Aesthetically speaking, watches are a fairly simple portable accessory. However, if you delve into their technique and examine the details of each element, you will find that they are not really as simple as they look. Rather, each element is carefully designed and manufactured to create a masterful watch.
A special element that we often neglect is the watch eyelet. What is a watch? You might even be inclined to ask. The nose is the part of the watch that connects the case and strap, usually using a spring bar. It’s a pretty small part, which is why it’s usually overlooked. However, a watch shoe adds to the overall look of the watch, and its width is actually critical in determining / finding the right bracelet.
Since a watch stud also affects the aesthetics of the watch, knowing the different types of studs is helpful, and this is what this post is about.
Types of watch eyelets
The simplest and most straightforward type is a straight approach that is used frequently minimalist clocks. They are best suited for modern style watches and may be thicker or slimmer depending on the watch. This type of eyelet can be found in most Daniel Wellington and Nomos watches.
Speedy or bomb lugs
Speedy (or bomb) lugs are named after the watch collection that made this type popular – the Omega Speedmaster. Fast studs were already used in the Speedmaster collection in the 1960s. However, the Universal Geneve had been using such a stud design for their watches since the 1950s. Nowadays it is common to recognize watches with fast studs. A Speedy or Bomb approach is a straight attachment with an inward curve edge.
Explorer is another type of stud that takes its name from the watch that made it popular – the Rolex Explorer. Explorer lugs may look similar to Speedy lugs, but unlike the latter, which are straight with curved or rounded edges, Explorer lugs are straighter and have a square and geometric appearance. However, they are not similar to straight studs, as the explorer studs on the case are usually wide and then narrow towards the bracelet. An example would be this Citizen Eco-Drive watch.
Enveloped or hooded tabs
Sheathed or hooded tabs are less common in watches these days. This type is characterized by two adjacent eyelets with a horizontal bar that connects the case to the bracelet. To help you understand this better IWC Portofino automatic watch IW356506 is integrated with a covered nose.
Starting with this, the following types of studs are more common in vintage watches. First, the pillow eyelets, which are popular with vintage diving watches with a pillow-shaped case. The Vintage Tissot Seastar PR516 diving watch is one example.
As the name suggests, teardrop lugs have a teardrop shape. They are most common among vintage watches from IWC, Rolex, Ulysse Nardin, Patek Philippe and Jaeger-LeCoultre. For example, this rectangular Patek Philippe 1530R watch is integrated in a drop eyelet.
Crab Claw Lugs
This last type of watch eyelet was widely used in Longines and Vacheron Constantin vintage watches. The crab claw tunnels, as you may have guessed, are shaped like crab claws. They are braver and more robust, curved, but angular. Take a look at this Longines Wittnauer revue from the 1950s for a better understanding.
Well, these seven basically cover the types of studs you saw or would have seen in watches. The first four – straight, fast, explorers and veiled – are the types of studs you would see in contemporary timepieces. On the other hand, the last three – pillows, drops and crab claw – were more popular with vintage watches. With these you can immediately identify the “age” of a specific watch by just looking at its tabs.