Men who are meticulous about styling themselves often want to understand the nuances of every element of their look. For instance, it’s not a matter of whether or not to wear a leather cuff, it’s a matter of when to wear it, what sleeve length it pairs well with, etc. As such, it should not be surprising that it’s important for men who style themselves meticulously to want to understand on which wrist their timepiece should be worn. While it may seem like an arbitrary question to some, for the man whose style is of utmost importance, this is an important topic. There are several factors that determine on which wrist a man should wear his watch.
Complications and Settings
With very little exception, quality watches will bear a crown, which is the mechanism used for setting the watch’s time. Additionally, if you are wearing watches like aviator automatic watches or racing chronograph watches, you may have other externally located crowns or buttons used for other functions. These additional functions are called complications. Regardless of the amount of functions, the crown of the watch will always be located on the right side of the watch case. As such, it is typically considered easier to access the crown and other complication buttons if the watch is worn on the left wrist.
If wearing your watch on your left wrist just doesn’t feel comfortable and convenient for you, rejoice; there’s absolutely no stylistic rule governing on which wrist a man’s watch should be worn. While you can find some specialized watches made specifically for left-handed individuals that feature the crown and any other buttons on the left side of the watch, you may be able to adjust your standard right-crown watch on your right hand with a little practice. There’s ultimately no reason you cannot wear your watch on your right hand. In fact, the most commonly accepted practice today seems to be to wear your watch on your non-dominant hand. In other words, right-handed individuals would wear their watch on their left hand, and left handed individuals would wear their watch on their right hand.
Watches with Complications and Larger Crowns
Some watches (especially men’s watches) feature crowns and complication buttons that are much larger than the kind found on dress watches. For instance, aviator automatic watches, racing chronograph watches, and diving watches all feature crowns that are large for easy access when setting and using complications like stopwatches. In fact, the aviator automatic almost always comes outfitted with a gorgeous ratcheted crown. If this crown is located on the right side of the watch, it may be uncomfortable for the wearer to place the watch on their right hand, as the crown may rub against a portion of the upper wrist that is not desirable. Additionally, if you have more than one button for different complications, the additional buttons and crown may be harder to access with your left hand when worn on the right wrist.
Of final consideration is the idea that you may also wear other accessories on your free, non-watch wearing wrist. Will wearing these accessories, such as cuffs, bracelets, or beads be comfortable on the wrist not wearing the watch? You will likely also accessorize with any rings on the side not wearing the watch. If your rings are custom fitted to one specific hand, you may want to wear your watch on the opposite hand. Too many accessories on one side can look unbalanced, and attempting to “even out” by adding additional accessories to the other side can make your style look overwhelming and over-the-top.
Traditionally, watches are made to be worn on the left wrist due simply to the fact the crown of the watch is located on the right side of the watch case, and therefore is easier to use and access when worn on the lift wrist. However, the ultimate rule of thumb is to decide which wrist is most comfortable for you, and wear your watch on that one.