Changing the Watch Strap

By on 14/07/2014

beltWill a new strap affect a watch’s value? Does varying the band or belt of a watch from the original have an effect on the value or worth?

If the watch that you own becomes a collector’ item, you just might want to keep all the original stuff from the box, papers, tags and of course the original strap. This is because if you go to sell the watch and it does not include the original belt or strap, the value would condense as it would not be termed as original.

Hold onto the original strap even if you don’t want to use it. No matter what the reason is for not using it; you might not like it or you might just want to have it in immaculate condition. In any case, do not give or sell it away. If the watch comes on a bracelet, you must hold onto the strap. This is because original bracelets are much more precious on collector items or even relatively new vintage pieces that you might want to put up for sale a few years down the road.

In doubt if you should change the strap or bracelet, or wondering how? Most people cannot do a great deal on their own to modify their watch models. Altering the hands or colors is further than our knack (in terms of skill, know-how and tool availability), making it difficult for us to satisfy our inner creativity of wanting to make a watch using own creativity.

However, one change that can easily be brought about in a watch is altering its strap or band. While this is not possible with all watches as some watch makers have special proprietary straps or bracelet connections that don’t allow for a universal connection and won’t come off at all; there are others that give you the option to take away and modify the strap or bracelet.

If you are unsure how to make the change, you can always purchase a fitting strap and take it to a watch repair person or store that can do the work for you. Chances are you may just find a fitting strap or bracelet of your choice at the watch repair shop.

Before you get onto doing anything, you must ensure that the watch has a universal connector, which mean two lugs with a screw or pin holes in the lugs. In between both, you will be able to connect the strap. To ensure this, turn the watch upside down and scrutinize the connection. Some watch models with bracelets have an ornamental clasp-shaped part which is used to make a bracelet look as if it is part of the watch case. It is not always necessary to use the clasp-looking piece if you do not like it or if it does not comply with your new strap.

Measure the width of the watch strap in millimeters so that you know what size of watch strap to replace it with. If you know the exact size you need, you can check online and search on websites like eBay. There are thousands of straps available in numerous styles, quality and price levels and in fact you only get what you pay for.

There are times when you need to take parts of the current strap and transfer them to the new strap or bracelet. These parts are typically the connector pins and maybe the clasps or clips that lock the strap. These parts are easy to remove with the right tools, which can also be purchased from your local DIY store or an online website. Spend some time seeing all the parts that are available to get a good mix of styles to match the watch and put some thought in how you would want it to look in the end. While some straps are practical, others maybe purely decorative.

If you have a watch with a metal bracelet, do not hesitate to buy a leather or rubber strap for it. You can change the look of a watch by just altering the way a watch is attached to your wrist. Loads of high quality watches are now availble with several straps these days to give collectors flexibility with how the watches appear and feel. A classy watch can be converted into a sporty watch by getting rid of a metal bracelet and installing a rubber strap. Isn’t it amazing that there is no scarcity of alternatives and choices nowadays.

An additional rationale to give a watch a new strap is to make it feel newer. A watch strap is probably the part of the watch that obtains the most wear and tear by usage. Putting on a fresh strap or bracelet will freshen and revive an otherwise old watch.

When getting a new bracelet, you will have to alter it to fit your wrist. You don’t want it to be tight but at the same time it should not swing around the wrist. There are two ways to adjust the bracelet links depending on whether the bracelet uses pins or screws to hold the links together.

Screws are easier to work with and it is suggested you always get a bracelet with screws if possible. The best way to work with pins is by using a tool like the watchband link remover tool with a spring-loaded base, which can be found online on a website that sells watch sizing tools.

It goes without saying; if you have any doubts about sizing your watch strap take it to a watch store. Please tell us how you feel about changing your watch strap in the comments section below.

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