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How to Measure a Watch Band without the Watch Band

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One of the most important things to do when you are planning to change your watch band is to measure the existing band (if possible) and find out the width and length.  Without those two measurements, you will not be able to ensure that you have the right size watch band for your watch case.  But what if you just have the watch case and the watch band itself is gone?  Don't worry, you can use this guide from to help you successfully measure a for a watch band without actually having the watch band.


Tools Needed

  • A pencil
  • A piece of paper
  • A pair of scissors
  • A ruler
  • Tape
  • Optional: a digital gauge

Step 1

The first thing to do is find the width your new watch band needs to be.  To find the width, you will take the watch case and measure the distance between two of the watch lugs.  You can do this with either a ruler or a digital gauge, though the digital gauge will give you the most accurate results.

watch band width


Hold the watch case in your hand so that the lugs are facing outward.  Then take your digital gauge and place the backward opening upper jaws in between the watch case lugs.  Open the gauge's jaws until they fit snugly against the inside of the watch lugs.  Record the millimeter measurement listed on the gauge's display.  If the measurement is not a whole number, round up if the decimal is five or above, and round down if the decimal is less than five.





Using the ruler, take your watch case and line the inside of the watch lug up with the zero marker on the metric side of the ruler as most watch band widths are given in millimeters.  When the watch lug is aligned, read the measurement on the ruler where the inside of the second lug lines up with the lugs. Estimate smaller if the edge is between two millimeter marks on the watch band.



Step 2

After you have determined the width of the watch band, you need to determine what length will fit you. Take your piece of paper and cut a strip off that is about two inches wide and long enough to wrap around your wrist with extra paper at the end.



Step 3

calculate watch band length


Set the strip of paper out flat before you.  Lay your watch case in the center of the strip of paper and mark where the spring bars would sit with the pencil: You can do with by looking for the indentations in the watch lugs and marking the paper just where they are. Do this for both sets of watch lugs. Then, using your ruler, draw a straight line between the marks you made to indicate where the watch case would be.






Step 4

calculating length of watch band


Once you have done that, take the paper and center the section that would be the watch case on your wrist like you would do with a real watch. Tape one end of the paper to your wrist to hold both the paper to your wrist and the “watch case” centered on your arm.




Step 5

watch band measurement


Then, wrap the remaining loose end of the paper around your wrist and tape that end down to your paper watch. When the paper watch is secured, flip your arm so you palm is facing up and draw a line down the paper in the middle of your wrist to mark where the clasp would go.



Step 6

measuring a watch band


Then, take your scissors and cut along the line you just drew on the paper watch band. Be sure to cut through both ends of the paper on your wrist.  You may need a friend to help you cut through the paper band for you.



Step 7

measurement of watch band length


Remove the paper watch from your wrist and get rid of the scraps. Laying the fitted paper watch out flat before you. Now, cut the watch case portion of your paper strip out, leaving just the band portions in front of you.






Step 8

my watch band size


Line up the ends of the two remaining portions of your paper watch, the parts the represent the watch band, so that they form one piece – you can tape them together if it is easier to hold them lined up that way. Place the ruler on top of the paper strips and line up the zero marker with one end of the paper watch band.




Now, you have both the width and length measurements and can easily order a replacement band that is the perfect size for your watch. 

Remember: When you go to order your replacement watch band, remember that all metal watch bands can be adjusted to some extent. You can remove links to make it smaller, and even adjust the pins in some clasps to make it larger.

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This high quality spring bar tool is a must for anyone who works on watches. Has two replaceable tips, one pointed for replacing watch band links and one forked for removing spring bars as well as a millimeter and inch gauge on the handle.
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This watch band tool is used to measure the distance between a watch cases lugs. Great for determining the size needed for a replacement watch band or a watch band adjustment.
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Professional watch band tools repair kit. Includes everything to size, adjust, replace, and repair metal and leather watch bands.

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