Properly Wearing a Watch & Key Tips to Know by Extropian

#how to wear watch
#wear watch wrist
#wearing watch
#wear dress watch
#wear sports watch
#wear watch style
#wear black watch
#wear watch formal
#dominant hand
#wrist bone
#left wrist
Clemence Watches
Dan Henry
Atelier Wen
Baltic Watches
Stella Watch Co
Properly Wearing a Watch & Key Tips to Know by Extropian

So, you've found the watch of your dreams, or maybe you've even put together an entire collection to impress your friends and draw the envious glances of strangers. And if so, you’re welcome - it means we must be doing something right here at Extropian! But how are you going to wear it (or them)? It may seem like an obvious question, but there are a few factors you might like to consider that will help you make your watch - and your own personal style - stand out from the crowd!

Correct placement for a watch

OK ‘correct’ is a pretty loaded word. Let’s just say there are certain conventions that people tend to follow. We’ll have a little look at them so you can decide if you want to go with the flow or go your own way! 

Which wrist should I wear my watch on?

As a general rule most people will wear a watch on their non-dominant arm, so if you're right-handed you'd normally wear it on your left wrist, and vice-versa. As 90% of the population are right-handed that is why you see most people wearing watches on their left wrist. And, unfair as it may seem to all you left-handers out there, most watches are designed for right handed people. That means that the crown is generally on the right-hand side of the case so it can be wound more easily. 

EZA - 1972

Augustopro X Eza 1972 Close up 2 1170x1463

๐Ÿ’— Extropian loves this super cool reworking of EZA’s 1972 diving watch! 

But if you can get over the minor inconvenience then you’re free to wear your watch on whichever wrist you like. Hey, maybe even wear one on each! 

Should I wear it above or below the wrist?

Again, this is kinda a non-rule rule. It really doesn’t matter! However, you’re probably not going to want to wear it on the wrist bone itself as it’s going to get pretty uncomfortable after a while. And you should maybe be aware that if you wear it below the bone, too close to the wrist, it can limit your wrist movement, the crown might be annoying and over time the bracelet might get damaged. 

In terms of aesthetics, and let’s face it comfort too, you probably don’t want to wear your watch too loose or too tight. A great little trick is this: see how many fingers you can slip between your watch strap and your wrist. One is OK, but any more than that and it's definitely too loose. And if it's too tight, well, you'll probably realize that when you start to lose the circulation in your hand...

Should it be inside or outside the cuff?

This may seem an odd question to some, but it's important for those occasions when you want to impress people and really show that you know what you're doing! Most watch aficionados will agree on this one: when your arms are held straight down by your sides, your watch should be largely hidden by your cuff, but when your arms are bent (nursing a glass of champagne at some gala event for example - we’re sure you go to a lot of those!), it should be fully visible. 

Stella Watch Co - Ellis

Capture D’écran 2022 12 13 À 12.49.55

๐Ÿ’—At Extropian, we’re loving the signature kinetic dial on Stella’s first automatic GMT watch.

And inside or outside the wrist?

Well, the obvious answer might seem to be ‘outside’ but we don’t do obvious at Extropian! In any case, there are plenty of people out there who like to wear it on the inside. Some people prefer it because it can protect the watch’s face, while others just find it easier and more discreet as you can simply check the time with a quick turn of the wrist - handy if you’re getting bored on a date and want to see how soon you can sneak off without seeming rude! Of course if you want to show off your watch, then the outside of the wrist is the place for it to be!

Is my watch the right size?

Again, this is a question with no right or wrong answer. If proportion is important to you then there are guidelines out there you can follow. As a general rule if you have a small wrist you should try to make the diameter of your watch case somewhere between 34-36mm, if you’re medium it should be between 38-42mm, and if you're large it can be anywhere up to 44-46mm. 

If you want to keep everything really beautifully proportioned you should also make sure to match the width of the strap to the size of the case. Again, there’s a very simple rule for this. Ideally the strap should be half the diameter of the case. In other words, if the case measures 40mm across, the strap should be 20mm. 

But playing with proportion is sometimes all part of the fun! Big bold watches can look cool on delicate little wrists and there is nothing to stop you wearing a more elegant watch on a thicker wrist. It’s all down to you!

Baltic Watches - MR01

Mr01 Lifestyle Salmon3

๐Ÿ’—We’re loving the pure, unisex aesthetic of this little beauty at Extropian.

Choosing the right watch for the right occasion

We all know that a watch is an essential part of any outfit (for some of us it may even be the most essential), so it's always worth giving some serious thought to pairing it with whatever you're wearing. Of course, dressing up means different things to different people, so we're not trying to tell you there's any one definitive way to combine a watch with clothes. If rocking a dive watch with a tuxedo is your thing, then go right ahead and do it! 

Dress watches

We all love a dress watch, don't we? They're the kind of eye candy we reach for when we want to get dolled up and show off a bit. With their subtle, understated elegance and classic features they always suggest refinement and finesse. Pretty obviously these kinds of watches are ideal for formal dress situations, and that's when most people would probably wear them (and let's be honest, they do look pretty good with a tux!). But dress watches can be surprisingly versatile, and these days they come in all manner of styles and hues. So if you want to add a flash of color to your evening wear with a burgundy strap then please do - it’ll look great! 

Atelier Wen - Hao

Hao Red   Frontal View Min 1024x1024

๐Ÿ’— We have a serious crush on the bright, minimalistic looks of Atelier Wen’s inaugural watch collection.

Sports and dive watches

Let's face it, not everyone who owns a sports or dive watch is going to be caught running a marathon or swimming with fish around the Great Barrier Reef! They simply look great with any kind of casual (or even smart casual) dress. The rugged nature of these watches means they’re not a conventional choice for more formal occasions, but if you want to wear that cherished bright yellow G-Shock to your best friend’s wedding, then go right ahead! 

Pilot’s and driving watches

Again, you don’t need to be competing in the Monaco Grand Prix or flying a 747 across the Atlantic to own a racing chronograph or a pilot’s watch. And that’s brilliant news for most of us, because both these styles, with their unique mixture of refinement and flair, are great for wearing in all sorts of situations!  Pilot’s watches often have a bold and simplistic design which makes them great for wearing as a less conventional dress watch, and they also look amazing paired with smart-casual outfits. Something like the Dan Henry 1963 Pilot Chronograph has a great vintage style and a leather strap which makes it a perfect pairing with any kind of formal or informal dress! Likewise, a racing chronograph such as the Alcadus Velos has a classic look and a cool leather rally strap which would add an intriguing twist to any ensemble. Versatile, huh?

Dan Henry - 1963 Pilot Chronograph

Dan Henry 1963 Pilot Chronograph Blue Slider Lifestyle 2 1600x

๐Ÿ’— It’s that gorgeous combination of orange and blue that has totally seduced Extropian here!

What kind of strap should I use?

As ever, there are some general rules that apply to what kind of strap you’d use with what kind of watch. Rules that you are of course totally free to ignore! For example, black or brown leather is the conventional choice for formal occasions but if you want a bold color instead then why not go for it?! Other materials, such as silicone, canvas, or nylon would normally be reserved for everyday leisure activities but again, you can wear them wherever and whenever you want! Rubber straps would probably be the go to choice for the gym or beach though as they’re sweat and water resistant. Leather can become uncomfortable when it’s humid or hot and we don’t want that now, do we? One final tip for the guys in particular; metal bracelets are great, but they can pinch the hairs on your wrist, especially if they’re worn too loose. Ouch!

And don’t forget that by swapping out the strap you can even completely change the look of a watch to make it stand out from the crowd, or transform an uninspiring, overfamiliar piece from your collection into something entirely new and delicious!

Let’s take a quick look at the various types of strap out there.

Formex - Essence 39mm on different straps

3062 Source 1665600962

3064 Source 1665600963

Capture D’écran 2022 12 13 À 19.48.46

๐Ÿ’— We love the way you can mix up your look by changing the strap on this Formex model.

Metal bracelets

Metal bracelets have been around since the1930s, and come in several distinct types. The Oyster style is still a classic look for any kind of sports watch while the Jubilee style is a little more ornate, so it can also be used for sports models but will give an interesting twist to a dress or field watch. Engineer bracelets are all about chunkiness and weight, but their angled links reflect light in all sorts of ways, making them more versatile than you might think. They’re great for divers, but also for larger dress watches. And of course all these can be found in different kinds of material, from cheap metals to stainless steel or titanium, and (for those who can afford it!) precious metals like silver and gold. You can even get straps in white gold or platinum if you're feeling super flush!

Raven - Trekker on Jubilee Style bracelet 

Capture D’écran 2022 12 13 À 12.59.16

๐Ÿ’— At Extropian we love the rugged features of this one! 


Clemence Watches - Photic Diver on Oyster Type bracelet

Capture D’écran 2022 12 13 À 13.01.29

๐Ÿ’—Extropian loves the vintage styling on this cool diver! 


Radcliffe - Tsunami on Engineer bracelet

44270c 89bde5032f0e4a83be38a3267630b18d~mv2

๐Ÿ’—We seriously adore the color options on this model at Extropian.

Leather straps

Leather straps always have a classic look to them, but they come in all manner of shapes, styles and colors so they’re also very versatile. You can also find them in all sorts of materials, from basic cowhide or salmon to exotic species like kangaroo, crocodile, or snakeskin which are bound to make your watch stand out from the crowd! 

Dress leather straps generally have a refined monochrome aesthetic but you can shake things up with a bold color choice. Casual leather straps are among the most versatile, with a huge variety of styles on the market. They can be used almost anywhere, from field watches and chronographs to sports and pilot’s watches. And for the driving and flying types out there, you could always try a Rally or Aviation strap, both of which are niche choices but will always make a bold statement if that’s what you’re after! Try the former paired with any kind of racing chronograph, while the latter perfectly suits military field watches or aviation chronographs. 

Goodspeed - Sonoma on Leather Rally strap

Capture D’écran 2022 12 13 À 13.04.37

๐Ÿ’—Everything from the vintage aesthetics to the Italian leather racing strap has Extropian hooked!

Other materials

While metal and leather may be the classic choice for many people, there’s a lot more out there to choose from, especially if you’re after a more casual look. Straps made from synthetic materials like silicone and nylon are soft, pliable, and really comfortable, so they’re a great choice for any sports, divers, or field watch paired with casual dress. The same goes for canvas and nylon (such as NATO style or Zulu straps), which are also very durable, so they’re ideal for the rugged outdoors types amongst you! And, finally, we come to humble rubber. Although it’s been used on millions of watch straps since the 1960s, they were always pretty terrible - stiff, uncomfortable, and falling apart after a few months. But nowadays you can find some pretty cool (and much more comfortable) rubber straps which look good on almost anything, not just digital and smart watches. And, as mentioned above, they’re water and sweat resistant, so they’re always a great choice for sports models!

Dryden - Pathfinder on Tropic Rubber strap 

Dryden Watch Company Pathfinder Automatic Diver Silver Dial Tropic Rubber Strap009 Steel Dive Bezel 1300x

๐Ÿ’— Tough, rugged and stylish all at the same time. Extropian is totally seduced! 


Seaborne - Sea Venture on Nato Style strap

Image 17f36a3d Eaa3 4007 A2f2 2bb0bf024d0d 1600x

๐Ÿ’— We are seriously crushing on the vibrant colorway of this vintage inspired diver.


So there we have it, a basic introduction to how to wear a watch. But as we’ve been saying all along, these are (mostly) just tips to follow if you want to, and not rigid rules that you have to stick to. After all, that would remove a lot of the fun. At the end of the day, never forget that it’s your watch and only you should make the choice of how to wear it!


A little extra : The Evolution of Timekeeping Styles

Throughout history, the manner in which individuals wear watches on their wrists has undergone significant transformations. These shifts in style, functionality, and aesthetics mirror not only advancements in the horological realm but also broader societal and technological movements. Let's explore the progression of watch-wearing tendencies.

1. Historical Grandeur - Pocket Timepieces: Before the allure of wearing a watch on one's wrist became widespread, pocket timepieces dominated. Adorned with chains, they stood as a beacon of elegance. Men would gracefully place them in their dress pockets, while women opted for beautifully crafted pendant versions. The practical demands of World War I accelerated the shift from pocket to wrist, as soldiers sought more immediate access to time.

2. Embracing the Wristpiece: In the aftermath of the war, the wrist-held timepiece began to cement its position. Originally, these were merely pocket timepieces with leather straps. However, as their appeal expanded, craftsmanship focused on comfort, resilience, and a distinct look.

3. Digital Prowess - Functionality at Forefront: The 1970s marked the rise of digital timepieces. Fitted with screens like LED or LCD, they offered features such as calculators and alarms. While they leaned more towards functionality than style, their unique way of time-telling resonated with a tech-savvy generation.

4. The Sporty Appeal - Dive and Athletic Timepieces: Towards the latter part of the 20th century, watches tailored for specific activities became all the rage. Dive watches, boasting water-resistance, and athletic watches embedded with heart rate sensors and GPS systems weren't just practical tools; they became a style statement, epitomizing an energetic lifestyle.

5. Tailoring to Taste – Era of Interchangeable Bands: As tastes diversified, there arose a desire for timepieces that could adapt to moods or outfits. Interchangeable bands were the answer. Whether black leather, metallic, or rubber, these bands allowed for a personal touch to the way one accessorized their wrist.

6. Tech Meets Tradition – Smart Timekeeping: The wave of smartwatches, led by devices like Apple Watch, introduced an amalgamation of tech and tradition. Beyond the mere display of hours and minutes, they presented a plethora of functionalities. Their digital faces could transform from a casual look to a formal black-tie event style, making them versatile for any occasion.

7. The Retro Renaissance: Intriguingly, while technology races ahead, there's a palpable gravitation towards the past. Vintage designs and craftsmanship are making a comeback, enticing modern enthusiasts. Brands are weaving nostalgia with novelty, presenting new models that pay homage to their legacy.

8. Timekeeping with a Conscience: An increased emphasis on ethical production and sustainability is shaping the way watches are crafted. Timepieces that champion eco-friendliness, crafted using sustainable resources, are making waves. Some even contribute a portion of their proceeds towards noble causes.

9. The Horizon of Wrist Adornments: Forecasting the future trends of wristwear is a challenge, yet it promises excitement. While technology promises more integrated features, the charm of traditional timepieces remains undeterred. Perhaps the horizon holds a blend of time-tested artistry and innovative prowess.

To sum up, from pocket timepieces to wrist-adorned smart devices, from utility-focused designs to fashion-forward styles, timekeeping devices have experienced a vast evolution. As highlighted in the main discourse, while conventions guide the right hand or attire to complement a watch, individual comfort and style preferences reign supreme. Watches, in their many forms and styles, will undeniably continue to evolve, capturing the essence of societal dynamics and personal tastes.

Created the 2022-12-13

Modified the 2023-12-01

Subscribe to our Newsletter and stay updated!