A few weeks ago, we spoke about which watches straps were ideal for handling the summer heat. We’re back with another guide to teach you how to change your watch strap yourself.
What You Need:
A watch tool with a forked end – This allows you to get ahold of the watch’s spring bars.
A watch tool with a pin end – The same exact tool we reference when we taught you how to alter your metal bracelet. This really only comes in handy for removing a bracelet.
A few extra spring bars – Without a lot of practice (and sometimes with all the practice in the world), you’ll find your spring bars shooting up and out. They are spring-loaded, after all. While this is entirely optional, having a few extras might save you some time on your hands and knees hunched over looking for them on the floor.
A soft, scratch-free surface to work on – could be a microfiber towel, a regular towel, a piece of paper, or whatever you’d like. The point is to work on a surface that won’t scratch the crystal or case of your watch when you work on it.
Removing a Leather, Rubber etc. Strap:
1. Lay your watch down on the surface you chose, dial faced down. You should be looking at the case back of your watch and the backside of your strap.
2. Pick one side of the strap (top or bottom) to start with. The goal is to take your forked watch tool to engage the spring in the spring bar in order to remove it.
3. You may need to push the strap down in order to reveal the spring bars. Alternatively, you may be able to place your forked tool between the strap and the lug in order to engage the spring bar. You’ll notice that the spring bar on this watch is double-notched. While most Orient watches are double-notched, not all watches out there are like this.
4. Place your forked tool between the notches and push in the opposite direction of the lug (depress it). This should engage the spring and allow it to be removed.
5. With one end already out, the other end should be easy to remove by wiggling the strap out. If needed, repeat the process for the opposite lug. Then repeat the entire process for the other part of the strap.
Installing a Leather, Rubber etc. Strap
To replace the strap with a different one, you’d essentially do the opposite.
1. Place one end of the spring bar into one of the lug holes.
2. Use the fork tool to depress the spring on the opposite end, which should allow you to comfortably place the spring bar into the opposite lug hole. Repeat for the other piece of the strap.
Removing a Metal Bracelet
For most, removing a metal bracelet is tough since they’re engineered to be a tight fit. However, with practice it becomes easier and the chances that you scratch your lugs will lessen.
1. We find that it’s easier to split the bracelet in two before doing this. With your pin tool, take out the pin from the micro-adjuster. All you need to do is depress the spring bar and remove it.
2. Now that the bracelet has been split, lay it faced down.
3. Choose one side to work on first. You’ll see the spring bars exposed on each side. The goal is to take your forked watch tool to engage the spring in the spring bar in order to remove it.
4. Use your forked tool to depress one end of the spring bar, and attempt to pull it out of the lug hole. This may take a little while. Sometimes, you might be able to fully remove one end of the spring bar from the hole. At this point, the spring bar tip is resting on top of the lug. If you don’t mind your lugs getting scratched, you can leave it as it is.
5. Do the same on the other end. When doing so, it is important to not let the other end (the end that you already removed from the hole) to pop back into the lug hole.
6. When both ends are out of the lug holes, you should be able to remove the full end link and bracelet from the case.
7. Repeat this on the other end.