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How To Adjust Your Watch Band - An Easy Fix

October 16, 2021

You might be struggling to adjust your watch band. To be frank, it can be pretty tricky, especially if it’s a clasped watch. As a beginner, you might need a few tips to help you out. 

By the end of this article, resizing watch bands will be as easy as pie. So, what are you waiting for? Read ahead.

Buckle Vs Clasp

If you’re looking to adjust your watch band, it’s the easiest thing in the world if it’s a buckled watch (more on that in the latter part of the article). However, the watch you own may have metal links or a clasp mechanism, making it harder to get the job done. If this is you, you’ve probably wondered how on earth you’re supposed to adjust it.

Well, most stainless steel watches come with a clasp. Although this can be a headache, we love stainless steel. So, you’ll have to find the pins between the links, take them out and then pin the remaining links back together. This seems kind of hard, right? It is, especially compared to its buckled counterparts.

With that out of the way, let’s dive into adjusting your clasped watch.

Tightening A Clasped Watch

To tackle how you can loosen a watch, we’ll first be running through how you can tighten it. As we briefly mentioned in the paragraph above, there are a few steps to follow when tightening the band on a clasped watch.

Sizing The Watch

sizing the watch

The first thing you have to do is to consider what exactly is wrong with your watch. We know it doesn’t fit but is it too tight, big or just a bit loose? 

To find out, you’ll have to put the bad boy on and really get your wrists moving. Go crazy and make a bunch of random hand movements. In the process, if the watch falls off your hand, it’s too big (obviously), but if it moves just a bit, this means it’s a bit loose which doesn’t really require you to adjust it. Yes, you could, but this can be too much work.

It’s fine if it’s a bit tight (just like how it’s fine if it’s a bit loose) but if your wrists start hurting when you move, it’s time to loosen your watch up.

Pinching The Watch

two wrist watches

In terms of how to tighten it, you’ll have to pinch your watch

Make sure you have your arm with its underside facing up, and that you rest it on a flat surface. You’ll have to pinch the strap equally from both sides (it’s important that your fingers are equidistant from each other or this won’t work). 

When you pinch it, you need to grab a part of the watch. There’ll be a number of links. Count these links properly as you’ll need to extract this exact amount.

For example, 2 from the left and 2 from the right side.

If you don’t count them properly, you’ll make a mistake and take too many links out. That’s why we recommend that you repeat the pinching process a couple of times. Each time you do, record the number of links on a paper.

Getting Your Tools Ready


With that said, you’re now ready to get to work. All you have to do is get hold of the tools mentioned below. You probably have most of them at home. 

In terms of what they are, you’ll need a push pin, a nose plier and a jewelry hammer. 

You may not be a fan of pins, so you might be wondering how to remove links from a watch without pins. Well, just get any sharp object you have lying around.

Moving on:

You probably have all of these except for a jewelry hammer. This is easily available online and you can get them on sites like Amazon for dirt cheap. 

Also, one of the main things you’ll need is great lighting. It’s vital that you adjust the watch in good lighting as otherwise, you’ll find it hard to find the pins between the links. 

The Surface

adjusting the watch

You have to make sure the watch is on a very flat surface. If it’s not, this makes it difficult to wiggle the pins out.

Yes, this might seem like a bother but if you struggle to get the pins out, you could snap one inside the device. This would be double the work for you. 


Find the number of links that you want from the band. As discussed, this may be 2 from the left strap and 2 from the right. Find the last link from each set, and locate the pin that attaches it to the body of the strap.

We’ll make it easy for you, the pin hole is on the side of the strap.

Hammer It In

pink watch

You’ll need to jam the push pin inside the pinhole. This would push out the pin between the links. You could do so without a hammer, but this requires brute force which is not advised. So, it’s a good idea to use the jewelry hammer to apply pressure. 

What’s more, using your hands can be dangerous if it’s a water resistant watch as you could make a wrong move, stabbing the watch and causing a hole for water to enter through.

Using the jewelry hammer is especially important, as once it enters the hole as it can get pretty tight in there. 

Pliers To The Rescue

nose plier

If everything goes according to plan, the pin would be sticking out of the hole. You may be tempted to use your fingers and pull it out but this is a bad move. As mentioned above, the inside is quite tight.

So, you could risk snapping the pin if you pull it. This is where a delicate nose plier would come into play. When using the plier, try not to push too hard. 

You probably did this to one side of the strap (you took 2 out from the left), now it’s time to take the remaining links out from the other side. 

This is basically all there is to it.

Get The Clasp

man putting on a watch

You have to remove the clasp piece the same way you did with the metal links. It should be attached to the end of the links you just cut off. 

With the clasp pieces now in hand, attach them to the shortened band. 

This process is the reverse of what we just did, so hammer the pin inside the hole. 

Loosening A Watch

Now that we’ve run through the above, loosening a watch is incredibly easy.


Buy The Links

The first step to loosening a watch is buying links to attach onto it. You can’t buy it from just anywhere as it needs to be from a trustworthy manufacturer, specifically for your model.

Not only will you need new links, but you’ll also need extra pins.

Unlike tightening a watch, you don’t really know how many links you need until you get to work. So, buy a couple. 

Remove The Clasps

You’ll have to remove the clasp pieces on the two ends of the strap. This should be done using the pushpin method.


Add the New Pieces

With the clasps out of the way, add the new links you bought, then attach the clasps to them.

Try It On

Now, see if it’s still too tight. After all, it’s trial and error, so you’ll have to keep adding and removing links as you go.

woman trying on a watch

How Do You Adjust A Buckle Strap?

There is really nothing to it, but let’s run through how you can adjust a buckle strap. 

All you have to do is remove the watch band from the buckle mechanism. Push the pin on the end of the buckle mechanism into one of the many holes on the other strap. The further you go, the tighter the watch gets. This works the other way around as well. It’s much easier than adjusting a clasped watch.


All in all, adjusting a clasped watch is a challenge but it’s not too difficult, especially if you follow the tips given above. So, what did you think? Were you able to adjust your watch successfully?

Thomas Vanderlaan
When Thomas Vanderlaan was a child, the moment he learned about mechanical watches he was hooked. His first love being mechanical watches, he decided to pursue a career in engineering as he was entranced by the science behind its gears. As the years passed, his passion grew. Although he worked a hectic career as an automobile engineer, he’d always collect watches during his spare time.
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