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Monday, September 26, 2011

How To Remove Links From or Resize Your Linked Bracelet Watch

I have a tiny wrist, so I was aware before ordering the Jules Watch from Send the Trend that it would need to be brought to a jeweler for resizing. 



Little did I know, watch links are easily removable by anyone! Kaitlin from STT sent me instructions that called for a small hole punch and a pair of pliers. After reading through the directions, I quickly realized that this could be done a whole lot easier. With just a few modifications, I decided to give it a go. 

I tested it out on a watch that I purchased from Target a few months back. I couldn't believe how easy it was! In less than 60 seconds I re-sized a watch that I had sitting in my jewelry box waiting to be brought to the jewelry store for 6 months!

Since it really was that easy, I decided to use my Jules Watch from STT to create a step by step guide to show you how to remove links from your watch using just an earring and a lighter.

Before I begin I want to add that not all watches are the same. I was able to easily re-size both of my watches, but the Target watch took less effort. I'm a tiny, physically weak girl.. so don't worry, you don't have to be "strong" in any way to do this. You just need to be able to put a little strength into it for 2 minutes. 

What you need: 1) A paper clip, pushpin, earring post that you don't mind if you bend, or anything else that is small enough to fit through the tiny pinhole on the side of the watch links. If you use a paperclip it must be a small one because the larger clips are too wide to fit through the hole in the watch link. 2) Anything that is small, hard, and has a flat surface - I used the edge of a pen.

1. Try the watch on. Pinch the links to get an idea of how many you will need to remove to make the watch fit you. If you need to remove two links, you should remove one link from each side of the face of the watch. If you need to remove three links, you would have to remove one link from one side and two from the other. Etc.

2. Hold your watch face up, right side up (that means with the 12 on top). Look at the right* side of the links, you should see tiny pinholes.

[Quick lesson: These pins hold the watch links together. Some pins are solid and have one end that is thicker. The thicker end is what holds the pin in place. Other pins will actually appear as if they are screws because you will see a slit in the middle, but in reality they are actually split pins. The split slightly expands the open end of this type of pin and therefore holds it in place. You can read more about pins here.] 
 *Both of my watches have the thicker/split ends of the pins on the left side, so that is why my instructions advise you to work from the right side. However I am not positive that every watch is made this way.

Take your earring (or paper clip or pushpin) and put it through the hole on the right side. You will need to be pretty forceful here because you will need to push the pin through to the other side.




I was able to push the pins the entire way through in one shot with the Target watch.  The Jules watch was much stiffer, so I had to use a lot more force. You should be able to at least have the pin poke through on the left side. 



If you have done this and cannot continue to push it all the way out, you can resort to tweezers or pliers to finish the job and pull the pin out. You should definitely be able to push the pins through on your own though.

3. Once you have removed the first pin the watch will open up. Next, you need to remove a second pin on that same link. After you have done this, the link is detached from the watch. Continue removing pins and links until the watch fits you. After you have removed all the links needed, simply reattach the watch by lining up the open links and sliding one of the pins back through (from the left side, with the expanded or split end of the pin on the left side).


4. You should be able to easily slide the pin in, but you will be left with a small piece poking out. This is where the lighter comes in. I used the end of a lighter to push the pin the entire way in. This makes the pin "invisible" and ensures that it will not fall out.


That's it! Your watch is now ready to wear.


If you try this out, let me know how it works out for you. If you have any questions about this technique, feel free to comment or e-mail me.


You can read my review of the Jules Watch from Send the Trend here.

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