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How To Buy The Right Size Watch For Your Wrist


You’re at work.

Someone asks you the time.

You raise your wrist and we see it.

Your oversized, gangster style, diamond crowned watch.


Ok – I may be exaggerating.

But to put it bluntly, size matters.


Humans naturally notice if something is out of balance.

It’s just wired in our DNA.

When something is in proportion it’s as if the stars align and all feels normal.

This article will help you with the 5 things to consider when purchasing the correct size watch for your wrist. 


This article was brought to you by MVMT Watches.  All of the samples seen in the video & articles are from their collection.

Head over to MVMT Watches to guess which design I am giving away in my video


Proportions and Wrist Sizes

As human beings we are drawn towards natural balance.

Leaning towards correct proportions is instinct, whether we’re balancing a checkbook or building a house.

Generally speaking if you have a smaller wrist, you will want a smaller watch.

If you have a larger wrist you will want a larger watch.

Let’s break that down a little bit more into 5 key elements.

  1. Watch Case Diameter
  2. Watch Case Thickness
  3. Watch Band Width
  4. Watch Band Material
  5. Watch Details & Components

1. Watch Case Diameter

Watch Case Diameter 2 (1)

Case Diameter is the most obvious and noticeable element of proportion.

Men’s watches usually range from 38mm to 46mm.

Anything above 46mm starts to become too large, and is usually reserved for rakish or flashy outfits.

Anything below 38mm leans towards jewelry and eases into women’s size watches.

So how do you know what size works for you?

Measure your wrist.

You can use a dollar bill as a hack to measure. Modern US Paper Currencies are 6 inches in length. Wrap it around your wrist to find the circumference of your wrist.

If your wrist is 6 to 7 inches you will be a small to medium wrist size.

The small to medium diameter cases are 38mm, 40mm, and 42mm.

If your wrist is 7.5 to 8 inches in circumference, that will be more proportional with large cases which are 44-46mm.


2. Watch Case Thickness

Watch Case Thickness

Case thickness is oftentimes directly correlated to case diameter.

Back when mechanical watches were dominating the market it was perceived that a thinner case was higher quality.

This is no longer the case now with electronic watches entering the market, as well as quartz designs.

A general rule is, as the diameter of the case increases or decreases, the thickness does as well.

Usually for 38mm to 42mm diameter you will see around 7 mm in thickness.

Once you get up to 44mm and beyond the thickness increases to around 9mm.

The thickness of the case will usually be best proportioned to your body if you choose the right case diameter. 


3. Watch Band Width

Watch Band Width (1)

A well proportioned watch usually has a band width of about half its case diameter.

If you wear a 40mm watch, the width should be approximately 20mm in width.

Depending on your style preference you may want to wear a watch with a wider band width.

My preference is for smaller band widths, however, I do have smaller wrists.

If you have larger wrists you may lean towards wider bands.

If you are only shopping for cases and want to pick out a band later, you can determine what the width of the band will be based on the lug width.


4. Watch Band Material

Watch Band Type

Leather bands are going to give your watch a slimmer look.

A metal watchband, even one the same size as a leather band, will always appear larger & heavier because of the nature of metal.

This is an important consideration if you have smaller wrists.

Metal bands will present the appearance of a larger watch, making it a primary choice for men with larger wrists.MVMT 3

If you have small wrists and want a metal band –check out this watch I personally own.  It combines the characteristics I described above and the metal bracelet is proportionally smaller.

Again it depends on personal preference.


5. Watch Details

Last but not least look at the size of the components on the watch.

This means notice the numbers, the hours, and second hands.

The lug size, the pusher, and changer.

As these components grow in size and thickness it gives the illusion of a larger watch.

This can cause watches on men with smaller wrists to appear to be out of proportion, especially combined with any of the elements mentioned above.

The important thing to notice with components is how they play into the other elements of the watch. 

If you have a 38mm to 40mm watch and the numbers are huge, it will look unbalanced.

On the flip side if you have a 9mm thick watch with a 46mm case diameter and thin hour hands something might seem off as well.

MVMT Components


Final Words

A winning formula would be to combine all of the elements together proportionally, guided by your personal preference and wrist size.

At the end of the day it comes down to what you like to wear.

FYI – If you would like to see these watch size rules in a easy to understand infographic – I created that for you right here!



This article was brought to you by MVMT Watches. mvmt

All of the watches seen in this video and this article are from their collection of fashion watches.


I personally have this watch from their collectionand love how it proportionally fits my wrist and lifestyle.

Want to win a watch from MVMT?

Leave a comment on my YouTube video (Click Here to watch & comment).

If you’re the first to correctly guess the exact style of the watches sent to me THAT ARE NOT proportional to my body type – I’ll send you the extras that I have!

Again – you have to be specific as MVMT has a wide range of handsome watches!

Use clues I leave for you in the video (and past videos – hint hint!)