Putting on and taking off wrist watch with right below elbow amputation (stump, prosthesis: video demos)

Putting on and taking off wrist watch is not too hard even - or particularly - without a sophisticated prosthesis. In fact this seems a lot easier without artificial arm. I mean, I have a few nice (not expensive, nice!) watches. So I tried. I know.

Pin buckle wristband

Putting it on with stump

Following video:

0:08-0:11 getting buckle to hang down and align

0:12-0:13 push band through buckle and in one sweeping motion, ..

0:14-0:20 push rod through wristband hole while at once

- pushing pin into band with stump

- fixing wristband end against chest using stump

0:27-0:30 push wristband end through loops there

Removing it with stump

Following video:

0:10 - 0:14 push band end out of loops

0:18 press end of band against chest using stump

0:19 rotate arm a bit away so pin pulls out

  • warning - going straight back now risks for pin to go back into the hole so the pin must first be turned to look away from the band

0:22 - 0.23 pull arm sideways so pin is not opposing a hole but slightly to the side, allowing motion against pin for pin to turn out so when pulling out band, pin does not engage in a hole any more - this is a key move, better visible in the prosthetic hand demo below, due to the fact that i cannot at the same time use 'close to chest pressing stump against wristband' maneuvers and with 1 hand capture all in video ... but that's the whole trick really

0.24 - 0.30 move band out of buckle (or pull watch off just as is)

Putting it on with prosthetic hand

Following video:

0.03 - 0.09 pull wristband out of loop and grasp it, ready to pull away from buckle and out of pin

0.09 - 0.10 pull band out of pin using prosthetic hand grip

0.10 - 0.12 lower band so pin hits band to the side of the holes and use band as leverage to push pin away from holes - key move to get pin to stay disengaged 

0.15 - 0.18 remove watch -- if you miss out on the key step just above (the red sentence..) you risk getting the pin caught in any hole and maybe have difficulty to get the watch off with ease


Here is the wrist watch video that is required to explain what there is to say about conventional watch bands. Putting the wrist watch on is fast an easy if only you know how. Depending on what and where you work you may not want to use your mouth for that.

Putting it on / taking it off with split hook

Real-time putting it on (video loop)

This can be a really fast act. The fastest and most reliable method is stump against chest (videos above). But the counterbearing trick, using any solid edge (keyboard in below video, but any table or shelf will work just as well) while wearing a split hook may be a good way to go.

Removing wrist band in following slow motion video

0:06 hook pincer grip graps band reliably and firmly due to hook inherent reliable precision grip

0:11 pull band out with care, allowing locking rod to disengage with the band's perforation

0:12 locking rod now disengaged with the band's perforation

0:16 What you need to understand: to make the band glide out of the lock with ease, the locking rod must be pushed aside and since the prosthesis is not able to do that at the same time, you need to use some other surface to accomplish this. The band's surface just adjacent to the hole can be conveniently used for that. To get that, the band must be pulled sideways just a tad bit.

0:28 rod tip lands on band surface adjacent to hole due to slightly pulling the wrist band sideways with the hook

0:30-0:35 the band can be used to push the locking rod into an "open" position now

pushing the wrist band open then does not cause the locking rod to engage with a band perforation, thus the wrist band has been efficiently opened and can be pulled or pushed out all the way if necessary; after that I am just playing with the lose band to show its free move in the wrist band lock

Putting on and closing wrist band in following slow motion video

1:34 the presence of a computer keyboard edge (or a table or a piece of wood or an upside down coffee cup or a camera case or whatever really) is required to push the locking rod end into the band perforation

1:41 the locking rod is placed against the edge of the keyboard with the wrist band strap pulled up

1:49 gently lowering the band will catch the rod into the perforation of the band and thus lock the wrist band lock

1:52 this is a first variation, just look where it goes in and lock it there, or you can repeat the process to make it tighter

1:57 the locking bar is pushed against the keyboard edge to move its end / tip into the band perforation, this goes until 2:04 or so

Another buckle pin wristwatch band

There is no wristband like the other (unless it is actually the same model / type). So just because one buckle pin wristband worked does not mean another is quite as bad or good.

I have a number of Swatch watches; they are nice, light and keep time relatively well. This one has a rubber band that works fairly well in terms of putting it on or removing it because it is stiff enough.

If a fabric or other material bends too easily it may be harder to push it through the buckles as I do it.

Putting it on with stump

The same procedure as shown above in the other examples works here as well - buckles with pins are quite similar with that regard.

Removing it with stump

The same key trick move is also used here to push the pin sideways before pulling the band out all the way.


Conventional clasp type wristwatch band (1)

The Potger-Pietri (Invicta brand) "6.9" 'earthquake' model with the automatic Valjoux 7750 movement is certainly a pop culture consumer classic, at the same time far away from haute horlogerie. With that it is great value in my view.


The bracket shown to be closed in the first photo and opened in the following images is an angled metal piece that squeezes over the clasp to "lock" it.

So here one can see the side parts of the bracket.

That type of lock allows for subtle gradual manual adjustment of the lock/unlock forces: I simply bent it using pliers until that felt just right.

Putting it on with stump

It is a simple thing to wear a clasp type wristwatch band - slide in and provide blunt force pressure to close any lock or bracket. Easy, fast.

Removing it with stump (and small screwdriver)

This bracket requires a sharp object to go into the slit between bracket and clasp, or a good precision grip (split hook, anyone?) works well too.

Conventional clasp type wristwatch band (2)

The Casio wrist watches offer a type of watch that is unsurpassed from a function/comfort view from my perspective - the solar powered, radio controlled watches that glow at night have won over so many others in the long run. They are always perfectly on time. There is no plugging in to recharge, no winding, no hassle there, not even a battery replacement. They are the ultimate in Quartz watches.

The subject of Casio watches goes further than the wristwatch band aspects discussed here [see link].

The clasp here requires a push from both sides to open.

Putting it on with stump

Putting this clasp band on is easy - as the other one, slide in, push all parts for a bit and tada.

Removing it with stump

Of course one can press one button against a table and the other with the stump. That works.

But when the wristwatch band has been worn for a while and one gets used to tilting things while taking wristwatch bands off (see above with the pin..), then I push one button, tilt a bit, push the other, tilt a bit, push the first one again, and eventually the lock just opens.

I guess you read, and saw, that here first.


Butterfly clasp type wristwatch band

This is my old automatic Steinhart watch It has a butterfly clasp.

The butterfly clasp requires two buttons shown here to be compressed at once to open.

Putting it on with stump

This one is a bit more tricky to put on because I lock the first bottom band part first, then I need an object to keep that close to my wrist so the other part does not buckle out. Any table or here, keyboard, can be used for leverage.

Removing it with stump

Like the Casio lock above, one could try to push both buttons at once.

Engaging them alternatively until the clasp opens works just as well here.

Concluding remarks

When buying

Try as many as you can. Play with them, try out variations. See what adjustments can be made. No band or lock design is just like the other. Fabric details play a role, stiffness, widths and tolerances are key aspects too.


See you later alligator, don't forget to practice!

  • The key for a prosthesis to do this is swift control, swift motion, and a good precision grip really.
  • The key for manipulating them with the stump or even prosthesis is to use the immediate environment to one's advantage. As I try to show above.

Ultimately, it is practice that makes this better.

Once a wrist band is worn up or for other reasons does not work any more, maybe get another one (I have done such myself on occasion [link]). If a clasp or bracket lock etc. acts up, maybe it needs lubrication, other servicing or adjustment. Well adjust it then, or have it adjusted.

Update log

- Update Oct 2021 - other wristwatch band types

- Update Jan 2018 - split hook demo included



Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: swisswuff.ch - Putting on and taking off wrist watch with right below elbow amputation (stump, prosthesis: video demos); published 06/10/2008, 02:53; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=194.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1638533797, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{swisswuff.ch - Putting on and taking off wrist watch with right below elbow amputation (stump, prosthesis: video demos)}}, month = {October}, year = {2008}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=194} }