Have you ever wondered what the loop on your watch band is called? Yes, that part of the watch band has a name. Although, it's often referred to as a loop. This loop is officially called a "keeper." Keepers, sometimes called hoop and retainer, are there to keep the band from flopping around on your wrist.
Keepers, just like your strap, can sometimes fall off and break. For leather or cloth keepers, they will disintegrate through wear and tear from moisture or sweat. The rubber ones, on the other hand, become brittle and snap.
You can replace your broken keeper with a new one. You can buy a replacement loop on Amazon and put it on the band. However, you should take note that not all replacement keepers can easily be put on the strap like the rubber loops.
How to Put Your New Keeper Into Your Watch Band
It is not difficult to attach your rubber loops as they can be stretched over the buckle. For other replacement loops, on the other hand, you will need to disconnect the strap or buckle first to get the new loop on.
Most importantly, you should make sure that you bought the correct width loop, which is measured in millimeters.
- Remove your band. As mentioned before, not all replacement keepers are like rubber loops that can be stretched over the buckle. You will have to remove your band first to get the new loop on. Here's how:
- First, you should take a soft cloth to place your smartwatch face on.
- Next, you place your smartwatch face down on the cloth. You have to make sure that the face of your smartwatch is protected so that it won't be scratched.
- Using a spring bar tool, push it between the band and the watch clamps. The clamps are where the band attaches to the face of the smartwatch.
- Once again, using the spring bar tool, press down on the bar. Then, you pull inwards toward the center of the band. If you have another tool, you can wedge it in between the bar and the watch face and pull inward.
- After that, you should be able to safely remove the spring bar. Along with it is the band.
If you own an Apple Watch, here's how you can remove the band:
- You should place your Apple Watch face down over a clean surface. It could be a lint-free, microfiber cloth. Or if you don't have that, you can use a soft, padded mat.
- On the bottom of the smartwatch, you will notice that there are two quick-release buttons below where the bands are inserted.
- You hold down the quick-release button and slide out the band to remove it.
- And if for some reason the band is stuck and you can't get it out, you should make sure you are pressing and holding the button. You should also be careful not to force the band out or it could damage the watch.
- Slide your new keeper on. Once you got the band or strap off, you just slide the new loop on. If you have a leather or colored band, you can look for a loop with a matching color.
Meanwhile, if you have a strap that is heavily tapered, there's a possibility that your new loop will not fit over the big end where the strap attaches to the watch. What you can do is to take the buckle off and slide the keeper on from that end.
How to Fix Your Keeper
Keepers can sometimes fall off and break. No worries! If you don't want to replace your broken watch loop, you can fix it.
- Use glue to fix it. If your watch keeper was glued onto the band and came loose, you can just glue it back on. You can use super glue since it works on most materials.
- Send it for repairs. You're wearing an expensive, unique or sentimental band and you're worried you won't be able to DIY fix it well. What you should do is to have it sent in for repairs. If you want, you can find a leather maker or watch strap maker who could repair your band for you.
What's good about having a leather maker or strap maker to do the repair is that they can probably match the band's color and appearance very closely.
However, if you have an official strap from a major brand, you can contact them or an authorized dealer to ask about repairs or a replacement.
If you want to replace your watch band keeper, here's what you should think about before doing the purchasing.
- Measure your watch band or strap before buying a replacement loop. This is to make sure that the keeper fits.
- Make sure you have a spring bar tool. This will help you remove your band if you need to. If you don't have this tool, you can find cheap ones on Amazon. The spring bar tool will be useful in case you need to replace your keeper or if you want to replace your watch band.
What Can You Do if it's an Emergency?
Your watch keeper broke while you're traveling or on your way to work or an event. You don't have a spare loop. You also don't have the time to send it for repair. What can you do?
You can use a small elastic hair tie. If you don't have that, you can use a rubber band or rolled-up duct tape. You can also use a twisty tie from a bread bag.
Another option is to find scrap leather and superglue a new loop. You can also find other materials that you could sew or glue as a new loop for your watch band.
Your last resort is to stop by a store and buy the cheapest band or strap that you can find. After purchasing it, take the loop off. Make sure that the strap you bought has a loop that moves freely along the band.