Although there are essentially only two options from which you can choose from, people are hesitant when deciding whether their wrist watch should be worn on their left or right wrist.
Concerned about turning their backs on fashion etiquette, or worried about conveying something about themselves they’d rather not, there have been many unanswered questions regarding the practicalities and traditions of how you wear a watch.
Here’s what you should consider when deciding on what wrist to wear a watch.
Your dominant arm
Watches have been predominantly worn on the left wrist as typically a greater proportion of the population have a dominant right arm. By wearing a watch on the less dominant arm it allows for greater flexibility; your main hand can continue with its tasks of grabbing and writing etc. allowing you to tell the time with minimal interference. This also means that their watch may encounter less damage from spills, knocks, scratches and other damage. Occasionally women may be more inclined to wear a wrist watch on their right arm regardless of which arm is dominant if they are wearing a favourite bracelet on their left arm.
The winding mechanism
Historically watches have the crown made on the right side of the case so that when you wear it on your left arm you can easily adjust the time with your right hand without removing the watch- important in the days where watches needed to be wound. This is irrelevant if one’s watch is an automatic or quartz (driven by a battery). This however, is not considerate of those who are left handed. Recently watchmakers have been more attentive to the left handed watch wearers, and have created lefts, or watches made with the movement reversed so the crown is placed at the nine-o’clock position instead of the normal three o’clock.
Today style is as much about practicality and comfort as it is about fashion. There is no official style etiquette surrounding whether a watch should be worn on the left or the right, more about wearing your watch where it is most practical for you. Your watch should be a good fit on the arm, be an appropriate choice for your outfit and able to withstand the rigours of the day.
Wearing a wrist watch on whatever arm you feel appropriate can become part of how you express yourself. Left or right, there is no wrong answer!