Manhattan Time Service – Watch Repair

2 WEST 46TH STREET #400, NEW YORK NY, 10036

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Blog | How To's

How To Pick The Perfect Watch Size For Your Wrist

There are few pleasures in life that rival the buying of a new luxury watch but it’s not a process that is always straightforward and one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is that of finding the perfect watch size to suit your wrist. What is clear is that there’s no shortage of choice when it comes to finding the right size of timepiece, with the vast majority of watchmakers offering substantial choice both in terms of face size and strap size but making that choice is dependent on a number of factors.
How To Pick The Perfect Watch Size For Your Wrist

In order to find the right watch size for your wrist, you need to consider an abundance of things and we’ll aim to outline the most important of these below. Needless to say, you’ll need to consider the type of watch that you’re after first and foremost – whether this be an aviation watch, a dive watch or military style timepiece – and once you’ve got that decision down, you’re ready to look at the features that dictate the size of watch that will best suit your wrist.

Know Your Millimeters

When choosing the size of watch for you, you will need to understand your millimeters because this is the measurement that watch faces will be displayed in and, generally speaking, most watches will measure between 34mm and 50mm in diameter (with some exceptions at both ends of the spectrum). Those at the higher end of the size spectrum will make a massive visual impact and will likely cover the wrist entirely so this size of watch is typically better suited to the most extrovert style individuals. If you’re more of an understated sort and want something a bit more classical in design, you should be looking for watches around the 38mm-42mm bracket. Anything over the 50mm will really stand out from the crowd but, truth be told, is better suited to the extravagant NFL players who demand bling on their wrists.

Watch Case Diameters

A Question of Style

Possibly the most important component to bear in mind when choosing the size of watch for you is your own personal sense of style and the sort of character that you’re looking for from a timepiece. If you’re a Don Draper, classic style of guy, it’s no good going for really ostentatious watch with a huge watch face and, conversely, if you’re a Rodman type, you’re probably going to want a watch that makes you stand out from the crowd and will likely look for a timepiece that immediately draws the eye towards the larger end of the spectrum.

patek philippe 3035 on the wrist

If it’s a classic style watch that you’re in the market for and want the right size for your wrist, the likes of a Rolex or Omega will definitely tick all of the right boxes but if you’ve not got the budget to stretch to these type of luxury watches, the likes of Shinola boast a fantastic array of timepieces that come in a lot of different sizes and have an understated aesthetic that classic watch lovers will fall for.

Get the Tape Measure Out

It might seem like an obvious thing to do but you’re be surprised to hear how few men preparing to buy a luxury watch will actually take the time to measure their wrist beforehand. If you get an accurate measurement of your wrist, it gives you a vital piece of information that can be used to inform your choice of which watch to purchase.

measuring wrist size

Speak to watch salesmen or a watchmaker, explain your wrist dimenesions and get their opinion on the style of watch which would best suit your size of wrist. You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised just how much knowledge the sales people of leading luxury watches have about their accessories and will be able to offer advice on both the size of watch face and thickness that will best suit your requirements.

Know Your Lugs

When picking a watch size for your wrist one of the most important design elements to bear in mind is that of the watch lugs. Generally speaking, it is best practice for the watch lugs not to be greater than the diameter of your wrist because this will ensure that it both sits right and looks good. 

oversized breitling emergency watch on the wrist

There are always going to be cases whereby someone wants to buy a really grandiose, bold timepiece where the diameter of the watch lugs far outweights the diameter of their wrists but these are personal style choices and, as with all walks of life, we’ve got our own preferences and style choices that we’re bound to stick to.


So, to conclude, there are a number of points which can be taken into account when picking a watch for your wrist and we’ve outlined some of the most relevant above. It will, in the vast majority of cases, come down to the person buying the watch and their own particular design, colour, material and style choices but if you want to make sure that it looks the part, taking the above tips into account will certainly stand you in good stead.

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Thank you for being interested in having your watch repaired with us, we are looking forward to your visit. In the meantime if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail.

The following busses stop near our location in mid-town NYC: M1 – 5th Ave/48th street, M2 – 5th Ave/47th, M3 – 5th Ave/ 46th street, M4 – 5th Ave/44th street, M5 – 5th Ave/40th street, Q32 – 5th Ave/53rd street, QM2 – 6th Ave/44th street.

Orange lines (B, D, F, M) to 47-50 Rockefeller Center, yellow lines (N, Q, R) to 49th street and 6th Ave, red lines (1, 2, 3) to Time Sq 42nd street, purple line (7) to Time Sq 42nd street

We are conveniently located in mid-town Manhattan at 2 west 46th street #400, between 5th and 6th (closer to 5th) across the street from Ranch1 restaurant.

Work: LOCAL: (212) 840-0441 Fax: (212)840-0531
Hours: Mon-Fri, 10AM – 6PM EST

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