How To Remove Watch Band Links
Need to know how to remove watch band links? How do you remove links from a watch band, or bracelet as it is often called? Generally, there are two methods used to hold watch bands together. The first method uses split pins, and the second method uses screwed links. Since the vast majority of watch bands use the split pin method, this is what we will discuss here. The process of removing them is not overly hard, but it does take a bit of specialized equipment and knowledge. You can tell if your watch band has split pins by looking at the back of the bracelet. If there are little arrows on the back of some of the links pointing to one side or the other, it has pins.
To remove split pins from a watch band, you will need:
- Pin pushers
- A watch maker's hammer or tack hammer
- A watch band holder
- Correctly position the watch band in the bracelet holder by looking on the back of the band for the arrows. The arrows are pointing in the direction in which the pin is removed. Place the watch band in the bracelet holder with the arrow pointing down into the holder.
- Select the correct pin pusher for the pin. You want the one closest in size to the pin, without being larger than the pin. Since the idea is for the pusher to push out the pin, it cannot be larger as it needs to follow the pin into the hole a bit.
- Remove the pin. Use the pin pusher and hammer to tap out the pin from the first side of the link. Eventually it should loosen to the point where it can be removed with your fingers. Use the pin pusher and hammer to remove the second pin from the link.
- Remove the now freed link from the bracelet. Put one of the pins in the link to store it safely. Put the link aside in a safe place. You never know if you will need it in the future. Weight gain, passing the watch on to someone else and even the difference between summer and winter can make you want to put that link back in your watch band.
- Flip the watch band in the bracelet holder. You will now want the arrows on the links pointing upwards. This is the correct placement for putting the pins back into the links.
- Connect the ends. Line up the two links and their holes. Slip the remaining pin into the holes and push it down as far as possible. Take the hammer and gently tap it down into place until it is flush.
You have now removed a link from your watch. Try it on and see if it needs another link removed. Remember that there are micro adjustments on most watch bracelets. You may need to loosen up these adjustments, or take them in a bit before determining if you need to remove more links.