How to Remove & Replace Link Pins in a Stainless Watch Bracelet

Written by megan mattingly-arthur
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How to Remove & Replace Link Pins in a Stainless Watch Bracelet
Learn how to remove or replace the link pins that hold your stainless steel watch bracelet together (watch image by petar Ishmeriev from Fotolia.com)

When adjusting or repairing your stainless steel watch bracelet, you must remove the small metal link pins that hold the watch links together. Because these metal link pins are designed to be difficult to remove, most watch manufacturers recommend that you pay a fee to have the watch bracelet adjustment or repair performed by an experienced professional. But with a little practice, you can remove or replace metal link pins in your stainless steel watch bracelet at home relatively easily, for little to no cost.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Soft cloth
  • Watch pin removal tool
  • Needle-nose jewellery pliers
  • Rubber jewellery mallet

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Find a location in your home where you can adjust your stainless steel watch bracelet without interruption. Perform your bracelet adjustment on a clean, flat surface near a bright light source. Lay down a soft cloth on your chosen work surface to protect the face of your watch from being accidentally scuffed or scratched while you adjust the bracelet.

  2. 2

    Set your watch face down on the soft cloth so that you can examine the back of your stainless steel watch bracelet. Locate the removable links in your watch bracelet; they are indicated by small arrows etched into the back of the links. The metal link pins located between each of the removable links can be removed from your stainless steel watch bracelet.

  3. 3

    Use a watch pin removal tool to push the metal link pins that you want to remove in the direction indicated by the arrows on the back of the removable links. Gradually increase pressure on the watch pin removal tool until the pins dislodge. Pull stubborn link pins free with a pair of needle-nose jewellery pliers, if necessary.

  4. 4

    Replace removed metal link pins in your stainless steel watch bracelet. Stand your watch on its side and reinsert the link pins in the opposite direction of the direction that they were removed. Gently pound in the link pins using a small rubber jewellery mallet.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are unable to find a watch pin removal tool, a thumbtack can be used to remove link pins from your stainless steel watch bracelet.
  • Take care not to bend the metal link pins when removing or replacing them in your stainless steel watch bracelet.

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