You wouldn’t go shopping for jeans without knowing your waist size. The same goes for watch strap or bracelet shopping; you need to know your watch’s lug width before you slap down cash on a new strap. If you’re in the dark, don’t worry. This article will explain everything you need to know about measuring your watch’s lugs for a replacement band.

What Size Watch Strap Do You Need?

Watch straps come in different sizes, and the key to understanding the proper strap size is knowing the distance between your watch’s lugs.

What is a Watch Lug?

A watch lug (or horn) is where a watch strap, band, or bracelet attaches to the watch case. Spring bars run between the lugs, either through the strap or with the band slid between them (see NATO straps).

How to Measure Lug Width

Measuring the lug width on your watch isn’t something to eyeball and estimate. Precision is vital for sizing your straps because even a millimeter off the mark could spell disaster for your strap replacement dreams. Here are a few of the best ways to find your lug width:

  • Use calipers or a millimeter ruler to measure between the inside of your watch’s lugs.
  • Use calipers or a millimeter ruler to measure your existing watch strap.
  • Use Nixon’s handy printable sheet to measure your watch lugs, as well as see lug width by Nixon model. Read on, we go over these.

To measure watch lugs, follow these steps:

  1. Grab your favorite precision measuring device (millimeter ruler or calipers).
  2. Lay your watch on a soft surface with the strap removed.
  3. Measure the gap between the inside of the lugs where the strap will connect.
  4. Double-check your measurements. Straps only come in whole number (mm) widths usually between 16mm and 24mm, so if you get a .5mm somewhere, you’ve probably got an error in your calculation.
  5. Success!

How to Measure Existing Watch Band Width

Let’s say you have a strap that fits perfectly. How do you go about measuring it? Many straps have the width displayed on the underside. So, before you break out the ruler, flip your existing watch strap or bracelet over and see if the info you seek is right there. That’s called working smarter, not harder.

Come Width Me

So, there you have it — a quick and easy explanation of lug width. Once you know that, the only thing left to do is find the right style replacement strap or bracelet. Fortunately for you, Nixon offers a wide selection of replacement straps and bands in 16mm, 20mm, and 23mm widths. If you have a Nixon watch already, you can check the width by model here.