Navigating the Oddities: A Guide to Odd-Sized Watch Lug Widths

Navigating the Oddities: A Guide to Odd-Sized Watch Lug Widths

In the world of horology, precision is paramount. Every millimetre matters, and this is particularly true when it comes to the lug width of your watch. The lug width is the distance between the two points on your watch case where the strap is attached. It's a crucial measurement because it determines the size of the strap you'll need.

Most watches have lug widths of 18mm, 20mm, or 22mm. However, some timepieces march to the beat of their own drum, sporting odd-sized lug widths like 19mm, 21mm, or even 21.5mm. These odd sizes can present a challenge when it comes to finding a replacement strap.

Take, for example, the Rolex Datejust 41 or TAG Heuer Aquaracer which have a lug width of 21mm. These are iconic watches, but their unique lug widths can make finding a suitable strap a bit of a headache.

Some have suggested that using a size up (specifically when talking about rubber straps) is a suitable alternative, personally I disagree, there is only one size that should fit your watch and that is the correct size. 

Using the incorrect size strap and more specifically the incorrect size spring bar are NOT good solutions for your watch.


While odd-sized lug widths can present a challenge, they're by no means a deal-breaker. Some manufacturers, like TAG HEUER, do not even tell you lug width on their website, why they don't is beyond me, but with some searching you can find it. 

Personally when I look at a watch to buy the lug width is a VERY IMPORTANT measurement. If it is 20mm or 22mm you know that you will have the full spectrum of after market straps available to you. If its an odd 21.5mm lug width, well you know that either you are never going to change your strap (BORING!) or you are happy spending $100's of dollars for the manufacturers straps.

Remember, in the world of watches, it's the quirks and idiosyncrasies that make a timepiece truly unique. And isn't that what watch collecting is all about?

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