Just like with your clothes, the fit of your watch is just as important. Both for comfort and appearance. In theory, there is no ”right or wrong”, but there is.
In this article, we will look closer at what you need to consider about how tight a watch should fit and how it affects the watch’s appearance.
How tight should a watch fit?
At the end of the day, the choice is all yours to make. If you look at how other people wear watches, you’ll notice that some wear them so loosely that it can spin around the wrist. Others wear them super tight which makes it look like the watch is choking the wrist. To make your watch look as good as possible on the wrist, whilst also minimizing wear on your watch, the fit is something you need to pay attention to.
Naturally, it is easier to adjust the size of your watch bracelet if you have a leather strap, a NATO strap, or some other kind of adjustable strap. But most watches come on a bracelet, and in these cases, you need to adjust the size by removing or adding links.
You can generally do this yourself with a screwdriver or a hammer and a pin if your bracelet uses a pin system. But if you don’t want to risk damaging or scratching your watch, any watchmaker will quickly be able to size your bracelet for you.
The answer to the question is that your watch should sit tight enough so that you can move it slightly up and down on your wrist with your other hand, but it should not move too much by itself. The watch should not ”choke” your wrist, but it should also not move freely and make large movements by being too loose. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to slide one finger between the clasp and the wrist.
Reasons for a good watch fit
Apart from just appearance, there are plenty of good reasons why it is important to ensure you have a perfect fit for your watch.
You minimize wear on the bracelet
One of the key reasons that you want to make sure that your watch has the proper fit is that a poor fit increases wear on the watch, in particular the bracelet, which causes it to wear out faster.
If you wear your watch too tight, the bracelet will be ”stretched” when you wear it, and this causes increased wear on the links, pins, and clasp.
Think of it like the bracelet has constant pressure from someone trying to pull it apart from both ends. In the worst case, over time, it can cause the pins to break, meaning you may lose your watch, or have it fall to the ground and break.
If you wear your watch too loosely, the most common issue is that it tends to cause stretch to the bracelet much faster. When the bracelet is too loose, it has a lot of room to move around with, and this tends to cause the links to stretch and bend, leading to increased friction between them.
Not only will this cause increased friction on the pins, but over time, it will cause the links to be worn down. A common sign of this is on old Rolex bracelets. If you look at the bracelet below, you can see that friction between the links has caused them to change shape and wear down the metal. When this happens, the bracelet gets more stretch and loses its rigidity, causing more play between each link. This is something you want to avoid, and the best way to minimize this is to not wear the bracelet too loosely.
The watch sits properly at all times
It is not uncommon to see people who wear watches very loosely. But because of this, the watch also doesn’t sit 100% most of the time. A watch is meant to sit flat on top of the wrist, but with a too large bracelet, the bracelet tends to often sit on the edge of the wrist, on the underside of the wrist, or just not straight. Just like you want a shirt to sit properly, you want to make sure your watch sits properly so you don’t have to constantly force it back to the correct position.
In addition to this, it is also harder to have full control over a watch that is too loose. For example, if you move your wrist, and the watch unexpectedly moves, you may risk hitting the watch in an object, causing potential damage to the watch. If the watch sits properly on the wrist, you know where you have it and can avoid scratching the crystal or causing tends into the case.
It is more comfortable
This is particularly true if you have a watch that sits too tight. If your watch is too tight, it will cause big red marks on your wrist when you take it off.
If it is far too tight, it can also limit wrist movement as the wrist expands when you activate the muscles and tendons. You want to make sure that your wrist can move freely without the watch making it feel uncomfortable or limiting. In the worst case, the whole bracelet can snap if it sits too tight. And when you activate the wrist, it becomes even tighter, thus putting immense pressure on the screws or pins that hold it together.
It looks better
Finally and most importantly, a watch that that sits correctly in terms of tightness will look best. When it sits good, it won’t end up at the very bottom of the wrist where the wrist meets the hand, nor will you struggle to find the watch hidden far down your upper arm under your cuff.
It may come as a surprise to some, but a watch that sits properly affects your overall appearance. Just like a nice watch does. But with that said, it is crucial that you give it the best preconditions to show itself from its best side, and this starts with a perfect fit.