Skip to main content

​How to Measure a Watch Band

6th Jan 2022

A new watch strap can reinvigorate a watch with updated style and fit. Whether you want to replace a watch band with a new look or just need to know your band size to purchase a new timepiece, you’ll need to know how to measure a watch band. Watch bands have two important dimensions: width and length. Your timepiece’s case dimensions and style also factor into its band measurements, as will your wrist size.

brown leather handmade watch strap

Source: Armen Khachatryan/

The Importance of the Band

Compatibility, fit, and style are the key features to look for when purchasing a luxury timepiece. Compatibility refers to the band’s relation to the timepiece. Large sports watches and a small women’s wrist watch are compatible with different bands. The case size and lug width determine the watch band’s compatibility. The watch band’s fit refers to its size around your wrist. If a band is too big, the watch will be loose on your wrist and slide when you need to read the time. If your band is too small, your watch will irritate your skin and leave red marks. A watch should only move one inch along your wrist when properly fitted.

The style of the band is a personal preference, but there are some common conventions you can use to guide you in your selection. For instance, a wider strap is a good stylistic choice if you have a large wrist. Hublot watches have various band colors, sizes, and materials for striking statements that complement your wrist size.

Shop Our Selection Of Hublot Watches

Watch Band Width

Your watch band’s width should be the same as the timepiece’s lug width. Lugs are the watch hardware that extend from each side of the case to secure the timepiece to the watch band. They are vital for comfort and security when wearing your timepiece.

The lug width is measured in millimeters (mm) between the inside face of each lug arm. Lug width is usually between 18mm and 26mm. 20mm is the most common lug width and wrist band width for men. Vintage watches and some women’s watches have narrower lug widths. The band should completely fill the lug width space to prevent band movement and friction damage. When you are learning how to resize a watch, round up the band’s width measurement to the closest millimeter. Rounding applies to leather, nylon, and rubber straps because they have slight flexibility. Do not round up measurements for stainless steel straps and other hard materials because they will not fit into the timepiece’s lug width.

links of stainless steel

Source: Jan Zwolinski/

Watch Band Length

The correct band length lets you wear your watch comfortably for long periods. If you can fit your index finger between the inside of your wrist and the band, the fit is correct. You need to adjust your band if your finger can’t fit or can easily move between your watch and the rest of your wrist.

You can either measure your wrist or your current watch band if it fits well. For those needing a new band length, wrap a string around your wrist and make a mark where it overlaps. Then measure the distance between the two marks in millimeters. Subtract the watch’s case diameter from the wrist circumference for your watch band length. For example, a Rolex watch for women like the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 28mm 276200S worn on a 165mm wrist would have a 135mm band length.

Find the Perfect Women's Rolex Watches

Buckle Side and Tail Side

The total band length is separated into buckle and tail side lengths. Watch catalogs display band lengths in the X/Y format, where the first measurement (X) is the tail side and the second measurement (Y) is the buckle side length.

The two band parts’ lengths are determined largely by personal preference. A long-tail side results in more tail showing past the buckle. The buckle side length determines where the buckle or clasp rests on the wrist. There are suggested band lengths for the beginner horologist determined by wrist lengths. For instance, a 17mm to 190mm wrist should pair with a 130mm tail length and 80mm buckle length.

tanned leather watch band

Source: Colin Hui/

Get Your Next Watch from Luxury of Watches

Whether necessary or for style, replacing a watch band requires exact measurements and attention to detail. The comfort of a well-fitting watch makes the effort worth it. Visit Luxury of Watches if you want to add to your watch collection or start wearing head-turning timepieces. Our inventory includes watches with every type of band to enhance any style.