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image credit: flickr.com/-macjasp

There is nothing that changes the look and the feel of your watch faster than a new strap. Now that more people are getting Android Wear or other smartwatches, there is more incentive to make your purchase more awesome. Chances are you are going to don your new watches daily anyways so why not bring that new look to the next level? AliExpress has the most diverse range of straps to achieve just that!

The perfect wrist-strap for your watch 

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   image credit: commons.wikimedia.org

First of all, you need to determine what size strap your present smartwatch can accommodate. Most watches have 22mm sized straps, which have become the standard, but as with everything in life there are exceptions. An Apple watch supports two strap sizes, 38mm and 42mm, and you can find Apple’s own original replacements at AliExpress, along with third-party ones from other manufacturers. Android Wear smartwatches mostly support 22mm straps, but it is always best to check the actual size stated on the boxes before heading online to purchase.

Apple watches are definitely the easiest to switch straps on, courtesy of a sliding lock on top and below. The Apple Watch straps, both original and third-party, from AliExpress all have that specific lock on both sides, so switching them in and out should be a breeze.

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image credit: aliexpress.com

Both 38 and 42mm versions of the milanese loop can be placed on all Apple watch versions, just as long as the size permits. Don an elegant black milanese on formal occasions.

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image credit: aliexpress.com

A perfect example of a third-party strap would be this amazing, brown wrinkled leather strap. Perfect for more casual settings, this has us thinking about the Asus Zen-watch (which is shown later), but is unmistakably Apple. You can find this beauty of a strap in both 38 and 42 mm sizes too.

 

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image credit: aliexpress.com

Most people would only use Apple’s sport straps for physical activities, but having that option on AliExpress means you can fulfill your fitness tracking needs whenever you want. Most Apple sport straps cost less than 10 dollars, along with free shipping, which is why they are worth checking out. The others cost upward of 20 SGD, which isn’t much, but those with concerns about pricing have the sport version to fall back on.

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image credit: aliexpress.com

For good measure, you can find a couple of beautiful black link-bracelet straps for the Apple Watch. But they do cost 60 SGD per pop, and most of them for the 42 mm version, making them incredibly good reasons to get the bigger-sized Apple watch.

Simply make sure you place your Apple watch face directly on a  soft-padded mat before depressing the band-release button to slide the band out. Feel free to switch it with any of your purchased ones.
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image credit: flickr.com/linsinchen

An ASUS Zen-watch is a popular watch among Android wear selections, because of its cheap price-tag. But more importantly they are, in many ways, closer to a traditional watch than the Apple ones are. Firstly, it has the most common strap size found on all watches, and you most likely have one on your wrist right now.

There is little surprise that the Pebble smartwatches, Android wear watches, and pretty much everything outside of Apple watches uses 22mm straps. And here are a few selections we came across and liked:

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image credit: aliexpress.com

Moto 360 smartwatches from Motorola are a hot choice. This is because the metal link bands designed specifically for the rounded aesthetic look pretty. But you need not be confined to simply using these on a Moto360, anything else with a 22mm slot would be perfectly compatible.

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image credit: aliexpress.com

22 mm Milanese loops are also a preferred choice for many watch-enthusiasts. We got choices on AliExpress having link-ends that look exactly like those on traditional leather straps, which is why all of them are easy to install. So, always look out for rounded ends that accepts the spring-bars that come with these straps.

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image credit: aliexpress.com

And if you are doubting the range that AliExpress carries, rubber silicone straps with metal clasps are available for less than 10 SGD.

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image credit: aliexpress.com

And the selections are limitless – almost every single design, feel and material is featured on AliExpress, including an extensive collection of leather straps that have been staples on luxury watches for a long time.

The good thing is that installation is easy and you can do it yourself! The main thing is to make sure the distance between the holes on both sides are 22mm (or any size strap that you bought from AliExpress). You also need a tool to depress the spring-bars so they are released from the holes on either side. The good thing is that most 22mm sized straps come with spring-bar release tools already, as AliExpress sellers have been known to provide the complete package.

Use the tool to remove the spring-bars

With a few simple steps, you can easily remove and replace a 22mm watch strap on any watch without trouble. First off, identify the forked part of the tool, which would be the implement used to remove the strap-securing spring-bar with.

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Next, place the forked end to a gap usually on the back where the spring bar can be seen, with its Aluminum sheen. Don’t do this from the front, as typical watch straps are tighter there. Do remember to get that all-important ‘catch’ with the fork on the spring-bar levers.

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Notice how there is a groove the allows for the fork to catch on the spring-bar? That is the spot to aim when you are approaching the sides with the spring-bar tool.

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Be gentle as you never want the sides of your watch to be scratched by the tool. Aim for the groove we talked about earlier and, viola, the strap is out. After which would be the simple task of reversing your actions, but always ensure one of the sides is already in place before trying to guide the spring-bar into the other.

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A good click sound should signal  a secured spring-bar, and that’s when you may test the strap by wearing it. You have officially become a watch customiser, courtesy of AliExpress, and your hands.

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image credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Good luck and be sure to get creative with it! Watch band customisation can be really enjoyable once you get around to do it!

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