How To Wear A Watch

Jul 17, 2019
How To Wear A Watch

All too often, stylish men fail to follow the rules when it comes to wearing a watch correctly. Whilst many of us are aware of the proper ways to don a suit or the right pair of sneakers, guidelines around watches are not quite as clearly defined.


Whether it’s uncertainty around how tight a watch should be, which wrist to wear a watch on, or the correct type of watch to match an outfit, the parameters around how to wear a watch can be truly confusing.


Luckily, we have put together this handy guide to walk you through the correct way to wear a wristwatch. Whether it’s a dive watch or a dress watch, a cheap Timex, or a stunning Patek Philippe, you can rest assured that you’ll be sporting it the proper way once you have learned the fundamental rules of watch-wearing.


So, without further ado, here is our step-by-step guide on how to wear a watch.

Wear your watch on whichever side suits you

There is no shortage of confusion among men on exactly which wrist is the correct one for wearing a watch. Tradition appears to dictate that the opposite side to whichever is your dominant hand is the right choice. Thus, lefties go for the right wrist whilst right-handed gents opt for the left side.


Well, the truth is that this is nonsense. No man should allow tradition to decide which side to wear their watch on. This is a matter of personal preference and should be treated as such. So, you’re right-handed and your dive watch feels more at home on your right wrist? Go for it! At the end of the day, the man who feels the most confident in his dress choices very often ends up being the man who looks the best.

Fossil watch on wrist
Photo by Andros Amatakis

How tight should you wear your watch?

There’s nothing worse than a watch that’s either too tight or too loose on the wrist. Too tight and you’ll never be comfortable, not to mention the damage you can do by cutting off circulation. Too loose and not only will you look shabby but the possibility of losing your watch increases tenfold.


Therefore, the answer to this question is, as you might have guessed, is rather simple — just tight enough. To get a good gauge on what this means, your watch should never be so tight on your wrist that it leaves an imprint. On the flip side, your watch should not move by more than an inch or two whenever you have your arms down by your side. It really is that simple.

Be Sure to Match Your Watch to the Occasion

A major worry for many men of style is what kind of watch to wear for a particular occasion. Oftentimes, the charm of a beautiful watch can be nullified by pairing it with the wrong outfit.


This problem often happens with dive watches. The fact is, one should never wear dive watches with a suit due to their comparatively chunky dials. If you do, this style of watch looks awkward and uncouth, often proving to be a telltale sign that the wearer does not really know what they are doing. In reality, dive watches are best kept as the preserve of casual outfits such as polo shirts, jeans, and boat shoes.


Conversely, dress watches look particularly odd when worn with relaxed, everyday attire. This type of watch should only be worn on special occasions when formal wear such as suit jackets and ties or bowties come into play. Similarly, sports watches should only really be worn in tandem with athletic wear unless they are extremely high-end. In that case, you might be able to get away with wearing it with a casual shirt. Alternatively, weekender watches are great for leisure activities such as a stroll in the park or a day trip to the countryside.

Match the Colour of Your Watch with The Rest of Your Outfit

As we have established, it is vital to wear the correct type of watch for any given occasion. Just as vital is the colour of your watch and make sure that it matches the entire look. It is no good wearing a killer black tuxedo and pairing it with a camel brown strap, no matter how beautiful your wrist piece.


In general, it pays to match dark with dark and light with light. Only the keenest of eyes can get away with flashes of colour and even then, this can go horribly wrong. Remember that evening wear fits in best with a dark face and strap whilst daytime attire lends itself better to a white or light-coloured watch face.


Similarly, it is vital to ensure that the material of your watch, especially if it is metal, matches that of your belt, cufflinks, or shoe buckle. Whilst each of these items may be of the utmost quality, their charm will be stunted if say, your shoe buckle is silver, your watch gold, and your cufflinks black onyx. Remember that when it comes to wearing a watch correctly, it is more than just the watch. You must do everything you can to showcase your watch whilst making sure it seamlessly matches the rest of your outfit.

side view of Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller watch
Photo by amh1988

Final Thoughts and Things to Remember

If you follow these fundamental principles on how to wear a watch correctly, you will look both stylish and elegant. Remember to remain confident no matter which wrist you decide to wear your watch on. Confidence looks better than any outfit or accessory. Make sure that your watch fits properly and that you are donning the right wristwear for the occasion. Match the colour of your watch with the rest of your outfit, paying special attention to any other metals. With these in mind, you will be assured that you are wearing your watch in the correct manner.


Whilst a carefully curated outfit will make a man look good, a beautiful watch can be the real key to looking great.

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