A man looks at his newly fitted watch from Serket Watch Company on the street

How to Measure Watch Size?

Shopping for your next watch can be fun. There's a certain thrill you feel while browsing timepieces until you lay your eyes on the perfect one. But will it fit? Selecting the right one involves guesswork without knowing your existing watch or band size. Learning how to measure watch size eliminates that guesswork and ensures that you get the best possible fit.

Watch Size Guide: Which Size Watch is Best for You?

Your watch size is based on the circumference of your wrist. However, you must consider some minor variations, such as the type of case and band you choose. In this short guide, you'll learn useful techniques for getting the most accurate measurements.

How Are Watch Cases Measured and Sized?

Watch cases are usually measured in millimeters. A special tool called a caliper can accurately obtain these measurements. Most watch cases come in one of three different shapes:

  • Round
  • Square
  • Thicker bezel with a smaller dial

Measuring a round case involves getting its diameter. Square and rectangular cases are usually measured by the lengths of their sides or their width across.

Measuring Prep

Before you whip out your tailor's tape measurer, you'll want to keep certain factors in mind. Measuring in the evening is best because your wrist expands, and you'll avoid a tight-fitting watch. Also, your wrist is slightly larger when your hand and palm are open because your wrist bone's position changes. Finally, don't forget to measure at the spot on your wrist where you normally put on your watch: above, on, or below the bone.

How To Measure Your Wrist Properly

When learning how to measure watch size, there's one key thing to remember: Start with your palm open and your wrist's underside facing up. You'll need a tailor's measuring tape and to follow a few simple steps:

  • Place the metal tip of the tape measurer in the center of your wrist.
  • Circle the tape around your wrist and pull it until it feels snug.
  • Lay the tape's length near its metal tip.
  • Note the measurement where the metal tip lines up.

You'll want to take this measurement in metric units, not imperial. Take your measurement in centimeters. If you need this figure in millimeters, simply multiply it by 10. For example, a wrist circumference of 15.5 centimeters works out as 155 millimeters.

Alternative Measuring Technique

If you don't have a tailor's tape measurer, you can still get your wrist measurement. Follow the same instructions as you would with a tape measure, except you'll use a piece of string or paper around your wrist. Mark where the string or paper overlaps and measure this total length with a ruler. Again, note the measurement in metric units.

Wrist Size Into Watch Band Size

Converting your wrist size into a watch band size is rather simple. Take your wrist measurement for watches with metal bands and add one centimeter. Leather bands come in a broad spectrum of sizes, so you just need to look at the length of the band. Don't forget to include the round case's diameter for total watch length. For square or rectangular cases, use the side length.

NATO straps work a little differently than leather or metal straps. A NATO strap uses a single piece of material that threads through the watch face and doubles back on itself. Just to be safe, add 2.5 centimeters to your wrist measurement to get your band size.

More To Consider About Watch Band Sizes

"How do you measure a watch size?" is a common question asked by many men. As mentioned earlier, round and square cases are measured differently. But case shapes can impact how large or small a watch appears when it's on your wrist. For example, a watch with a smaller dial and thicker bezel will look smaller than one with a traditional round case because the dial size is technically smaller.

Square case watches appear larger because of their shape, but they take up more "real estate" on your wrist. It's all in how the watch "wears" on the wrist. You may find that the case of a square watch marketed as a 39-inch model may actually measure between 33 and 35 inches on its sides.

Other factors impact how small or large a watch looks on the wrist. Those with more open faces or minimalist designs will appear larger. Models with flat watch cases also look bigger than traditional versions.

Unique Watches for the Modern Man

Thanks for reading this guide on how to measure watch size. At Serket Watch Company, we blend quality and function with originality and attitude to produce unforgettable, ultramodern timepieces. Shop our collection and discover your next watch today. Contact us today! 

Image Source: Just dance / Shutterstock

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