How to Adjust a Watch Band

Two Parts:Sizing Your WatchRemoving Links from the Wristband

Many wristwatches come with ready adjustable wristbands that are made of leather or plastic with holes and clasps for easy adjustment of the size. However, many designer brand watches and metal watch bands require the removal of metal links to adjust the size down. This may seem like a difficult task at first, but you can do this yourself at home with a few simple tools. Taking the watch to a jeweler or repair place isn't necessary and will cost you money.

Part 1
Sizing Your Watch

  1. Image titled Adjust a Watch Band Step 1
    Put the watch on without adjusting it. You will need to note how big the watch is.[1]
    • If the watch is very loose, you will have to remove lots of links.
    • If the watch is just slightly loose and you aren't in danger of it falling off, you might consider leaving it as is unless it is bothersome.
    • If your watch is too small, you will have to buy extra links from the manufacturer to make the band larger.
  2. Image titled Adjust a Watch Band Step 2
    Find the clasp. Pinch the band evenly from the clasp until it is the proper size.[2]
    • Make sure you have an equal number of links on either side of the clasp that need to be removed.
    • This will make sure the watch itself stays centered on the wrist band.
    • Write down the number of links that need to be removed from either side of the clasp.
  3. Image titled Adjust a Watch Band Step 3
    Get your tools assembled. There are several things you will need to adjust your watch band.[3]
    • You will need one or two push pins. You will use these to push the pins that hold the links together out of their holes.
    • Get a pair of needle nosed pliers to help you remove the pins.
    • You will need a small jewelry hammer.
    • Make sure you are working on a flat surface with good lighting. You will need to collect any pins you remove from the band.

Part 2
Removing Links from the Wristband

  1. Image titled Adjust a Watch Band Step 4
    Lay the watch on its side on your flat surface. Be sure to leave about 12 centimeter (0.2 in) of space between the bottom of each removable link and the flat surface.[4]
    • Count up the lumber of links you will need to remove.
    • Find the pin holding the last link in place.
    • This is where you will remove the links.
  2. Image titled Adjust a Watch Band Step 5
    Get your pushpins. Use one of the pushpins to push out the pin holding the wristband link in place.[5]
    • Push the sharp end of the pushpin against the head of the link pin.
    • If it doesn't give, use your jewelry hammer to force the head of the pushpin into the hole for the link pin.
    • A small amount of the push pin should now be protruding from the other side of the link.
    • Use the hammer to drive the push pin in further to get more of the link pin out.
  3. Image titled Adjust a Watch Band Step 6
    Remove the pin with the pliers. You will have to full forcefully to get the pin out.[6]
    • Once you have enough of the link pin out of the hole on the other side of the wrist band to grasp it with the pliers, you can use the pliers to get it out.
    • Grasp the end of the pin tightly with the needle nose pliers.
    • Pull it out.
    • The links you need from one side of the clasp should be removed now.
    • You need to repeat the process for the other side of the wrist band now.
  4. Image titled Adjust a Watch Band Step 7
    Detach the clasp from the section of removed links. You will need to do this to put it back onto your wristband.[7]
    • Detach it using the same method you did for the links.
    • There should be a pin holding the clasp onto the links. Remove it using the hammer, pushpins, and pliers.
    • You will now re-attach the clasp to the wristband.
  5. Image titled Adjust a Watch Band Step 8
    Attach the clasp back onto the wrist band. Line up the link on the clasp with the last link on one side of your wristband.[8]
    • You should see a clear hole where a pin should go to hold the clasp on.
    • Take one of the pins you removed and insert it into this hole.
    • It should go most of the way in on its own, except for the last little bit on the end.
    • Use the hammer to gently pound the pin into the hole the whole way.
    • Repeat this process on the other side of the clasp.
    • Your watch band is now adjusted and assembled.
  6. Image titled Adjust a Watch Band Step 9
    Try on the watch. It should now fit without being too big or too small.[9]
    • If you have over-adjusted the watch, try adding a link to each side of the watch band.
    • If you haven't taken enough links out, re-assess how many need to be removed for the watch band to be tight enough and comfortable.
    • Wear the watch for a few days to make sure its comfortable.


  • Don't poke yourself with the screwdriver.
  • Use a hard flat surface for this procedure, so as to minimize movement of the watch as you're trying to adjust it.

Things You'll Need

  • Push pins
  • Hammer
  • Needle nosed pliers
  • Watch with adjustable band

Article Info

Categories: Jewelry and Watches