Saturday, May 11, 2013

DIY: how to remove watch links

My husband got me the watch I wanted for Mother's Day. I wanted one that displayed the date and had a classic Rolex look without the hefty price tag. I ended up picking this one out by Invicta.

It was too big and I needed to have some links taken it out. But since I ordered it online, I couldn't bring myself to take it to my local jeweler for resizing. Plus, sometimes I can be kind of cheap. After watching a few YouTube videos and taking a deep breath, I decided to tackle the task of removing the extra links using tools I found around the house.

 I used a scrap piece of wood to protect my kitchen counter top and the watch. My handy husband drilled a couple of holes in it for me. I ended up using the hole closest to the edge. I also used a pair of angled, flat needle nose pliers, a small nail, a watchmaker's hammer that I use sometimes to make jewelry and a nail file.

 I filed the nail edge down so that it would have a flatter surface.

 When I tried on my watch it looked like I needed to remove three links. I also used my old watch for size comparison.

 My new watch is marked with arrows to show the direction which the pin exits the link. I aligned it so I could punch down the pin that holds the link in place.

 I placed my watch so that the pin would fall into the hole that was drilled on the piece of wood.

 I barely had to tap the link so that it would fall out. The pliers were handy to have when the pin didn't fall out right away.

 This shows that the pin is actually split in half. One side is flat and the other side expands inside the watch link to hold it in place. I removed one link from each side.

Before tapping the last pin back in place, I was able to put the links all back in place to see if it was the right size. I decided to take out one more link, for a total of three.

I finally tapped the last pin back in place. I did the opposite of what I did to remove them. I placed my watch with the arrows facing up this time and I inserted the pin with the flat side first and the open tension last. I tapped it back just using the hammer or gently with my filed-down nail. I ended up with a great fitting, Mother's Day watch and a great sense of accomplishment. 

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