How are watch bands measured? [Your Band Size Guide]

Wristwatches come with different watch band materials. Being able to measure your watch strap will help you eliminate the fear of buying the wrong ones if you intend to change them.

This complete guide will help you with your band replacements. This is a practical guide that’ll need you to do some measurements.

What’s a watch band size?

The band size of a watch is the measurement of the length and width of the watch strap. With lots of watches in the watch space, it’s common for watch straps to have varying widths. Buying a strap size that’s right for you can be tricky too.

Common watch bands widths

There is no standard length for watch bands. However, after using watches for a while, you’d find that there are some common band widths in the marketplace. The right band length for your wrist is still a factor of its width.

Typical men’s watch band widths in the marketplace include the 18mm, 20mm, 22mm, 24mm, and 26mm. The 18mm width is a suitable size for men with extra small wrists.

For women, the common watch band widths are 6 3/4 inches and 8 inches. These widths greatly depend on the style and the manufacturer.

How to measure your watch band

different watch band styles

How to measure the watch band is one of the most common questions we get and it’s actually quite easy to do. With the watch band, there are actually two measurements you will do.

The most common is measuring the width of your watch band.

However, there’s also the measurement of the length of the watch band. We’ll look at how to carry out these two measurements.

Measuring the band width

The lug width is always measured in millimeters. Sometimes it’s easy to find the band width measurement as some watch bands have it stamped at the back of the strap. However, with some watch bands, you have to actually measure the width. So how can you do this?

  1. Remove the watch band from the watch lugs using a spring ball removing tool.
  2. Using a caliper, you can measure the band width. The caliper gives you a reading in millimeters.
  3. If you don’t have a caliper, use a metal ruler to measure the band width. Put the end of the band on to it to get a reading in millimeters.

Alternatively, you can measure the lug width to get the band width reading.

Measuring the lug width of the watch

The proper way to measure the lug width will be to use calipers. However, if you don’t have calipers, a metal rule and a steady hand will do just fine.

To measure the lug width, simply measure the gaps between the two lugs. Make sure the measurement is done from the inside of one lug to another. See the example below

Usually, the easiest way to measure the band width is by simply measuring the lug width of the watch case.

Measuring the band length

When measuring the strap length, you need to measure from the inside end of the buckle to the other end of the strap. To do this, use the following steps.

  1. Remove both straps from the watch case.
  2. Using a metal ruler, measure each strap separately, and add the lengths to get your strap length.
  3. If it is a single strap like the Nato strap, place it on a flat surface and measure it through. Measure from the inside buckle to the opposite end of the strap.
  4. The measurement you get above is your band length.

With the band length and width, you can easily replace your strap by looking for one that fits these lengths.

How to measure your wrist size for a watch band

measuring your wrist circumference

Measuring your wrist size gives you an idea of what strap length you should order if you plan to change your watch strap. There are two ways you can go about this. You can use a small string or seamstress tape.

Using a string

  1. Take a piece of string and wrap it around your wrist at the position where you wear your watch.
  2. Mark out the point where the two ends of the string meet around your wrist. You can use a pen to mark the intersection point.
  3. Stretch out the string and use your ruler to measure the distance between the two meeting points. Use a conversion chart to get the readings in millimeters.
  4. The distance measured between the two intersection points on the string is your wrist size.

Using a seamstress tape

  1. First, put one end of the measuring tape on your wrist and wrap the tape around. Make sure you wrap it around the wrist where you normally wear your watch.
  2. Then read the lead where the tape meets.
  3. The reading you get from the tape in millimeters is your wrist size.


Will the watch strap fit my wrist?

To know if a watch strap is going to fit you, you have to measure the minimum and maximum lengths of your strap.

You can measure the minimum length by taking the length from the top of the strap to the first hole. See the diagram below.

Measuring the minimum length of watch strap

The white line shows the minimum length

Also, you can get the maximum length by measuring from the top of the strap to the last hole.Measuring the maximum length of the strap

The red line shows the maximum length.

If your wrist size fits between the minimum and maximum length, the watch strap will fit you. However, it’s not good practice to wear your watch strap using the first or last holes. Doing so can cause some problems.

This can be a handy method to use if you’re always worried if the next watch you buy will fit you. Leave us a comment below if you use a different way to measure your watch bands.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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