How to Add Holes to a Watch Strap
Alongside style, comfort is crucial when it comes to watch straps. If your watch strap is uncomfortable or unsafe because it is too tight or too loose, you might need to add an additional hole to your watch strap.
To add holes to a watch strap, you should use a pair of watch strap hole punch pliers. These are designed to punch additional and accurate round tang holes into a strap, adapting it for use on larger or smaller wrists. It is important that you use a special tool like this to ensure the buckle tongue fits, and that you're not left with a frayed and unattractive hole in your watch. Hole punch pliers work best on leather, rubber, and similar pliable materials.
To add holes on a watch strap with your hole punch pliers, first use a ruler to mark the exact spot you want your new hole to be. To maintain the uniform look of your watch strap, we'd advise that you measure the distance between the existing holes, and replicate that with the hole you make.
To make the hole in your strap, it is similar to a standard hole puncher that you might have had in school or in the office. You just place the bit that punches where you want the hole and close the pliers between your hands, like a pair of slower scissors. A high-quality pair of pliers will punch a clean and accurate hole in the size of your choice (1.5mm or 2mm for example), adapting it for use on smaller or larger wrists.
Before you go ahead and use your hole punch pliers, we'd recommend that you practise on old or scrap leather if you have some around the house. This will give you a feel for the process and motion required to punch an accurate hole.
If you are yet to purchase a watch strap, head over to our blog posts on how to choose a watch strap and how to determine what size watch strap you should get first.
Alternatives to Hole Punch Pliers
If you need a watch strap to fit a smaller watch than it was designed for, and for whatever reason a hole punch plier isn't for you, a pair of watch strap notch cutting pliers are designed to help you pare down the lug end of a watch strap.
For example, our Hirsch Cut Out Tool enables you to notch perfect cut-outs at the outside edges of the watch end of straps to make them fit a smaller watch, while retaining the spring bar loop. For example, you could fit a 24mm watch strap to a 20mm watch by cutting the strap down by 2mm at each end.
With our similar pairs of Beco Technic notch pliers, you can pick your cutting edge to remove a set amount of material. For example, with the 1.5mm notch pliers you can remove up to 3mm of material; with the 3mm notch pliers, you can remove up to 6mm of material.