How to Change a Watch Strap

Most watch straps are held on by either a tension pin or a screw; in either case, all you’ll need to do to change a strap is remove the locking mechanism to release the old strap and reinstall the pin or screw with the new strap. Strictly speaking, the term “watch strap” refers only to leather, rubber or cloth bands. Many metal watch bracelets, however, are held on by screws and can be changed using the steps below.

Select a screwdriver smaller than the pin head.

Press a corner of the screwdriver tip against the head of the pin. This releases the spring load and the pin will pop out.

Remove the old watch band.

Slide the pin through the loop at the end of your new watch band until the pin heads are just visible on either end of the strap.

Insert one pin head back into its notch on the watch case.

Use the tip of the screwdriver to hold down the other pin head and slip it into place against its notch on the watch case.

Pull up on the screwdriver. The pin head will extend and catch in the notch, securing your new watch band.

Repeat these steps for the other side of the watch.

Select the correct size of screwdriver from your kit. The screwdriver head should fit within the groove on top of the screw; it must not hang over the screw or you risk damaging your watch case.

Position the screwdriver head in the groove.

Turn the screwdriver counterclockwise until the screw loosens.

Remove the screw.

Place the new watch band in position between the screw housings.

Re-insert the screw into the hole.

Use the screwdriver to tighten screw until it can’t be turned any further.

Repeat these steps for the other side of the watch.


If you plan to swap your watch bands frequently, it’s a good idea to invest in a watch screwdriver kit; these are sold in most hardware stores and include several small sizes of screwdrivers.


Be careful when removing a watch pin—they can pop out quickly and bounce or roll onto the floor. Work over a tile or linoleum floor where the pin would be easy to find if it fell.

Things You'll Need

  • Watch screwdriver kit
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About the Author

Jenni Wiltz's fiction has been published in "The Portland Review," "Sacramento News & Review" and "The Copperfield Review." She has a bachelor's degree in English and history from the University of California, Davis and is working on a master's degree in English at Sacramento State. She has worked as a grant coordinator, senior editor and advertising copywriter and has been a professional writer since 2003.