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How to Wear A Watch? 8 Rules to Live By

October 16, 2021

How to wear a watch? That’s a question a lot of guys ask. You don’t want to look stupid having your timepiece on the wrong wrist, now do you? We’re watch experts and want the best for you, so read ahead.

What Hand Should Your Watch Be On?

It’s the norm for men to wear timepieces on the left hand and women to wear them on the right. The reason for this is pretty interesting, actually – the first world war.

Men who were drafted into the army couldn’t have their watches get damaged, so they wore them on their non-dominant hand. For the majority, this was the left.

Up until the first World War, men didn’t wear the devices. They were seen as feminine items. Instead, they owned pocket watches. As you can imagine, carrying them on the battlefield wouldn’t have been easy. The very few men that wore timepieces before the war wore them on their non-dominant hand too.

You should know that most watches come built for the left hand – for men at least. If you try to wear them on the opposite, their crown will poke at your wrist. If their crowns aren’t too big, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

But you can wear them on whichever hand you want – there isn’t a rule set in stone.

Can You Wear Your Watch Upside Down?

Although it’s odd, we recommend wearing a timepiece the wrong side up. Why? Because it’s shielded from the environment. If you’re a hunter, having your watch face the inside of your wrist is beneficial - light won’t bounce off its display. This prevents prey from knowing your position. The chances of blinding yourself when it’s sunny are also low.

You’ve probably seen quite a few people wearing their watches this way – it makes them look strange, but there is a good reason for it.

If you’re worried about not paying enough attention to a loved one, wearing your device facing inside is a good move. You’ll find yourself checking the time less – and you won’t make it seem like you’re bored with their conversation.

The Prime Minister of India wears his watch like this. He does so for this exact reason.

Watch Upside Down

How Should Your Watch Fit?

How well your unit fits is determined by its strap size, not the case. If your device is too tight, it’ll leave a mark. Although people won’t see that it’s too tight, you’ll be in a world of discomfort. You’d also be affecting blood circulation to your hand – you don’t need us to tell you that this can be painful.

To know if it’s too loose, check whether you can fit fingers between your strap and your arm – if the answer is yes, you’re looking at a loose fit.

Watches with metal bracelets aren’t the easiest to resize. You would normally have to go to a watchmaker to get the links removed or added. Depending on who you’re working with, you could spend a pretty penny.

Is Your Watch Swallowing Your Wrist?

A watch with a big or small case won’t affect how well it fits, but it’ll look awkward on you. This is especially true for a timepiece with a larger case – you’ll look like a child wearing your dad’s watch. Those with cases below 1.57 inches (40 mm) are usually considered small. Those above 1.69 inches (43 mm) are on the larger side.

Is It Comfortable?

No matter how good your piece looks, you shouldn’t wear it if doesn’t make you feel good. You’ll probably be probing, prodding, and staring at it.

Also, consider how it makes you feel physically. Although leather is a classic material, your skin might not react well to it. Even if you don’t have a leather allergy, having it run against your wrist all the time won’t be fun – you’ll sweat.

If its crown is in the 3 o'clock position, it might not be fun to wear either. It’ll slam into your wrist if it’s hefty.

A feature that helps newbies be comfortable when wearing specific watches is learning more about them. There are tons of sites like ours. Another great choice is working with experts to pick out timepieces.

If you don’t know anyone like this, the store at your local mall probably has friendly reps you could speak to.

How Should Your Watch Fit

Where Should A Watch Sit?

Good question – on top of your wrist. Your timepiece should be placed on the ulna which is the bone that sticks out where your arm meets your hand. You could place it closer down your arm, but no one does this. If you place it further up the ulna, this is fine too. However, you won’t be comfortable. It’ll especially hurt if the watch has some weight to it.

If you’re wearing a long-sleeved shirt, you might be wondering whether you should wear your watch on top of your cuff. We don’t think you should do this. It looks odd and is generally looked down on in the watch world. You’d sweat more too.

Is It the Right Watch to Wear?

Now that you know some of the basics of wearing a watch, you need to know whether you’re wearing the right one or not. The best way to make note of this is to consider the occasion you’re wearing it to. If it’s a formal event, you need something dress-appropriate. We think smartwatches work with any outfit.

You should also consider the colour scheme. The watch’s colour cannot clash with your clothing. A good way to prevent this is by wearing a neutral-coloured device. As mentioned, smartwatches work with anything – just take a look at an Apple Watch, it’s chic and monotoned. We especially love one that rocks a leather strap.

If you’re lucky enough, you can own one watch and make it fit for any occasion. How? By swapping its out its strap. More watch manufacturers are starting to make this possible.

Are You Switching It Up?

Once you start wearing a watch, it’s a matter of time before you start collecting them. Watchmakers are getting more creative with their designs, producing timepieces that are essentially pieces of art. Why wouldn’t you want to wear them? Watches match well with different outfits and people notice them – don’t be the guy that owns one black timepiece.

Are You Behaving?

Our points ran through the best ways to wear a unit. But you should know how to act around them. It is watch wearing etiquette to never touch another man’s watch. It may be tempting, but it could cost as much as your car.

When you touch it, you also risk smudging its crystal. This is a good rule in life. Why just use it for watches?

Final Thoughts

You now know the correct way to wear a watch. The devices are intricate, so it’s no wonder that you’d research how to wear a watch properly. The main thing to consider is the hand you’ll be wearing it on. Normally, men would wear them on the left hand, while women wore them on the right. However, this notion is quickly dying out.

You also have to make note of how loose it is, and the position you’re wearing it – if you’re someone who does a lot of physical activity, wearing a timepiece on the inside of your wrist is best. You should also strap it on your ulna.

Last but not least, when wearing timepieces, try to switch it up. People notice the slightest things and a watch can elevate your look.

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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