Like clothes, watches look better when they’re the perfect fit. Too loose and your timepiece can swim under your sleeve, never to be seen again. Or worse — it could get caught on something and snap off. Too tight and it’s uncomfortable; you’ll find yourself fidgeting through meetings or just taking it off completely.
Proper wrist measurement is more important than it’s often given credit for. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to measure wrist size for men and women. Don’t worry: Later on, we’ll cover how to translate your wrist measurement to both metal bracelets and leather bands.
How do I calculate my wrist size?
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Flexible measuring tape
- Your hand (obviously)
- Turn your palm upward and spread your fingers
This lets you measure your wrist when it’s at its largest, so you don’t have to worry about the watch tightening up whenever you move your hand. Remember too that your wrist will be slightly bigger at the end of the day because of water retention.
- Place the end of the tape in the middle of your wrist
Find the centre point of your wrist width and place the end of the measuring tape there, in the position you’d wear your watch.
- Wrap the measuring tape around your wrist and read the measurement
Wrap it firmly so the tape is snug. It shouldn’t be too tight, but you also don’t want too much room between your arm and the tape. That’s all there is to it; you now have your wrist size.
How to measure your wrist size without measuring tape
No measuring tape? No problem. You can still work out your wrist size.
- A piece of string or a strip of paper
- A standard ruler
- Your hand
Follow the steps above, using the string or the edge of the paper in place of the measuring tape. Mark the place where your material meets on your wrist and lay it out next to a ruler to take the measurement.
Metal bracelets & leather straps: How to translate your wrist measurement to each
Of course, not all straps are the same. They sit differently on the wrist and have varying amounts of movement.
The good news is: As long as you’ve already found your basic wrist measurement, you’ll be able to figure out your size for both metal bracelets and leather straps.
Measure your wrist for a metal bracelet
Generally speaking, we wear watches with a metal strap a little looser to enable freedom of movement throughout the day. To cut yourself a little slack (literally), add around 1cm to your wrist measurement — that’s your perfect fit for a metal strap.
Measure your wrist for a leather strap
Leather straps have less give compared to metal, and can be a little stiffer. The recommendation is to choose a strap that’s around 2cm larger than your wrist measurement.
What is a normal wrist size for a man?
While there’s no “normal” wrist size for a man, a 7-inch wrist to a 7.5-inch wrist is considered average. That’s around 17-19cm.
If you fall into this range, you’ll probably find that most watches are comfortable and will only need minimal adjustments.
What is a normal wrist size for a woman?
An average wrist size for women is 5.5 inches to 6.5 inches (or 14cm to 17 cm).
If your wrist doesn’t fall into the “average” category, don’t stress. Just about all watch straps can be adjusted to fit every wearer.
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