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 open end center catch clasps.
How will you recognize an open end center catch style buckle? The clasp will be attached to one side of the watch band that has a solid bar attached to the link. The open end clasp has a metal tube that can be wrapped around the bar, providing a secure clasp for your watch.
- A needle nose pliers
- A flat nose pliers
- A watch band holder
- A digital gauge
- A parts tray
- A replacement open end clasp
The first thing to do will be to remove the old clasp so you can replace it and continue wearing your watch. Look at your watch clasp where it attaches to the watch band. One the side that is attached to the watch band, you should see a seam in the metal tube that is wrapped around the solid bar in the band.
Hold the watch band clasp securely in your non-dominant hand so that you can easily pry the tube open without the clasp sliding around.
Insert the tip of your needle nose pliers into the seam in the clasp until you can get a good grip on the edge where the metal has been curled over. It may take a couple of tries to get a good grip on the metal end.
Pry the metal tube open until you can slip the old clasp off of the metal bar attached to the watch band link. Set the old watch band aside in your parts tray.
Take the free end of your watch band and measure the length of the solid bar that the clasp should wrap around with the backward opening jaws of your digital gauge. This is traditionally the space between the lugs. Order a replacement watch clasp in the correct metal color using your measurement.
When you have your new clasp, be sure to test it with the existing hook attached to the other end of the watch band. Make sure you can still close the clasp so that it holds the hook securely. You should also insert the uncurled end of the clasp into the gap behind the solid bar it will eventually wrap around to make sure it fits in the space, and to be prepared to attach it to the watch band.
Once you know that the new clasp fits your watch, make sure that the clasp is flipped the right direction so it doesn’t open into your wrist when you wear your watch. Holding the watch clasp and watch band together in your non-dominant hand, take your flat nosed pliers and grip the partially curved end of the clasp between the lugs.
Carefully crimp the metal tube closed around the solid link to attach the new clasp to your watch band. Be aware that you may have to crimp the metal more than once to securely close the tube so that the metal bar can’t slip through the natural seam.
When you have securely closed the metal tube 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.