Posted June 13, 2014 by Esslinger Staff
Sometimes your watch band clasp will wear out before your watch band does. If you don’t want to replace your whole watch band you can always just replace the clasp itself. Use this guide to learn how to change single fold style watch band clasps with buttons.
How will you recognize a single fold clasp with buttons? When the clasp is open it should have two metal plates with one joint and a solid cover section. When it is closed the two plates will fold over each other and under the watch band so the cover with its spring loaded metal buttons is all that is visible.
The first thing to do will be to remove the old clasp so you can replace it. Start by opening the watch band clasp to reveal where it attaches to the watch band.
Then, beginning with the end of the clasp furthest from the cover side, set the band on its side so you can access hole on the top of the band where the spring bar is visible. Take your spring bar tool and insert the pointed end tip into the hole where you can see the spring bar. Push down on the spring bar to compress it and carefully slide the watch band out from under the end of the clasp.
Be aware that the spring bar can unexpectedly expand once it is free and jump across your work space. Keep it from doing so by moving slowly so you can easily pull the spring bar free with your fingers and place it in your parts tray to use later. Let the first end of the old clasp fall free of the watch band. Try to remember which side of the watch band attached to which end of your clasp so you can be sure that you place the new clasp correctly later.
Next, reposition the watch band on your work surface so that the cover end of the watch band clasp is in front of you, and you can again access the spring bar hole at the edge of the band. Take your spring bar tool and, using the pointed end, insert the end into the hole in the watch band clasp where you noticed the spring bar. Push down on the spring bar to compress it, and then angle your spring bar tool to slide the watch band and compressed spring bar out from under the clasp.
Make sure that the spring bar doesn’t fly across the room and pull the spring bar out of the watch band. Set it in your parts tray. Let the watch band fall apart and set the old clasp aside. Be sure to remember which side of the clasp attached to which end of the watch band.
Next, take one end of your watch band and measure the diameter of the loose end with your digital gauge. Order the right size and color replacement watch band clasp, once you have this measurement in hand. Be sure that your replacement has buttons too to ensure you have a secure clasping mechanism.
When you have the new clasp in hand, you will want to start by attaching the cover end of the clasp to the watch band first. Take your spring bar and insert it back into the end that you removed it from earlier. Holding the watch band and the spring bar together, slip the watch band inside the watch clasp end so that the outside of the watch band faces the same direction as the solid clasp cover. Align the end of the spring bar with the hole in the bottom of the clasp.
Take your spring bar tool now and use the forked end to press the spring bar down into the watch band so you can slide it completely into the watch clasp end. Carefully remove your spring bar tool and wiggle the watch band around under the clasp until the spring bar slips into place in the hole in the clasp and expands again. You may have to do with more than once to get it in place.
With the watch clasp partially attached to the watch band, you can now attach the other end of the clasp to the band. Take your other spring bar and insert it into the free end of the watch band. Holding the watch band and the spring bar together, slip the watch band inside the other watch clasp end so that the back side of the watch band faces the upper face of the bottom metal plate like this. Align the end of the spring bar with the hole in the bottom of the clasp.
Take your spring bar tool now and use the forked end to press the spring bar down into the watch band so you can slide it completely into the watch clasp end. Carefully remove your spring bar tool and wiggle the watch band around under the clasp until the spring bar slips into place in the hole in the clasp and expands again.
When both spring bars have been reinserted and your watch band is securely back together, you can continue wearing your watch again. To learn more about watch band repair, check out the rest of our Learning Center.