WHAT TWEAKS MY TOURB: Clasps that create fixed length longer than the lug-to-lug measurement of a case WHAT TWEAKS MY TOURB: Clasps that create fixed length longer than the lug-to-lug measurement of a case

WHAT TWEAKS MY TOURB: Clasps that create fixed length longer than the lug-to-lug measurement of a case

Zach Blass

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our new series, “What Tweaks My Tourb” in which Zach shares the watch-related irks and peeves that leave him exasperated. First up: size matters. Clasp size that is…

To some this won’t be noticeable, as this is typically a symptom of a smaller wrist, but there is nothing worse than falling in love with a watch only to find out that its factory-bracelet configuration cannot fit you well. I love a good bracelet, and it is my preferred strap option for daily wearers. The solidity and heft of a bracelet, along with its robustness, is a huge draw for me. But there are some watches, as much as I love them, that I cannot get totally comfortable with on their bracelets. This is usually the result of unnecessary fixed length, created by long folding arms of a clasp. Watch clasps that are too long create this issue as the clasp when folded will limit the motion of the links it touches, inhibiting the way in which it would form around one’s wrist. When clasps are longer, especially when they are longer than the lug to lug of the case, this can cause more movement on my wrist than I would like.

Note that the fixed length runs from the left most edge of the link adjacent to the clamshell closure all the way to the first full link to the right of the clasp. The owner of this particular BB58 actually added his own fourth hole of micro-adjustment for this very reason

As an example, the lug to lug on the Tudor Black Bay 58 is very wearable at 47mm, but due to the length of the clasp it creates an unnecessary fixed width on the bracelet preventing the bracelet from conforming properly around the wrist. As you can see from the picture, those with a smaller wrist would have trouble finding a perfect fit as there is a minimum length to the clasp and the fixed links it creates that is ultimately larger than the top half of the watch. This leads the watch to wing out and slide unless it is made so tight that it would bruise the ulna bone by the end of the day. Part of the reason I was content trading my Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight was this very issue. Although I wore it a lot, I eventually had to admit to myself that it was never achieving an ideal fit on my wrist. I never reached that nirvana of optimal snugness, it was always a little too tight or a bit too loose for my tastes.


This is why Asian designed or manufactured watches (i.e Grand Seiko, Casio, Ming) at times are better for smaller wrists as the Asian marketplace has a different definition of the average male wrist size. With smaller clasps, the bracelets’ watches conform around small wrists, or any wrist for that matter, much better. Ideally manufacturers would be able to offer varying clasp sizes, in the same manner leather straps can be found in short, regular, or long, but I recognise the industrial and logistical challenges of doing so.

And that my friends is what tweaks my tourb.