A luxury watch is a significant investment. Elegantly designed and expertly crafted, it serves as an essential accessory and trademark of your personal style. It’s important to remember, however, that something created out of such artistry should not be considered a one-size-fits-all piece.
While there are no absolute rules for the ideal watch fit, we’ve put together a guide to help you take measurements and select the best look and feel for your wrist.
Getting started: wrist measurements
Leaning towards natural balance and correct proportions is something we are drawn to as humans. As you may expect, if you have a smaller wrist you’ll generally want a smaller watch.
As well as personal preference, knowing which size to choose starts with the size of your wrist. You can measure the circumference of your wrist with a tape measure or, if you don’t have one to hand, a simple piece of string and ruler will suffice. Then, simply wrap the tape measure or string around your wrist so it fits comfortably and note down the measurement. If using a string, mark the position where the string meets before laying it flat against a ruler.
As the most noticeable element of your timepiece, the case’s diameter is a crucial consideration when it comes to selecting the right watch.
Typically, men’s watches tend to range between 38mm to 46mm and women’s from 26mm and 36mm. Those that sit outside these ranges are likely to appear too large or too small. Again, personal preference comes into play here should you prefer the oversized look for your watch.
As the front side of a watch generally gets the most attention, the case thickness is often overlooked but it’s vital consideration when seeking the perfect fit. Generally speaking, the depth of the case should correlate with its diameter as this will provide the most favourable thickness for your wrist size.
For instance, a small to medium case size diameter will usually be around 7mm in thickness, while the large case sizes will be around 9mm.
If you typically wear a suit to work or for formal events, a thick case may bunch up your jacket sleeve. In this case, a dress watch with a thinner case would be a better, more comfortable choice.
And on this note, there are a number of other sartorial principles you may wish to consider while choosing the right timepiece.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘horns’, the lugs are where the case of the watch connects to the strap or bracelet. They are not factored into the case diameters measurements, meaning that they will stick out further than the case.
When measuring your wrist leave some extra breathing room for the lugs otherwise they could extend out, making your watch uncomfortable to wear.
Watch band sizing
A well-proportioned timepiece typically has a band width that is roughly half its case diameter. A watch will tend to look out of proportion if the band size is too small or too large, so be sure to keep this as a consideration.
Keeping the measurement of your wrist in mind, the length of your band should be within a half-inch of your wrist’s circumference. This will also depend on the diameter and thickness of your case.
The material of your band will also need to be taken into account. Metal bands often appear to be larger and heavier than leather or fabric alternatives, even if they are in fact the same size.
This choice will also depend on the look, occasion, or functionality you require. For example, leather straps look great for the office but might not suit an action-packed lifestyle. If you’re planning to wear your watch during exercise, you may want to opt for a more hard-wearing rubber strap or stainless-steel bracelet. In fact, watch material is a key consideration when it comes to selecting your timepiece.
Aesthetics are of course an important factor when selecting your luxury watch. However, when that same watch also fits perfectly, you reach a whole new level of excellence.
Picking the right timepiece can feel a little daunting – particularly if it’s your first watch – but using the guide above, alongside your personal preference and wrist size, is a good place to start. Ultimately though, it all comes down to your preferred style and whatever feels most comfortable to you.