A bit of horological history...June 19 2011 at 8:04 PM
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All my life I have made reference to the lugs on a watch case and really never knew where this name for them came from. The dictionaries just say a lug refers to any projecting structure to which something else is attached and, in the case of a wristwatch case, this definition seems appropriate because the spring bar that holds the watch strap / bracelet to the case is directly attached to these structures. But why call them "lugs"?
Well, apparently, the word "lug" is derived from the Middle English word "lugge" which means "earflap" and probably originally referred to the skin and cartilage tissue projecting from the head of an animal such as a horse or hunting dog. This word "lugge" is believed to be of Scandinavian origin and was probably brought to England by Viking invaders in the 1st millenia AD.
When one looks at a watch case, the structures that hold the strap to the case do sort of look like the erect ears of an animal so it is only natural that the early makers of
wristwatches would have referred to them as "lugges" or, to make it one syllable, "lugs".
BTW...For everyone in the USA who is a father...HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!