3 Simple Steps to Add a Hole to Your Watch’s Strap

Watch straps can be too small or too big for some people’s wrists, preventing them from wearing and showing off the rest of the watch. Despite the limited adjustment, it is possible for watch enthusiasts to punch a hole and customize the strap size.

It takes a meticulous eye and specific equipment in order to punch a proper hole on your watch strap, though. After all, you wouldn’t want to slip and accidentally damage the actual bezel and case, right? 

Here are some easy steps you’ll need to take to add a hole to your watch’s strap:

  1. Assess the Watch Strap

Even a novice can tell that there’s a difference between the material used for wristwatch straps. Some watch straps are made with higher quality materials like leather and metal, while some comprise a combination of plastic, rubber, nylon, and more. If you have a metal strap, you may want to go to a watch specialist to see what you can do to adjust the strap size. 

Hole-punching is generally reserved for leather and rubber watch straps, just because other materials don’t really deal well with puncturing in holes. The majority of the tools made for puncturing are designed to go through leather material without any problems. 

Certain types of cloths like NATO straps are prone to fraying at the edges and the hole area, even with the use of special equipment. It’s generally frowned upon to try, especially if you’re hoping to do it yourself. 

  1. Get Some Special Tools 

Although it can be tempting to just create a hole on your watch strap with a knife or a hammer and nail, you might be disappointed in the result. There are tools specifically made for creating holes in a watch strap. You can also opt to try out the hole puncher used at school, though it would be a bold risk if you cannot position it the way you want.

Watch strap punching tools have a different set of tips for the hole size you want to cut through to the strap. This feature allows you to roughly match the existing holes you already have on the strap if you want a little more cohesion when all is said and done.  

  1. Punch the Hole In

When you finally have the right equipment, and you’ve made up your mind, it’s time to add a hole to the watch strap. Try to get some similar fabric or an old belt that you can test the tools on before you actually move on to your watch, though, so that you gain a bit of experience in handling it. 

After enough practice, take out the watch strap that you want to put a hole in. With a light hand and pencil, try to mark where the hole will be. Don’t eyeball it, because you’ll get dissatisfied with the final result. Check one last time before pressing down on your strap punching tool.


It can be nerve-wracking to try and alter your watch by yourself, especially if there’s the potential for other metal parts of the watch to break. Just stay calm during the process and keep a steady hand. Soon, you’ll be able to wear your watch on your wrist comfortably.

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