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How to Shorten a One-Piece Strap

How to Shorten a One-Piece Strap

Your watch strap should be tight enough that it remains in place, with the watch face on top of your wrist, but loose enough that it it is comfortable to wear. One of the one-piece strap's best features is that it has extra length compared to other straps, which makes it more adjustable and comfortable. Although this extra length has been designed to tuck, the excess material can be a pain. Not to fear though: you can adjust your strap in a few different ways to ensure that your watch strap is the perfect size. 

To shorten a one-piece strap, you can:

  1. Punch a new hole.
  2. Cut and heat seal the strap. 
  3. Wear it with a backwards tuck. 
  4. Convert it to a single-pass strap. 

1. Punch a New Hole

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 smaller wrists.

The downside of hole punch pliers on a one-piece is that you can't use them on nylon straps — they tend to work best on leatherrubber, and similar pliable materials as the material can become frayed otherwise. 

2. Cut and Heat Seal 

If your strap is made from nylon, it can be melted (which means you can cut and heat seal your strap to shorten it). 

a. Mark where you want to cut the strap with a sharpie.

b. Use two coins to sandwich the strap and a clamp to secure it, to ensure you get a straight cut.

c. Once in position, use a sharp blade (or scissors) to shave the extra length off. You can go back over with the blade to tidy up any uneven or loose ends.

d. With the strap still sandwiched in your coin contraption, singe the cut end of your strap with a flame. This melts the material and prevents fraying in the future. You can use a standard lighter or torch lighter for this step. 

3. Backwards Tuck 

A one-piece strap can be worn in either single or double loops. With a single loop, you secure the strap first and then place the watch on your wrist to tighten it. For a double loop, you insert your wrist after both looping and tightening the watch.

Whether you use the single or double loop method, you always choose the style of the strap’s tail. 

This is where the backwards tuck comes in; you can fold the excess material backwards and then tuck the remaining tail under one of the keepers for a clean-looking strap that takes care of the excess material. 

4. Convert to a Single Pass Strap

A standard one-piece includes a) the main strip of nylon that threads through the lugs and b) a second piece that runs under the watch and accepts the main strip with a keeper. This second strip, known as the under keeper, can be cut off to convert your strap to a single pass strap. 

Cut the under keeper off, close to where it is sewn into the rest of the strap. Once done, hit the soft fabric end with a lighter to melt the edge and prevent frayed edges.

And voila! Your strap is successfully shortened. For more watch strap advice and recommendations, check out our blog page.

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