Garmin Watch Strap Repair

Garmin Watch Strap Repair

Page Type Page Type: Fact Sheet


Garmin Watch Strap repair 1
Garmin Watch Strap separated.
After I returned from vacation and unpacked my kit, I found that half of my watch strap had broken loose. After many attempts of fixing it back on, I gave up and applied some powerful adhesive. This worked for a short while until rain and sweat broke the bond.
Replacement kits are available from Garmin et al but I could see that due to the poor fixing design, the failure would very likely happen again.

Surfing the net, I found out that this is a typical problem, frustrating many other owners and putting them off what is otherwise a very useful bit of kit.

My Suunto watch which I've had for at least 10 years has only had one strap replacement and that was due to the strap splitting after hard use and not the fixings.

I decided to see if I could do a better job and the following narrative shows what I did.
I hope this will be of use to other users and save them some frustration and money.


Replacement steps

Suggested Tools
Pull out the two pins.
Step 1 - get your tools ready:
Wiring pliers and flat nosed pliers are idea for this job. 

Pull out the pins from either side of the watch body with your wiring pliers and a small plastic housing on each side will drop off.
Under the site of the housings will be seen the holes in the main watch body through which the pins pass.
Use these holes to be your fixing points for wires that will replace the Garmin pins.

Measure pin diameter

Measure replacement wire diameter
Step 2 - Check the diameter of the Garmin pins by eye or if you have a vernier gauge, by more accurate means.

Step 3 - Obtain some wire of the same or slightly smaller diameter to avoid drilling out the watch case. (this would invalidate the warranty if you had to return the watch with other issues).
In my case being an electrical bod, I choose to use copper wire as it is more easily formed and sufficiently strong enough for any strains that could occur in use on the newly formed fixings.

Form one side
Finished fixings on Garmin watch with Suunto for comparison

Step 4 - Form a rectangular shape in the replacement wire with your flat nosed pliers allowing an inside measurement of 10 millimetres.

Step 5 - Slide your wire into the hole in the watch body and form another matching rectangular shape in the other side of the wire to form a complete oblong. Obviously, do this for both sides of the watch.
The width of the oblong should be sufficient to suit the size of watch band that you will use to replace the original strap.
In my case I allowed 25 millimetres so that I could select a wide strap. If you look at the image on the right, this also shows my Suunto watch which fixes it's straps with through pins that have screws for security. A much better solution than that provided by Garmin in my opinion. As I had used copper wire, I soldered the overlaping wires so that they would be a permanent solution.

Internet sourced webbing watch strap

Strap assembled

Step 6 - Purchase a Velcro fixing plain nylon webbing strap.

Step 7 - thread your new strap through the new fixings, in my case wrapped in electrical insulating tape to prevent my skin contacting with the copper and the solder.
The new solution then still allows access to the back of the watch for fixing the battery charging device as the rechargeable battery only has a life of around five hours when using it in the GPS mode.

GWR 10

Step 8 - put your watch on, you're done.

I hope you found this suggestion helpful.