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​What Wrist Do You Wear a Watch On?

16th Mar 2021

When it comes to luxury watches, it’s critical to treat them with the utmost care. A common question among customers is “What wrist do you wear a watch on?” It may surprise you to know that how and where you wear your watch can affect its longevity.

elegant expensive watch

Source: iTref/

The Non-Dominant Theory

Typically, the accepted rule is that you should wear your watch on your non-dominant wrist. This means that for most people being right-handed, you’ll wear your watch on the left arm. The logic behind this practice is that your non-dominant hand is used less frequently throughout the day, so when it’s on that wrist, your valuable watch is less likely to sustain damages from dings or scratches. Wearing the watch on your non-dominant hand also means it’s less likely to get in the way of whatever you’re doing. But what if you’re in the 10% of the population that is left-handed? The obvious choice would be to wear the watch on your right wrist. While you can, it’s not always this straightforward.

Watch Design and the Wearer

Many people say that you can buck tradition and wear the watch on whichever wrist is most comfortable for you. Of course you can, but that may not be the way the designer intended it.

When you look at a watch, you’ll notice that the crown sits at either the three o’clock position or the nine o’clock position. The latter is less common because most watches are designed to be worn on the left wrist by the 90% of people who are right-hand dominant. The watch’s crown should always face down toward your hand rather than up toward your shoulder when it’s on your wrist because this makes it easier to adjust the time on the watch face using your other hand.

Naturally, if you try to put the watch on the other wrist in the same position, you’ll be looking at the watch face upside down. This occurs most of the time if you put the watch on the right wrist because the crown is at three o’clock. This means the watchmaker determines the wrist you should wear your watch on.

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What Is the Watch Crown?

A manually wound watch always features a small knob—usually ribbed—at three o’clock or nine o’clock positions. This knob, called the crown, winds the springs inside the watch when it’s turned. This must be done periodically to power a manual watch, and the crown is also used to set the hands to the correct time.

Not all watches with crowns are manual power. If your watch is a manual wind, also known as a mechanical watch, it’s solely powered by turning the crown clockwise. Mechanical watches should be wound completely every 24-36 hours. Your watch may have a crown but have an automatic movement, which means your wrist’s kinetic energy powers the mechanism. So, if you twist the crown and never meet resistance, you don’t need to manually wind your watch for it to tell time.

woman checks the time on her watch

Source: Ekaterina Ru/

The Right Way

For left-handed people, this may seem like a limiting realization where watch selections are concerned. The reality is that if you’re left-handed, it’s perfectly fine to wear your watch on the left wrist. Simply take extra care not to bang or scratch it throughout the day. If you find it gets in the way, you can always seek Destro watches, which means “right” in Italian. These are watches designed with the crown at nine o’clock, specifically intended for the right wrist. You can also opt for a neutral self-winding watch, which can be worn the same way on either wrist due to its lack of a crown.

watch on hand

Source: Connor Evans/

What Wrist Do You Wear Your Watch On? Men vs. Women

Another myth that circulates online is that a separate set of rules applies to men and women regarding how to wear a watch. There is no reason for men to wear a watch on the left wrist while women wear it on the right or vice versa. Watches for both genders are designed with the same principles regarding the crown’s position and how it’s most accessible to the individual’s dominant hand. So, whether you’re shopping for Rolex watches for men or women’s Rolex watches, the parameters for how to wear them remain the same.

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So, what wrist do you wear your watch on? The simple conclusion is your left, typically as the manufacturer intended. Regardless of your dominant hand, there’s a luxury watch that suits your needs and your style. Explore our online store for renowned brands like Rolex, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, or Omega. Or enjoy the prestige of a unique vintage piece with our selection of authentic pre-owned Rolex watches.