Sometimes the security catch on your watch band clasp will wear out before your clasp does. If you don’t want to replace the entire clasp you can always just replace the security catch itself. Use this guide to learn how to change the security catch on a folding style clasp using a side cutter. How do you know if your watch clasp has a security catch? When the clasp is closed it will have a metal tongue that locks over the top of the clasp.
Be aware, sometimes the pins holding the security catch in place will wear out or begin to loosen long before either the clasp or the security catch begin to give out. You can also use this guide to replace the old or worn out pins that are effecting how the security catch works and closes, giving your security catch and clasp new life.
- A side cutter
- A non-magnetic tweezers
- A jeweler’s ball peen hammer
- A watch band holder
- A pin pusher
- A digital gauge
- A parts tray
- A pair of jeweler’s pliers
- A new security catch
- And an extra friction tube with two covers
The first thing to do will be to remove the old security catch so you can replace it. Start by opening the watch band to give you total access to the clasp. Hold the watch band on its side so you can see where the security catch attaches, it should have two ‘pin end covers’ hiding the friction tube from you.
Take your side cutter tool and open the jaws so you can position them inside the clasp between the band and the edge of the clasp. This will allow you to cut the pin and remove the security catch.
Close the jaws of your side cutter, being careful not to cut or scratch the watch band or clasp itself. Squeeze the cutter firmly until it clicks and cuts through the pin cover. Set the side cutter aside and let the loose cover end of the pin fall from of the clasp.
Turn the watch band around so you can pull the remaining portion of the pin out of the clasp and security catch. If you can’t grip the end that protrudes from the clasp with your fingers, use your jeweler’s pliers to grip the end and remove it. Once the pin is out of the clasp the security catch should fall onto your work bench. Set all the pieces aside.
This end of the clasp will now be unattached from the watch band, you will put it back together once you have your new security catch in place.
Take the free end of the watch clasp where the security catch attaches and measure its outside diameter with your digital gauge.
Then turn the band on its side to measure the inside diameter of the hole for the new tube and pin that will hold the security catch in place. Use the backward opening jaws of your digital gauge for this. These measurements will give you all the information that you need to order the correct color and size replacement security catch and friction pins.
With the new pin on hand you can now re-attach the loose end of the clasp to the band. Note that these friction tube and pin cover pins come with one pin cover pre-fit so you will want to start by putting all the parts of the band together before inserting the pin.
Take the two loose ends of the band and hold them together so the forked end hugs the loose end of the band like this. Then holding the band and clasp securely together, take the security catch and place it around the clasp so it will fold over the clasp when it is closed. Be sure that the hole in the security catch is aligned with the hole in the watch band and clasp.
Start to insert your friction tube with pre-installed pin cover into the clasp, catch and band to help hold them together. When they are loosely held together place all three parts into your watch band holder to keep them steady while you finish replacing the friction pin.
Place your pin pusher between the pin cover and your ball peen hammer to protect the watch band while you work. Tap gently on the pin pusher with your ball peen hammer to push the pin back into the watch band. Stop when the pin cover is flush with the security catch and there isn’t any gapping between the clasp and the catch.
Remove the watch band from the holder and turn it over so you can place the loose pin cover. Return the watch band to the holder to keep it steady while you work. Grab your pin cover with your tweezers and insert it into the top hole in the security catch. Place your pin pusher against the top of the pin cover and use your hammer to gently tap on the pin pusher to set the cover into place.
Once the second pin cover is flush with the security catch and it is securely attached to the band you can remove the watch band from the holder and wear it again with pride. To learn more about watch repair, you can check out the rest of our Learning Center.