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How To Measure Watch Lugs to Determine Watch Band Width

November 4, 2010

We’d like to show you how to measure your watch lugs to determine what size watch band you need. Of course, you can simply check the back of your existing watch band. Many watch bands will have the width imprinted on the back. But beware: if you’ve purchased a used watch, or had the watch band replaced by someone else, there is a chance that the installed watch band is an incorrect (or a close-but-not-perfect) width.

How to measure watch lugsSo let’s get to the measuring. You’ll need a ruler of some sort. Most watch bands and watch straps are measured in millimeters. You also need to know what to measure. The watch “lugs” are what we are interested in. The lugs are the tangs or protrusions that extend from the watch case. That’s what your watch band or watch strap attaches to by way of the watch spring bars. The easiest and most accurate way to measure the watch lugs is by removing the watch band and placing the watch case on top of your ruler. Align the inside of one watch lug at “0” and make note of the widest full millimeter at the inside edge of the other watch lug. Take a look at the photo to the right – you can click it to see  a larger image. By the way – the Seiko Dive Watch in the picture is one of our favorites: the Seiko SKX007 Automatic Diver’s Watch. As you can see, the Seiko SKXoo7 has 22mm lugs, so you’ll need a 22mm band such as our 22mm nylon watch band.

I should point out that you can sometimes use a watch band or watch strap that is slightly narrower or wider than your watch lugs. Obviously it’s easier to make do with a watch band that is narrower than your lugs. The drawback is that your watch may back and forth on the band. You can also sometimes squeeze in a watch band that is slightly wider than your watch lugs. The drawback to this is that it will squeeze the watch band, making it bulge slightly between the lugs.

In case you need to convert between inches and millimeters, here’s a quick chart with common watch band widths. Note that some of the conversions are approximate, and you may have some flexibility with your watch band width:

Inches  Millimeters
5/16"   8mm
11/32"  9mm
3/8"    10mm
7/16"   11mm
15/32   12mm
1/2"    13mm
9/16"   14mm
19/32"  15mm
5/8"    16mm
21/32"  17mm
11/16"  18mm
3/4"    19mm or 20mm
25/32"  20mm
13/16"  20mm or 21mm
7/8"    22mm
15/16"  24mm
1"      26mm

Lastly, here’s a quick reference for standard two-piece watch band lengths. To get the length of the two-piece watch band, lay both pieces of the watch band end-to-end and measure the total combined length, excluding the buckle.

Standard Two-Piece Watch Band Lengths for Men:

Short   6.75" - 7.15" or ~177mm
Regular 7.25" - 7.5"  or ~190mm
Long    7.75" - 8.5"  or ~213mm

Standard Two-Piece Watch Band Lengths for Women:

Short   6.25" or ~155mm
Regular 6.5"  or ~165mm
Long    7.5"  or ~190mm

So there you have it – be sure to measure your watch lugs if you don’t know the size. It takes just a couple of minutes and it wall ensure that you get a replacement watch band that fits just right.

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