watch band sizing

Watch 101: Get the Correct Measurement for Watch Band Sizing

Your watch band sizing should give a comfortable feeling for your wrist

Date Published
November 17, 2022
Author
Gnomon Watches
Category
Shop Highlights

What do you think of an oversized or undersized pair of shoes? It isn’t comfortable, right? The same goes for your wristwatch. It needs a suitable bracelet or strap to wrap perfectly around your wrist. Besides, you can’t use an unfit watch band for a fixed size of the watch lug width. That is why it’s important to get the exact measurement for the watch band sizing.

How to get one that matches your wrist? Consider the following points as your watch band size guide.

Which Strap Suits Me?

There is a myriad of styles and designs for watch bands. Depending on which style, it can change the look of your watch to another level. Ones like leather straps due to their versatility and old-school look. Some fancy nato straps because it is light and compatible with casual wear. Others choose metal bracelets for their longevity and classic charm. This is all about your personal preference.

However, watch bands aren’t produced in every size. And each band needs different attention to sizing. Now, take your wrist measurement to determine the watch band that fits your wrist after choosing the style and design you like.

How to Measure My Wrist?

Watches vary in dimension. So do watch band sizing. If you’re someone who likes something that fits, I advise you to first measure your wrist circumference. Use tape or any kind of pliable material as the measurement tool. In order to get the right measurement, make sure that you choose the spot on your wrist where you usually wear a watch and try to be not too tight or loose. 

For better accuracy, you can gauge your wrist size when the palm opens or clenches. This situation, sometimes, gives you a difference between 2mm to 3mm. Right after that, you can tell the number for your watch band. In tape measurement, you can directly see the size in units of length. As for pliable material such as string, you can mark the point when it crosses each other. Then, place it beside a ruler to measure the string.

Wrist sizes count in inches or centimeters. So, you better convert the number into the common unit of length. Here are the recommended size of watch case diameters for your wrist size.

Wrist CircumferenceWatch Case Diameter
<6 inches or >15.3cm<36mm
6-7 inches or 15cm – 17.5cm36mm – 42mm
7-8 inches or 17.5cm – 20.3cm, and above42mm and above
Watch case size based on wrist measurement

Read also: 4 Most Comfortable Watch Bands: Perfect for Everyday Use

Watch Proposition

For the average size of 7 inches, 38mm to 42mm in case diameter is the recommended fit. However, the correct proportion still depends on the lug-to-lug distance of a watch. Let’s say you want to buy a dive watch with a 42mm case diameter.

Steinhart Ocean One GMT Black Ceramic or Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman might suit your taste. Yet, the latter has a bigger lug-to-lug distance (52.5mm) than the former (49mm). With such size, the Hamilton watch might stick out of your wrist which gives an off look when you wear the watch.

Steinhart Ocean 1 GMT Black Ceramic
Steinhart Ocean 1 GMT Black Ceramic
Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Red - Rubber Ref. H77725335
Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Red – Rubber Ref. H77725335

How to Measure My Watch Band?

There are two crucial sizes to measure for your watch band, width and length. The quickest way to measure them is to check on the internet. You can look at the official information of the watch band size chart on the watch manufacturer’s website or other commercial websites. Another quick way is to measure the already attached straps or bracelets to your current watch with a ruler or calipers.

The Band Width

You can measure the lug width size of your watch: the space between the lugs on the same side. You can put the watch and ruler side by side on the hard flat surface and see the numbers. The lug width always measures in millimeters.

So, don’t forget to convert the numbers if you don’t have a ruler with said units. Someone with a slimmer frame arm and petite wrist is suitable with a smaller band width to balance the look of the watch. The opposite applies to those with larger wrist sizes.

Another thing to remember is the style of one’s watch. If you love to wear a field or sport watch, a bulky yet sturdy strap matches the style such as rubber or metal. Textile material like a nato strap is the right one to be with a casual watch. On the other hand, a dress watch usually goes with a light yet beautiful leather strap. In short, you can pick a strap that does well with yours and watch style.

The Band Length

The watch band sizing length goes in accordance with your wrist circumference. However, each watch manufacturer doesn’t produce a band for every length but a specific wrist circumference has its compatible average length. Watchband lengths are generally measured in millimeters (mm) with the formula of X/Ymm. The X is for the length of the tail side while the Y is for the buckle side. Don’t include the buckle in your measurement, just the band.

For 6 to 7 inches wrist circumference, the length of 110/70mm to 125/75mm is appropriate. A larger wrist circumference, 7’5 and above needs a longer length e.g 130mm/80mm to 145mm/85mm. However, the length also takes your wrist type into consideration. If a strap is too short for you, then you can choose a longer one. The point is to try to avoid an extra-short or extra-long strap as it will either bind or hang.

The fittest watch band sizing must consider your wrist size, watch style, and personal esthetical sense. Before all these, however, you have to think about the watch proposition on the wrist. Don’t take something that is too big or too small in size. Yet, if you want something bigger or smaller, as long as you’re aware of your wrist circumference, then you’re good to go. Good luck with finding the perfect match for your wrist.

Read also: Watches Size Guide: Finding a Perfect Mate for Your Wrist

Gnomon Watches first opened her doors for business online in early 2002, founded by bona fide horology suitors who share a profound passion for watchmaking and fine craftsmanship.
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