What size watch to choose?

Watchmaking is a large universe with millions of variations. To find the ideal watch, you can start with two very important factors: The size of the watch and the shape of the case.
Today we are going to look at these two criteria and determine with you what the ideal watch size is for your wrist! 

Selection of gustave & cie watches

Your wrist

The first and most important point is to know your wrist size. Some wrists are larger than others and will be able to wear 42mm watches while others will have the same effect with a 32mm watch!

So the size of your wrist is the main element to take into account.
Also remember, as a general rule, a woman will tend to have a thinner wrist than a man, and will often select a smaller size case.

men's wrist watch and women's wrist watch

The size and thickness of my watch

Now let’s look at watch sizes. Historically speaking, wristwatches have long been very small by today's standards. A men's watch could very well be 27.5 mm in diameter! For a long time, oversized watches called “Jumbo” which were particularly imposing for the time, were at most 38mm in diameter! 

So, fans of vintage watches will not necessarily be able to find large cases, this must be taken into account!

“Big” watches have been fashionable for several decades but a trend towards smaller cases can be observed. For example, large houses are releasing historic models in smaller diameters, which may make the most purist among you cringe.

An important criterion is also the thickness of the watch. Thickness plays a major role and is directly related to the style of the watch, we will cover this in the next point.

The universal advice would be to have a watch that does not exceed the width of the wrist.
Today the average case diameter for men's watches is between 38mm and 41mm. 
For women it's between 35mm and 38mm! 

gustave & cie watch

The form and the bracelet

In addition to size, we need to pay attention to the shape of the watch. A 38mm square watch will appear much more imposing than a round watch of the same diameter. 
There are also different types of watches such as tool watches, dress watches, etc. Which can then vary the rendering on the wrist on the same watch diameter.

The overall thickness and style of the glass can also make your watch more imposing. Indeed, a timepiece with an external bezel, a very thick case and a curved glass will look larger than a sleek “dress watch”.

To finish this point, let's talk about bracelets. As we saw in our article “Choosing the right watch strap: Our advice !”, each strap gives a different style to your watch and in the case of a metal or nato strap, they can make your watch wider than it already is.

So, don't neglect the choice of your bracelet and read our article if you need a helping hand

Tissot, Patek Philippe and Seiko watch

The watch for your wrist

Third, the most important point is of course your taste!  

A massive looking watch like a diving watch can very well be worn by a woman and conversely a small format watch can be very charming for a man. 

Here, our advice will be the same as that we gave you in “Pair a suit with your watch ? ”. If you are sure of yourself and your choice, everything will be fine and your timepiece will look great on you.

At GUSTAVE & cie, we advise women to take a small diameter watch such as 34mm in our Marie 12H collection or 36mm in our André 24H collection in order to remain discreet and elegant. Even more so if this is your first watch! 
For men, we recommend 40mm like our Antoine collection or our Jules automatic watch which has the same diameter but which appears more imposing due to its thickness!


When you love you don't count! This is also valid in watchmaking, so you don't necessarily need to measure your watch, as long as you like it. However, we still recommend that for a first purchase, you try your watch in store, and if you are a collector, do not hesitate to compare with one of your watches of the same style!

So now, go to our store in Paris or to our configurator to find the ideal watch.


OR ROSE ET BLANC Gustave & Cie
OR ET NOIR Gustave & Cie
Jules 24h gold and blue Gustave & Cie


  • Photo Tissot : montres-ouvrage.com
  • Photo Patek Philippe : 1stdibs.com
  • Photo Seiko : Catawiki
  • Photo man woman: dwyt-watch

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