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The Perfect Size for a Men’s Watch

Why a 44mm watch is the right choice for men


It’s difficult to make anything perfect. But there is a guys watch size that might be the exception. It’s perfect. And it works for your luxury watch or your everyday sports watch. Here’s our take on why the 44mm mens watch is an ideal size to choose for several reasons.


Understanding Sizing in Men’s Watches

Before we outline our reasons, let’s talk about sizing in men’s watches. Most men have a wrist size around 7.5 inches. Almost all men’s wrists are between 7” and 8”. This sizing is generally used to pick the right watch size.

Watches are sized by their case – the width across the watch face from one side of the watch to the other side. Women’s watches are usually smaller than 38 millimeters (MM). Men’s can be 38 mm to 48mm. A 44mm watch face is about 1.7” across, which is a good proportion for a 7-8” wrist size.

So this is a fairly standard size for a men’s watch: 44mm across. At Smith & Bradley, we love the 44mm watch with a case thickness of around 10-12mm and a 22mm watch strap width. We believe that size is an excellent choice for 90% of men. Not just because of the way it looks on your hand, but for several other reasons as well.

Side note: watch case shape matters as well. A narrow watch (like a rectangle on your wrist) will often be smaller than 44mm. However, round watch faces are most common. That is what we are focused on here.

There’s lots of articles about watch sizes that offer options for your wrist size. Mostly they forget to tell you the best size. And 44mm is the right answer for almost all guys. Here’s our take on why it’s right and why you should start with a 44mm mens watch.


It’s the right size for a watch that will last

For us, it all starts with durability. As a watchmaker, everything matters. When you craft a smaller watch, you make some decisions. Glass can’t be quite as thick. The metal needs to be thinner as well. How do you trim down knob size?

This precision is required to get closer to a 40mm size. And each decision has second and third order effects. When we started making our earlier tactical watches, we paid a lot of attention to the durability of a watch. Can it take a beating? What happens when you bump it? And we found one thing to be true: a 44mm watch is the perfect size to both minimize those ‘bumps’ and to enable the watch components to withstand any bumps that occur.

At 44mm, the watch isn’t so big that you hit it everywhere. And it’s strong enough to take a few shots without falling apart. For active men, you need a watch tough enough to withstand a few impacts.


The mens watch size that fits you

If you get much above 44mm, the watch starts to look huge. Bulky. As you get closer to 40mm, the watch starts to look tiny. For most men, the 44mm watch is the right size to compliment your wrist and hands, versus looking too big or small for you.

Want a watch that looks like it is designed for a man? Focus around the 44mm mark. I promise it will feel and look masculine. Not too dainty. Not too oversized. A watch that impresses without drawing attention because it looks off.


Get a timepiece you can see

The size a watch face is directly proportional to the size of the watch. When designing a smaller watch, you start to lose the ability to see numbers. Often, watches around the 40mm size end up with just a few hash marks and hands. That’s about all that can fit and be seen. Don’t even try a chronograph watch that small – you’ll need a magnifying glass.

Make sure that you can glance at your watch and tell the time. This is why we also love a little illumination. Instead of forcing you to push a button, a touch of illumination on the watch face solves the problem of darkness. A 44mm watch is readable even with a quick glance. And that matters, since the watch is primarily designed to tell time.


Watch heft does imply watchmaking quality

Weight is determined by a ton of factors, one of which is size. We start by carving our watches from high quality stainless steel, so they always have a little extra weight than the competition. In a men’s watch, you want to feel the watch on your arm. The weight of quality helps remind you the watch is there.

A nice, heavier watch also gives off the feeling of better construction. No cheap, lightweight materials should go into a great watch. And smaller watches typically don’t have that feel. They seem too light. Too delicate to wear. That’s not a positive benefit of a wristwatch.

Again, this is where a 44mm timepiece carries the day. It gives you just the right weight so that your watch isn’t too heavy or too light.


So, start with a 44 millimeter men’s watch

For your first watch, go for a 44mm men’s watch. Maybe your second or third could be an usual size. But don’t play around when you only have one on the shelf. You need a great watch that looks great, works well, keeps perfect time and won’t get banged up. 44mm is the place to start. Even a watch enthusiast would agree.

Watch accessories tend to be interchangeable for 44mm watches as well. This way you can update the watch style however you see fit. This is one of the features we like about a 44mm.

One other note: if you’re buying an everyday watch stay away from crazy colors. A little color is nice, but a black watch with a stainless steel or leather strap goes with everything. Or choose something with a color that won’t look odd in the boardroom. Our favorite watch now is the Atlantis Blackfish men's tactical dive watch which can be taken on dives, into tactical situations and still looks good enough to walk into the office. It’s a classic everyday watch. And it’s 44mm across.

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