How to Change the Wrist Band on Your Smartwatch

One of the most useful customizations offered for any smartwatch is the option to swap out the wrist band. This is especially great because a lot of times certain smartwatch models come with a less convenient band. A lot of folks don’t like the stock Pebble band because it’s made of a plastic-like material. While wearing the watch it has a tendency to collect grease and grime, and trap moisture. Since everyone sweats, this can cause a real issue because the strap collects moisture between the gap where the band and the watch face meet. Plus, many would much rather prefer a leather or metal strap for their device.

Devices like the Pebble, or the Pebble Steel are compatible with any wrist band provided they are the proper size. The Pebble is compatible with 22mm sized wristbands, which means you can purchase bands from anywhere and replace the stock band – provided they are 22mm. This is particularly useful because you can
buy the bands from any watch store, retailer or even online through Amazon.

In light of that, we’re going to offer a quick tutorial on changing out the wristband on your device. It’s actually a pretty simple process provided your smartwatch offers universal band support.

It is worth noting that such a thing is not possible with all models, like the Qualcomm Toq. With the Toq, for example you must size a proprietary band to your wrist by cutting it down to a proper length and then sealing the link indefinitely. In other words, you cannot change out the wrist band and if you were to sell the device or give it away the owner would have a difficult time resizing the band. In that respect, some smartwatches use a proprietary band that is not interchangeable with other bands on the market.

We’ll use the Pebble as an example throughout this entire article because it is one of the most recognized smartwatch models on the market – and it happens to offer universal band support. If you didn’t already know the new Pebble Steel model includes a leather strap and a metal strap so that you can swap between the two at will. Obviously, in order to swap out the two bands that come with the watch you’ll need to know the steps listed below.

What You Will Need to Begin

Here are all the supplies you’ll need to change out the wristband on your smartwatch:

  • Soft cloth to provide cushion for the watch face
  • Spring bar tool or similar pointed tool
  • New wristband

If you plan to replace the spring bars, you’ll also need a new set but that’s self-explanatory.

Spring Bar ToolIf you don’t have a springbar tool then anything thin enough to fit between the bar and the strap will work. It will take a little more effort to remove a strap if you don’t have the proper tool but it’s still possible. For reference, the springbar tool grabs the small bar and allows you to press it in, or expand it as necessary when removing the strap. If you are uncomfortable doing the work yourself you can always visit a local jeweler who will probably do everything for you at a minimal fee.

If you need to purchase a springbar tool, you can find one on Amazon for around $7.

How to Change the Watch Band

It’s possible you have never installed a watchband before, and you have no clue how. We’re here to help! We’re going to cover the process in a step-by-step tutorial below, so just follow along and you should have your new band installed in no time.

  1. Fold the soft cloth and lay it down in front of you so that you have a safe place to lay the watchface on.
  2. Place the watch face down onto the cloth, be sure the face is protected so that it won’t be scratched.
  3. Take the spring bar tool – or whatever you’re using in place of it – and push it between the strap and the watch clamps (where the band attaches to the watchface).
  4. If you have a spring bar tool press down on the bar and pull inwards toward the center of the strap. If you have another tool wedge it inbetween the bar and the watchface and pull inward.
  5. You should be able to safely remove the spring bar now, and along with it the old wrist strap. Place them both off to the side.
  6. Take off the other side of the band the same way, and place it and the other spring bar off to the side.
  7. Take the new watch band and one of the spring bars. Place the bar inside the small placement area on one side of the strap.
  8. Adjust the spring bar so that both sides protrude from the new strap. Slide it into place in the watch face. You may have to depress on side of the bar with your tool of choice. Make sure that the shorter strap out of the two is on the same side as the 12 o’ clock reading.
  9. Do the same thing with the other side of the wrist strap.
  10. Use the springbar tool to clamp the bar back into place. You can do this by pressing it down on top of the bar and pulling slightly outwards toward the edge of the watchface and strap until you hear a clicking noise.
  11. Once both straps appear to be on the watch correctly, tug them a little bit to make sure they are firmly attached.

Where Can I Find New Watch Bands?

Now that you know how to change the band on your smartwatch it only makes sense that you’d want to know a few places where you can get a new one. They can actually be found at a lot of places. Big name retailers like Wal-Mart or similar department stores will have watch bands available in the jewlery department. You could also visit any local jewelry store or retailer that sells watches like Relic, Fossil or similar places. Perhaps one of the easiest ways to find and purchase a custom watchband is online through an etailer like Amazon. You can find hundreds if not thousands of different options depending on the size watchband you need.

Are There Any Limitations?

Aside from the size requirement there are absolutely no limitations in what type of wristband you can install. For example, if you wanted to swap out a cloth band for a leather one, or a leather band for a metal one you can do just that. Of course, the material you choose can be more expensive depending on what it is – a metal watch band will always be pricier than a colored cloth one. In some cases if you find a cheap watch somewhere that has a wristband you would like, you can even pull the band off said watch and attach it to your smartwatch.

If you want to get a little more creative you can put together a wristband of your own, or buy a completely customized one from a portal such as Etsy. Etsy, if you didn’t already know is a haven for independent artists and retailers – you can find a lot of cool stuff on there!

About The Author

Briley Kenney

Briley Kenney is an experienced tech enthusiast who enjoys all things electronic and gadget related. Currently, Briley writes for a plethora of professional websites including Digital Trends, Lifewire, Ideaing, SmartWatches, and several prominent, but confidential, SEO companies. He has also written in-game content for the indie gem Tales of Illyria and it's two sequels Beyond the Iron Wall, and Destinies.