“Watch Slides Down My Wrist” – Exactly How Tight Should My Watch Be?
(7 min. read)
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If you’ve had some experience wearing watches, you’ve been there. You spend some time shopping online looking for the perfect timepiece to match your style. You thoroughly check through colors, straps, case sizes, and you finally think you’ve found the one.
But you forgot to check one thing – the length of the watch strap and how tight is the watch is going to be on your wrist?
Today, I’ll lay out all the reasons why your watch slides down your wrist, how tight your watch should be, and what you can do to get that perfect fit.
How Loose Should My Watch Be?
When judging whether your watch is too loose, there are a couple things to consider. First, you can test if your watch is too loose by using your fingers. If you can easily place 2 or more fingers underneath, your watch is too loose. You can also lift the casing and check how high you can raise it off your wrist. If there’s more than a half inch of space between the case and your wrist, it is too loose.
The second way to test the looseness of your watch is by sliding it across your wrist. The general rule of thumb is that you should not allow your watch to slide more than an inch in either direction. You can test this by moving it with the opposite head or you can test by holding your arm straight up above your head and by letting your arm hang at your side. The latter is a better measure because it simulates normal movements.
Your watch should have some looseness to it (about a half inch of freedom off your wrist and have the ability to slide about a quarter of an inch), but it definitely should not be loose to the point where it noticeably slides when you move your arms. In any setting, professional or casual, a loose watch will come off as tacky or sloppy even if it’s a nice timepiece.
How Tight Should My Watch Be?
Your watch should be firmly positioned to not have drastic movements across your wrist when you move your arm. To test, we can use a similar measurement to the sliding test above. The difference, this time, is that we’re wanting to see at least a quarter of an inch to ½ inch of movement when sliding across your wrist. You can test this by doing the same motions as before.
For the same reason above, not wanting your wristwatch to appear tacky for being too loose, you don’t want it so tight that it leaves a casing imprint on your skin. The goal once again is to have your watch in a position where there is slight breathing room between your wrist and the case, but also where it is tight enough to not be noticeably moving across your wrist.
How to Fix a Loose Watch
Like people with small waists buying belts, a common problem for people with smaller than average wrists is that their leather strap may run out of holes before it’s tight enough. And just like with a belt that doesn’t have enough holes, a simple solution to this problem is buying a leather hole puncher.
Leather hole punchers comes in various sizes and designs, but all work the same and are all fairly simple to use. They come with anywhere between five and seven hole sizes so you should be able to find a similar size the ones on your strap. If the hole isn’t perfectly sized or shaped, no worries, the position of the holes when you’re wearing a watch makes the area inconspicuous.
You can find handheld leather hole punchers pretty much anywhere for under $10!
“But what if I have a stainless-steel strap?”
To tighten the length of a stainless-steel watch, you’ll need to remove some of the links. Some sellers will offer this service if you come into their stores in person. You will need to contact them to find out, but in the likely event that they don’t, you can simply take it to a watch store, jewelry store, or watch kiosk and they can do it quickly for around $10 - $15.
Temporary Fixes for a Loose Watch
Let’s say you need to wear your watch today. You can’t make it to a watch store and you have no idea where to find a leather hole puncher. Here are a couple things you can do so your watch won’t be dangling off your wrist.
One thing you can do is wear bracelets with your watch. If it slides only towards your hand then one would be fine, but if the watch is sliding in either direction, you’d need to wear a bracelet on either side of the watch to keep it in place. Of course, make sure the bracelets are worn tightly and have little freedom to move.
Another option is to wear a rubber wristband with your watch. Because of their look, you’ll probably be best pairing them with a more casual watch. One or two can be used in the same way as a bracelet to close the watch in place, but a different use is to place the rubber wristband underneath the watch.
Most rubber wristbands are very thin but still provide just enough of a bump to fill in the gap between the casing and your wrist. The key here is to do your best to make sure the band is as inconspicuous as possible and look goes flush on your wrist.
One odd thing I’ve also heard of that could work for you – a band aid, or two. Yeah, seriously. The outside of the band aid provides grip while the actual band aid stays in place as it’s designed to. It also is a lot less noticeable than a rubber wristband underneath the watch. If the watch is just slightly too large, this could be a nice temporary fix.
Where on My Wrist Should My Watch Be?
In terms of the actual position of the watch on your wrist, you should aim for it to just behind your ulna bone (where your wrist bends). If it slides a quarter of an inch or so from this point that would be fine. You should also make sure that the watch doesn’t twist around your wrist. When doing any of the tests, make sure the watch is positioned directly in the middle of your wrist.
With most watches being bought online these days, it’s hard to know exactly how they’ll fit until you actual get it delivered. Despite this, using the tests and fixes above, you’ll be prepared to adjust, resize, and even temporarily fix your watch firmly to your wrist!
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