A HELPING HAND
General tips for the strapshifting DIY enthusiast.
01 HAVE PROPER TOOLS Most watches use spring bars to hold the straps to the watch, so use a spring bar tool for watches with drilled lugs. It also won’t hurt to have some spare spring bars, in case you break or lose the one you’re using. For watches with screw bars instead of spring ones, a set of jeweller’s screwdrivers should do the trick. These come in different sizes so get a complete set if you’re unsure of what size you need. 02 PROTECT YOUR WATCH Most guides will advise you to work with the underside of the watch facing up to prevent accidental scratches to the crystal, but some find it easier to work with the watch on the side. Either way, it’s good to cover the case with masking tape or layers of thick cling wrap before you begin. You can place your watch in a non-metallic vice for better grip. 03 PREPARE YOUR WORKSPACE It will take some time and patience if this is your first time (experienced strap swoppers claim to be able to do the job with a paper clip), so make sure you have a well-lit, spacious surface to work on. Lower your chair as far as you can so you’ll be as close to your watch as possible, while also giving your elbows a rest – yes, just like an actual watchmaker.