How To Make Another Hole In A Leather Watch Strap


At some point, we might need to add more holes so that the watch fits us better. In this article, we will look at three ways how to make another hole in a leather watch strap without ruining it.

How to make another hole in a leather watch strap:

  • Drill a hole
  • Using a leather hole clip
  • Using a leather hole puncher and hammer
  • Visit a watchmaker.

Before You Start: Observe Your Leather Strap

How To Make Another Hole In A Leather Watch Strap

The first step to do is to look at your leather strap. In specific, the holes on the leather strap. 

This is because the holes on the watch straps could have shapes, and you will need to identify them before doing anything. 

If they are generic round shapes, you are in great luck as you can use generic tools to make the hole. 

If the holes are in a specific shape, such as a square or rectangle, then your journey would be a little bit more complicated. 

Once you have identified the hole, we can explore several methods on how to make another hole in a leather watch strap.

Option 1: Drill method

This technique is more for the DIY hardcore people. If you refuse to spend money on specialized tools, this is for you.

This method involves drilling a hole into the leather strap with additional supporting tools to make a better and cleaner job. 

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.
  • Some toothpicks. 
  • 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 leather strap on top of the cardboard stack. Tape the strap to the cardboard, leaving only the areas with holes untaped. This keeps the leather strap stable during drilling. 
  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. If you get this, the new hole should be very similar to the older holes. 
  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 toothpick. You can also use 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 as straight as possible 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 on the watch. Be careful when removing the tape from around the hole to avoid stripping the leather around the hole. 
  9. Use a toothpick and insert it into the new hole. Turn the toothpick around in the hole to press on the surface of the new leather hole – this will smoothen the leather.
  10. And you are done!

Option 2: Leather Hole Clip

How To Make Another Hole In A Leather Watch Strap

If you have a leather hole clip or do not mind getting one, this is a good option, as the tool will ensure a clean and well-done job. Plus, you will spend less time getting this done too.

You can also use this leather hole clip to make holes on other leather goods as such – belts, bags for example.

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

  1. Try to fit the holes 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. 
  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 toothpick. You can also use 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 leather strap nicely.
  5. Grip hard on the leather hole grip, and it should push in and punch a nice hole on your leather strap. 
  6. Use a toothpick and insert it into the new hole. Turn the toothpick around in the hole to press on the surface of the new leather hole – this will smoothen the leather.
  7. And you are done!

Option 3: Hole Puncher + Hammer

How To Make Another Hole In A Leather Watch Strap

You might think getting a leather hole clip is a waste of money, and using drills is just overkill. Then 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.
  • Some toothpicks. 
  1. Place your leather strap on top of a solid surface. This helps the puncher to get through the leather well when you hammer later. 
  2. 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. If you get this, that means the new hole should be very similar in size to the older holes. 
  3. With a ruler, measure the distance between the holes. Use the same length to determine the location for the new hole. 
  4. Mark the location for the new hole with a toothpick. 
  5. Make sure the puncher is placed right at the mark. 
  6. Hammer the puncher hard. The goal is to punch through the leather straight out on the first hammer. This ensures a clean job. 
  7. Use a toothpick and insert it into the new hole. Turn the toothpick around in the hole to press on the surface of the new leather hole – this will smoothen the leather.
  8. Sorted!

Option 4: Get the Pros To Help

If you are unsure of your DIY skills or just don’t want to go through the hassle of making a new hole, visiting a professional would be the best option. 

You might also need to go to them if your leather watch strap has holes with unique shapes, which means your typical hole puncher will not be able to make the same holes. 

You can either visit your local watchmaker or visit a reseller or boutique that retails the watch brand. 

If you visit a local watchmaker, you can be guaranteed the quality of the job; the holes will line up nicely and be of the right size too. 

If you visit the reseller or boutique, they might have a special tool that could make the same exact hole to match the other holes on your leather strap. You might need this if your watch holes are different in shape. 

This is something you local watchmaker might not be able to do.

The downside is, of course, you will need to pay for this service. 

Wrapping Up

There you go, our guide on how to make another hole in a leather watch strap without ruining it.

The key here is if you are going to make another hole in a leather watch strap, make it well and nice, so it serves the purpose, and still keeps its aesthetic beauty.

Beautiful leather straps can be expensive. If the holes are correctly made, it ruins the appearance of the leather strap and the experience of wearing the watch. 

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.

Recent Posts