Just as you wouldn’t wear clothes that are the wrong size, you don’t want to walk around with a watch that’s the wrong size. Of course, watch size refers to more than just the ability to strap a piece to your wrist. When wearing watches, size reflects your personality, taste, and even the specific outfit you’re wearing. That’s why it’s necessary to learn which size watch is best for you. Discover the ins and outs of watch sizes with this guide.
The Basics of Watch Measurement
There are a few key factors to consider when judging watch size: the diameter of the case, the thickness of the case, and the width of the band. Watchmakers measure these sizes in millimeters.
When measuring a round watch case, measure the diameter of the case. For square or rectangular cases, measure the shortest length of the case. Case diameter is the clearest measurement and is most noticeably proportional to watch size.
Case thickness measures from the middle of the case back to the top center of the watch’s crystal. Case thickness is usually proportional to case diameter: the smaller the diameter, the thinner the case should be. Generally speaking, a thin case is 6-8mm, an average case is 8-12mm, and a thick case is 14-18mm.
Finally, smaller band sizes make a watch appear smaller, while larger bands create a larger appearance. As a rule of thumb, a proportionate watch band is half the width of the case diameter.
Numbers vs. Appearance
Specific measurements are useful when searching for the right watch size, but the overall appearance of your watch is also crucial. Certain attributes and features can create a bigger or smaller appearance even if the watch size stays the same.
For example, a square watch case looks bigger than a round watch case of the same size. Meanwhile, a thick bezel or small dial will make a watch look smaller. Strap material also affects the perceived size of a watch. Leather bands offer a slim appearance, while metal bands look heavier and therefore larger.
How To Measure Your Wrist
Wrist measurement helps you find a watch that’s proportional to you. Measure the circumference of your wrist in the location your watch will rest. Below are the recommended case diameter sizes for different wrist sizes:
- Up to 36mm for a 6-inch wrist (or smaller)
- 38 to 42 mm for a 6-to-7-inch wrist
- 44 to 46 mm for a 7-to-8-inch wrist
Of course, these measurements are only a rule of thumb. Your preferred watch size might also depend on current trends, personal style, and specific watch details such as band material or the appearance of the dial.
With these guidelines in mind, you can make the most of your purchase whenever you buy or trade luxury watches for your collection. Knowing the watch size that’s best for you is the key to finding a stylish watch that you’ll want to wear for years.