What Wrist Do You Wear a Watch On?

Written By: Vahid Moradi

You might already know the basics of watch anatomy and when were watches invented, but one of the bigger debates in modern fashion stems from the very question that brought you to this article. What wrist do you wear a watch on!? Do I wear it on my left wrist or my right wrist? Whether you phrase this question as "what wrist do you wear a watch on?" or "how do I properly wear a wristwatch?" the answer is going to be the same...personal preference.

For years the agreed-upon method for wearing a mechanical watch had everything to do with the non-dominant hand. However, in recent times trends have changed, and people are changing with them.

No longer is there a hard and fast rule about which wrist a watch wearer should or shouldn't wear their  watch on. While there was once a slew of reasons for why a mechanical watch or even an automatic watch should only be worn on one particular wrist, the truth is that dress watches aren't nearly as integral to daily life as they once were.

The emergence of smartphones, tablets, and personal laptops have all made checking the time an easy task. It used to be a hassle to try and get the time from someone on the street or even find a clock nearby, making the watch a necessity for your daily life. Now, checking the time is almost inescapable! It almost seems as if everywhere you look, there is a clock staring back at you.

You may be asking, if checking the time is so easy, then what's even the point of a wristwatch!? Make no mistake, the watch is still an integral part of our society, as having a personal timepiece will always be useful. Perhaps more importantly, though, and certainly more important for the purpose of this article, is how the wristwatch has truly elevated itself to becoming a  fashion statement instead of a ho-hum daily accessory. Particularly, the lack of necessity for a watch has actually made wearing a luxury timepiece or used luxury watches like a LeCouture or Rolex a fashion-forward choice. Heck, even smart devices like the Apple watch are here to stay.

Wearing a watch has come full circle! In the modern era, a nice watch is the reflection of elegance and status, rather than a daily necessity like it was 15 or 20 years ago. This is more reflective of the earliest types of watches, when having a wristwatch was seen as a luxurious status symbol rather than an obtainable tool. Did you know that the first wristwatches were made for royalty!? Somewhere along the line, watches became mass-produced and, therefore easily accessible and usable. However, the transition away from watches by most has brought back the elusive luxury element that had been missing for decades, especially regarding the world's best dress watches like Panerai.

All of these musings and observations are not so much a commentary on modern society as much as they are a necessary filter through which we will determine if there is, in fact, a correct wrist to wear your watch on. To fully understand both modern trends and classic fashion rules, we had to develop the context for the question we are asking.

The nice thing about the question we are attempting to answer is that there are only two possible answers. Do you wearyour watch on the right wrist or the left wrist? Traditionally the answer is "whichever wrist is connected to your non-dominant hand is the wrist you wear your watch on." Being that we belong more to the personal preference camp, we're going to break down the arguments for and against wearing your wrist watch on your non-dominant hand.

Below we will give you the arguments for and against wearing your dress watch on your non-dominant hand, and from there, it is up to you to decide which wrist you're going to use as a mantle for your elegant timepiece. Will you choose the traditional method of wearing a watch? Or will you choose a more fashion-forward approach and select to wear your watch face or even watch strap on the wrist that is more comfortable for you? The only way to find out is to take the journey into the world of watches, fashion, and how a simple choice we make every morning can set the tone for the whole day.

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So what wrist to wear your watch? In the end, the wrist watch you choose to wear will depend on your preference. The tendency to use the non-dominant hand, and the main argument for this method of wearing a watch, has always been as an effort to keep your watch face in the best possible condition, even when wearing it daily.

The argument for wearing a watch on the non-dominant hand proposes that because the non-dominant hand is not as engaged in daily activity as the dominant hand, it will see less wear and tear...generally speaking. Purportedly, wearing a watch on your non dominant wrist prevents unnecessary scratches, scuffs, and dings simply because your non dominant hand doesn't do as much. This may have been true when writing with a pen was still the norm, or when things like texting, typing, and even changes in modern driving styles have diluted this argument substantially.

Usually, you are more active with your dominant hand than your non dominant hand. So, if you wear the watch on your dominant hand, the higher chances of damage to your watch just as a result of exposing it to more activity. All sorts of small tasks like reaching for an object on your desk or grabbing a ticket to enter a parking garage can pose a potential threat to your watch. Typically these trivial tasks are done mindlessly with the dominant hand, while the non-dominant hand stays largely out of the fray for most trivial day-to-day tasks.

But here's the counterargument: Most people use their left hand and right hand interchangeably throughout the day. For example, grabbing a parking ticket to enter a parking garage (an example we just used) would actually be done with the left hand (the non-dominant hand for right handed people). In reality, the argument for the non-dominant hand as it applies to the usage of the watch is hardly enough of a reason to dictate some hard and fast fashion rules.

One example of why the non-dominant hand should be used for wearing a watch: Assume that the watch is strapped to your dominant hand while enjoying your morning cup of coffee. Now as you take a sip, you go to check the time on your watch. All of a sudden, you have a lap full of coffee, and you have to deal with coffee pants, and being late!

While the above anecdote may be a fine example of what not to do in the morning, the reality is that not a lot of people are checking their watch with coffee in their hands. Wearing a watch on a specific wrist takes some getting used to regardless, and you're going to need to make some minor adjustments accordingly.

What we are really getting at here is that the arguments for why the non-dominant hand has been used for so long either don't apply to modern culture, or they were flimsy, to begin with. It all leads back to this: wear your watch on the wrist you are most comfortable with. Whether that's your right or left wrist, at the end of the day, personal comfort trounces stuffy, outdated fashion rules.


Now that we have fully debunked the non-dominant hand myth, here are some excellent reasons why you may want to strap  your watch on your dominant wrist.

Familiarity - For those who are new to wearing a watch, or for someone who hasn't worn a watch in a long time, using the wrist of the dominant hand will likely feel the most comfortable.

Ease Of Use - For many, checking the time on the dominant wrist is more natural and therefore an easier process. Wearing a watch on the dominant wrist ensures that you won't have to "retrain" your brain.

Fashion Forward - Being that so many people still wear their watch on the non-dominant side, wearing your watch on the dominant wrist will help your watch stand out in a fashion-forward manner.


As we stated very early on in this article, what wrist does a watch go on will come down to personal preference?

When shopping for a new watch, too many people are more concerned with how the watch looks in the case instead of how it looks and feels on them. A stunning watch that you see in pictures online, or even one that you pick out of an in-person display, might not look or feel as good on your wrist as it did on a screen or under glass.

Your wrist shape, your propensity for certain styles, your comfortability with the weight of a watch, and even your typical daily fashion choices all play a role in how your watch interacts with you. Not to mention how you plan on using the watch! For example, an elegant dress watch that is perfect for a nice suit or evening gown is typically not going to wear as well with your typical daily work attire. The purpose of the watch and how you intend to incorporate it stylistically into your life has as much to do with selection as the wrist you plan to use to wear the said watch.

More important than choosing the correct wrist for your watch is choosing the correct watch for your wrist bone! Fortunately for you, the experts at CJ Charles are here to ensure that the next luxury watch you select is nothing short of the ideal watch for you. Our stunning selection of luxury dress watches ensures that you will select the perfect watch, one that you will love wearing because of how well it fits and one that you will love showing off because of how perfectly it fits your personal style. Whether you are a watch enthusiast or want to add a new timepiece in your collection, we can help you find the perfect women and men luxury watches and the best watches under $10,000 for any occasion. CJ Charles offers a wide range of luxury brands such as Rolex, Panerai, IWC, MONTBLANC and Cartier in San Diego, check out our collections today!



Written By: Vahid Morai

Vahid Moradi’s lifelong passion, dedication, and commitment for the jewelry industry led him to become the respected owner of CJ Charles Jewelers in 1988. From that moment, Moradi’s single focus in business was to become recognized as the pinnacle of value and world-class quality in the his Community. Over 34 years later, CJ Charles continues to grow and thrive as a successful, family-owned business that consistently provides exceptional service to all their clientele.

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