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How to Pick the Perfect Watch Size in 4 Easy Steps

The way a watch fits on your wrist can make or break the look that you’re going for. Whether you’re wearing a Casio or a BVLGARI, if your timepiece doesn’t fit properly, odds are you won’t wear it as you otherwise might. And if that happens, then what was the point of purchasing the watch in the first place? A perfectly sized watch that fits can complete an outfit and provide that confidence boost whether in dress wear or casual attire. If you’re wondering how you can achieve that look, here’s a watch sizing guide for you.

bulgari octo finissimo chrono gmt

1. Measure Your Wrist

Of course, the very first step you need to do is to measure your wrist circumference, as it will determine what size of watch casing looks best on your wrist. First, you’ll want to decide what hand you wear your watch on. Is it the left or the right? Whatever hand you choose, use a measuring tape to measure around your wrist, staying half an inch away from the joint. The measuring tape should circle your wrist where the centerline of your watch would be.

iwc pilots watch chronograph

2. Determine Your Case Size

The watch case is perhaps the most important feature of your timepiece – it’s what holds everything together! The watch case should be sized appropriately according to the size of your wrist. When we’re talking about the watch case size, we’re referring to the diameter from the outer edges at the widest point of the watch, not including the crown. If your watch circumference is less than 6”, a watch with a small case would be your best option as it offers comfort and it looks suitable for your size.

girard perregaux laureato 42 mm

3. Consider the Case Thickness

Case thickness also matters when getting the right fit for a watch. Larger cases often mean they’re thicker as well. This just means that your watch will look bulkier and heavier than other sizes. That added thickness can make it difficult to style with clothes as well especially if you’re wearing form-fitting long sleeves.

zenith chronomaster original

4. Choose the Watch Band Width (Lug Width)

The last important consideration concerns the watch’s lug width. This is the measurement between the four lugs used to attach the watch’s bracelet or strap. The proportionality between case size and lug width is important because a watch with narrow lugs and a wide case will look compressed while a small case paired with narrow lugs gives the illusion of being stretched.

And if you plan to swap bracelets or straps, you should pay attention to the lug width for another reason. As an attachment point, the lug width should always match the width of your desired strap or bracelet. A 22mm strap would be too big to fit on a watch with 18mm lugs. Conversely, a watch with 22mm lugs could accommodate an 18mm strap but the extra space created would look odd. This plays a vital role in the overall appearance of your watch.

prospex seiko snr049

Conclusion and a Note on Measurements

Typically in the US, case sizes are measured in millimeters while wrist circumference is measured in inches. Confusing, yes, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll know intuitively that a 48mm watch on a 6” wrist looks just as odd as a 30mm on an 8” wrist. Wearing a watch is an excellent way to show off and highlight a part of your personality and give you greater confidence and an important aspect of choosing the right timepiece is getting the right size case that will look great and feel comfortable. Whether you’re wearing an everyday G-Shock or luxury TUDOR, it won’t look its best if it doesn’t scale well with your wrist. Take these tips, so you know which watch to pick when shopping around.

Feldmar Watch Company is a luxury watch store and repair shop. We are a family-owned institution that’s been serving clients for more than a hundred years. Our store carries some of the most iconic luxury watch brands in the market. Get your own high-end timepiece when you order online or visit our Los Angeles location!

About The Author: Tom Roth


Born in Washington state, Tom developed an interest in photography during college at University of San Diego. There, he got started in music journalism, interviewing artists and taking photos at concerts. A life-long tinkerer and collector, it wasn’t long before Tom became fascinated with fountain pens and watches.

Those interests collided in November 2020 when Tom started at Feldmar Watch Company where he lives out every watch geek’s dream: photographing and writing about timepieces. When he’s not tinkering with his watch collection, Tom can be found traveling, biting his nails while watching PNW sports teams, and taking flying lessons.

Read more from Tom Roth

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