How to Repair a Watch Band. Repairing a watch band sounds like a task for a seasoned professional. But fixing the band on your watch isn't like taking apart your watch and performing surgery. It's actually a fairly simple process.

Measure your old band. Find out the length in inches, and, more importantly, the width in millimeters at the ends that connect to the watch body. Leather watch bands may be measured in inches at the connecting points.

Choose a new watch band that matches your measurements. You can choose between leather, plastic or metal. Metal bands come in standard links and the self-expanding type.

Remove your old watch band. Many replacement band kits include a spring bar tool, a tiny bar that looks like a screwdriver with a wrench for a head. The purpose of this tool is to slide into the space on either side of the bar that connects the band to the watch. This spring bar telescopes out at either end to fit into holes on the watch body. Use the tool to compress the bar until it is short enough to pop out of the holes that hold it in place.

Clean the connection points on the old watch body. The holes that hold the spring bar ends are called lug holes. Grime collects in these holes as you wear the watch. Clean out the lug holes with a round-headed pin.

Install the new watch band. Slide one side of the spring bar into a lug hole. Push the band snug against that lug hole. You may be able to slide the bar into the opposite lug hole. If not, use the spring bar tool to retract the bar on the opposite side. Then slide the bar into place. Repeat for the other side of the watch.

Adjust the length of the band. A leather band may need more holes at one end or the other to fit comfortably. Professional watch repair companies use a staking tool with a concave point, making a clean cut with no ragged edges. A metal band may need links added or removed. Links that are held together with pins need a special pin-removing tool. Links held together with clips are usually separated with clip-removing pliers. Both these tasks are most easily accomplished with help from your local jewelry or watch repair store.


Make careful measurements. A watch band that is not a good fit will not last long. You may be able to install a band that is too wide for the watch, but the stress on the spring bar will cause it to warp or break. A band that is too narrow will not offer a good fit, and will probably loosen or fall out.