Tips To Remove Watch Links
Sometimes you have to adjust the length of your wristwatch to accommodate a change in the circumference of your wrist such as when you’ve lost or even gained some weight. Whether it is to add or even remove band links from your wristwatch, it is crucial to do it in a very methodical manner. Here’s how to properly take the links out of a watch.
Get Your Tools and Your Work Area Ready
The very first thing you have to do is to prepare the things that you will need in removing the links from your watch. These typically include, but are definitely not limited to, the following.
- Pin pusher or any thin and pointy object that can be used to push the pins from the band slots
- Small hammer
- Pair of long-nosed plier
- Appropriate screwdriver
- Small tray for the parts
You will also need to prepare the area where you’re going to work on. It is imperative that the work area is clean and free of clutter. The surface of the work area should also be parallel to the ground, set in an even floor to help prevent the pins and other wristwatch parts from rolling. It is also often a good idea to place felt paper or any other form of covering that will serve as catchment for the parts should these eventually fall.
Identify the Type of Band Links on Your Wristwatch
Strive to learn the different kinds of links that are used on watches today. This will give you an idea on how to properly take these out as well as reassemble them. Here are some of the most common types of band links on watches.
- Cotter pin links – These are characterized by a smooth pin end on one side and a thin groove on the other side.
- T-bar style links – Look out for oval-shaped cutouts located in the back of the wristwatch band.
- Screw links – These are easy to identify as one side is solid while the other has a hole complete with the head of a screw facing up.
- Pin and double sleeve links – These are quite challenging to spot, although they will most likely have a small metal ring located around the end of each pin.
- U-clip expansion band links – First off, the band can be stretched. Secondly, when seen from the side, the two sides are connected by vertical bars.
- Spring bar links – These don’t have holes on their sides, but they do have a small window in between links.
- Plate pin expansion band links – This is like the U-clip expansion band links except that the sides actually sandwiches a thin metal plate.
Start Taking Out the Links
Modern wristwatches often have arrows engraved into their respective band links. These arrows show the direction upon which the pins and other locking mechanisms have to be moved. For these types of watch band links, you will be using a pin pusher. For wristwatches that have screws, a screwdriver is always handy while those that have clasps can be opened or removed with long-nosed pliers.
- Links with pins – Use a pin pusher to push the pin in the direction of the arrow. Pull out the exposed pin from the other side of the band using your hand or a pair of pliers. Repeat the process with the rest of the links.
- Links with screws – Always apply light pressure when turning the screwdriver counterclockwise. Secure the screw before it is completely removed from the link. Repeat the procedure with the other links you want to remove.
- Links with flaps – These are often found in wristwatch bands that stretch or expand. To remove them, you need to bend downwards the flaps of the top edge of the link you wish to remove. Next, snap open the link’s bottom edge flap. This is found on the left side of the top flap that you have just opened. Slide the section sideways to remove the link.
- Links with snaps – First remove the pin with a pin pusher. Gently apply downward pressure on the link nearest to the clasp while also applying upward pressure on the link that’s nearest to the watch case. This disassembles the link allowing you to easily pull them apart.
Reassemble the Band
Once you’ve taken out the band link or links you want to remove, you need to reassemble the rest of the band. You can do this by simply reversing the actions in the process of disassembly.
Taking the links out of a wristwatch is easy. You just need the right tools plus an understanding of the different types of band links and you’re all set.
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