dirk Nentwig

Watch Strap Instructions