How to Replace a Watch Strap on Your Watch
Tips on Changing your Watch's Strap

How do I replace a watch strap on my watch?

Replacing a watch strap on most watch types

Nearly all watch straps are held to the watch with spring loaded bars called, funnily enough, spring bars.

These are the bars that spring into tiny holes in the watch case securing the strap to the watch's body.

To remove the old watch strap you will need to compress one end of the spring bar so that it can be freed from the hole in the watch case in which it usually sits.

You can buy a special spring bar removal tool to do this (available, of course, from us at a very competitive price) which has a special shaped forked end, or you can improvise by using a small screw driver, to compress the bar enough to free it from the watch case.

Once one end of the spring bar is free, the other should just come out too, freeing the watch strap.

Before you completely remove both parts of the watch strap, make a note of which of the two pieces of watch strap goes on which side of the watch. Usually, with the watch upright in front of you, the part of the watch strap with the buckle goes at the top.

Repeat the same procedure for the second part of the watch strap which will also be held with a spring bar.

It may be a good idea to clean the gunge you are likely to find around the watch at this point, prior to fitting the new watch strap.

You now have your watch strap removed ready for the replacement watch strap to be fitted.

Fitting the new watch strap is merely a reverse of the procedure above and is in fact easier than removing the watch strap. Making sure the correct part of the watch strap is going on the right end of the watch (and is the right way up!), locate one end of the spring bar into one of the small holes in the watch case. Then, using a finger nail, a small jeweller's screw driver (or one of our reasonably priced spring bar tools), compress the other end of the spring bar and slide it between the shoulders of the watch and move it until it locates in the other hole in the watch case.

Repeat this with the other part of the watch strap.

Replacing a Swatch watch strap on Swatch watches

If, having read the above procedure, you are looking perplexed, then it is probably because you have a Swatch watch which needs a replacement Swatch watch strap. Swatch watches do not use spring bars and their notched Swatch watch straps are held in place with a metal pin. In most cases this pin can be carefully driven out from one side to free the Swatch watch strap so that it can be replaced (with one of our reasonably priced quality replacement Swatch type watch straps of course).

Be very careful if your Swatch watch is plastic and old. Sometimes the plastic becomes very brittle and while driving out the metal pin it is possible to snap the watch case.

Use a drift (a small metal pin or nail will do, or if you have one of our reasonably priced spring bar tools, there is a drift on the other end of this tool) which is smaller than the pin you are removing and ensure the other side of the watch is supported as you drive it out.

We clearly don't recommend the use of large hammers from a lorry mechanic's tool kit to carry this out, but the pin may need some gentle persuasion. A gentle tap with a small pair of pliers on the drift may be enough to get the end protruding so that enough of the pin can be seen to remove it with a pair of pliers.

You could also remove the pin using a watch bracelet removal tool which allows the pin to be gradually pushed out just enough to get a pair of pliers on the other side.

To fit the new Swatch watch strap just follow the reversal of the removal procedure.