How To Make A Hole In A Rubber Watch Strap


Sometimes, you just need to add holes on your watch strap so that it fits us better. In this article, let’s look at how to add a hole in a rubber watch strap without ruining it. 

How to make a hole in a rubber watch strap:

  • Drill a hole
  • Using a hole clipper
  • Using a hole puncher and hammer
  • Visit a watchmaker.
How To Make A Hole In A Rubber Watch Strap

Can you add a hole on your rubber strap yourself?

Yes, you can, although you may need to first look at the holes on the strap. This is because strap holes can have different shapes. 

If the holes are not round, it might be harder to make a new hole that matches the current holes. You might need more specialized hole punchers.

Watch strap holes can be rectangular, or in other shapes if not round.

If that is the case, you have two options. One, go back to the watch strap maker and ask if they can help make another hole. 

Or you do go ahead and DIY and accept a new watch strap hole that looks different than the others. 

Once you have identified the hole shape and decided if you want to go ahead and make a new hole, let’s explore the available options for you.

How To Make A Hole In A Rubber Watch Strap?

There are several options you can take to make a hole in a rubber watch strap:

  • Visit a watchmaker.
  • Using a hole clipper
  • Using a hole puncher and hammer
  • Drill a hole

The options here are arranged in level of difficulty – visiting a watchmaker is the easiest, with drilling a hole the more hardcore DIY method. 

Method 1: Visit A Watchmaker

This is the best option if you are not DIY inclined or believe this job is best done by a professional. 

This method is also the best if the holes on your watch strap are not round – you might not want to spend money to get the specialized tools to get the job done well.

A watchmaker should be able to do a great job, as he would have done this many times. Plus, he might just have the specialized tools to make watch holes similar to what’s currently on your strap. 

However, for best results, always visit the watch’s service center to request their help.

Method 2: Use A Hole Clipper

Similar to making a hole on your leather strap, you can use the same technique to make a hole on your rubber strap. 

If you are going to give this technique a try, please have these ready:

  1. Try to fit a current hole on your watch strap to the puncher in the clip to find the best fit. The puncher should go through the hole and with some tightness. This will ensure you punch a hole of similar size to the current ones. 
  2. With a ruler, measure the distance between the holes. Use the same length to determine where you will punch a new hole. 
  3. Mark the location for the new hole with a pencil. 
  4. Once ready, line up the mark with the puncher in the clip. Make sure the puncher is in contact with the mark on your strap nicely.
  5. Grip hard on the leather hole puncher, and it should push in and punch a nice hole on your rubber strap. 
  6. Cut and roll up the sandpaper into a thin stick to fit through the new watch hole and rub the new hole surface – this will smoothen the hole.
  7. Done and dusted. Put on the watch and see how it fits now. 

Method 3: Use A Hole Puncher + Hammer

How To Make A Hole In A Rubber Watch Strap

If you do not think using a leather clip is a good idea, you can consider using a basic hole puncher and hammer.

For this method, do prepare these in advance:

  • Hole punchers of various sizes
  • Ruler
  • Hammer
  • Masking/painters tape.
  • 300 grit sandpaper, the size of an eraser.
  1. Place your rubber strap on top of a solid, sturdy surface. A hard, solid surface helps the puncher drive through your strap better.
  2. Tape the strap to the solid surface. This will keep the strap steady during the measuring and punching process.
  3. Take your hole punchers and try to place them through the existing holes on your watch strap. The puncher bit should fit into the holes with slight tightness. This will ensure you punch a hole of similar size to the current ones. 
  4. With a ruler, measure the distance between the holes. Use the same length to determine the location for the new hole. 
  5. Mark the location for the new hole with a pencil
  6. Make sure the puncher is placed right at the mark. 
  7. Hammer the puncher hard. The goal is to punch through the strap straight out on the first hammer. This ensures a clean job. 
  8. Cut and roll up the sandpaper into a thin stick to fit through the new watch hole and rub the new hole surface – this will smoothen the hole.
  9. Done and dusted!

Method 4: Drill A Hole

This method is more for the DIY hardcore people that have a drill at home. If you refuse to spend money to get a hole clip or puncher, this method also suits you. 

If you want to go with this method, please have these ready:

  • An impact drill.
  • Ruler
  • Drill bits, you probably do not need anything bigger than 5mm. 
  • Masking/painters tape.
  • 300 grit sandpaper, the size of an eraser.
  • Some cardboards
  1. Stack some cardboards on the working surface, not too much, just enough thickness to take in the drill bit that might go through your watch strap while drilling. 
  2. Place your watch strap on top of the cardboard stack. Tape the strap to the cardboard, leaving only the areas with holes untaped. This allows the rubber strap to stay steady as you drill. 
  3. Take your drill bits and place them through the existing holes on your watch strap. The drill bit should fit into the holes with slight tightness. The new hole should be very similar to the older holes if you get this. 
  4. With a ruler, measure the distance between the holes. Use the same length to determine where you will drill a new hole. 
  5. Mark the location for the new hole with a pencil. 
  6. Before drilling, ensure the whole area is well taped – this will ensure a clean hole after drilling. 
  7. Keep your drill bit straight and drill into the watch strap. Use lower torque and slower speed to ensure a clean job. 
  8. Once the hole is drilled. Remove the tapes.
  9. Cut and roll up the sandpaper into a thin stick to fit through the new watch hole and rub the new hole surface – this will smoothen the hole.
  10. Sorted!

Wrapping Up: How To Make A Hole In A Rubber Watch Strap

How To Make A Hole In A Rubber Watch Strap

There you go, our take on how to make a hole in a rubber watch strap. 

We shared four methods, and you can choose one that suits you, depending on your propensity for DIY and your demand for perfection. 

Hope this article helps, and if you own a leather watch strap, we also have an article on how to make a hole through a leather watch strap.

If you also are thinking about breaking in or softening your rubber strap, we have article about that too.

Nigel Ignatius

Nigel is the principal creator of WatchPursuits.com, a website dedicated to watches. Inspired by the dedication and effort of watchmakers now and old, Nigel has a passion for watches and looks forward to share his passion with the world.

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