Which Wrist Should You Wear Your Watch On?

As well as being one cracker of a tongue-twister, the question ‘Which wrist should you wear your watch on?’ draws a different answer depending on who you ask.

The truth is, there is no one correct answer. The wrist you choose to wear your watch on will depend entirely on you, your lifestyle, and your personal preferences.

Festina watch on left wrist

In this post from The Thrifty Gentleman, we’ll explore some of the reasons you might choose to wear your watch on a particular wrist, so you can decide which wrist works well for you.

The Right Wrist is the Left Wrist

Over time, since a great many people are right-handed, it’s become common belief that the left wrist is the correct wrist to wear a watch on.

This is because it’s much easier to do up the watch’s buckle and pull out the crown to change the time or date with the dominant right hand. Similarly, since right-handed people do more with their right hand, wearing a watch on their non-dominant wrist means it won’t get in the way.

However, not everyone is right-handed. While you may have heard that the left wrist is the correct wrist, in actuality you should wear your watch on the wrist of your non-dominant hand.

Watch worn on right wrist

Adding a bit more weight to the argument is the fact that pocket watches were also mostly kept in the opposite pocket for ease of access with the dominant hand. You could argue therefore that the opposite wrist has in fact been the tradition for quite a long time.

So, if you’re left-handed, that means wearing the watch on your right wrist instead.

Not So Fast…

Sounds simple right? Well, unfortunately for some, most watchmakers have already chosen for you.

Again, since a majority of people are right-handed, this means the crown on a majority of watches will be in the ‘3 o’clock’ position. This is because, when worn on the left wrist, it’s much easier for right-handed people to use the crown when it’s in this position.

If you wear a watch intended for the left wrist on your right wrist, you’ll need to do a bit of light contortion to change the time. So, if you’re left-handed, make sure when buying your watch that the crown is in the ‘9 o’clock’ position. This way, you’ll be able to wear it on your right wrist and use the crown with no issues.

Of course, the position of the crown is not the be-all and end-all of watch-to-wrist decisions. Even if you wear your watch on the ‘wrong’ wrist, you can always take it off before changing the time. Similarly, if you’ve opted for a good quality watch, you’ll rarely need to use the crown anyway.

As for doing up the buckle, single-loop straps, such as the Marine Nationale options from The Thrifty Gentleman, remove the need for fiddling with buckles entirely. This means you’re free to select the wrist that feels best for you.

Lifestyle and Activities

If you’re wearing your watch during work or your daily activities, you might choose a wrist depending on what you’ll be getting up to.

For example, if you’re writing against a deadline, it might be helpful to wear your watch on your dominant wrist. This way, you’ll only need to spare a quick downward glance to check the time.

Or, if you’re in the midst of a hands-on project, it’s probably best to wear your watch on whichever wrist won’t get in the way. Again, this likely means your non-dominant hand, since this will lead to the least discomfort.

However, if you’re doing some heavy-duty DIY, wear your watch on the same wrist that you hold tools with. This will help you prevent any damage to your watch.

Finally, if a watch is part of your uniform or outfit at a formal event, it’s best to check if there are any watch-wearing guidelines beforehand. For example, it was once customary at traditional wedding ceremonies to wear your watch on a certain wrist depending on whether you were related to the bride or the groom.

Though this isn’t common practice these days, it illustrates that a little bit of pre-planning will ensure you don’t stick out like a sore wrist.

Lady looking at watch on left wrist


Your watch is an important part of your outfit, but it’s only one of the accessories you might opt for on any given day. Thus, the many accents you choose to complement your style will also have an effect on which wrist it’s best to wear your watch on.

If you’re coordinating your hardware with your jewellery, like rings and bracelets, wearing your watch on the same wrist will create cohesion and flow.

On the other hand (see what we did there!), your watch is likely the largest accessory you wear on a daily basis. So, if you like to wear a lot of rings or heavy bracelets on a certain hand or wrist, wearing your watch on the opposite wrist may help to balance everything out.

Making a Change

Simply because you choose to wear your watch on a particular wrist in the morning, doesn’t mean you have to keep your watch on that wrist all day.

If you need to switch up your wrist for any reason, you’re always free to do so! You may think it’s a sign of indecision, but we think you’re just being proactive.

For example, if you’re switching up your outfit for a day-to-night transition, you might want to switch up your wrist of choice depending on what you’ll be doing. As an extra tip, you can completely change up the look and feel of your watch with The Thrifty Gentleman’s quick-release watch straps.

Or, if you have sensitive skin or just like to fidget with something, swapping your watch-wrist throughout the day is a good option.

Couple holding hands with watches on opposite wrists

In Conclusion…

Whether it’s the right, left, or switcheroo at midday for comfort, practicality, style or convention, which wrist you wear your watch on is completely up to you.

Remember to factor in what you’ll be doing, the placement of the crown, your dominant hand, and how your watch will affect your outfit. Or, don’t think about it at all, and throw it on whichever wrist feels right for you.

To take your watch to the next level, browse our huge range of affordable watch straps here. With superlative style from our collections, it won’t matter which wrist you wear your watch on - it’ll always look incredible.

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