Pebble strap

Make your Pebble — or any other similar watch (smart or otherwise) — your own with a new strap

You've probably noticed that wearables — like smartwatches — are the new hotness. Around the office here, our favorite of the ones we have tried is still the one that got it all started, the Pebble. It's super-functional, affordable, and comes in a selection of colors to suit just about any taste. Yet they all come with a black silicone strap.

Don't misunderstand me, there is nothing wrong with the strap on the Pebble. It's soft, will fit a fairly big wrist, and it's plenty flexible. Those are traits you want in your watch strap. And we understand why black was chosen, because black goes with everything. But some of us are never happy and need change.

Thankfully, changing the strap out on your Pebble is easy. Any 22mm watch strap will fit, and there is no heavy lifting required. All you need is the new strap and a thin tool of some sort that will fit between the strap itself and the body of the Pebble where it attaches. We go over it all, after the break.

Hands-on example: How to change a watch strap

Pretty much all you need is a bit of patience, a well-lit place to work, and whatever tool you use to compress the springbar pins. Oh — a new watch strap helps, too. 

The springbar itself is a really ingenious design. It's a standard way to attach a strap to just about all watches, and we're glad to see Pebble using it. Because they didn't do anything fancy, you can go to your local big box store and choose from a big selection of straps, or do like I did and get one from Amazon that you think will be just right.

springbar.

When you get your new strap, take a minute and look at the springbars. Push the ends in and out to see how they operate. It's really simple, which is what makes it such a great way to attach a watch strap. The springbar fits into two holes on the watch itself, and when you push in one of the ends it gets shorter and falls out. When you let it go and it extends — there's a spring inside to push them out — it goes back in the holes and holds tight. To remove the strap, you only need to push in one end of the springbar.

springbar tool.

I use a springbar tool that I got from Amazon, because I do wear a watch and change straps from time to time. As you can see, the little tool fits around the barrel of the springbar and grabs the shoulder where you can push in to shorten it. You don't have to use a tool like this, and I've changed plenty of straps using the small blade on my pocket knife. Anything thin enough to fit between the strap and the frame of the watch will work. Just weasel it in there against the shoulder on the springbar, and depress it. If you're interested in getting a springbar tool, you can get one from Amazon right here for $7.

You do the reverse to install the new one. Put the springbar through the hole in the strap, put one end into a hole in the watch body, and depress the springbar. Slide it in between the lugs on the watch body, and slide it into place where it will spring out and snap into the other hole.

If you're not a watch nerd or just don't like to fiddle with things, your local jeweler will probably be happy to change the strap on your Pebble for a few dollars. But if you're the DIY type like I am, this one is pretty easy.

 
There are 34 comments

crxssi says:

It is good that you can change it on the Pebble (something you can't do on many smartwatches because they put the battery or camera or antenna in it or just make it otherwise incompatible). I can't stand plastic or silicone straps. They might be soft and flexible, but they also tend to be hot and slimy when there is any amount of moisture or just sticky. Would much prefer leather or metal.... as a bonus, they look better too.

Choice is good.

Exactly. When you get a little sweat between the silicone strap and your skin, I can't stand it. This strap was the only one I could find that matches the blue backlight of the pebble lol.

Jerry - I ran a Kickstarter project to build Wide Body, a strap designed specifically for Pebble. I don't want this to come off as spam so I won't link to it, but I would like to invite you to our "booth" (small kiosk really) at CES to check it out! We've got sweaty silicone styles *and* two leather styles that I think you would dig. We're in booth # 6017 in the North Hall. - Jason

eszklar says:

Hmmmm..maybe run a contest on AC and the new Smartwatch Mobile Nations website and give away a prize pack of a Pebble and every singe strap Wide Body makes? I would love an Orange Pebble myself.

EDIT: Well since Pebble works with iOS and apparently BB10 - a prize pack giveaway on each of these websites?

Again: I'm fond of the Orange colour myself.

tgrant1975 says:

I don't care what anyone says.... The watch is so ugly compared to the galaxy gear. And yes I have one and I'm not being bias it's the truth. Fortunately I have the Samsung s4 so it works for me. I don't care what strap u put on this ugly thing it's not gonna be attractive at all. People talk so much trash about the gear and praise this thing.. I don't get it. U can actually talk on it and also comes with a camera, weather u will use it or not it's an option and the screen resolution is a million times better. That's just a few details. Give me a break.

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Floridadomer says:

+1000

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Johnny Z says:

Really? I was thinking about how much better it looks.

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crxssi says:

The main problem with the Galaxy Gear is that it is proprietary. And for many people, that is a major issue. And it certainly is big and heavy, to boot.

But there is no denying it is nicer looking than a Pebble.... but permanent silicone plus proprietary = double blech.

jlczl says:

You prefer the Gear, they prefer the Pebble, I prefer the Sony Smartwatch 2 with the black metal band it came with........best of both worlds IMO.

Oh yeah, I only paid $159 for the whole thing at my local BB.

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HalizDad says:

Que the Samsung comments...

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Gekko says:

Jerry has a Rolex Sub? WTF?

Good eye.

Gekko says:

nice watch. and that's the problem. why would you ever want to wear anything else?

Gekko says:

nice watch. and that's the problem. why would you ever want to wear anything else?

eszklar says:

I would go with a black leather 22mm band with a titanium buckle myself. But that's me.

planoman says:

I like the OEM strap but might go with a Nato strap. The rubber dries quickly after getting wet unlike the Nato.

EDIT: Had an extra Luminox Nato stap in 22mm laying around. It works but it overpowers the watch a bit with the steel rings to hold the strap.

Crimson says:

Jerry said strap on.. (Snickers like a 12 year old).

djstarion says:

I didn't even know that you could change the straps until I saw the video tour of Pebble w/ Rene and Phil. That seriously just makes me want one even more cuz I could think of so many awesome styles to get.

rod_munch says:

just installed a black divers watch style band from a local jeweler for 40 bucks and she fitted it for me. good quality and comfort.

chowdog13 says:

Has anyone noticed any discoloration of the pebbles display? I got one back in September and returned it 2 days later because the screen was discolored especially under UV light. I'm afraid to get another one, though I really really want one, I absolutely loved it. Has anyone else noticed this? Is it normal?

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SkinsFan1987 says:

I noticed it on mine, but it was when I was wearing my sunglasses. Without them, it's fine. I was concerned at first, but I got over it after I realized what was going on.

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chowdog13 says:

Hmmm, well I wait until after CES to see if any other wearable catches my eye. If nothing else compelling is announced I'll see about picking up another pebble in the coming weeks.

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JFMobile says:

Archos is supposed to debut a line of smart watches for as low as 50 bucks.
http://m.smartwatchfans.com/archos-will-show-new-line-smartwatches-ces
This makes me really excited.

✉ ✏Nexus 5

Teejai80 says:

Would love a new band for my pebble, but the $11 bands on Amazon attract $40 shipping to Australia! Anyone know a pacific supplier shop for bands?

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JFMobile says:

Try "ClockWork Synergy Straps®"
Here's the URL ⇨ http://www.clockworksynergy.com/shop/product-category
There's free shipping in the US
✉ from ⓖⓞⓞⓖⓛⓔ Nexus 5

Quiem says:

Real man use NATO strap!

Amen! NATO bands says I'm manly...and tactical LOL I wonder how the pebble would look with a one piece NATO strap. If anyone is interested in NATO straps for their pebble Google a place called countycomm. Great selection of NATO straps by MARATAC (superb tactical brand).

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planoman says:

I put a picture of a pebble with black two piece Nato that I use for one of my Luminox watch. IUnder the thread- Different bands and straps.

jazbojenkins says:

Hey Jerry, where is the video of your cichlids? I would love to see it again. Tia

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jlczl says:

So Jerry, I believe it was you who reviewed the Sony Smartwatch 2 and decided to give the nod to the Pebble after it was all said and done with the price being a deciding factor. Now that you've bought a strap and the SW2 has dropped in price to $159 the two watches are pretty evenly priced.

Which one would you choose today?

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markbc says:

You're kidding right? ... How to change a watch band?

plunder says:

Hi Jerry

I agree on the strap issue. I don't like the feel of plastic straps and they always seem to crack and break on me. Do you find the pebble useful in day to day life?

Thanks for mentioning the tool to do this. I have been doing this with a jewellers screwdriver or cutter blade for decades - it never occurred to me to look for a specific tool. Insert moment.

emt981 says:

I put a Survival Strap (all black paracord) watch band on mine and love it! You can customize the colors to match the watch.

They are a very tight fit, had to leave two of the six cords out from under the pins on each end, but it works great.

mattopotamus says:

I have tried a few and keep going back to the strap it came with.