How to Find the Right Watch Size

How to Find the Right Watch Size - Rolex Submariner Kermit

Balance is something we all want to achieve in every aspect of our lives. Even when it comes to something as mundane as our daily attire, finding the right balance between style and substance, and between design and functionality impacts the way we carry ourselves.

A sense of balance is also key when looking for the perfect watch for your wrist. The brand, model, design, and pricing are all factors that an ideal timepiece must possess to satisfy you as a watch wearer, but apart from these size also matters.

In this article, you’ll learn about factors that make up the perfect watch size:

– The Case Diameter

– Your Wrist Size

– The Case Thickness

– Complications, Components & Other Embellishments

– Watch Band Design, Materials & Thickness

Measuring Your Wrist Size

Before you can find the right size watch for your wrist, you first need to know your own measurements. Knowing your wrist size will be incredibly important in choosing a watch that fits and looks good on you – especially if you’re buying online and cannot fit the watch in person.

How to Find the Right Watch Size - Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Rose GoldFinding the right watch size is key to comfort and style. Seen here:
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Rose Gold Chronograph Mens Watch 26331OR

To measure your wrist’s circumference in inches, use a measuring tape. Wrap it around the area where your watch would usually sit, usually right below the wrist bone. Take note of where the end of the measuring tape hits.

Below are the ideal case diameters and strap lengths for each type of wrist size:

Wrist SizeIdeal Case DiameterStrap Sizing
Small6”34mm – 38mm120/70mm
Average7” – 7.5”39mm – 42mm130/80mm
Large8 >44mm – 47mm140/85mm

Measuring the Case Diameter

When shopping for a watch, the case diameter and other measurements are already provided. However, if you’d like to know if your existing watches suit your wrist you can also measure the,.

A watch’s case diameter is subject to the wearer’s preference. There are standard sizes to choose from, but its proportion to your wrist is subjective. Some are into oversized watches, and some prefer an appropriate proportion to their wrist. There are guidelines and measuring tools that can help you find the best fit.

How to Find the Right Watch Size - Rolex Batman vs SpriteThe right case diameter depends on your wrist size.
Seen here: Rolex GMT-Master II Batman and Sprite

A calliper is used to measure the watch case in millimeters. To get the base size in rounded cases, measure diagonally or across by aligning the jaws from the 8 to 2 o’clock marks. This way, you won’t include the crown and other case features. Tighten the lock screw to get the correct reading.

For other case shapes like squares, rectangles, or cushions, get the measurement at the most narrow point of the watch.

Based on the measurement of your watch, we can categorize it as follows:

Small – less than 34mm

Mid-size – 34mm to 38mm

Standard – 39mm to 42mm

Oversized – 43mm to 46mm

XXL – more than 47mm

Men’s watches typically measure between 38mm to 46mm. Most women wear less than 38mm.

The Case Thickness

Case thickness is often overlooked in the overall size of a watch. However, your watch’s profile plays a big part in how it looks on your wrist – a thicker watch will have bolder wrist presence. Accordingly, when the case diameter increases or decreases, the same goes for its thickness. The average watch thickness is 8mm – 12mm.


Complications, Components & Other Embellishments

Did you know that when the watch details or components increase such as the numbers, hours, second hands, the crown and any complications featured in the timepiece, it gives the illusion that the watch is larger?

If your wrist is on the thinner side, more streamlined and minimal watches look best on your wrist; while those with thicker wrists can pull off watches with more dominant features better.

How to Find the Right Watch Size - Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ChronographExtraneous features such as dial design, hour markers, complications and pushers add visual weight to a timepiece. Seen here: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26320ST

Watch Band Design, Materials & Thickness

The material of the band is just as important as the case size. While this can be a matter of personal preference and comfort, different materials can appear heavier on your wrist, such as full metal bracelets and rubber straps.

How to Find the Right Watch Size - Rolex GMT Master II Steel Everose and SpriteThe watch’s bracelet material affects both aesthetics and comfort.
Seen here: Rolex GMT-Master II Steel Everose and Sprite

After case diameter and watch details, the watch band width is the next noticeable element of proportion. As a general rule, the band width should be about half its case diameter. This makes for a well-proportioned watch.

For example, if you’re wearing a 44mm watch, the width should measure 22mm. However, at the end of the day, it still depends on the watch wearer’s personal preference. You may have a large wrist but prefer a smaller band width.


There are many different types of watch band materials. Here are the most popular ones:

Leather – the typical leather watch band makes the wearer’s wrist look slimmer; however there are bands called “Fat Straps” that cover a larger part of the wrist and can make it look bigger

Steel or precious metal – a stainless steel or metal watch band in general appears heavy on the wrist. The more solid the links are, the heavier it looks. The smaller the links are, the lighter it looks.

How to Find the Right Watch Size - Watch Bracelet MaterialsThe band material affects the watch’s proportions and weight on your wrist.
Seen here: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Patek Philippe Nautilus, and Panerai Submersible

Fabric – just like leather bands, cloth or fabric straps can have a slimming look. They can sometimes be patterned, which can attract attention.

Rubber – these compliment dive and sports watches best. They tend to look thicker on your wrist, and have water- and sweat-resistant capabilities

All these factors combined can affect how well your watch fits and suits your wrist. Watches are no longer just instruments that tell time – they’re important accessories that can bring your whole look together. Finding the right size for your wrist is important in getting the most out of your investment.

Rolex GMT Master II Jubilee Bracelet Watches - Pepsi, Batman & Sprite

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