How do you measure your watch size?

You can easily measure your watch size with a measuring tape or a strip of paper. Below we show you step-by-step how to do that.
The circumference of your wrist is important to determine which size watch suits you best. The ratio between your wrist and the size of the watch case must be balanced. You also want the watch to fit comfortably; not too tight or too loose. When determining which watch size is suitable for you, you therefore look at three things: the size of your wrist, the size of the watch case and the type of clasp of the watch strap.

Watch size men and women

Until the 1970s, the average watch size for men was 38 mm. Today the average watch size for men is 40-45 mm. This arose due to the rise of quartz watches. A quartz movement is lighter and can control more functions with far fewer parts. A comparable mechanical watch would simply be too heavy.
In addition, people have also grown taller over the past 50 years and watches have grown along with them. For example, 38 mm is now the average watch size for women’s watches.

Men's watch of 38 mm on a wrist circumference of 18.5 cm
▴ Men’s watch of 38 mm on a wrist circumference of 18.5 cm

Women's watch of 38 mm on a wrist circumference of 16.5 cm
▴ Women’s watch of 38 mm on a wrist circumference of 16.5 cm

The size of watches is also sensitive to trends. Oversized (larger than 50 mm) watches were very popular for a long time, but in the last few years – partly due to the retro trend – we have seen a return to smaller sizes of men’s watches.

Oversized watch 52 mm on a wrist circumference of 18 cm
▴ Oversized watch 52 mm on a wrist circumference of 18 cm

Small ladies watch 28 mm on a wrist circumference of 14.5 cm
▴ Small ladies watch of 28 mm on a wrist circumference of 14.5 cm

Which size watch you choose is very personal and depends not only on your size, but also on the style of watch you choose. A chic watch or a dress watch is generally smaller, and a diving watch or a smartwatch is larger.

Measure watch wrist size

Step 1: what do you need?

measuring tape, ruler and pen

To measure the size of your wrist you need the following:

  • A piece of string, strip of paper or measuring tape
  • A ruler
  • A pen

Step 2: Where should I measure?

Place the measuring tape where you want to wear the watch. For most people this is slightly above the knuckle of your wrist joint.

measuring tape on wrist

mark pulse measurement

Place a mark at the point near the end of the ribbon or string. Measuring is knowing; always measure twice to be sure!

Step 3: How do I measure my size?

Do not pull the measuring tape tightly! The rule of thumb is that you should be able to put your little finger under the strap on the inside of your wrist when closing the watch. This way the watch is not too tight.

determine wrist size

Place the strip of paper or string along a ruler. Read the number of centimeters.

ruler and measuring tape

Are you buying a watch as a gift for someone else and you don’t know the size? You can also measure the size of an old watch by rolling up a sturdy sheet of paper and marking the size on it:

measure watch size with a roll of paper
▴ Mark the inside size of the watch on the paper.

Paper and ruler
▴ Place it along a ruler and read the number of centimeters.

Measure watch diameter

The watch case is perhaps the most important part of your watch. You can read the time here, and the case also determines the style of the watch.
Your watch case should be in proportion to your wrist. Not too big, but certainly not too small either. The general rule is that the watch case (including the case legs) should not protrude beyond your wrist.

The diameter of a watch is always measured at the widest part of the case, excluding the crown or any push buttons. The height of a watch case is always measured including the case legs (lug-to-lug).

Measure watch diameter
▴ Measure watch diameter

Measure height including cabinet legs
▴ Measure height including cabinet legs

A watch case with short or curved case legs looks smaller than a watch with long or straight case legs. Push buttons or a wide and brightly colored bezel also make the watch appear larger than it is. It is therefore important to know the diameter of the case and not just rely on the photo. On our site, the size of the case (diameter) is always clearly stated with the watch.

dress watch and diving watch
▴ The 44 mm diving watch does not look much larger than the 40 mm dress watch due to the curved case legs and connecting strap.

What size watch do I need?

Once you have determined your wrist circumference and ideal case size, you can specifically search for a suitable watch on our site.

In the table below you can see which watch size best suits your wrist size on average.
This is of course not a hard and fast rule. Some ladies like larger watches and men with a slimmer wrist are more likely to opt for a smaller size. What matters is that you like the watch and feel comfortable wearing it.

Watch size table in relation to wrist size

What type of watch strap can you customize?

In the specifications of the watches on Techzle, the minimum and maximum wrist size for which the watch is suitable is stated under ‘Strap information’. Depending on the type of strap, the watch can be custom made or you can use the clasp to determine how loosely or tightly you wear the watch.

Metal (link) bands can be made to size by removing links. So pay close attention to the minimum wrist size for a watch with a metal strap.
Most folding clasps on metal straps also have a sliding mechanism that allows you to tighten or widen the strap slightly. This is very useful when the weather is warm and your wrist swells slightly.

Diving watches also usually have a strap with a sliding mechanism or are supplied with a separate extension for the strap so that the watch can be worn over a wetsuit.

Folding clasp with sliding mechanism
▴ Folding clasp with sliding mechanism

Mesh strap with sliding closure
▴ Mesh band with sliding closure

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