How To Replace Citizen Watch Bands

To replace the watch band on a Citizen watch, one needs to know how it is attached. In most cases it is a spring-loaded pin called a spring bar. In other cases it is a screw. We will concern ourselves here with spring bars because they are by far the most common on Citizen watches.

Items needed:

  • Spring bar tool – this is a tool with a pointed end and a small flat end with a V notch on the edge. These tools are easy to find through many online sources and auction sites. Using a knife is almost a sure way to get cut and is not recommended.
  • Painters tape  – This is used to protect the surfaces of the watch from being scratched should you accidently slip with the spring bar tool.

 Steps to replace a Citizen watch band:

  1. The first step is to buy the correct band. Bands come in metric sizes normally. You will see them listed on packages as 18MM, 20MM, 22MM, etc. Measure the existing one where it attaches to the watch lugs with a metric ruler or take the watch in and match up sizes.
  2. Cover the exposed steel or plastic parts of the watch with the tape. This is to help insure the watch does not get marred if you slip. It is best to lay the watch on a soft surface face down and work from the side or back of the case.
  3. Use the spring bar tool to remove the strap from the watch lugs. If there are holes in the sides of the lugs use the pointed end of the tool to compress the pin and remove the band. Some of the more expensive watches will put holes in the lugs to allow for easier removal of the pins. If there are no holes you will take the flat edge of the tool and slip it sideways between the band and lug. You will see a lip where the pin compresses and the tiny end which fits into the hole. The idea is to catch the edge or end of the pin and push it down towards the other lug until it compresses and you can slip the pin out of the hole.  BE CAREFUL HERE, these pins are spring-loaded and small. If you let them fly out of a loose fitting hole they can easily disappear across the room. They hide quite easily in shag carpet and food. The one good thing is they are usually shiny and can sometimes be found with a flashlight if they do get away.
  4. Clean inside of the lugs. Once you have removed both ends of the band it is time to clean the case inside of the lugs where you seldom get to clean well. A small swab works well here.
  5. Put on the new strap. Take the replacement  band or bracelet and work one end at a time so as not to lose a pin. Slip the pin through the retaining part of the band and place one end of the pin into the hole on the inside of one lug. Now STOP and make sure you have the band on correctly. Make sure it is not upside down, or inside out, or some other way you do not wish it to end up. Next take the tool, or if there is room occasionally your thumbnail can work well, and compress the pin until you can slip the free end inside of the lugs. Now SLOWLY work the band into position until the pin pops into the hole. Make sure both pin ends are firmly in place before moving on to the other side of the band.  At some point in this procedure everyone occasionally has to go find a pin that flew away. Perform the same procedure on the other side of the watch.

You now have a new band or bracelet on your Citizen watch. Since you now know how easy it is, you will likely end up buying various bands and metal bracelets for your watch to suit your different moods and needs.

The illustrations at the reference site might be of help.

Reference:

Illustrations

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