How to change the watch strap on your Pebble

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.

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.

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.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.