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How to Change a Watch Strap Tutorial

How to Change a Watch Strap

Changing a watch strap may sound like something trivial to some, however we are lucky enough to have a lot of readers who are just getting started in the world of watches and due to popular demand, here is our tutorial on how to change a watch strap.

Changing watch straps or bracelets usually requires you to remove the spring bars, with the exeption of NATO and Perlon straps.

To make this tutorial as general as possible, we are going to remove the mesh straps on this Citizen NY0040, and put the spring bars back in to put a NATO strap on it.


Great, so first of all we are going to need some tools for removing the spring bars and replacing the spring bars.

TheStrapShop was kind enough to send out some tools for use with this tutorial (pictured below). When buying strap tools I can personally recommend them as their tools are of very high quality, at a very reasonable price.


It is possible to change watch straps with something like a knife, which is ok if you are very careful and don’t do it a lot, as you could injure yourself that way. I would highly recommend you pick up some proper spring bar tools, and TheStrapShop is a great place to do just that.

Now, onto the tutorial.

Removing a Watch Straps

As mentioned before, most watch straps or bracelets will require removal of spring bars to get put on or removed from the watch.

In order to remove spring bars from a watch, take your watch and place it upside down onto a hard, stable surface such as a table. Make sure you put a cloth of some kind under the watch so the crystal doesn’t scratch while you change the straps.

Once the watch is face down on the table, take the forked end of your tool and place it onto one of the ridges on the end of the spring bar.


Using the forked tool as a crowbar, push the spring bar in, and it should pop out.

You can then remove the strap and repeat the exact same process for the spring bar on the other side.


Once you have done that for both sides, you have removed the strap completely!

The next part of this tutorial will teach you how to put the strap back or just the spring bars themselves for use with a NATO or Perlon Strap.

Attaching a Watch Strap

To put the whole strap back, simply follow the following steps but do not remove the straps from the spring bars.

In my case, I want to put a nice grey NATO strap on my watch, so I am going to put just the spring bars back. For more detail on how to fit a NATO strap, be sure to check out our complete guide to NATO straps.

To reattach the spring bars, put one end into the lug hole on the side of the watch and let the other side rest on top of the other lug as pictured below.


Then, using the forked end of the spring bar tool, push the side of the spring bar that is resting on top of the lug in, while using your finger to push the spring bar down until it clicks into place.

Repeat this process for the other side too, and you are done!


If you just put the spring bars back like I did, you can now attach your NATO or Perlon Strap.


Wrapping up

I hope you found this tutorial useful! If you did, please be sure to share it on social media! If you have a question or have anything else to add, be sure to leave a comment below.

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  1. Post comment

    Dear Karl: I read with great interest all of your notes, you explain clearly with few wordsthe procedure for asorted tasks about watches, keep it up with your tutorials, we the watch lovers bring you a great THANKS for your comments. Best regards, Hugo Stacchiola, Buenos Aires, Argentina


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