The Watchstrap Problem.

As some of you will know, I am overweight. As such, I have fat wrists. Actually, they don’t seem that big, in proportion to my arms, but they are big enough to cause the eternal watchstrap problem.

When I was using my Fitbit Flex, it meant that I had to go cap in hand to Fitbit support for an XL strap. They do not sell them, so each time you want one (I recently replaced one that wore out), you have to justify to them that you want a freebie, even though you might have bought your Fitbit from elsewhere, and it is no longer under warranty. I didn’t want a freebie, but as they don’t sell them, that was the only way to get a strap that fitted me.

When I bought my new Garmin, I did a bit of research, and based on reviews, I thought I would be ok. When it arrived, I was pleased, I was almost at the end of the strap, but on the 4th hole, so that’s fine. However, during the day, especially with activity, my ankles and wrists do swell, so quite often, it is on the first or second hole.

In addition to this, Garmin recommend you wear the watch further up your wrist during activity, for more accurate heart rate measuring. No chance of my doing that!

So, although I could happily wear the watch, I started looking for replacement straps immediately. Nothing is available that is meant for the Garmin Forerunner range, which strikes me as strange, as I can’t be the only one with this issue. My friend Annie offered to try and make me a leather strap (which I may still take her up on), but I already had an alternative plan.

I ordered a cheap 3rd party replacement, the same size, with a plan in mind. I went for a knock-off, as I thought I might need to cut it, but in the end I didn’t. It cost me £3.49, including postage.

It arrived today, and this is what I did with it.

I remove the "tongue" part of the strap from my watch (i.e. the non-buckle part), and replace it with the buckle part of the new strap. Yes, the watch now has two buckles on it.
I remove the “tongue” part of the strap from my watch (i.e. the non-buckle part), and replace it with the buckle part of the new strap. Yes, the watch now has two buckles on it.
Next I attach the tongue part of the new strap to the buckle part of the new strap. Note that I attach it backwards, so the bit under the loop is what normally attaches to the watch.
Next I attach the tongue part of the new strap to the buckle part of the new strap. Note that I attach it backwards, so the bit under the loop is what normally attaches to the watch.
This is what it looks like from the other side.
This is what it looks like from the other side. I have effectively increased the length of the strap.
This is what the watch looks like when worn. Yes, there are two buckles, but I don't think it looks particularly odd. I now have lots of strap to play with, and can wear the watch where I like.
This is what the watch looks like when worn. Yes, there are two buckles, but I don’t think it looks particularly odd. I now have lots of strap to play with, and can wear the watch where I like.
This is what it looks like from the business side. Perfectly normal, I think.
This is what it looks like from the business side. Perfectly normal, I think.

I’m really pleased with how this turned out. I was afraid it would look lumpy or odd, but I actually think it looks quite tidy. All for £3.49!

As for the multicolour effect, I couldn’t buy a strap in the black/grey of the original. Because the red is only a highlight from the front of the strap, only an inch of the original buckle end shows, you would have to get very close to me to notice!

2 Comments

  1. chris
    chris
    September 21, 2016

    My other thought on ordering the strap was that whatever else I did – either with a leather strap from Annie, or finding a suitable strap in a Jewellers, the watch needs a specific pair of tools to remove the strap – it is not the standard fitting. As this strap came with the tools, I am now sorted.

  2. chris
    chris
    September 24, 2016

    A second matching strap now ordered and received. The difference in highlight colour wasn’t obvious, but for the huge sum of £3.49, it seemed worthwhile to get it all matching. This also means I have the original strap in a drawer as a spare.

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