View Full Version : How the heck do I shorten a watch band?

03-27-2004, 02:05 AM
It used to be that when you bought a fairly pricey watch band it'd come with instructions telling you how to take a link out of it if it needed to be shortened.

I just bought a nice new Speidel (mail order from allwatchbands.com) and while it looks great on the watch I inherited from my dad, it's way too long for my wrist. And it didn't come with any instructions on how to take a link out. I actually need to take four links out.

This is not the kind of band where each link is attached by a pin that can be pushed out (I know how to do that, and I've got the tools to do it with). This one's got rectangular links that overlap (one set on top, one on the bottom). My Medic Alert bracelet has the same kind of expansion bracelet and it came with instructions on how to take links out, but of course I can't find those instructions.

Googling hasn't turned up anything useful. I guess Speidel figures the average buyer will either have the right size arm or will want to take the band to a jeweler to have the length made right. Yeesh.

03-27-2004, 03:05 AM
See a jeweler. If it's worth re-sizing, it's worth doing right. Good watches don't usually come with DIY hardware. You got the best, have a jeweler do the rest. Would you be as happy with a DIY fix? Comes with the territory.

03-27-2004, 06:41 AM
'Expanding' watch bands... some you can DIY adjust, others really need to be taken to a store where A Man can do the job properly. Sounds like you've got the second type. Take it in. Less than five minutes and doesn't cost much.

03-27-2004, 11:28 AM
There are instructions here (must have flash): http://www.speidel.com/default.cfm/PID=1.24?PID=1.24&inq_key=7851&action=detail&LibID=465

You'll need a butter knife to bend down the tabs and a needle or tweezers to pull out the pins.

Mr. Blue Sky
03-27-2004, 11:50 AM
Don't get carried away like I did. I had a watch with an expandable band and figured I needed to remove four links.


I really only needed to remove three. Now the band is too tight and I'll have to get a new one.

Just take your time and work on a surface where, if something comes flying out, you can find it again.

03-27-2004, 02:46 PM
There are instructions here

Ah! Shoot, I didn't think to try speidel.com. DUH! :)

That looks like the instructions that came with my Medic Alert bracelet, so I'm sure I won't have too much trouble with it.


03-27-2004, 06:52 PM
...but just in case you do, the average jeweler can do it for about $5.00. And they may help you to remove only the correct number of links the first time. OR not.

Bad News Baboon
03-27-2004, 06:58 PM
I really only needed to remove three. Now the band is too tight and I'll have to get a new one.

I used to work at a Jeweler's and adjusted watches all the time. Unless you threw out the links, you can easily add one back. Even on the expandable types.

The biggest mistake I saw was that when people tried to remove a link, they didn't do it on a soft surface, so I saw a lot of scratched faces.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.