A Guide on the Proper Way to Wear a Watch

This is how a gentleman should wear his watch.

Wearing a watch seems simple enough. You put it on and just go on with your day. That's the beauty of timepieces—it mostly goes with anything and it's fuss-free, too. But as with anything style-related, there are certain things to remember. Here's a guide on how to properly wear a watch.

Traditionally, watches should be worn on the left hand.

The first thing my dad taught me when he gave me one of his watches was that watches should always be worn on the left hand. Its tradition—historically, men wore watches on their less dominant hand to keep it away from damage. If you're thinking, 'Hey, but I'm left-handed. Should I wear it on my right hand?' No, because back then, there was a strong bias against left-handedness so most people were conditioned to be right-handed. It all boils down to tradition, really.

Match your watch to the occasion.

The gravest mistake you can make is wearing a sports watch to attend a dressy event. If you're lucky enough to have multiple watches, then the rule is to keep it simple the more formal an event is. That means, saving more complicated watches for more casual days. In fact, for formal dress, the watch should tell time only.

More: The Guide to Every Wedding Dress Code (That Actually Matters)

Complement your watch with the rest of your outfit.

Aside from thinking about the occasion, you should also be mindful of the rest of the elements of your outfit before picking out a watch to wear. A black strap to a black leather belt and black leather shoes, brown strap to a brown leather belt and brown leather shoes, and so on. The same goes for metal. When wearing gold, silver, or what have you, it should, ideally, match your other pieces of jewelry such as your ring or bracelet.


Be mindful of your sleeves.

When wearing a full shirt, your cuffs should cover at least half the watch. Some men have been known to wear their watches over their shirts in a bid to show off their prized possessions, but if it matters that much to you, you can easily have your sleeves altered to achieve that half-watch sleeve reveal.

Eschew trends and pick the right size.

Big size watches have been trending for nearly a decade. Many, however, are saying that the interest for the large timepieces is winding down. The whole thing proves that you shouldn't get carried away with what's in style. Instead, you should pick out a watch that fits you perfectly.

More: Why Small Watches for Men Declare Confidence, Swagger, and Security

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About The Author
Paolo Chua
Associate Style Editor
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor at Esquire Philippines, where he writes about fashion and grooming. Before joining Esquire Philippines, he was a writer at Town & Country Philippines.
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