How to Remove Links From a Watch Strap

Updated February 21, 2017

Watches create a combination of practicality and decoration that is seldom found in jewellery. A well-made watch can stay with you for many years of use with very simple maintenance. Whether your own watch needs adjusting or you received one that doesn't fit right, you can easily correct a watch's strap to achieve a perfect length. Removing watch links helps you shorten an overly long strap without affecting the durability of the watch's structure. Retain removed links so you have them if you ever need to lengthen the strap in the future.

Hold the watch up so the watch face is facing toward the sides rather than up or down.

Insert the tip of an eyeleteer into the pinhole connecting the link to be removed to the rest of the strap. The pinholes are the tiny holes on the edges of the strap.

Push the eyeleteer until the pin starts to come out of the other side of the strap. If the pin is stiff, gently tap the top of the eyeleteer with a hammer.

Grasp the extended end of the pin out with pliers until the pin is removed from the strap.

Remove the pin on the other side of the unwanted link in the same way as the other.


You can remove more than one link at a time without removing each individual pin.


Be careful not to use too much force with the hammer, as you may slip and damage your watch.

Things You'll Need

  • Eyeleteer
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
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About the Author

Based in New York, Mary Gonzales has been writing computer- and technology-related articles since 1995. Her work has appeared in “Tech Trends” and “Mac Tips” magazines. Gonzales received the Lilly M. Fuchs Literary Award in 1999. She holds a Bachelor of Science in computer programming from New York University.