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How to Shorten Link Style Watch Straps

Updated April 17, 2017

Link style watchbands are the most popular metal watchbands. The most common type of link has pins that are pushed in and hold the links together. You need to remove a link if you want to shorten the watchband. Re-sizing a watchband is a simple process that does not require any experience working with watches.

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  1. Set your watch on a cloth to prevent scratches while you are resizing the band.

  2. Turn the watch on its side so the links are vertical. If you look on the inside of the links closest to the clasp, you will see an arrow which points in the direction that the pins must be pushed out. If you look on the edge of the link closest to the base of the arrow, you will see a tiny circle where the pin is inserted. Only the three or four links on each side of the clasp have removable pins.

  3. Place a pointed tool on the tiny circle mentioned in Step 2. You can choose to remove any link on either side of the clasp. Push down on the pin in the direction the arrow is pointing. You may need to use force. Once the pin is coming out the bottom, you can use a pair of tweezers or your fingertips to completely remove the pin. You can use a pointed tool from a hobby or jeweller's kit or a watch pin removal tool. Repeat this step on the pin next to the one you just removed. You need to remove two pins total.

  4. Remove the loose link from the watchband. You will have one extra pin and one extra link. Keep them in a safe place in case you need them in the future.

  5. Slide the two loose links together so their pin holes align. Insert the pin into the empty pin hole to reattach the watchband. Insert the pin in the opposite direction of the arrow. Slide the small end of the pin in first. You will damage the link and the pin if you put the larger pin head in the link first. Use your tool and fingertips to push the pin completely in the link.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pointed tool
  • Cloth

About the Author

Vanessa Padgalskas

Vanessa Padgalskas was born and raised in Spokane, Wash., and currently resides in Portland, Ore. Padgalskas graduated from American University in 2007 with degrees in international studies and economics. She holds a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School.

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