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Find the perfect watch for your wrist

The menswear rules of wearing a timepiece with your wrist proportion in mind

Find the perfect watch for your wrist

Horologists say there are five things men should consider when buying a watch: case diameter, case thickness, width of the band, band material, and the watch’s details and components. The most important among these is the case diameter (the main part of the watch) since the wrong size will look unwieldy. A watch bought without proportions in mind will not be a wise investment. Men's watches range from 34mm to the rapper-sized 46mm case diameter. 

Measure your wrist:

Take a malleable measuring tape and wrap it around your wrist. If your wrist is 6 to 7 inches, you will be a small to medium wrist size. Any lesser and you have a skinny wrist. If you have a thick wrist (7.5 to 8 inches in circumference), it will be more proportional with large. 

Skinny wrist:

Take heart. Just because you have a delicate wrist doesn't make you eligible for women's cocktail time tellers. Aim for around 34mm. It may sound small in comparison since the average wristwatch is between 38mm and 40mm, but it will have an impact if the clothing is proportional. Anything too large won’t sit comfortably beneath a smaller shirt cuff.

Tip: Pick simple designs that are classy without coming across as feminine. 

Slender wrist:

For wrists a little larger but not quite 6 inches wide, keep the case thin and get a wider dial. A 38-40mm dial sits snug on a slender wrist. Smaller watches sit better on leather or Milanese straps as these won’t outflank the dial. Milanese straps are fine-knit metal bands currently seen on watch models that originated in Milan's world-famous workshops.


Tip: Since your lower arms are thinner, ensure the case thickness doesn't extend beyond 7-8mm. Anything larger will stick out on the wrist.

Medium wrists:

Lucky to be the Malcolm in the middle? The widest choice of watches will suit you. Don't go overboard with chunky watches, however. Middle-bracket arms demand middle-bracket pieces, so play it safe in the centre and aim for a watch with a diameter of around 40mm.

You have a greater number of bracelets and straps to choose from also. Metal clasp straps lend themselves to a statement watch. If your wrist is in the middle of the spectrum, you can experiment without risk.

Thick wrist:

Thick forearms and wrists don't give you license to wear whatever you like.

So banish those Puff Daddyesque timepieces and choose a 42mm diameter case. It puts you in the territory worthy of chronographs and complicated horology, so even collectors' pieces can be worn practically every day. 

Watch buying tips:

  • Don’t fall into the trophy trap. Stocky men seek out the biggest timepieces, yet size doesn’t always translate to style.
  • A classic watch will hold or even accrue value with age better than an of-the-moment piece.
  • Keep the embellishments on the bracelet minimal
  • Consider the material of the band – stainless steel and Milanese straps are heavier than silicone and leather.

Rectangular or round, sporty or classic, the design of your watch will stand out if its size is in proportion with your wrist, so pay heed to our gyaan when you walk in to the showroom for your next purchase.