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Do Watches Loosen Over Time? The Answer Might Shock You

July 16, 2021

Do Watches Loosen Over Time?

How your piece would stretch is influenced by the following:

Your wrist size

The metal its strap was made from

Take a look at your wrist. If you’ve put on weight, your unit’s strap would stretch. But people don’t gain weight overnight. The loosening would take place over a long period of time.

Let’s say you haven’t gained weight. Your wrist could still increase in size, thanks to the weather. When it expands, so will your timepiece. To see permanent loosening due to the weather, many years would have to go by.

Although knowing that your watch can loosen is bad, the change is usually very mild. The malleability of the metal also influences how much stretching would take place. Gold is the weakest in this regard. Not many watches are made from it, thankfully.

How Can You Get The Perfect Fit?

Is your beloved Rolex looser than it was? You can easily make it fit like a glove again. There are several ways to accomplish this.

Remove a Link

The pieces of metal that make up its strap are called links. If your watch is too loose, a jeweler can remove a link or two.

Adding a link would result in the device becoming looser if it’s too tight.

Micro adjustments

Depending on the watch you own, you might be able to utilize micro adjustments. Take a look at its clasp. There might be holes in it. You’ll have to insert a pin and pull the latches inside. They would cause the timepiece to tighten.

Swap the band

You can completely swap your unit’s strap out too. You need to be careful with the new strap, as it should not only fit you, but your watch as well. You’re recommended to get a jeweler to do the installation process – it can be tricky.

How Do You Know If Your Watch is Loose?

There are several ways to know if your timepiece is too small or big. Let’s start by discussing what a loose one would feel like.

It is Loose

The lugs are one of the key components of a watch. They are the protrusions that connect the face to the bracelet. When a unit is too loose, its lugs would be right at the edge of your wrist. If it is very loose, the lugs could even extend over your wrist.

Look under the watch. Do you see a significant gap between the back of the piece and your arm? Tightening the strap would be needed if you do.

The watch’s appearance would let you know if it’s too loose as well.

It is Tight

If it’s too loose, its lugs would extend to the sides of your wrist. But if it’s too tight, you’ll see the opposite happening. The protrusions would be right at the center of your wrist.

Of course, you’d feel that it’s tight too. Wearing the device for hours would leave your arms swollen.

It’s perfectly normal for a timepiece to leave an imprint. However, if it’s too tight, there would be deep marks.

Person holding car door wearing silver watch

Check out more watch guides

Watch Size Guide

You might know if your device doesn’t fit by taking measurements as well.

For Wrist Circumferences under 6 Inches (152.4 mm)

Your watch should not have a case diameter under 1.49 inches (38 mm).

From lug-to-lug, it should not stretch over 1.65 inches (42 mm).

For Wrist Circumferences between 6-6.75 inches (152.4 – 171.45 mm)

Its case diameter should be between 1.49 – 1.57 inches (38-40 mm).

From lug-to-lug, its distance should not be over 1.81 inches (46 mm).

For Wrist Circumferences between 6.75-7.5 inches (171.45 – 190.5 mm)

Its case diameter should be between 1.57 – 1.77 inches (40 – 44 mm).

Lug-to-lug distance must be under 1.96 inches (50 mm).

For Wrist Circumferences over 7.5 inches (190.5 mm)

Its case diameter can be 1.65 inches (42 mm) or over.

Lug-to-lug distance should be over 1.81 inches (46 mm).

Final Thoughts

Let’s sum things up. Watches do loosen over time. However, the change is very small. If you’ve gained weight, your wrist would be larger, stretching your timepiece as well.

The material the watch is made from will also cause it to loosen. Gold is the most malleable.

If your timepiece has loosened, getting it to fit again won’t be hard. You can add a link to its bracelet. Just don’t do this yourself, go to a jeweler.

Thomas Vanderlaan
When Thomas Vanderlaan was a child, the moment he learned about mechanical watches he was hooked. His first love being mechanical watches, he decided to pursue a career in engineering as he was entranced by the science behind its gears. As the years passed, his passion grew. Although he worked a hectic career as an automobile engineer, he’d always collect watches during his spare time.
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