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What Wrist Do You Wear A Watch On?

Our take on an age-old debate.

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Words: Liam Chapman

The general rule of thumb when wearing a watch is that it should be worn on your non-dominant wrist.

But why?

The reason is quite simple: to minimize discomfort and scratches while performing daily tasks. Because everyone uses their non-dominant significantly less, meaning your watch would avoid a lot of potential damage.

This means wearing your watch on the left wrist for right-handed individuals, and vice versa. However, this rule does not always apply to every timepiece—there are more variables we must consider to settle this debate properly.

Watch Design (Crown Placement)

Just for context, the crown is a cylindrical dial on the side of the case, typically sitting at the 3 o’clock position. The crown’s primary function is to set the time and wind the movement in a mechanical watch.

Surprisingly, the design of a watch can play a role in what wrist should be used. This is because the crown is intended to face toward your hand rather than your arm, it’s designed this way for the wearer to adjust the time using their other hand easily.

Therefore, it can be argued that the watchmaker is the one who ultimately determines the “correct” wrist for the watches they create.

However, not all watches that have crowns are manually powered. Your watch may have a crown with an automatic movement, this means that your wrist’s kinetic energy powers the mechanism rather than having to wind it manually.

Style Preferences

Traditionally, watches have been worn on the non-dominant hand for practical reasons, but there are no set-in-stone rules. Especially now with so many people challenging fashion norms, some are choosing to wear their watches on their dominant hand as a statement piece.

So, with all of this in mind, here are our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding which wrist one should wear their watch.

1. Which Wrist is Correct?

There is no definitive right or wrong wrist to wear a watch on. Personal preference and comfort are the most important factors when choosing which wrist to wear your timepiece.

Everything mentioned in this article can be a great way to help you make your choice, but in the end, you are free to make your own decision.

2. Does Superstition Matter?

Some cultures or superstitions may have specific beliefs about wearing watches on certain wrists.

While it’s interesting to learn about different cultural customs, we believe it’s important to make choices based on your own beliefs. 

3. Does Gender Play a Role?

I have seen numerous articles arguing that there is a separate set of rules that apply to men and women concerning where and how they should wear their timepieces.

Objectively, this makes sense considering that the size and weight of women’s watches are significantly smaller than men’s, meaning that they wouldn’t have to worry much about the watch being too obstructive.

While this is a more compelling argument, in the end, watches are made for both genders with the same principles. There should be no reason for men and women to wear their watches any differently.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to understand that you are not required to follow the norm or any stereotypes when it comes to the wrist you wear your watch on. Whether you’re left or right-handed, choosing the wrist that feels most comfortable for you is going to be the best decision.

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