October 25, 2021 6 min read
Your watch makes the ultimate statement about your taste. But when shopping for the right watch, style isn’t the only thing that’s important. The more technical stuff—the size of the band, for instance—are just as vital to buying a watch that looks good and fits the way it’s supposed to.
While this is a lot easier to get done in person, it’s still possible to find the perfect fit online—with a few caveats. For this reason, we’ve compiled this essential guide to help you pick the right size band for you.
Keep reading to find out how you can find a watch band size that looks and feels as if it were made for you.
Before we dive into the specs of band sizes, let’s browse the different styles of watches you can come across. Ultimately, the style of watch you end up going for will have an impact on which band size you should choose.
Here are a few questions that can help guide your decision:
A digital watch displays digits to indicate the time, while an analog watch displays a clock with three hands, each one indicating either the hour, minute, or second. Questions of accuracy aside, the one you choose to go for is largely a matter of personal style.
In general, analog watches are the more classic option and are much more appropriate for dressy occasions. On the other hand, digital watches have a more sporty appearance.
As far as band size goes, analog watches are more versatile and can go with any size or style of band. As for digital watches, they’re more likely to be paired with thick bands to match their rugged appearance.
Traditional watches definitely have an aesthetic appeal, but with all the help a smartwatch gives us, we are inclined to choose one of those.
Smartwatches have incredible powers to improve our health. Common features include heart rate tracking, sleep cycle monitoring, and workout encouragements. Plus, you can get texts and calls while not being anywhere close to your phone.
Smartwatches don’t mean you have to compromise your style. You can still rock an Apple Watch with a sleek leather band in a variety of colors.
The last thing you must decide on is the material you want your watch band to be. Stainless steel is a scratch-resistant option that you can get wet without any issues. Leather, on the other hand, should never be submerged in water and can get scratched up if exposed to anything abrasive.
However, leather definitely has its benefits. It feels a lot nicer on the wrist and doesn’t oscillate in temperature like steel does. Plus, it develops a natural patina over time which gives it a unique appearance that only you could have created.
Any size of a watch band will look great in leather. On the other hand, steel tends to look better with a thicker band.
When it comes to the entire watch, there are many elements with differing sizes. But since we’re only talking about the band of the watch, there are only two dimensions to consider: length and width.
Here’s a bit more on what each of these means for you:
A watch band has two parts that are separated by the case—the “face” of the watch. The larger part is the tail side, and the shorter part is the buckle side.
The length of the band is measured in millimeters (mm). (For reference, there are 25.4 millimeters in one inch.) The length of the band is presented as Xmm/Ymm, where X stands for the longer side of the strap while Y stands for the shorter side.
The length of the watch band that you go for largely depends on the size of your wrist. Ideally, the watch won’t be too loose on your wrist, but neither should it be too tight.
As you can imagine, there are many different wrist sizes amongst humans, which means that there are various lengths available for watch bands.
The second part of the equation involves the width of the watch band. The width you choose to go for ultimately depends on the size of your watch case and the size of your wrist.
When it comes to your watch case, you don’t want to get a strap that’s significantly smaller than it. Likewise, going for something too large can throw off the balance of the watch. In general, it’s good for the watch band to be half as wide as the case’s diameter.
When it comes to your wrist, the band’s width isn’t as important as the length, but choosing the correct one can still go a long way in ensuring the best appearance. For more tips on how to choose a band that matches your wrist, check out the following section.
Unfortunately, there’s no formula for finding the right watch band size for you. The Apple Watch comes in a variety of face sizes. A lot of it is really up to your personal style and fit preferences. That said, there are some things you can do that will help your watch fit you well.
Perhaps the most tried-and-true way to find your perfect watch band size is to take a page out of the history book. Do you already have a smartwatch that fits you perfectly? Or have you had one in the past? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then you can’t go wrong picking the same size once again.
If you’ve never owned a smartwatch before or if you want to experiment with a new style, then you’ll need to measure your wrist size.
If you have a flexible tape measure, you have the prime tool for measuring your wrist circumference. If not, then you can grab a piece of string, tie it around your wrist, and then measure it with a ruler (or whatever else you have on hand).
When it comes to length, we recommend getting a watch band that’s within half an inch of your wrist’s circumference. While it’s possible to get watch bands resized (a comforting thought if you got your eye on a vintage one-of-a-kind watch), the length of the watch band is the most important factor in getting the right fit.
Once you have your measurements down, here are some tips for getting the properly-fitting watch band:
If your wrist size is below 6 ½ inches, then you will want to go for a band size that’s slim but not too delicate. (Lucky for you, smaller watches are all the rage these days.)
To find the perfect balance, start with the right case diameter. You don’t want something too big as that won’t pair well with a slim band size.
As far as the length of the band, you don’t want to get one that exceeds 1” inch of your wrist circumference. As such, a watch band that measures between 6 ½ and 7 ¼ inches is your ideal size.
If your wrist circumference is larger than 6 ½ inches but smaller than 7 ¾ inches, then it’s not all that necessary to look for a smartwatch that helps you achieve balance. Any type of width will look good on your wrist. But, of course, anything that’s too large or too small for your wrist should be avoided.
The perfect band length for you should be at least 6 ½” inches but no greater than 8” inches.
If your wrist is above 7 ¾ inches, then you have a fairly large wrist. This makes large watches your best bet. Of course, we realize that oversized and chunky watches are not everyone’s cup of tea. If that’s the case for you, then it’s important to balance out a large watch by going for subtle colors and accessories.
Depending on what size your wrist is, the ideal band length for you will be at least 7 ¾ inches and can go all the way up to 9 ¼ inches.
Choosing the right band size for your watch will not only result in a correct fit but go a long way towards making your watch look stylish and elegant. If you’re shopping online for a new watch band, make sure to measure your wrist circumference and to follow our advice for choosing the perfectly sized watch band for you.