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How to change, put on, remove your watch strap?

For those who don't have the chance to come to our workshop shop in Paris, ABP concept offers this little tutorial to put on your watch strap directly at home...

Depending on the brand or model of your watch (Rolex, Panerai, Cartier, Omega, etc.), and the type of buckle fitted to it (pin buckle, adjustable folding clasp, non-adjustable folding clasp), the principle is always the same. : a metal rod (spring bar, screw, shaft) crosses the watch strap in leather, metal, rubber, silicone nylon or fabric and is wedged into small dedicated housings in the lugs of the watch.

Nothing to worry about, we are all capable of changing, removing or fitting a watch strap. However, some precautions are in order:

Always check the attachment system so that you have the necessary installation tool (watch strap change tool, bergeon tool, watch screwdriver, etc.). Of course, all the necessary tools are sold on our site in the "watch accessories" section or in the final step of the custom bracelet customizer.

Never forget that your watch, as well as your fingers, are fragile, so handle the installation tool very gently to avoid the risk of scratching the middle of the watch, or pricking your finger. In the same way, lay the watch flat on a cloth to better protect it.

Once the new watch strap has been fitted, check that it is firmly attached to the watch by gently pulling on it.

Then, for information, be aware that most watches are equipped with telescopic pins attachment systems with lugs (classic system), but that certain brands and models of watches require classic or special screwdrivers. Here is a brief overview…

Classic or unlosable spring bars: Rolex, Omega, Breitling, Hermes, IWC, Tag Heuer, Jaeger Lecoultre…

Classic screws: Cartier, Panerai, Audemars Piguet,…

Special screws: Richard Mille, Bell & Ross,…

Other systems: Panerai, Patek Philippe,…

That being said, and knowing that a video is better than a long speech, here are some video tutorials by way of illustration…

And for those who prefer text to image, a little detailed tutorial wikihow…

1. Lay the watch flat.
The first thing to do when you want to change the strap of your watch is to put it face upside down on a cloth or towel. Be sure to lay something down to protect it from the work surface and to prevent scratches. Then lay this cloth on a flat surface, such as a table or work surface.

2. Then find the fastener.
Once you flip it over on the cloth, take a close look at the area where the strap connects to the watch body. The vast majority of watch straps are connected to the watch by a bar which passes through a loop or a hole at the end of the bracelet and which fits into small holes at the lugs.

- The spring bar is a small metal bar on which you can press on each side, like a spring.

- When you release the pressure, the bar comes back in place.

- Once in the starting position, it will fit into the holes in the lugs, which will hold the strap in place.

3. Detach the pin.
To remove the bracelet, you must first detach the spring bar. You can do this using a strap removal tool. If you don't have one, you might be able to get by with a small flat-head screwdriver or something similar. You could also achieve this without using any tools, just with your hands, but it might be a bit tricky.

- If you have the appropriate tool, insert the toothed part between the bracelet and the point where it is connected to the lugs. You can press the bar on either side.

- Gently press the tool to move the bar away from the hole in which it is housed. This should reduce its size and loosen the strap.

- You can try to do the same thing with a small tool that goes into this space, but you must be careful not to scratch the watch and not to damage the bracelet.

- If you do not have a tool at hand, you can try using a paper clip to press one end of the bar while levering the bracelet.

4. Remove the spring bars from the band.
Once you remove it from the watch body, slide them out of the loop and set them aside. Repeat on both sides of the bracelet. You are going to need them to attach the new bracelet, which is why it is important not to lose them.

5. Slide the spring bar into the new strap.
When you're ready to install it, you'll actually do the exact same thing, but in reverse. Start by carefully threading the bars into the holes at the ends of the bracelet. It is possible that the one you bought already has bars, but you must make sure that these will also fit in the holes of the horns.

6. Install the spring bars.
Insert one end of one of the bars into a hole at the end of the strap. Take one of the watch band halves and install the bar at its end in the slot designed for this purpose. You're just going to put it back in the exact same place it was before you took it apart.

- Once you have put it on, gently press it down to fit the other end into the hole on the opposite side.

- Might be easier to press on if you use the same setting tool you used to take it apart.

7. Repeat on the other side.
Repeat the same steps on the other side of the watch. Start by sliding one end of the bar into the small hole in one of the horns and press it to install the other end in the other hole on the opposite side.

- This should produce a small click which indicates that the bar is in place.

- Once the two parts have been correctly installed, check that they hold well and that they will not fall.