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December 22, 2020

Step by Step Guide: How to Change a Watch Band

December 22, 2020

A sophisticated watch is a staple piece for every wardrobe and occasion. However, for many people, one watch doesn’t cut it when it comes to pairing your watch with every look you wear. Now while we would say you can never have enough different watches in your ensemble, sometimes you just want the ability to wear your favorite watch regardless of your plans or outfit for the day. A collection of different watch straps can be the perfect solution. Many watches have the ability to swap out the watch band so that your favorite timepiece can be worn with a variety of looks. 


Our step by step guide will share what to look for when buying additional straps for your watch and show you how to change your watch bands, whether it’s a quick release or a spring bar and lug watch. 


Do I Need A Specific Watch Strap? 

Finding a new watch strap for your timepiece is simple: all you need to do is measure the distance between the lugs on your watch case in millimeters. Whatever the distance is will be the strap size required. For example, if the lugs on your watch are 24mm apart, you’ll want to pick a 24mm strap. Anything other than the size of the watch strap is completely up to you.


Watch Band Replacement

When it comes to replacing your watch strap, most watches are either quick-releases or traditional spring bars and lugs. With either one of these releases, you’ll find that replacing your watch strap is easier than you may have thought. In fact, you may find yourself practicing your watch strap on, strap off skills on a regular basis. 

How to Change a Watch Band: The Traditional Method 

First note that changing a spring bar and lug strap will require you to have a watch strap replacement tool, often called a spring bar tool. Once you have your watch with its current strap, the strap you’d like to replace it with, and a spring bar tool, you’re all set for creating a new look for your timepiece. Here’s how to replace a watch band


1. By turning over your watch you’ll be able to access the spring bar on the inside of the lug/horn.


2. With the forked tip of your spring bar tool, depress the spring bar from the inside of the lug/horn by placing the tool between the strap and lug and gently apply pressure inward toward the strap.


3. Gently pull up on the end of the strap where it connects until the spring bar releases.


4. Once your spring bar releases, take it out of your watch strap and insert it into the newstrap.


5. To attach your new band, insert one end of the spring bar into the hole on the inside of the lug/horn.


6. Depress the spring bar with the forked end to the spring bar tool and insert it into the opposite side of the lug/horn.


7. Repeat on the other side of your watch.


8.Once your new strap is attached, give it a gentle tug on both ends to confirm proper attachment.


For a visual demonstration of this type of watch band replacement, see our video titled “How to Change a Shinola Watch Strap.”


How to Replace a Watch Band: Quick Release

With quick release straps, there’s no need for any special tools. It’s as easy as Karate Kid’s wax on, wax off technique but instead strap on, strap off your watch in seconds. Here’s how to replace your quick release watch band: 


1. Start by turning over your watch and locating the knob that’s on each of the straps.


2. Beginning with one side, gently slide the knob over to release the pin and strap.


3. To replace the strap with another quick release pin, stick the end of the pin that’s opposite of the quick release knob into the pinhole.


4. Slide the knob on the other end of the strap over to allow room for this side of the pin, then line it up with the corresponding pinhole and release the knob.


5. Repeat on the other side of your watch. 


6. Once the quick release strap is attached, give your watch straps a tug outward to confirm that your watch strap replacement has been successful.


You can also find a video on this method by visiting our YouTube page and finding the video link titled “How to Change a Shinola Watch Strap.”


Replacing an Apple Watch® Strap 

Shinola has watch bands that are the best of both worlds: sophisticated and compatible with your Apple Watch®. Here’s a quick guide to replacing your current Apple Watch® band with a Shinola one:


1. Turn your Apple Watch® over so it is face down and locate the release buttons on your watch. These will be the buttons on both sides of the sensor, near where the strap connects to the watch. 


2. Start with one side, and while holding down the button, slide the band to the left or right to remove it. 


3. To replace the band, simply slide the new band into place until you hear a click. Note: Make sure you have the inside of the band facing you, this will be the side with the Shinola logo on it.


4. As always with any watch strap replacement, give your band a tug on both sides of the watch to ensure your new band is secured correctly.


Shinola Watch Straps 

At Shinola, you can count on our watch straps to be versatile, elegant, and ready for any occasion. Whether you’re headed out on the town, or putting in hours at the office, you're sure to find something in our collection that speaks to you and your style. Looking for something sporty? Trendy? Classic? We have it all. We even carry various Apple Watch straps so you can stylishly complement your tech.


For the classic look, we have stainless steel and gold bracelet bands that are both refined and modern. For a look that will stick around for decades, try one of our genuine alligator watch straps. For a dapper man or woman, a leather strap makes a chic statement with virtually any attire. And finally, for those that love to move, our nylon, silicone, and rubber straps have been created for comfort and mobility. No matter your personality, we’ve got you covered. 

If you’re not yet sure where to start when it comes to pairing your timepiece with a new watch band, visit our watch straps page where you can shop by series, size, or style number. Our watch straps are compatible with so many of our watches, so you’ll find there’s an abundance of new looks you can create with our watch band replacements.

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