Frequently Asked Questions on How to Wear a Watch (2020)

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Wearing the right watch for the right occasion can complete your look, giving you a sophisticated and stylish touch. Whether it be for a formal, casual, or dressy event, there is a watch for every occasion.

But while it may seem simple enough, many people often find it difficult to wear a watch properly. We often get many emails from our readers with tips and tricks on how to wear a watch the right way.

Here are the most common questions we get asked on how to wear a watch the right way.

Which side should I wear the watch on?

Mechanical wood watch
Mechanical wood watch by Woodpecker Spain. See it here.

This is the most commonly asked question about how to wear a watch properly. The short answer? There is no right or wrong hand and you can wear the watch on whichever hand you prefer.

While it might seem that there is a tradition of wearing watches on the left hand, this has evolved simply due to practical reasons. The majority of people (about 80%) are right-handed, and they often tend to wear their watches in their left hand. Wearing a watch on your dominant hand while trying to do sensitive activities such as writing or typing can prove difficult. Most left-handed people wear their watches on either hand.

When deciding on which hand to choose, go with what feels comfortable and convenient to you and most importantly, what you prefer.

How tight should a watch fit?

While this may come across as a basic question, people are often stumped when it comes to wearing their watches the right way.

The main thing with watches, regardless of the type of band, is that they need to fit properly around your wrist, without being too tight or too loose. You don’t want it sliding down your arm nor do you want it constricting your blood flow.

The ideal spot for the watch is just below or at your wrist bone. This is where it looks its best, giving a stylish and put-together look to your appearance. Wearing your watch midway up your forearm can make it seem out of place and a bit lost.

To get the right fit, ensure that your watch band is a perfect size. Strap bands are normally easy to adjust while bracelet bands allow you to remove or add links to adjust the length of the band.

Can a woman wear a men’s watch?

vintage mens watch
Vintage men’s watch by Heritage Garage. See it here.

First, there are three types of watches – men’s, women’s, and unisex. A unisex watch becomes a man’s watch when a man wears it and a woman’s watch when a woman wears it.

There is a growing trend of women wearing men’s watches. Why is this, you might wonder.

For one thing, men’s watches aren’t too flashy and are often quite minimalist in design. Women who like simplicity can be drawn to these watches. Another reason is that large watch faces are currently in style and most men’s watches have large cases.

Wearing a men’s watch is totally acceptable as long as the watch complements your wrist. The bottom line is that as long as a watch fits securely and properly on your wrist, there’s no reason not to wear it.

For men, this can be somewhat problematic. While most women have no qualms about wearing male watches, most men will not like to wear a watch that looks feminine on a woman’s hand.

How to wear a watch with bracelets?

wooden watches for women
Wooden watches for women by Woodpecker Spain. See it here.

It can be difficult to match your bracelets to your watch. Too often, people get the pairing wrong, resulting in a mismatched and non-cohesive look.

It’s important not to go overboard with the number of bracelets, as this will make the whole look busy and crowded, with none of the pieces standing out. Rather, it is best to keep the bracelets to about 3-4, depending on the sizes, and allow your watch to remain the focal point.

Another point to note is where to wear the bracelets. It is best to wear all the bracelets on the side of the watch that is nearer to your hand as this keeps the watch in focus while still showcasing the bracelets. However, you can also opt to have the bracelets on either side of the watch.

The important thing is to choose the materials, textures, and designs carefully so that the bracelet and watches complement each other. And finally, don’t allow the bracelets to get hidden under the watch, as this does not look good.

How to choose the right watch size?

Currently wearing large watch faces is trendy and cool. However, there is a tipping point where it goes from being cool to being ridiculous.

The general rule of thumb is that the lugs of the watch (see the image below pointing out the lugs) don’t go beyond the width of your wrist. As long as the lugs are within the parameters of your wrist, the watch will look like it fits well. However, once the lugs extend past your wrist edges, the watch begins to look too large and ill-fitting.

Watch on girl's hand

If purchasing a wristwatch online, check whether a lug-to-lug measurement is provided which you can use to compare against the width of your wrist.

However, you can’t really tell how a watch will look on your wrist until you actually put it on. The thickness of the watch case and the material used in the band can also affect how it sits on your wrist.

For more information on the technical aspects of buying a watch, check out our watch buying guide.

Looking to purchase a watch as a gift for a special lady? We’ve got you covered with our comprehensive guide on how to buy a watch for a lady.

Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years in the jewelry niche. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education. She has always been interested in expression through fashion and accessories, and her extensive experience in the field has made her a respected voice in jewelry trends and education. As the chief editor of Jewelry Shopping Guide, she not only leads the content strategy but also shares her insights through engaging articles. Her passion for storytelling is reflected in every piece she curates, exploring the intricate relationship between jewelry and personal identity.

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