What Wrist Does a Watch Go On? (And Why Exactly) (2022)

What Wrist Does a Watch Go On? (And Why Exactly) (1)

If you are a watch enthusiast like me, you have probably noticed that a vast majority of people wear their watches on the left wrist. Due to this trend, the common assumption is that all of us should. In this article, I’m going to explain what’s the reasoning behind this and if it is really necessary for us all to follow the same guidelines.

A fun fact before we begin: there are over 7.7 billion people in the world. It is estimated that more than 90% of the population is right-handed, leaving just under 10% for the “lefties”. At this point you might think: if this is so, why am I supposed to wear the watch on the left wrist?

The short answer is: to keep your watch safe from damage, easy to check and set the time. Continue reading the learn exactly why we should be wearing a watch on the opposite of our dominant hand.

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📖 Table of Contents

What Wrist Does Your Watch Go On? General Rule

What Wrist Does a Watch Go On? (And Why Exactly) (2)

As explained earlier, you should wear your watch on the wrist opposite to the one you are naturally using. There are no specia

l benefits of wearing a watch on the right hand. Nor there are any when we do the opposite.

If, like the majority of the population, you are a right-hander, wear your watch on the left wrist. If left-handedness is your thing, do not care about the general (and somehow wrong) assumption and put it on your left wrist. I’m encouraging you to do so because there seem to be some insecurities amongst right-hand watch users. I’ve even come across ideas that there’s some kind of negative psychology of wearing a watch on the right hand. Let me tell you, there’s not.

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Many people, although not all, seem to already follow the “right way” according to this poll. If you are currently not, continue reading to learn why it’s important to start doing so.

Why do many people think a watch should be worn on the left, no matter what?

Contrary to reports, humans are a relatively simple species. They do what the majority of society does, often without even thinking about questioning the “norms”.

Since the invention of the first wristwatch in the 20th century, people started putting it on their left hand and… they never stopped. The biggest reason for it is the crown of a watch.

Especially in the early years of wristwatches, all of them had a crown so the watch could be wound. The crown was (and in many cases still is) always put on the right side of the watch case. If you were a right-hander, winding such a watch was a walk in the park. Now imagine that the left your dominant hand. Trying to wind such a watch on your right wrist would be a struggle, to say the least.

The crown was and still is the biggest reason why a vast majority of users, even the left-handers, put the watch on their left wrist – no matter what. Is it the right thing to do, though?

In my opinion, shared by many experienced watch enthusiasts, protecting your watch from damage is far more important than being able to comfortably wind it on your wrist. You can always take off the watch for a minute to make the process easier for you. How often do we wind a watch, anyway?

Another valid point is, fewer people wear watches that need winding. What’s more, this decade will see an unprecedented amount of users ditching the “old-school” watch in favor of wearables (smartwatches).

If all of this sounds confusing and you still wonder what hand does a watch go on, continue the lecture. Below I explain why you shouldn’t feel discouraged to wear your watch on the right if you are left-handed.

Why a Watch Should Be Worn On The Opposite Wrist

There are many reasons why a watch should be worn on the opposite of our “natural” hand. And I think all of the points listed below strongly outweigh the arguments of the “left wrist no matter what” theory.

Protection against physical damage

It’s only natural to assume that your dominant hand is being much more exploited during your everyday tasks.

Even the most basic activities bring dangers of damaging your watch in some way, let it be a scratch on the case or even a crack on the dial window. Replacing any of the two is a burden (very often an expensive one), so why take the risks?

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If you are a fan of bigger-sized watches like the Casio G-Shock series, simplest tasks like writing or checking your pocket can prove problematic. The same issues might arise when you are trying to eat or even brush your teeth.

Protection against mechanical damage

Even the most durable watch movements are just that, durable. They are not bulletproof by any means.

If you are wearing a watch on your “natural” hand instead of the opposite, the watch is prone to many more mechanical shocks. Unless the watch is shock-resistant, damaging or even completely breaking the watch movement is a strong possibility.

As an example: if you are a construction worker wearing a watch on your dominant hand and using a hammer is a thing you do every day, then chances are you will have to replace your watch sooner than expected. Other “endangered” professions include mechanics working at repair shops, plumbers, etc. The same can be said about some of the leisure activities we love (ie. badminton).

Easier to check the time

Right-handed people will do 99% of their daily work with their right hand whereas left-handed people will do the opposite. Putting off or pausing basic activities like moving the mouse pad, eating or going through some papers just to check the time, as ironic as it sounds, would be a waste of time.

Different Rules of Wearing Watches for Males & Females?

Many people wondering what hand does a wristwatch go on, also wonder if there are different sets of “rules” for men and women.

What wrist does a watch go on a male?

The shortest answer possible is: men should simply stick to the rules mentioned above. As long as you avoid wearing the watch on your dominant hand to avoid it wearing off too quickly, it’s all good.

What wrist does a watch go on a female?

Although there are no different rules of how to wear a watch for ladies, in some circumstances, a different approach should be considered.

Sometimes you might see and wonder why ladies wear a watch on the right hand. If you are a female that loves carrying tons of jewelry, you might want to consider putting your watch on the wrist that’s free of it. Thanks to this, you will minimize the risk of scratching your watch against jewelry (and vice-versa).

In the perfect world, you’d like to wear your jewelry on the wrist of your dominant hand whereas the timepiece on the other.

Watches for Left-Handers

People with a dominant left hand should no longer feel left out. Gone were the days when the only watch structure included the right-side crown. Nowadays, more and more brands produce watches designed exclusively for left-handed people.

Here, let me again stress that the importance of the position of the crown has been decreasing over the years anyway. With the introduction of smartwatches and the ever-growing popularity of digital ones, left-handers can comfortably wear any watch on their right wrist.

Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning that there’s a growing trend amongst brands, especially the luxury ones, in offering left-handed watches. These brands include such names as Tudor or Rolex. Also, more affordable names such as Citizen and Invicta have started releasing more models for the “lefties”.

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Left or Right? Conclusion

I truly hope that my explanation has shed enough light on what wrist should your watch go on.

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To summarize, I’d like to once again encourage you not to worry about what most people think. Now that you have the wisdom, follow the rules specified in this article. Thanks to them, your watch will have a great chance of serving you well for much longer.

From now on, try to always wear the watch on the opposite of your dominant hand. A right-hander? Put your timepiece on the left. A left-hander? Do the “weird” thing and place it on the right.

If for whatever the reason either of the above feels uncomfortable and unnatural for you, you can always follow the approach of Laissez-Faire… by wearing it just as you wish, not caring about what others think and what the rules are. After all, it’s your watch. And your style.

FAQs

What wrist does a watch go on? ›

Typically, the accepted rule is that you should wear your watch on your non-dominant wrist. This means that for most people being right-handed, you'll wear your watch on the left arm.

Why do people wear watch on the right? ›

Wearing the watch on the right wrist

Most people wear their wristwatch on their non-dominant hand. As such, this means that many left-handed individuals tend to wear their watch on the right hand.

Why do people wear their watch on the opposite wrist? ›

As they hold tools or perform work, it is a more natural position to read the time. Military and special forces personnel and armed police can wear watches upside down as it's easier to read the time while holding a rifle or gun.

Why do guys wear their watches on the right hand? ›

The reason for wearing a watch on your non-dominant hand is simple: It protects the watch from getting damaged. Since you'll be using your dominant hand for more activities throughout the day, having a watch on that wrist would put it in danger of getting scratched, chipped, and tarnished.

Is it OK to wear a watch on your right wrist? ›

To get straight to the point: no, a watch does not have to be worn on the left wrist. The right wrist is just as good. The reason most people still have their watch on their left wrist is simple.

What hand does a watch go on for a woman? ›

Which Hand Does a Watch Go On? Your watch was designed to be worn on the LEFT-HAND. This applies to both males or females. It also is the correct way to wear it whether you are left-handed or right-handed.

What does it mean if you wear your watch on your left hand? ›

There is a simple reason behind this. You will use your dominant hand more often, and while working you can easily keep a check on the watch to your left. Also, wearing it on non-dominant hand makes it less susceptible to damaging, breaking, or injuring yourself.

Why do military wear watches inside wrist? ›

Military and special forces tend to wear their watches on the inside of the wrist for a combination of several factors, the main one being the need to avoid any kind of glare - but there is also the aspect of protecting the timepiece.

What is the meaning of wearing watch in left hand? ›

So, if you're right-handed, wear your watch on your left. And, if you're left handed, wear your watch on your right. Wearing your watch on your non-dominant hand means it is less likely to be bumped, jostled, and nicked throughout the day, thus will be safer from damage.

Why do nurses wear watches upside down? ›

Why armed forces and nurses wear a watch under the wrist - YouTube

Why does John Wick wear his watch backwards? ›

But when he goes into the "battle mode", he wears them face inside the wrist, which is the way soldiers usually do it. (So that they could see the time while holding a rifle and to avoid reflections of the glass)

What is watch etiquette? ›

Wear on Your Non-dominant Wrist

Most people wear watches on their left wrist because the majority of people are right-handed. This traditional rule means you'll be freer and more able to complete tasks with your dominant hand without your wristwatch getting in the way.

Where should a man wear wrist watch? ›

The men's watch should be worn on the wrist of the non-dominant hand and below the elbow. The watch, sitting on the non-dominant hand, allows the wearer to execute tasks with their dominant hand without the watch getting into the way.

Which arm should a man wear his watch on? ›

Two of these energy points are on our wrists: on the right for women and on the left for men. So, it suggests us that women should wear their watches on the left wrist, while men should wear them on the right wrist.

Why shouldn't you wear a watch on your right hand? ›

The normal method is to wear your watch on the less occupied wrist, and since your left happens to be the most occupied hand, you shouldn't hesitate to wear your watch on the right hand, don't allow tradition to dictate which hand to wear your watch, wear it where you find it most comfortable.

Which hand is dominant? ›

Right-handedness is by far more common; about 90% of the human population are right hand dominant. Handedness is often defined by one's writing hand, as it is fairly common for people to prefer to do some tasks with each hand.

What is dominant hand? ›

What Is a Dominant Hand? Hand dominance is the preference for using one hand over the other to perform fine and gross motor tasks. This includes activities like writing, cutting, and catching and throwing a ball.

What watch do the Navy SEALs wear? ›

Luminox Navy Seal Watches are the most dependable watches for night missions because of their self-powered illumination capabilities. Each watch has been individually tested and proven to be water-resistant for 200 meters.

What watch does Keanu Reeves wear in John Wick? ›

In October, a stunt performer who worked on John Wick 4 revealed that Reeves presented his team with customized Rolex Submariners. The recipient posted a pic on Instagram with the caption: “Giving his stuntmen and friends these special engraved Rolex watches was a truly fine gesture indeed!”

How are you supposed to wear a watch? ›

Position your watch above the wrist bone.

A watch is usually worn just above the ulna, or the wrist bone. Most people wear their watches with the face on the top of their wrist. With your hands at your sides, if you are wearing long sleeves, your watch will peek out slightly from under the cuffs of your shirt.

Why do ladies wear watch on right hand? ›

Because of lesser movement of the left hand, damage to the watch is also minimised. Even most working women wear the watch on the left wrist. It is only at parties or at times when the right hand is not required to do much work, women wear it on their right wrist as a fashion statement.

Can I wear my watch on my dominant hand? ›

As a rule of thumb, most people wear a watch on their non-dominant hands. On the left hand for a right-handed person and right hand for lefties. The reason is simple, people don't want to mess up between the watch they wear and the things they do.

What's a nurses watch called? ›

Fob watches, also called nursing watches or belt watches, are a kind of timepiece with a clip that holds it in place to hang upside-down from a uniform. Most nurses and others in healthcare consider nurse fob watches a requirement, as they are a vital tool for timekeeping on the job.

Why do nurses need a watch with a second hand? ›

For nurses, being able to easily count the seconds while measuring a patient's pulse, for example, is extremely important. That means reading the second hand easily and accurately. What is this? So, it makes sense to have a highly visible second hand that is a large, sweeping second hand.

How do ladies wear watches? ›

6 RULES for Wearing a WATCH for women - YouTube

Does Bruce Wayne wear a watch? ›

What about the watches? Well, in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne wears a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Grand Taille, while in The Dark Knight Rises he wears a JLC Reverso Grand Date. Here's why they're such inspired choices for the man behind the mask.

Can automatic watch last forever? ›

HOW LONG DO AUTOMATIC WATCHES LAST? Theoretically, your automatic watch should keep forever—or certainly for many years. However, that is as long as you look after it.

What does the tattoo on John Wick say? ›

The tattoo across his back that reads "Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat", translated from Latin into, "fortune favors the bold", is reminiscent of the motto for the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines. Their spelling is, "Fortes Fortuna Juvat", but its meaning is similar.

Is there a rule to wear watch? ›

You must wear a watch on your left wrist

People tend to wear a watch on their non dominant hand to avoid it getting in the way of writing. There is no rule on which wrist to wear it and it can simply come down to the ease of adjusting the settings.

Can you wear a black watch with anything? ›

Whatever you have planned, you can't go wrong with black. The same can be said for watches, but there is a caveat to it. The colour may match, but since the colour does not need much concern, it's the style and the material used that are given more attention.

Should you wear a watch to bed? ›

Watches could also disrupt your sleep.

You could get used to it, but you could also not. It's always better to sleep in complete silence. What if you are nervous? Hearing the watch's sound is going to frustrate you.

Do lefties wear watches on right hand? ›

As a rule of thumb, most people wear a watch on their non-dominant hands. On the left hand for a right-handed person and right hand for lefties. The reason is simple, people don't want to mess up between the watch they wear and the things they do.

Can men wear watch on right hand? ›

Two of these energy points are on our wrists: on the right for women and on the left for men. So, it suggests us that women should wear their watches on the left wrist, while men should wear them on the right wrist.

Why do you wear a watch on your non-dominant hand? ›

So, they were worn on the non-dominant hand trying to protect the watch from a bump or scratch. Moreover, you usually use a lot of forces on your preferred hand for your activities, your wrist's muscle will exercise, if you wear watches, bracelet, etc on preferred hand.

Why do military wear watches inside wrist? ›

Military and special forces tend to wear their watches on the inside of the wrist for a combination of several factors, the main one being the need to avoid any kind of glare - but there is also the aspect of protecting the timepiece.

Why do ladies wear watch on right hand? ›

Because of lesser movement of the left hand, damage to the watch is also minimised. Even most working women wear the watch on the left wrist. It is only at parties or at times when the right hand is not required to do much work, women wear it on their right wrist as a fashion statement.

Why do some people wear expensive watches? ›

Why do some people wear expensive watches? Answer 1: The most important reason why someone wants to wear a luxury timepiece is to demonstrate that they can afford it. They use it to show off their wealth and perhaps social status. Answer 2: This is because some brands are a symbol of their social status and wealth.

Which hand is dominant? ›

Right-handedness is by far more common; about 90% of the human population are right hand dominant. Handedness is often defined by one's writing hand, as it is fairly common for people to prefer to do some tasks with each hand.

What is watch etiquette? ›

Wear on Your Non-dominant Wrist

Most people wear watches on their left wrist because the majority of people are right-handed. This traditional rule means you'll be freer and more able to complete tasks with your dominant hand without your wristwatch getting in the way.

How loose or tight should a watch be? ›

The watch should be loose enough that you can slide your index finger underneath the band but not so loose that you can move the index finger around. If you cannot slide your finger underneath the band, the watch is too snug.

Why do people wear watches on their left hand? ›

There is a simple reason behind this. You will use your dominant hand more often, and while working you can easily keep a check on the watch to your left. Also, wearing it on non-dominant hand makes it less susceptible to damaging, breaking, or injuring yourself.

What arm does a watch go on for a male? ›

Watches usually appear on the non-dominant arm of their owners, for example, right-handed people wear them on their left arms. Culture, style and fashion magazine GQ has speculated that this is because it is easier for people to set, wind and adjust watches with their dominant hand.

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