How To Remove Watch Links for All Watch Bands

When it comes to the watches with a metal band, one size does not fit all. Finding a metal watch that will fit your wrist can be a bit tricky, especially if you are buying it online. Watches come with standard bracelets or bands to fit most wrists. The leather bands have a significant advantage over the metal bands. They come with multiple holes, so you can easily adjust them according to your wrist size.

If your new watch is dangling from your wrist or sliding up, then you will need to remove a few links to adjust the bracelet for a snug fit. You can either take your watch to a watch shop to get the excess links removed or do it at home. Removing the links from a watch is not so difficult as you may think. In this blog post, I will show you how to remove watch links so that you can do it at home by yourself. We have also gathered some video tutorials to help you further.

Measure Your Wrist Size

It is essential to know the measurement of your wrist before buying a watch online. You can use a soft measuring tape for this. If you don’t have one, then wrap a ribbon or a thread around your wrist, preferably at the wrist bone. Highlight the spot where the ends meet, then measure the fabric with a ruler to determine your wrist size. Once you have measured your wrist diameter, add 1/2 – 1 1/2 inches to that measurement, which will allow how snug loose you want the band to fit. Remember that some watches fit differently depending on the style and manufacturers. For example, the clasp style can provide more space than anticipated.

Determine How Many Links Need To Be Removed

Before you start removing any link from your watch, you must measure the watch band so you know exactly how many links that you will need to remove. You can do this in a couple of ways.

To measure how many links that you need to remove, firstly put the watch on your wrist and place it where you would usually wear it. Now, gather up all of the slack and count the number of excess links. Make sure that the clasp remains in the center of the band.

Never remove all the excess links from the middle or one side of the bracelet. Instead, you should take an equal amount of links from either side of the clasp.

You can also use an old watch to compare it to see how many links that you need to take off from the band.

Tips

  • If you are not sure how many links to remove, then remove one less than you expect. It is a lot easier to remove another link than adding one back in.
  • Try to remove an even number of links. This way, you can remove the same amount from each side, and it will ensure that the clasp is still in the middle of the band.

Types Of Watch Links

Metal watches come with various types of bands, and the links are particular to that style. The most popular metal bands are:

  • The Oyster
  • The Jubilee
  • The Beads of Rice
  • The Royal Oak Bracelet
  • The Ladder
  • The Shark Mesh
  • The Milanese

Types Of Pins

Watch links are held together by pins. The style of the bracelets determines the design of the links. There are two common types of metal pins, the “Straight Pin” and the “U PIN” or “L PIN” that hold the links together.

The straight pin design is a simple system to hold the links together with a metal pin. On some watches, the pin is paired with two small metal tubes called ferrules that hold it in place at either end of the link.

The “U pin” or “L pin” are U or L shaped flat metal pins with friction bumps that hold the links together.

Tools For Removing Links

It is ideal if you can get the proper Watch Band Link Remover Kit, which is available on Amazon. The kit makes the link removal job neat and easy. Don’t worry if you cannot get the kit. You will need to gather the following tools for the job.

  • A spring-bar removal tool or pin pusher
  • A long-nosed pliers
  • A soft hammer
  • A screwdriver
  • A tray for the parts

You will also need a workbench with a plane surface like a table or a desk. Make sure that the work surface is not cluttered, so you don’t lose the links and the pins because you will need the pin to re-attach the remaining links.

How To Remove Watch Links (Straight Pin)?

Method 1 # Using a Pin Pusher

If you flip the watch over then, you will see that there are some small arrows printed on the links. The arrows show the direction to push the pins out of the links. Most watches have straight pins (the head is large on one end and smaller on the other) to hold the links.

Place the watch on the table with the arrows facing downwards so you can push the pins from the top. Now stick the pin pusher in the slot and push the pin firmly.

When the pin pops out, use a pliers to remove it. You can put the pins in a tray, so you don’t lose them.

Repeat the process to remove the excess links.

Method 2 # Using a Kit

Watch Band Link Remover Kit comes with a plastic watch holder. The holder has a series of cutouts in it. All the crevices in the block have different width to hold watches.

First, open the bracelet (if possible, remove it from the claps). Place the watch band inside one of the crevices of the block that it fits. Make sure the arrows are facing down.

Now place the pusher in the pin slot. Gently tap it with a hammer. Once the pin pops out, use the pliers or your fingers to pull out the rest of the pin.

Tips

  • Always take the links out that are closer to the claps with the arrows printed on them. As the links get closer to the top of the bracelet, they get wider.

Re-attaching The Links

After removing all the excess links, it is time to re-attach the remaining links. Pins will always go back in the opposite direction of the arrows. So make sure you check the direction of the arrows before inserting the pins.

Once you have lined up the links, push the pin in. The wider end of the pin will need a little shove to go in all the way. You can use a pin pusher to push it in the link.

If you are using a Kit, then slide the pins into the links first before placing the bracelet in the block. The wider end of the pins should be facing upwards. Use a soft hammer, preferably one with a nylon end, and give it a couple of good taps. Then hold a pusher in the pin slot and give it a last gentle knock with the hammer, so that it just under flush.

How To Remove U-Shaped Watch Links?

U-shaped pins are not very common. Few watches still use them to hold the links. The links with U-shaped pins don’t have a little divot or a small area to push the pin out. From the side, they look like two solid blocks pressed on top of each other.

Like most metal watchbands, the links have arrows to tell you which direction the pins need to be removed.

Lay the bracelet on its back, so the inside of the bracelet is up. Take a pin pusher or the thin pointy side of the pliers and push the pin out as much as you can. Then use pliers to remove the pin. Once the pin is out, remove the link and repeat the process.

To reattach the links, put the pins back in the same way they came out. Use a soft or plastic tip hammer to knock the pin back in the slot.

Tips

  • Put a cloth on your workbench or use a soft surface, so you don’t damage the watchband.

How To Remove Folded Watch Links?

It is very simple to recognize the folded links. If you look at the bracelets and the individual links from the side, you will see that they are not solid. It is basically a piece of sheet metal that is folded on to itself. There is a core, and in that core, there is a removable pin. It is similar to the other side as well. But like all other metal bracelets, everything goes in one direction only.

Before you start removing the pins, you should remove the bracelet from the micro-adjustment or claps to open up the bracelet. It will make the job so much simpler. To remove the links, you will need to get inside of the bracelet.

Place the bracelet on the soft surface, facing the inside up. Follow the arrows that are on the links, and you will see a nub that is right by the break and the folded links. Get a screwdriver and push the pin from behind the nub. Once the link pops out, use a plier to pull it out.

The links are usually folded around each other. So take them out and repeat the process.

Now put the links back together and put the pin back in the same way that it came out. Use a soft or plastic tip hammer to knock the pin back in the slot.

How To Remove Links From a Stretch Watchband

Place the watch on a soft surface with the side of the bracelet up. Use a thin screwdriver and insert it under the pushpin on the side of the watchband. Remove the pin upwards. Then remove the pins on the other side of the watch bracelet in the same way. Repeat the process to remove as many links that you want to.

Now you will need to put the pin back in the watchband. The pins can be tiny, so it is convenient to use tweezers. Press the links to each other, and get the pin in both links at the same time. Then push it into the stretch band.

Recommended Watch Link Removal Tool

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How tight a metal band is supposed to be?

Your watch should be snug enough, so it doesn’t slide around a lot but not too tight that it feels uncomfortable and leaves imprints on your wrist.

How do I remove links without arrows?

Depending on the manufacturers, your watch links might have a few arrows or no arrows at all. If the links of your watch don’t have any arrows, then push the pins through from the side where you can’t see any seam in the pin.

But if there are arrows on the links, then only remove the links that have the arrows printed on them.

How do the link pins look like?

The link pins look very similar to bobby pins. It is bent on one end and overlaps itself. The pins are bent a little bit in an angle at the other end. There are also U and L Shaped pins that have the shape of the English alphabets U and L.

Can I get my watch resized at shop?

Yes, you can. Any jewels or watch repair shop can resize your watch for you. It will cost you about $10-$20 to resize your watch at the shops.

How do I remove links without proper tools?

It is easier to remove watch links with proper tools. But if you don’t have any proper tools at home, then you can use a knife with a pointy edge. You can also use a thumbtack and a screwdriver.

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