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13 Dec

How To Customise Your Watch

3 ways to customise your watch

In the past, mechanical watches were made to order and as such completely individual to the wearer. Fast forward many centuries and we live in a world of huge global watch brands, big budget celebrity ambassadors and consumerism on a mass scale. That’s not to say you still can’t purchase a bespoke timepiece, but you will be paying very highly for the privilege.

With this is mind, watch aficionados have looked to customisation to make their individual stamp on a watch they own. We’ve highlighted our top three ways to customise your watch...


The most simple, but most effective, way to personalise your watch is changing the strap. Whether through a custom-made, leather strap with contrast stitching or a colourful canvas one, you can change the look of a watch and add your own personality just by changing the strap.

A Rolex with a two-tone blue canvas strap

A two-tone blue canvas strap has completely changed the look of this Rolex and given it a more casual feel.

Longines strap replacement

Longines watch with a green canvas strap

The same can be said for this Longines, an olive green canvas strap gives the dressier timepiece a military feel.


Engraving is also a great way to personalise your watch, particularly if it’s a gift for someone or commemorating a special occasion, with popular engravings including anniversary/birthday dates and initials.

TIP: Just be aware that your manufacturer’s guarantee will no longer be valid if you alter the watch. Engraving can also affect the re-sell value if you ever want to part with the timepiece.

A Rolex caseback engraving

A Rolex case back engraving.

A TAG Heuer clasp engraving

A TAG Heuer clasp engraving.


The most decadent (and expensive) way to customise your watch is through gem setting, which could include adding individual diamonds to the dial or bezel or covering the entire case and strap in them, as in the example of the Rolex DateJust below.

Gem setting on a Rolex watch

Gem setting will certainly increase the value, but again any form of alteration may affect your guaranty so it’s best to check with the manufacturer before doing so.

customising your Rolex with gem setting

If you’re looking to replace your strap, we have a great range (including genuine and exotic leather, military, divers, bracelet) from brands such as Omega, Ebel, Brietling and TAG Heuer. You can buy our watch straps online or visit us in store where we will change it over for free.


Practiced horology since the age of 15, successfully took apart, cleaned and assembled a Rolex Submariner Cal. 3135 at the age of 19, further improved his watchmaking skills with NAWCC School of Horology. “It has been 15 years since I took apart my first watch, my goal is to repair every timepiece ever produced”.

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2 W 46th St #308 New York, NY 10036
(212) 840-0441
Manhattan Time Services
2 W 46th St #308 New York, NY 10036
(212) 840-0441
our hours: Monday - Friday, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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