Metal Watch Bands Are Stylish And Versatile
A great watch is made even better when paired with the right strap. The material that you choose for your watch band can have a major impact on your overall look, and knowing which material to pair with your watch is one of the keys to watch-wearing success.
One of the most common watch band materials is metal. Metal watch bands are incredibly versatile and elegant, and they can pair well with a wide variety of looks. Metal watch bands are often made from small interconnected links, and adding or removing links to a metal band can adjust the fit of the watch.
Why You Need A Watch Band That Fits Well
An ill-fitting watch is uncomfortable to wear and can ruin your look. If your watch band is too tight, you will quickly get uncomfortable and may even find your circulation in your wrist being cut off. The constricting feeling of a too-tight metal watch band is extremely unpleasant, and it is well worth it to adjust your metal band so that it is loose enough to wear comfortably.
If your metal watch band is too tight, resizing can be more difficult to address than if the band is too loose. In many cases, a too-small watch band needs to have links added to it to get a better fit, whereas a band that is too big can have links removed to adjust the fit.
When your watch band is too loose, it can feel cumbersome and clunky. An overly loose band can make you want to leave your watch at home when you would otherwise be proud to wear it everywhere.
When you are wearing a metal watch band and it is too loose, it means there are too many links in your band. Removing several links in your metal band can get you a much better fit, making your watch feel much more comfortable.
How Metal Watch Bands Are Made
A metal watch band is typically made from a chain of interconnected stainless steel links. These interlinked pieces are connected with small metal pins. The chain of links is fastened with a metal clasp, which tightens the watchband and secures it to the wearer’s wrist.
When you put on a watch with a metal band, its fit will be determined by the number of links in the band. Too many links means a fit that is too loose, and too few means a fit that is too tight. Your watch band may come with extra links that can be added to adjust the fit if the band is too tight. If not, you will need to order links from the band manufacturer to manually add to your band.
How Size Your Watchband
To determine how many links you need to remove from your metal watch band, the best place to start is with your watch on your wrist, even if it doesn’t fit too well. If your watch is too loose, the best way to tell how many links it needs to have removed is by using the clasp to fasten the watch band while wearing the watch on your wrist.
Once you have your watchband fastened to your hand, use your fingers to pinch the band tight. Any excess links leftover outside of the section of your watchband that you have pinched will need to be removed to get a better fit out of the band.
When your watchband is too tight, you may not be able to fasten the clasp shut without adding a few additional links to the band. If this is the case, you may want to order more replacement links that you might think are necessary. Having too many links and needing to remove a few is a much easier problem to solve than having too few links and an unwearable watchband.
How To Remove Links From Your Watchband
If your metal watch band is too loose, you can make an at-home adjustment with a few small tools. To remove links from your watch band, you need a pair of needle-nosed pliers, a pushpin, and a small, lightweight hammer.
The first step in removing a link from your metal watch band is loosening the link’s pin. The small pins inside each metal link connect the links to each other and secure them in place. These small pins are sturdy enough to keep your band secure, but all it takes is a pushpin and some light pressure to loosen one enough to easily remove it.
Gently take your pushpin and align it with the pin in the link you are removing. Pressing the pushpin into the pin will partially expose the pin on one end of the link. Once the pin is exposed, take your needle-nosed pliers and gently remove it from the link. Removing the pin will unfasten the link from the rest of your watchband, separating the band into two sections. These sections can be rejoined after you have removed the number of links you need to get rid of to get the right fit.
To reconnect the disconnected sections of your watchband after removing links, set the band on a flat, level surface with the pinholes pointing up (the band will stand tall rather than lying flat in this position). Connect the two sections of the band to each other and use your fingers to put a pin in the pinless link.
Once you have connected the two sections of the band, you can secure the band by pushing the displaced pin back into the link that connects the two sections. A small jewelry hammer is the ideal tool for this task. Always be gentle with your watch band when using a jewelry hammer to replace pins. A metal watch band is durable, but it will last much longer and stay looking great if you are gentle with it.
Is A Metal Watch Band Right For You?
Of course, metal is far from the only material used to craft high-quality watch straps. Leather, canvas, and rubber are also popular watch band materials, and depending on your preferences and overall style, one of these materials might be a better pick for you and your watch.
Metal is one of the most versatile watch strap materials. It is easier to care for and maintain than leather, fits with many outfits at varying degrees of formality, and can be easily paired with other metallic accessories. However, for certain watches and certain outfits, metal may not be the ideal material for a strap.
One circumstance where you may want to opt for leather instead of metal is if you typically need to wear highly formal outfits. Black leather is considered the most formal watch band material, the only one that is traditionally acceptable to pair with the most formal outfits. Fortunately, your watch strap can easily be swapped out for a better fit for a specific occasion. That means you can keep a leather strap and a metal strap in your arsenal and switch them out whenever necessary.
If you tend to dress more casually but frequently wear leather accessories (shoes, belt, bag, and other items), pairing a leather watch band with the rest of these accessories can add cohesiveness to your look. A metal watch band can be paired with leather accessories, but coordinating leather with leather often makes an outfit feel more even. If you typically wear brown leather, matching a brown watch strap with the rest of your accessories is the way to go. The same goes for black leather, which is ideal for formal outfits.
Choosing The Right Watch
Finding a strap that looks great and fits well is just one part of the process of choosing your perfect watch. The watch that fits best with your style and specific needs will depend on a few key factors in your life. Do you dress casually the majority of the time? A field watch with a canvas strap might be ideal for you. On the other hand, if you spend most of your workdays in a suit and tie, a metal or leather-strapped dive watch might be just what you're looking for.
Some watches have a more versatile design and are paired with a strap that suits both formal and casual outfits. If you plan on owning only one watch and one strap, these jack-of-all-trades watches are the way to go. For maximum versatility, opt for a metal or leather strap. Pair your strap material of choice with a dive, aviation, nautical, or racing watch, and you can count on that timepiece pairing well with just about any outfit you may wear.
Ultimately, one of the great joys of watch-wearing is personalizing your watch. Choosing a strap that you love and getting it to fit perfectly is rewarding, as is picking out a watch that is perfect for you. Whatever style catches your eye and fits with you most, that’s the one to go for.