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FYI: How to Choose the Right Size Watch

Choosing a watch that’s the right size for your wrist is a crucial part of finding something that will work with your lifestyle and make you happy.


Ripley Sellers

April 28, 2022


5 min read

Just like anything else that you wear, a watch needs to be appropriately sized for you, otherwise it will always seem a bit awkward or uncomfortable. While you can always adjust the circumference of a strap or bracelet, the actual size of the watch itself is also an incredibly important factor to consider. So, how exactly do you choose the right size watch?

Larger vs. Smaller Watches

Before you get started, there are some basic pros and cons typically associated with both larger and smaller watches. Bigger watches will generally offer better legibility and can more readily incorporate additional features, but they can sometimes be heavy or cumbersome to wear. Smaller watches will typically weigh less, but they can sometimes be difficult to read or tedious to operate. Understanding some of these general advantages and disadvantages will go a long way towards allowing you to make an informed decision about what size of watch belongs on your wrist.

Rolex produces the Datejust in a variety of sizes - pictured are Datejust references measuring 28 mm, 36 mm, and 40 mm across

Important Dimensions to Consider

In addition to case diameter, there are a number of other important dimensions that can dramatically influence a watch’s overall wearing experience. For example, the shape of a watch can have a big impact, and even if a timepiece has a relatively small case diameter, a long lug-to-lug measurement may still make it appear too large once it is actually on your wrist. You should also consider the thickness of a watch, along with the width of its lugs, and any prominent features like crown guards or pushers, as these can all significantly alter a watch’s overall wrist presence.

Sporting serious heft, these larger watches from Rolex, Panerai, and Richard Mille make an impression

Wrist Size & Shape

We generally tend to focus on wrist circumference, but the shape of your wrist is almost as important as its actual size. Flatter, more oval-shaped wrists can often accommodate larger watches more comfortably than round wrists, due to the fact that the watch itself sits on a larger surface area. In addition to circumference, you should also take note of how wide your wrist is across the top, as this can often be another important measurement to take into consideration.

There's an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak for wrists of all shapes and sizes

Functional Requirements & Comfort

Individual preferences regarding comfort will always play a major factor in determining the right size of watch for a person, but functional requirements can also dictate the appropriate size of a timepiece. For example, if you need a high-visibility sports watch with the additional ability to measure elapsed time, you might want to consider a larger timepiece than if you just want a good looking watch that can effortlessly slip under the cuff of a shirt.

At the end of the day, watches are incredibly personal items and only you can determine the right size of watch for your wrist. With that in mind, it is still important to know all of the various details that should factor into your decision, so that you will be able to find the perfect watch that truly makes you happy.

Like iconic models from other watchmakers, Omega offers the Seamaster Planet Ocean in a variety of sizes


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