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How do you measure your watch size?

Posted 19 January 2023 by Miriam Reading time approximately 3 minutes

You can easily measure your watch size with a tape measure or a strip of paper. Below we show 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 should be in balance. Of course you also want the watch to fit comfortably; not too tight or too loose. When determining which watch size is right for you, you should look at three things: the size of your wrist, the size of the watch case and the type of closure of the watch strap.


Watch size for men and women

Until the 1970s, the average watch size for men was 38 mm. Today the average watch size for men is 40-45mm. This was caused by the rise of quartz watches. A quartz movement is lighter and can control more functions with fewer parts. A comparable mechanical watch would simply be too heavy. Bedides technical advancements, people have also grown taller in the past 50 years and the watches have grown with them. For example, 38 mm is now the average watch size of women's watches.

38 mm gent's watch on an 18.5 cm wrist
▴ 38 mm gent's watch on an 18.5 cm wrist
38 mm ladies watch on an 16.5 cm wrist
▴ 38 mm ladies watch on an 16.5 cm wrist


Watch sizes are also sensitive to trends. Oversized (larger than 50 mm) watches were very popular for a long time, but in recent years - partly due to the retro trend - we have seen a return to somewhat smaller sized men's watches.

Oversized 52 mm watch on an 18 cm wrist
▴ Oversized 52 mm watch on an 18 cm wrist
28 mm ladies watch on a 14.5 cm wrist
▴ 28 mm ladies watch on a 14.5 cm wrist


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 larger.


Measure your wrist size

Step 1: what do you need?

A piece of string, strip of paper, measuring tape, ruler and pen


To determine the circumference 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 tape measure where you plan to wear the watch. For most people, this is slightly above the knuckle of your wrist joint.

tape measure around wrist
mark measurement

Place a mark on 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 too tight! 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 the watch is closed. This way the watch should be not too tight.

determine wrist size

Lay 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 their size? Then you can also measure the size of an old watch by rolling up a sturdy sheet of paper and marking the size the same way you would while measuring your own wrist:

measuring wrist size with a roll of paper
▴ Mark the size on the piece of paper
paper and ruler
▴ lay along a ruler and measure the size


Measure watch diameter

The watch case is perhaps the most important part of your watch. You read the time there, 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 lugs) should not protrude beyond your wrist.


The diameter of a watch is always measured at the widest part of the case, excluding the crown and push buttons. The height of a watch case is always measured lug-to-lug.

measure watch diameter
▴ measure watch diameter
Measure watch height
▴ Measure watch height lug-to-lug


A watch case with short or curved lugs appears smaller than a watch with long or straight lugs. Push buttons or a wide and brightly coloured 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 photos. On our site, the case size  (diameter) is always clearly stated with the watch specifications.

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?

When you have determined your wrist circumference and ideal case size, you can search very specifically for a suitable watch on our site. In the table below you can see which watch sizes on average best suit your wrist size. This is of course not compulsory. Some ladies prefer larger watches and men with a slimmer wrist are more likely to opt for a smaller sized watch. The point is that choose a watch you like  and enjoy wearing it.


table average watch sizes in relation to wrist size


Which type of watch strap can you customize?

Under the watch specifications at we state the minimum and maximum wrist size for which the watch is suitable. Depending on the type of strap, the watch can be made to measure or you can use the clasp to determine how loose or tight you like to wear it.


Metal (link) bracelets can be made to measure by removing links. We advise you to pay close attention to the minimum wrist size for a watch with a metal bracelet. 
Most folding clasps on metal bracelets have a sliding mechanism that allows you to tighten or widen the strap. This is very useful when the weather is warm and your wrist swells. Diving watches also usually have a strap with a sliding mechanism or come with a separate strap extension so the watch can be worn over a wetsuit.


Folding clasp with sliding mechanism
▴ Folding clasp with sliding mechanism
Mesh strap with gliding clasp
▴ Mesh strap with gliding clasp