How to Remove Watch Band Links on a Citizen Stiletto Eco-Drive Watch




Introduction: How to Remove Watch Band Links on a Citizen Stiletto Eco-Drive Watch

This Instructable will walk you through sizing a watch band by removing links, specifically on a Citizen Eco-Drive Stiletto watch, model AR3015-53E. It may also apply to other style watches with similar metal bands.

Step 1: Here Are the Tools I Used

These tools worked fine so try to use something similar if possible:

Small hammer (a non metal one would be best so it doesn't scratch the links)

Needle nose pliers (only if necessary to help pull the link pins out)

Large sewing needle (or something of similar size but smaller in diameter than the link pins)

Block of wood with 1/8th" hole drilled through it (very helpful to provide space for the link pin to come out while supporting the band and not scratching it)

Step 2: Figure Out How Many Links to Remove for the Correct Fit

This is a picture of two links together. I removed three from my watch to fit it correctly to my wrist. I removed two from one side of the clasp and one from the other side. Try to balance out on either side of the clasp so it remains as centered as possible when done.

Notice the tiny engraved arrows at the top left of each link. These indicate which direction the link pin should be removed. You should only be working on links with these arrows on them, leave the others alone.

Step 3: Start by Sliding the Link Pin Out

Once you've decided how many links to remove, start by positioning a link pin over the hole in the wood. Make sure you've selected a link with an arrow engraved on it. You will remove the link pin in the direction the arrow points.

Use the large needle, hold it on the pin, and gently tap it with the hammer to push the link pin through the links, into the hole in the wood block. Don't tap it all the way through, about half way should be good enough.

Next, use your fingers (or the pliers) to pull the link pin the rest of the way out. Be careful not to bend the pin.

This will allow the links to separate. Be careful not to lose the tiny slotted collar that sits in the link (see next pictures).

Step 4: The Slotted Collar

Here is the slotted collar in it's correct place. The second picture shows it removed. It may fall out when you take the links apart, so be careful not to lose it.

It sits in the hole on the top right of the link, in the wide tab. It is important because it creates a friction fit to hold the pin in place when the links are together.

Step 5: Once Yo​u Remove the Links You Intended To, It's Time to Put the Band Back Together

This picture shows the correct placement of the pieces for re-assembly.

First, make sure you have the slotted collar in the right place.

Next, align the links so the holes in their tabs line up.

Now, with your fingers (or carefully with the pliers) slide the link pin back in the opposite direction you took it out (from the bottom upwards, as it's positioned in this picture). Don't force it, just get it far enough in to hold the links together.

Finally, tap the pin in with the hammer. I recommend using the wood block as a base. Use the hammer very gently and as the pin gets close to flush with the links, be very careful not to tap the links themselves with the hammer as it may scratch them. It's a good idea to use something as a tapping block, such as another piece of wood or plastic. Tap the pin until it is flush with the edge of the link.

Test fit your watch and adjust as needed.

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    2 years ago

    This is correct for you specific Stiletto, but it's not correct for all of them. I just resized the stainless steel bracelet on an AR1130-81H Stiletto with gray checkerboard dial. Same style links, but with no arrows on the back side. Looked at it with a 10x loupe and verified there were very nicely slotted screw heads on one side, and the hole on the other side was slightly smaller. No drift direction arrows on the back of the links. All the signs of screws, but they were in extremely tight, as if Citizen had used some type of thread locker on them. Had to soak them with some Liquid Wrench overnight and then tapped on the threaded end with a drift and jeweler's hammer to give the threads some mild impact that would help break them loose from whatever was gripping them. Was able to then extract the screws.

    Bottom Line:
    Citizen has used two types of pins. I've encountered the pin and split friction collar you did in other bracelets, notably some Seiko and some Bulova. I've also encountered two types of pins in what look like identical bracelets for the same model line watch, until you examine the ends of the pins and discover they changed them at some point in the procurement of the bracelets for the watch. As a result, I always look now to be certain of the pin type.

    Stiletto Screw Links 1024.jpg

    5 years ago

    A watchmaker's most important tool is the apron, which is a square of cotton , loosely hung in a horizontal frame below the workspace. It captures small parts, so they can be easily retrieved. A clean dish towel spread out on the workbench will be a useful substitute.


    5 years ago

    thanks, I had just done my Seiko before I saw your write up .


    5 years ago

    I'm glad you could fix it :)