Your time-telling companion has mechanical moving parts which are bound to get damaged with time one way or the other hence you need to know a thing or two about watch repairs.
Particularly, we shall focus on one of the most affected areas (i.e. the watch clasp). If your watch comes with such a mechanism, it’s normal that at one point the connection is going to malfunction with the most common problem usually being looseness or breakage. In line with this, today we take a look at how to fix a watch clasp of any style of watch.
Fixing a Z-type Clasp
Watch clasp varieties are many and we’ll start off with the Z-type which earns its name from the shape resemblance it shares with the letter Z. When this type of clasp becomes loose, the metal tends to bend outwards and it would seem that simply pushing it back in is the ideal solution. Well, it’s not. So don’t do it because the sharp bends of the surface are bound to crack.
Here’s how we go about repairing this clasp:
The first step is to check for cracks before you begin repair work. If there are any, then I’m afraid there is not much you can do but to replace the clasp in its entirety.
Next is to examine the hinge i.e. this is the joint connecting either half of the clasp when fully opened. Close it gently to see if closes neatly or if it tries to spring open in which case you need to create a little more space by bending the hinge’s tabs.
If the above didn’t work, then you are facing a dimensional problem where both of the two clasp’s folding pieces don’t complement each other well lengthwise. You can rectify this by making one of these pieces shorter either by adjusting the shape of one of the pieces or by slightly bending the hinge tabs.
Be careful that you do this bit by bit from the top of the tab while all the while taking note of the clasp springiness that would interfere with its operation if too much.
For a double Z-clasp, the bar is prone to breakage however you can simply solve this by ordering a new one for replacement.
How to Fix a Button-Type Clasp
This particular clasp has a somewhat rectangular box head that unfolds by pressing a button. Here’s a quick video about fixing button type clasps:
These clasps are especially prone to dirt and the other common malfunction is usually a defective spring. A good scrubbing is enough to keep the dirt at bay but for a bad spring, the remedy is getting a new clasp. Alternatively, the procedure for fixing this clasp encompasses:
The post on the opposite side of the clasp head tends to fall out after a while due to looseness and this is the problem synonymous with this clasp 9 out of 10 times. If you retrieved this piece when it fell out, then putting it back in is as simple as ABC.
Fixing a Standard-Type Clasp
The standard clasp resembles the end of a fishing hook though it has sharp corners and instead of the hook, you have a small metal piece- which goes over a gap with a pin barrier on the other side of the band- that looks like a small tooth.
Here’s how you go about fixing this one:
The first problem you could experience usually manifests when said “tooth” is bent and therefore keeps the clasp from closing shut. You need to shorten this part and a big screwdriver is the best tool for the job. Place the edge of the screwdriver near the middle of the clasp and then hammer it into place until it can fit back into position.
If the pin at the hinge of the clasp is the problem, a small wooden piece provides a band-aid solution though it’s best you replace it.
Repairing a Slide Clasp
This variety is synonymous with the watches of yesteryears although a number of Casio watches still employ this mechanism to date. Often what people mistake for malfunction with these clasps is usually misinformation as most people don’t know how to close them right.
Don’t hook it on the bar whilst also clicking the tab as the watch won’t close properly because the tab aligns wrongly. You should first hook the clasp on the bar, then press down the top. Finally, check for alignment of the bottom and upper sections. That said, if you are experiencing problems with the clasp, here’s how you deal with them:
You first need to place the watch on its face then lay out either half of the band horizontally with the clasp opened so that you have the bottom and top clasp portions on either side of the case back.
On the bottom part of the clasp, there are two bars i.e. one near the end (the outer bar) and the other opposite to this one (the inner bar). Check the latter to see if it’s bent and if it is, use your finger to gently straighten it out.
Now onto the top clasp. If the clasp is a tad springy, this part is usually the culprit. The top neck near the hinge is forced backwards with time but you can fix this using a pair of cutters to hold the hinge in place whilst pushing the expansion in with your thumb. Still, the tab could need adjustment.
The tab is the section below the top clasp that actually aligns into place when the clasp is closed thereby holding it firm. To tighten the clasp, you need to bend it in gently. If cracks develop in the process, its best to replace the clasp with another.
Working on a Butterfly Clasp
These are the go-to clasps for many watch lovers as they seamlessly fade into the architecture. With time though, they too are not exempt to looseness or breakage:
Before you begin any tweaking, you first need to find out which part clicks on to which one. For example in most varieties of this nature, the outside of the left clasp- keep in mind a watch laid on its face- usually clicks into place with the inside of the right clasp which is shorter than the former.
At the middle of these two sides, there is a hinge consisting of a metal pin that attaches to the ends of two metal strips from the left. Let’s call this part the midsection. Now on either side of the midsection, you can press down on the edge of the pair of metal strips described above to make the clasp softer or push it up to make it tighter.
That covers just about all the common watch clasp varieties in the horology world so you should now be able to fix a faulty clasp by yourself. If the clasp is badly damaged though, then the solution is to always to get a new one. Or better yet – try out a premium Swiss watch, which is built to last and won’t require tedious maintenance.