Whether you want a change in look in your watch, to give it a thorough clean or you need to remove your watch bracelet from the case to get it serviced, knowing how to remove a watch bracelet is always useful. As watch enthusiasts, people often start to grow strap collections and enjoy different looks and vibes from their watch. However this is easy to do if you are confident and know how to remove your watch bracelet but if you don’t yet that’s completely fine. Today we are going to explain all the things you need to know and tools to have to change out your watch bracelet.

Rolex without rubber

The first step to remove a watch Band

Before getting into the details of all the different tools required to remove your bracelet from the watch case, you first need to know how your bracelet is attached to your watch case. This will determine how and what you need to remove it. The quickest way to find out is to put your watch on a soft surface like a towel, cushion or sofa and turn it over so you can see the case back of the watch. Focus your attention on the edge of the case where the bracelet starts and have a look how it is attached. Can you see any gaps where a metal spring bar is holding the strap in or are there small leavers you think your fingers could squeeze? If you cannot see anything and the case and bracelet all flow as one perfectly designed timepiece, then it’s more than likely you have a watch with an integrated bracelet. 

Source : Time & TIde

This essentially means the watch was designed to have a design in which the bracelet and case all flow continuously around the wrist meaning you can’t take it off. Audemars Piguet springs to mind when you look at their case and bracelet design, your only hope of removing the bracelet is to go to the AD where you bought it from. 

It is never impossible to remove a watch bracelet but it can require a lot of dismantling of the watch to remove it so if you have an integrated bracelet that can’t be removed then we recommend leaving iot to the professionals to help you out!

On the other hand, if you can see a gap at either end of the first link that makes contact with the watch case, you have a traditional spring bar holding the bracelet in place. As the name suggests, a spring bar is basically a metal tube that has a spring in the centre and two end parts that can be pushed inwards but because of the spring it forces them out to hold the bracelet in place on the watch. The spring bar sits inside of the first link and pushes its ends outwards into the small grooves on the inside of the watch lugs. To remove the bracelet you need either a classic spring bar tool which looks like a metal pen with a small for at one end and a thin metal tube at the other. 

Rolex Submariner

Source : Monochrome

The fork is designed to fit onto the groves on the part of the spring bar you can see so you can pull it back and gently use the other finger to push up on the bracelet to remove it from the case. Remember to put a bit of electrical tape (it sticks the best) on the back of the lugs to prevent scratches. A similar tool that can also be used is a pair of watch strap removal tweezers that feature a fork head at both ends. All you have to do is line up the frocks on both ends on the spring bar and then squeeze until the bracelet just slides off the watch, very easy to do and helps avoid any scratches!

The particular cases of change of wristband

ZEALANDE rubber strap

Source : SJX

On more vintage watches, the groves on the inside of the lugs go all the way through, take a classic 5 digit Rolex submariner for example and you can see a hole at the end of each lug. 

This is where the other end of the spring bar tool comes in handy, all you have to do is use the thin metal tube end of the tool and push through the holes on the ligs until you can push the bracelet out with the other finger. If you can’t see any room for a spring bar, a small leaver-like piece sticking up on the back of the first link, you have what’s known as a ‘quick release’ spring bar. 

As you might have guessed, all you need to do is pull the leave to one die of the case and it will contact the end of the spring bar causing the bracelet to be released from the watch. It’s as easy and quick as it sounds!

So there you have it, the different types of systems used to hold your bracelet to your watch and how you can remove each of them. And remember, the more practice you get with removing your watch bracelet the easier and quicker it will be. So don’t worry if the first few times it takes you a couple of minutes, with experience it will become effortless to remove your watch bracelet. Now that you can remove your bracelet with confidence, why not head on over to the ZEALANDE website to select the perfect Swiss-made rubber watch strap for your watch. 

ZEALANDE spring bar tool XL


The sporty look and feel of rubber looks incredible on a watch and with there being plenty of colours to choose from, you can be sure to get a rubber strap that compliments or matches your watch. Similar to your traditional spring pin bar system, all you need is a spring bar tool to pop the strap onto your watch case and then you’re all set!