Note: Skip to 6:30 for proper instructions on removal. Earlier in the video at the 5:30 mark, I try to remove it from the wrong side and it takes a lot of force & a lot of time. When doing it the right way, it took about 10 seconds to remove a pin.
The Oittm Apple Watch Band is a third party stainless steel band available on Amazon for$37. It comes with links/adapters for the Apple Watch, the band itself, and a toolkit that works for any watch band to adjust the number of links. This review shows the unboxing of a 42mm Space Gray band, gives a quick review, and gives a tutorial on how to use the toolkit to remove two links to shrink the size of the band.