Change the watch band and the watch style and appearance are transformed. Give your old watch a new look by replacing the aged or worn out watch strap or bracelet or acquire multiple interchangeable bands to be able to create multiple looks with the same watch. Expand the versatility of your watch or watches with a good collection of bands in different styles and colors to suit different moods, outfits and occasions.
Here is where and how to buy stylish and quality women's watch bands online - metal bracelets, leather watch bands, metal watch bands, mesh watch straps, NATO watch straps, nylon watch bands, silicone and rubber watch straps including special ladies watch straps such as extra long bands for extra large wrists, bands for irregular lug widths odd numbers such as 15 mm and ones with special features and attachments.
You can get replacement bands from watch shops, watch dealers, jewelers, and watch band sellers. Here are great sources online:
Amazon has a wide selection of ladies watch straps and metal bracelets in a variety of sizes, styles, designs and colors. OEM straps by brands such as Michele, Invicta, Fossil and ladies watch bands by independent strap makers such as Hadley Roma, Vogue Straps, and more. See the ladies watch strap brands on Amazon.
Nordstrom: Stylish ladies metal bracelets, leather straps, rubber and fabric watch bands. Brands include Jack Mason, Michele, Shinola and Michael Kors.
Strapsco: Leather straps in a variety of styles and colors.
Esslinger: metal watch bands, expansion bands, fabric bands, rubber bands, and a variety of leather watch strap styles and colors
When it comes to the best brands for replacement or interchangeable women's watch bands, you have two options:
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Watch Straps
Most major watch brands sell matching straps and bracelets for their watches. You can get these from the brand's official shops and websites, authorized dealers stocking manufacturer's straps or order from a customer service center.
By buying watch bands from the same brand as the watch, you get to maintain authenticity and get the nice touches such as the brand's logo or icon on the band or buckle. Some unique watches may require specially designed non-standard straps that you can only get from the watch manufacturer.
But these can be very expensive and sometimes complicated to buy - often requiring you to order from their service centers or authorized dealers without seeing what you'll get.
Independent Strap Brands
Then there are independent strap makers who specialize in manufacturing after market watch bands. They provide more variety, custom designs and inexpensive straps. Unless your watch is a unique design, it will most likely take any standard watch strap of the correct width.
When buying a watch where you have the option to buy it on either a metal bracelet or a leather strap, it is usually better financially to buy the watch on the bracelet and obtain a strap later. A bracelet bought separately as a replacement part is usually very expensive.
Keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Well-made bracelets and straps take effort to assemble and thus command higher prices. Be wary of inexpensive straps and bracelets offered at prices that sound too good to be true.
Band Width: To get the correct size and type, use a ruler to measure the distance between the lugs in mm to get a strap that is an exact fit. Too small and there will be an unsightly gap. Too big, it’ll appear squeezed and may bend awkwardly. The lugs are the parts of the watch that stick out from the ends of the case and hold the strap or bracelet. This measurement is usually a multiple of 2mm, but some watches have odd-numbered widths.
Strap Length: How big is your wrist and what strap length will fit? Most straps and bracelets will fit someone with an average wrist size of approximately six to seven inches in diameter. Band length is often classified as Regular, Short or Long. Don't forget to add the size of the watch to the size of the strap when comparing to the circumference of your wrist. The watch itself may add around 1.5 inches (4 mm) to the circumference. So when measuring for a strap, always add the length of your watch (measured from the top spring pin to the bottom one) when comparing the strap size to the circumference of your wrist.
Metal bracelets often allow for more precise adjustments by adding or removing links. Some brands offer extra-long or extra-short straps, and custom strap makers will build your strap to the exact lengthg you choose.
When you know the dimensions of your watch strap, you can go ahead and purchase a watch strap that is the right size for your watch and wrist size.
It's also important to know the type of watch band attachment your watch has as this will determine whether your watch can take a standard strap.
The spring bar is the most common way of attaching straps to watch cases. Watches with spring bars are usually compatible with standard watch straps and straps are easy to change.
The classic two-piece leather strap is normally attached via a standard spring-loaded double-ended pin and is relatively easy to swap out with a spring bar tool.
Bracelet watches that can be easily switched to a standard strap include simple bracelets, custom fit bracelets on standard lug connections, and bracelet watches with traditional strap fittings hidden under the bracelet end pieces. Most watches have detachable bracelets which can be replaced with a standard watch strap of the right width.
Bracelet watches that may require special or custom straps that can only be bought from the original watch manufacturer or licensed strap makers: Non-standard, brand or model-specific strap/bracelet connection and fixed pin or peg connection that require 'open-ended' straps.
Bracelet watches that cannot be switched to a strap include watches with integrated bracelets where the bracelet and the watch case are either a single piece or an integrated design without a standard strap connection and loop end watch cases found in some vintage women's watches.
Not sure whether your watch can accommodate a standard strap? Any jeweler should be able to tell you after a simple inspection of your watch.
On most watches, changing the strap is straightforward and you can DIY at home with the simple tools and some practice.
To prevent scratches when changing a strap or bracelet, you can use masking tape to cover the exposed areas of the lugs and case.
You can also have a professional watch repairer or jeweler change the straps for you.
Some watch brands have mechanisms that simplify changing straps and bracelets. But the simple spring bar is the most common way of attaching straps to watch cases and such straps can be swapped out easily using simple tools. Here are a few of the basic tools required to change and resize most wast bracelets and straps.
Spring-bar tool: the spring-bar removal tool used to unhitch the spring bars from their holes between the lugs and to put them back in.
Screwdrivers: small, flat-head screwdrivers designed specialy for watches to remove links and to tighten and loosen some spring bars that lack a spring.
Pin tool: for pushing pins in and out of a bracelet to add or remove links and also for pushing out spring bars on watches with external lug holes.
You can purchase these tools inexpensively online at Amazon or from specialty retailers.