Remove Your Watch Links in 5 Easy Steps

Congratulations! You’ve just got a new watch, but when you put it on it’s not a perfect fit. Never fear! Sizing your watch is easy and can be done from the comfort of your own home with the right tools and know-how. Read on to learn how.

1: Measure it (Twice!)

As the old saying goes, measure twice, cut once; or in our case, adjust once. The first thing you want to do is put your watch on and measure (or count) how many links you want to remove. This is a very important stage so be careful and accurate. Removing the wrong amount of links or taking them from the wrong place may result in a lopsided watch that doesn’t sit correctly on your wrist. Gather up the slack in your bracelet with the clasp in the centre of the band and count the number of excess links on either side of the clasp. If not sure how many links to remove, it’s always best to get rid of fewer links. It is easier and more convenient to remove a link than to put one back in.

2: Prep Your Space

A clean and tidy workspace with all your tools to hand will save you time and headache. Removing watch links is a delicate process, so try to make things as easy as possible for yourself. Choose a well-lit area free of debris.  Lay down a cloth or mat so delicate parts can’t easily roll away. Better yet, have a small dish or container to keep any stray pins or screws. Be mindful that hammering out pins can be quite loud, so it may be wise to work somewhere secluded.

3: The Right Tools for the Job

If you’re removing watch links at home, make your life easier and get the right tools for the job. Like so many things, the correct tools will not only be more efficient, they also reduce the risk of damaging your new timepiece while you work on it. You’ll need a link pin removing tool as well as a small ball-pein hammer and a watch-bracelet holder. 

4: It’s Hammer Time

Now it’s time to remove your links! This is the hardest and most nerve-wracking step. Once you’ve located the links you want to remove, look on the back of the bracelet for small arrows. These show where the cotter pins come out. Place your watch in the bracelet holder or securely with the arrows facing downward. With your hammer, gently tap the tip of the link pin tool onto the cotter pins until you can no longer push the pin inside, or it pops through. You can remove it with your fingers or a small set of pliers. Be careful and make sure to look out for any other pins that may fall out during this process. You may need them before putting your watch back together.

5: Link them Up

Now that you have removed the correct amount of links, it’s time to rejoin the ends of the bracelet.  The process is easy, and the opposite of removing links. Put the bracelet back in the holder, but with the arrows pointing up. The pins will go back the opposite way to which you removed them. Place the cotter pin back in the hole, gently tapping it with the hammer until it sits flush. Repeat this on both sides of the clasp until you reach your desired size. Make sure your fastener is centred and don’t forget to tap back any ferrules that may have fallen out.

Now your watch is the perfect fit and ready for whatever you throw its way!

For more information on how to remove watch links please visit Maddisons of Durham

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