How to Repair a Watch Band

We all have had one at one point or another: our favorite watch. You probably don’t have it now because either the battery died or the crystal on the face cracked and you didn’t want to spend the time or the money to repair it. Another common end to our favorite watches is broken bands. None of these problems should necessarily be the death of some of our most worn and most liked pieces of everyday jewelry. Changing a battery is usually a pretty simple task, you can find a jeweler to replace a cracked crystal cheaply enough, and with a little effort, you can even figure out how to replace or repair a watch band on your own.

Watches that have leather or plastic wrist bands with the metal clasps can be easier to fix than chain or linked wrist watch bands. If the watch’s metal clasp has been bent from something you can use a vice grip and a set of pliers to gently hold the metal while you re-bend the clasp until its back to its original shape. Keep in mind that you can leave tool marks on soft metals so be keep an eye out for this to happen when you are using the pliers. If the issue lies with the leather or plastic band itself, then all you have to do is measure the current band and then find another watch band that would fit your wrist (these are available online or in craft and jewelry stores). Remove the old band by taking out the pin holding the strap in place and replace it with the new wrist strap. There are watch repair kits available that can make this process a lot easier.

Watches with chains or linked wristbands can be a little more difficult to work with. I would recommend leaving this kind of a repair to a professional since you could potentially end up doing more harm than good despite your best efforts. If you really are stuck on doing it yourself there are a couple tips that could make your job a little easier. It is not uncommon for the clasps on these types of bands to get bent, unlike the brute force kind of bending you can do for the types of clasps found on plastic and leather watch bands, this kind of clasp needs a little more finesse. Start by making really small adjustments to the clasp pieces, bend it too far and it can be really hard to get it to latch ever again, so be gentle and have some patience. Keep bending little by little until you can get it to re-latch.

If it’s a problem with one of the links in the chain of your watch then you are going to have a harder time repairing it on your own. You can see if a jeweler has any identical links that you can use as a replacement. Most watches are made so that these links can be taken out (usually to adjust the band size) so all you have to do is poke out the pin that connects one link to another and then line up the new link and slide the pin back in. It can be frustrating to try and deal with just because the pieces you are working with are so small, using a grip of some kind to hold everything in place can be really helpful.