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What Is The Right Size Watch For My Wrist?

Peter T. from Atlanta, Georgia, USA asks:

I am a man with rather large, well, hands. I find it difficult to purchase many watches I would love to add to my collection because my hands seem to dwarf a timepiece with a face smaller than 42-44mm. Is there a proper ratio of face size to hand size, or can the petite face co-exist with the full-handed man.

This really goes into the larger question of “what is the proper size watch for my wrist?” The simple answer is that while there is new perfect size for everyone, especially as taste is subjective, there are certain rules worth following. Let’s discuss your question first. There is no specific hand-size-to-watch-case diameter ratio, but you should make sure of a few things. First, ensure that the lugs of a watch (those things that hold the strap) don’t extend over your wrist when wearing the watch. This can vary a lot because the same watch case size can have a lot of different lug sizes. The opposite is also true. If the lugs are no where near the ends of your wrist then the watch will appear dainty and feminine or child-like, and you don’t want that as well. Today’s popular style has most men wearing watches that fill up as much of their wrist as possible without actually being larger than their wrist.

If watches smaller than 42 or 44mm are too small for you, then avoid them. You have plenty of options out there in the 45 to 48mm wide range. There are options larger than that, but they are rare when it comes to “good” watches. We did a poll a while back and found that 90-95% of the men who responded their ideal watch size was somewhere between 40-44mm wide. So most people out there should be looking for a watch in this range. There are, of course, people who like to wear vintage watches which tend to be smaller. If you like that style, that’s fine too. We recommend a taller watch (thicker case) that will help smaller diameter watches from looking feminine or to small. Note that watch size is a huge area of “discourse” among watch lovers. Watch lovers love to assert what size we feel is best, and consider those who have a different opinion as somehow “wrong.” Now, we aren’t specifically speaking of the aBlogtoWatch team, but are using ourselves as an example to explain a common phenomenon. The point is to not let other people tell you what size to wear and use the above rules to find something that you feel fits well. If it looks too small, then I guess it is.

For more, take a look at how we answered a similar question, “How Big Should My Watch Be?” and feel free to weigh-in with your own opinion »

We choose a few questions each week and publish them. Want to ask the aBlogtoWatch team a question? We want to hear from you »



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  • Melvin

    While these are “rules” worth considering, there are no rules really. I wear my Citizen Promaster (42 mm) and my 1944 Omega 30T2 (32 mm) both with pleasure. I’m 6″5 and 92 kg and neither watch looks too big or too small. It’s all in the head I guess.

    • Bossman

      Melvin – I fully agree with you. I am much smaller than you but have watches ranging from 32mm to 25mm and all of them look good on my arm.

  • lvogt

    I think the type of watch matters. A classic dress watch will generally look better if it’s on the smaller side of your optimum range and a sport watch is expected to be a bit larger for maximum visibility. A dress watch should be elegant and refined but a sport watch looks more like machinery. I find very large dress watches look weird, like saucers to set your drink on, and very small sport watches, like divers, look like toys.

  • AreaMan

    “I am a man with rather large, well, hands.” Mr. Trump, you really must have better things to do than posting on a watch blog. 🙂

    • daveyah2002

      He certainly does today.

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