Manhattan Time Service – Watch Repair

2 WEST 46TH STREET #400, NEW YORK NY, 10036

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Blog | How To's

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.

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Thank you for being interested in having your watch repaired with us, we are looking forward to your visit. In the meantime if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail.

The following busses stop near our location in mid-town NYC: M1 – 5th Ave/48th street, M2 – 5th Ave/47th, M3 – 5th Ave/ 46th street, M4 – 5th Ave/44th street, M5 – 5th Ave/40th street, Q32 – 5th Ave/53rd street, QM2 – 6th Ave/44th street.

Orange lines (B, D, F, M) to 47-50 Rockefeller Center, yellow lines (N, Q, R) to 49th street and 6th Ave, red lines (1, 2, 3) to Time Sq 42nd street, purple line (7) to Time Sq 42nd street

We are conveniently located in mid-town Manhattan at 2 west 46th street #400, between 5th and 6th (closer to 5th) across the street from Ranch1 restaurant.

Work: LOCAL: (212) 840-0441 Fax: (212)840-0531
Hours: Mon-Fri, 10AM – 6PM EST

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