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Which Size Watch is Best for You?

Watch Size Guide: Which Size Watch is Best for You?

Choosing the perfect-sized watch for your wrist can be challenging for the uninformed. Let our experts guide you as you find out your ideal watch size with our detailed watch size guide.


There are few things that can be as esoteric for the uninitiated as understanding how wristwatch sizing works. Today, we will break it down in an easy-to-understand format so that you can get yourself the perfect-sized watch.

Let’s open with a bit about how watches are measured to determine the size. Once we understand the way they are sized, we will explain a bit about how the shape of the case itself can influence how large or how small a watch is perceived to be on one’s wrist.

How are watch cases measured and sized?

Watch cases are measured in millimeters (mm) and usually using a measuring device called a caliper. The most common shape for watch cases is a round case. Round cases are sized by measuring the diameter across the case. Below is a chart that can show you the difference between the many different sizes. Afterward, we will discuss the different watch case shapes and how their sizes are perceived compared to one another.

Keep in mind that when viewing this chart on a screen it won’t necessarily be exact size since each screen has a different resolution which will impact how large or small the images appear. To assure you are getting actual size, click on the image below to open a printable PDF file which will allow you to print the watch size comparison chart at actual size. In order to keep the sizes accurate as possible, please make sure to check in the print options that it will not be stretched to fit the page.

How are watch cases measured and sized?

These three watches all have the same size case. However, because of the geometry or design elements such as bezel thickness or dial size, some may in fact look (or “wear”) either larger or smaller on the wrist.
When compared to the round case, the square case watch has more “square footage” on the dial because of its geometry. The watch on the right, with the thicker bezel and/or smaller dial, may have the same case size as the round case watch on the far left, however, because of the smaller dial size, it will wear as a smaller watch giving the illusion that the watch on the left is larger.

In fact, every design element on a watch such as the type of hour markers, the lugs, the size and thickness of the hands, the crown, the pushers, can affect the way the size of the case is perceived.

Case Thickness

The thickness of a case is measured from the top center of the watch’s crystal to the middle of the case back using a caliper. Certain watches have ultra-thin cases while others will have bulky case thickness. The more complications a watch has, the thicker the case will get to accommodate the many components it takes to allow the additional mechanical functions to work.

Straps & Bracelets

Other things that can affect the way the size of the watch is experienced are the type of strap or metal band, the width of the strap, whether or not it has the same tone stitching or contrasting tone stitchwork. Metal bracelets will usually look chunkier than a leather or fabric (NATO) strap. Straps are usually made to be about 50% of the width of the case so that they look proportional.

The length of the strap or bracelet is also an important part of a watch’s sizing.
Smaller watches of up to 38mm usually look proportional on a 7” wrist or less.
Larger watches of 40mm to 46mm will look proportional on a 7” to 8” wrist.

Most watch websites like i36Watch  will classify the size of their watches by gender. Most commonly as men’s watches, ladies watches.. All gender-specific sizing aside, this guide is here to help you navigate the actual size and perception of the watch and how large or small it looks on the wrist as well as what factors contribute to its appearance. Use the buttons below to browse by gender-specific size.

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