Different Types Of Watch Lugs

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Do you want to know about different types of watch lugs? Or are you confused about what type of lug will look good on your wrist?

Watch lugs may be one of the small parts of a watch but it is one of the important ones. In fact, I think the invention of watch lugs was the turning point in the history of wristwatches. In earlier days people used to wear pocket watches and after the invention of watch lugs, there was kind of a paradigm shift that happened. Rather than going for pocket watches, people started preferring wristwatches. Nowadays we do not see many people using pocket watches but you can see everyone wearing wristwatches. And all of this happened because of the watch lugs.

So if you also want to know, what are lugs on watches, what are their different types, what is lug width, what lug to lug means, then you are reading the right article. In this article, I will answer all these questions. And I will try to give you as much information as you need to know about the watch lugs.

So keep reading!

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What Are Lugs On Watches?

Before we look into different types of watch lugs, let us first look at what exactly are watch lugs. If you have already guessed this or already know this then you can skip this part and go to the next section.

Watch lugs are the parts of a watch that make it possible to connect a watch strap or bracelet to the watch case. And these are parts of the watch case itself. In simple terms, the extended watch case that you see on the edges of the case where the watch bracelet or strap is attached is known as watch lugs.

Different Types Of Watch Lugs

Now that we know about the watch lugs, let us see the different types of watch lug patterns that are used in watches. There are actually 7 types of watch lugs, some of these are still used in the modern world while others used to come with vintage watches. Let us look at these 7 types of watch lugs one by one.

1) Speedy Or Bombe Lugs

Bombe - Types Of Watch Lug

Speedy Or Bombe lugs are the most common type of watch lugs that are found on the watches with a bracelet. Omega Speedmaster was the first watch that was worn on the moon and it was also the watch that popularized these kinds of lugs back in the 1960s. Therefore these lugs are also known as speedy lugs, speedy is a short form of Speedmaster. One thing that you need to note here is that Omega did not come up with these kinds of lugs and it only popularized them.

These types of lugs look like the extended part of the case that goes all around the watch case and moves slightly inwards near the edges. Speedy or Bombe lugs give an overall rounded look to the watch. Look at the image above to have a clear idea.

2) Straight Lugs

Straight Lugs

Straight lugs are the most common and simplest types of watch lug pattern that are generally used in watches that come with leather, rubber, or fabric strap. These watch lugs start from the ends of the watch case and look like they have been attached externally to hold the bands. You can have a clear idea by looking at the image above.

3) Explorer Lugs

Explorer Lugs

Explorer Lugs are another most commonly used watch lugs in the watches that come with metal bracelets. Like the Speedy or Bombe lugs, these types of lugs were popularized by the Rolex Explorer and hence they are called Explorer lugs.

At a glance, Speedy and Explorer watch lugs look like one and the same thing. However, there is a noticeable difference if you look closely. As discussed, Speedy or Bombe lugs are rounded at the edges giving the watch a circular look. On the other hand, Explorer lugs are straight at the ends and give the watch an overall rectangular look.

4) Cushion Lugs

Cushion Lugs - Different Types Of Watch Lugs

Cushion lugs as the name suggests, look like a cushion and hence are named after cushions. At first glance, you will find these somewhat similar to Bombe or Explorer lugs. But a close look will reveal that these are much shorter and thicker at the edges, which makes them very different from the Speedy and Explorer lugs.

5) Teardrop Lugs

Teardrop lugs are, well, in the shape of a teardrop. These types of lugs are not used much nowadays and you will only find them in vintage watches. Teardrop lugs seem like they have been attached externally like Straight lugs but in the shape of a teardrop.

6) Crab Claws lugs

Crab Claws Lugs

Like other watch lugs, Crab Claws lugs are called such because they look like crab claws. These watch lugs are similar to Teardrop and Straight lugs in the manner how they are attached to the watch case. But unlike the other two lugs, these lugs look like the four main claws of a crab. If you will look at the image above then you will understand how the Crab Claws are different from Teardrop and Straight lugs.

7) Shrouded Or Hooded Lugs

Shrouded Or Hooded Lugs

Shrouded or Hooded Lugs are the types of watch lugs that are a little similar to the Straight lugs but have a horizontal bar between them. This horizontal bar is used to connect the watch case to the bracelet. Sometimes the horizontal bar is not visible and is covered by the case itself or an external cap-like part and that is why it is sometimes called Hooded lugs. These types of watch lugs are not used these days and are mainly found on vintage watches.

What Is The Lug Width Of A Watch?

Lug Width

Lug width, in simple terms, is the distance between the inner parts of the lugs. Lug width also represents the size of the bracelet or strap that can be attached to the watch. Therefore the lug width is also equal to the bracelet width.

What Does Lug To Lug Mean?

Lug To Lug

Distance between the two lugs on opposite edges on the same side of the case is known as lug to lug. This neither represents the distance between diagonal edges nor between the two lugs. Lug to lug is basically measured to know the size of the case. Look at the image above to have a clear idea.

How Can You Know Watch Band Size?

To know your band size, you need to know your lug width. The lug width of your watch, i.e. the inner distance between the lugs will be the band size of your watch.

For eg., if your lug width comes out to be 20mm then a 20mm wide bracelet or band will be used in your watch. And you will not be able to use the band size less than or greater than 20mm.


Can I Use a 44mm Band On a 40mm Watch?

No, you cannot fit a 44mm band on a watch with a 40mm lug width.

What Is The Lug Width Of Omega Speedmaster?

The lug width of the Omega Speedmaster is 20mm.

How Many Types Of Lugs Are There?

There are 7 types of lugs, which are as follows: Speedy or Bombe lugs, Straight lugs, Explorer lugs, Cushion lugs, Teardrop lugs, Crab Claws lugs, and Shrouded or Hooded lugs.

Tom Nielson

Tom's love for watches started when his grandfather gifted him his Rolex watch when he turned 18! Being a teenager it was a big deal for him. Later when he got his first job he bought Fossil Palm Pilot back in 2003 which was a smartwatch. Since then smartwatches have come a long way and so is Tom's love for them. His experience with watches inspired him to start Wearholic and share his knowledge of wearables including watches, smartwatches, smart glasses, & smart clothing.

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