How To Remove Watch Links

How do you remove links from a watch bracelet? There are actually two ways that watch companies use to hold bracelets together, pins and screws. If the watch bracelet has arrows on the back it has pins, if there are no arrows it has screws. The arrows show the direction in which the pins are removed. Remember one tip, if removing more than one link from a watch bracelet try and remove them evenly from both sides of the case. This helps keep the watch and clasp centered on the wrist. We will discuss each type separately.

Items needed to remove links.

  • Pin pushers
  • Watch makers or tack hammer
  • Watch bracelet holder
  • Watch makers screw drivers

The process to remove screwed links is:

  1. Determine how many screw drivers needed. Since some makers use one screw and some two piece screws you will need either one or two screw drivers. It is important to pick the perfect screw driver size as smaller or larger can wreck heads.
  2. Unscrew screws.  Use the screw driver(s) and unscrew the screw(s) from both sides of the link to be removed.
  3. Remove link.  Remove the link and put it aside, put the screw from one side back into the link to store it safely. You may want it later.
  4. Put bracelet back together. Use the second screw and reattach the two ends of the bracelet with it.
  5. Try on watch.  Now try on the watch to determine if it fits correctly now. It may need micro adjustment which is performed on the clasp so take this into your determination. If need be, repeat the process to remove additional links. Remember to try and remove them evenly to keep the watch balanced.

The process to remove pinned links is:

  1. Position bracelet in bracelet holder. Correctly position the bracelet in the holder, the arrows on the back of the link should be pointing downwards.
  2. Select tools. Choose a pin punch that most perfectly fits the end of the pin. Too small may damage the pin and too large may damage the hole.
  3. Remove pins.  Use the hammer and punch to tap the pins out of the holes on both sides of the link to be removed. Eventually it will loosen to the point you can slip it out. Put one of the pins into the removed link to store it safely and put the link aside for future needs.
  4. Reposition bracelet in holder. Flip the bracelet in the bracelet holder. The arrows should now be pointed upwards. This is the correct position to replace the pins.
  5. Pin bracelet together.  Position the two ends of the link together and push the pin down into the hole to pin them together. Use the hammer to tap it down into place gently.
  6. Try on watch.  Now try on the watch to determine if it fits correctly now. It may need micro adjustment which is performed on the clasp so take this into your determination. If need be, repeat the process to remove additional links. Remember to try and remove them evenly to keep the watch balanced.

 

 

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