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Thread: Drilled Lug Holes

  1. #1
    Master Kaffe's Avatar
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    Drilled Lug Holes

    Can someone please explain to me what the advantage is of having drilled lug holes. They seem to be favoured by many. One can use shoulderless springbars but what is the advantage of that. They can enable one to remove the bars with a paper clip I suppose. There's still a chance of scratching the lugs unless taped up. What's the point?

  2. #2
    Master Papa Hotel's Avatar
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    Quicker, easier. There's also a theory that ordinary springbars can get caught on a NATO and pull out, whereas the shoulderless type can't. I'm not sure there's much stock in that but the convenience is definitely there.

  3. #3
    Master Kaffe's Avatar
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    Hmm. Okay. Thanks for your reply. I'm not keen on nato straps though have worn one for many years on shouldered spring bars and have never had a problem. When it comes to scratching the lugs, is most of the damage caused through careless use of the removal tool rather than the head of the spring bar itself as it slides along the inside of the lug.

  4. #4
    Master bedlam's Avatar
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    Drilled lugs are more efficient for changing out straps, reduce the chances of damage, and obviate the need to carry tools. If you need to change out a strap on a dive boat you very quickly become a fan of drilled lugs.

    Rubber NATO's are the best option for diving IMO. But they can potentially grip and pull standard pins out of the hole. You use shoulderless pins to address this, but you can only do that with drilled lugs.
    Last edited by bedlam; 10th December 2020 at 01:39.

  5. #5
    Master M1011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedlam View Post
    Rubber NATO's are the best option for diving IMO. But they can potentially grip and pull standard pins out of the hole.
    Well this was a rollercoaster. They went from being the best to the worst very quickly

  6. #6
    Master bedlam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1011 View Post
    Well this was a rollercoaster. They went from being the best to the worst very quickly
    It depends on what the watch is being used for.

    If its man jewellery you get responses based on fashion preference. If you are using it while diving preferences are around functionality and different priorities are in play

  7. #7
    I would think hard before wearing a rubber strap on any watch without drilled lugs, for the reasons above.

    I had a couple of Breitling (man jewellery) and you could pinch the strap and pop the springbars out quite easily, as the rubber gave enough to allow it to grip the shouldered bars and pop the watch off.

    My jacket sleeve snagged it and removed one strap previously.
    No harm done, as it fell on the carpet and was an Aerospace, but could have been worse.

    I actually fitted shoulderless bars but that meant snipping them off if I wanted to remove the strap. Not practical.

    I could see how a NATO would possibly do the same - they were designed for fixed bars originally.


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  8. #8
    Master Kaffe's Avatar
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    Interesting replies. I think I'm begining to see the light now. Thanks all.

  9. #9
    Master Geralt's Avatar
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    - No need for a spring bar tool = less potential damage to lugs. Non-metal pointy thing is to be preferred.
    - Any damage to lugs when fitting SBs of any type is always a lack of care and/or skill
    - Shoulderless SBs are (usually) stronger than regular SBs. Drilled lugs are mandatory.

  10. #10
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Drilled Lug Holes? Like this?



    M
    Breitling Cosmonaute 809 - What's not to like?

  11. #11
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Tooth pick works well.
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  12. #12
    Master paneristi372's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by number2 View Post
    Tooth pick works well.
    I second that.

  13. #13
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    Get a watch with 20mm lugs.
    One one lug put in a single shoulder, Rolex-style springbar.
    On the other put in a standard springbar.
    Now try and remove them both, in turn, without using tools.
    Many normal psringbars can be bent out with relative ease (of course thid does notinclude Seiko fat bars), as they have a weak shoulder exposed in between the lugs.
    But you will need to cut that single shoulder one out to remove it, as there is no weak spot at all. They are so much stronger.
    And you need drilled lugs for those.
    Plus, strap changing with a pokey tool will scratch or mark your watch so much less than using springbar forks. With no chance of stabbing yourself with the fork.

    D

  14. #14
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaffe View Post
    I'm not keen on nato straps though have worn one for many years.
    Sounds like you're keen on them, then!

  15. #15
    Craftsman
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    I put a very stiff strap on a watch once and could not remove the damn thing as it wouldn't give enough to access the springbars. I ended up cutting the thing off.

    Would not have happened with drilled lugs.

    That said, I always thought the quick-release springbars in some straps looked a bit weak but I've had them on a couple of watches for a year now and no problems.

  16. #16
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Love a drilled lug.

    Unfortunately too few watches these days sport them.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  17. #17
    Master Kaffe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ach5 View Post
    Sounds like you're keen on them, then!
    Haha. Not really. The watch had fixed bars so had little choice.

  18. #18
    Master witti's Avatar
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    Drilled lug holes and shoulderless spring bars are the best what you can have on a tool watch. Period.
    Are we talking about Panerai?
    Drilled lug holes with shoulderless spring bars are the worst what can happen to a watch.
    Oh, those WIS.

    Sent from my SM-A202F using TZ-UK mobile app

  19. #19
    Grand Master mart broad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    Love a drilled lug.

    Unfortunately too few watches these days sport them.
    Totally agree
    I FEEL LIKE I'M DIAGONALLY PARKED IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE

  20. #20
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by notenoughwrists View Post
    I would think hard before wearing a rubber strap on any watch without drilled lugs, for the reasons above.

    I had a couple of Breitling (man jewellery) and you could pinch the strap and pop the springbars out quite easily, as the rubber gave enough to allow it to grip the shouldered bars and pop the watch off.
    Wow, live and learn, I've quite a few watches on rubber and this had never occurred to me. May have to do some pinch tests ...

  21. #21

    Drilled Lug Holes

    Probably began for ease of manufacture. Just bang a hole straight though the case ends. Function over form, a simple solution with the benefit of using any old pokey stick to remove the bars.
    Machining blind holes within the lug gap must be a ballache and only results in the superficial Ďbenefití to the appearance of the outer face being Ďcleaní, with the downside being risk of damage when tinkering.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom-P View Post
    Wow, live and learn, I've quite a few watches on rubber and this had never occurred to me. May have to do some pinch tests ...
    I donít believe it is a problem IRL unless a crane is trying to lift you hooking the rubber strap. I have quite a few watches without drilled holes on rubber straps and never once have I encountered an issue.

  23. #23
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    I donít believe it is a problem IRL unless a crane is trying to lift you hooking the rubber strap. I have quite a few watches without drilled holes on rubber straps and never once have I encountered an issue.
    Watches on rubber passed stress tests this morning.

    All good. Googled 'IRL' and learnt something else too.

  24. #24
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    I have had 3 normal springbars fail. Only one resulted in a falling watch, luckily to soft ground. The other 2 were whilst wearing a NATO.
    Never had a single shoulder one fail

  25. #25
    Master Kaffe's Avatar
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    I remember trying a non Seiko rubber strap on an SKX009. I wanted to use the original fat bars but the strap wasn't designed for such thick bars. I managed to fit the bars by heating the strap in boiling water. Once cooled, the bars were gripped very tightly. The downside, I then discovered, was that I could then fit and remove the strap by gripping it and pulling sideways. Even though it was quite a tight fit between the lugs. I wasn't keen on that so ended up with a genuine strap which doesn't do that.

  26. #26
    Grand Master
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    Drilled lugs are brilliant. As already said, much safer and much easier to remove and refit the bars.
    I have them on my main watches and would be marginally put off by standard spring bars these days.

  27. #27
    Master bedlam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    I donít believe it is a problem IRL unless a crane is trying to lift you hooking the rubber strap. I have quite a few watches without drilled holes on rubber straps and never once have I encountered an issue.
    I have. IRL.

  28. #28
    I once met a dive instructor with an old Rolex where the glass was so scratched that you could not read it in air, but under water it was clear as day !
    It had drilled lugs and he used a safety pin through one side to hold the bracelet on.
    I didn't know then that it was probably £20k's worth, but I think he did.

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