Have you just got a new watch, perhaps as a gift? Or maybe inherited one, or like in my case, purchased one over the Interweb, on eBay for instance. Either way, the bracelet has not been ultimately set up to match your specific physical attributes; ie. it'll either be too tight or - more commonly if the timepiece is brand new - too loose for your wrist.

Instead of taking your piece to the nearest watchmaker and pay a not-too-insignificant amount of money for it to be adjusted, you could most likely adjust it yourself!
Most watch wristbands made in metal consist of links that are connected by small metal bars running though ever pair of interconnected links. As you probably figured out, you'll have to push these metal bars out in order to separate the link you wish to discard. Then you're going to have to reconnect the remaining links by reinserting the metal bar where you made the link detachment. Does it sound confusing? No worries, just keep on reading and check out the pictures and you'll get the hang of it!

I'll be demonstrating this on my new gold tinted stainless steel watch, which happens to be the solar / artificial light powered Citizen Eco-Drive BM6672-51E. However, the tutorial will most likely be applicable to most wristwatches with any kind of linked metal bracelet that is connected with metal pins.

What's needed


Modular screwdriver using a
bradawl type key.

First off, what you need for this little project would be a tool with a long and sharp end, like a bradawl or a fine screwdriver. Or better yet, the real thing; a tool made specifically for this purpose. They go for practically nothing on eBay, I got mine right away for $0.99. Just search for "watch adjust" or similar and you shouldn't have any problem finding one of these.



Dedicated tool for adjusting watch
bracelets.Available on eBay for a
dollar or less.

The tool is simply a bradawl running through a vise, that
can easily be detached if necessary.

Tutorial / How to do it

Step 1: Decide where to make the cut
Adjust the bracelet so the clasp
goes right under your wrist.
Put the watch on, hold your arm out and take a close look at where the clasp is positioning itself, as it hangs loosely underneath your wrist. Try to figure out what side of the watch band is the longest, and ergo; where you should start taking off link first and not lose the balance of your watch.

Step 2: Locate the arrows!
On the back side of your watch band, look for arrows imprinted on the links closest to the buckle. These arrows indicate that the link can be detached (without manufacturing expertise). The direction of said arrows dictate the direction the metal bars go outward.

Step 3: Push out the first pin
Pushing out the initial pin.
Take your watch adjustment tool of choice, and start pushing one of the pins out (preferably one that is close to the buckle), in the direction marked by the arrow. Pull the bar out at the opposite end. This might need a bit of screwing and wiggling of the pin. The pin might sit tightly. If that is the case you might also need a pair of pliers in order to get it out properly.

Step 4: Disconnecting link(s)
Your bracelet should now parted near the buckle, and all you have to do now is to repeat the previous step on either end of the watch band; pull out the pin closest to the end of the bracelet to detach the link it is holding.

Grab the pin at the other and
yank it out.
Wiggle off the link and then try holding the band together as you try the watch on to see if it now fits. If it's still too loose, discard another link and try ditching more links until it feels just right.

Step 5: Reassemble the bracelet
Now that you have the bracelet as long as you want it, you just need to join the two ends using one of the metal bars you just pulled out. Here the dedicated watch tool comes in handy with its precision as well as power, as the metal pin might be a bit reluctant and hard to push back in. Some might employ a hammer in this step, which I wouldn't recommend doing.
First metal pin out and the
bracelet is thus parted.

Bracelet properly adjusted!
2 Links less was enough to get my
band of a proper length.

Good luck, and hope you found this little tutorial helpful!

Cheers,
~theJo