Watch Strap Sizing Guide: How to Choose the Right Strap Size for You

Undoubtfully changing a watch strap or watch band revives the look of a timepiece. There could be several reasons for changing the strap, your old one is not worth wearing anymore because of its condition, or you may want to try some new styles. Whatever the reason, understanding watch strap sizing is very important before buying a new one.

What Is Watch Strap Size and How to Measure It:

Watch strap sizing mostly refers to the width of the strap where it connects with the watch, but its length is another important factor to consider regarding strap size. In this guide, we will study these sizes and how to measure them.


(1) Watch Strap Width:

Watch strap width is always determined by the watch case. If you look at the watch case, it has four pointy things, two on each side, which hold the pins and the strap, these are called lugs, and the distance between lugs is the width of the strap measured in millimeters (e.g., 18mm 20mm 22mm etc.). Lugs distance on both sides of the case is always the same. The most common sizes of lug width/watch strap are 20 and 22 mm.


How To Measure Watch Strap Width:

There Are Four methods to Find Watch Strap Width /Lug Width.

(A) Check Size at The Back of Existing/Old Strap:

Most of the brands print size of the leather/nylon watch strap at the back of it on the lining; however, in the case of metal, fabric, or other materials, it’s not printed at the back of the band. If you find the size at the back of the strap and happy with that size, you can order the same size strap (size will be mentioned like 20, 22, etc.). However, there’s very little chance that the printed size can be wrong, so it’s better to size it again with the help of a ruler or caliper.

(B) Determine Strap/Lug Width with The Help of a Ruler or Caliper. 

It’s the best and most authentic way to calculate the size of the watch strap/lug width. For this you need to remove the existing watch strap from your watch. It would be very easy to remove the strap from the watch if quick-release spring bars are used; in the case of traditional spring bars, you need a tool to remove the strap. Once the strap is removed, pick up the ruler and measure the inside distance of the lugs, as mentioned below

(C) Contact Watchmaker/Company to Know the Size of The Strap.

Regarding watch strap sizing ,this option is helpful only if you have a branded watch; for this, you need to know the watch’s model, year, and name. If you don’t have such detail, then there is no point in contacting the watch company as they won’t be able to help you.

(D) Using A Camera Ruler to Calculate the Strap/Lug Width.

This method is least recommended because a small error can end up buying the wrong size watch strap.

How To Measure Watch Strap Length:

Strap lengths are always mentioned in this pattern 125mm/75mm. This number could be any; however, the top number i.e., 125mm, in this case, is the tail side of the strap, and 75mm is the buckle side of the strap. And to determine the strap length, you need to know the circumference of your wrist. Following is the conversion chart useful for finding your watch strap length.

(A) Determine The Length of The Existing/Old Strap. 

It’s very handy to find the length of the existing strap with the help of a ruler or caliper, and if you are comfortable with that size, the same size strap can be ordered again.

(B) Measure the Wrist Size (How To Measure Wrist Size).

If you want to take a fresh size of wrist, then you need a soft measuring tape; wrap it around your wrist to make a loop and note the loop size at a point where you feel comfortable. The rule is that the watch strap should be tight to a level where you can easily slide your index finger in. Once you know your wrist size, then find the right size as per the following watch strap size conversion chart

Wrist Circumference/Wrist size (inches) Wrist Circumference/Wrist size (mm) Suitable Watch strap size
6.0-6.5” 150-164 mm 120/70mm
6.6-7.0” 165-178 mm 125/75mm
7.1-7.5” 179-190 mm 130/80mm
7.6-8.0” 191-203 mm 135/80mm
8.1-8.5” 204-216 mm 140/85mm


Note: If you have an average-size wrist, purchasing a standard/medium-length strap that isn’t described as extra-long or short is okay. Generally, the male wrist measures 150 to 190 mm while the female measures 140 to 180 mm. Similarly Standard watch strap size for women is between 6 3/4 to 8 inches and for men it’s 7 3/4 to 9 1/2 (depending upon the manufacturer and style).

Strap length isn’t something that needs to be taken too seriously; choosing the strap length is a personal preference. There’s no right or wrong in choosing the length of the strap. You should remember that two-piece straps can be adjusted smaller when buckled, so it is okay if the strap length is longer than needed.

The Following Guide Can Also Be Used as A Reference for Watch Strap Sizing When Choosing a Watch Strap. 

Alpha size Watch strap size Suitable wrist size
Small 110/70 mm 6” – 7”
Medium/Regular 120/80 mm 6 3/4” – 7 3/4″
Large 130/90 mm 7 1/2” – 8 1/2″

Tapered Vs. Non-Tapered Watch Strap:

It’s another important concept to understand before buying a watch strap, however it has no direct impact while doing watch strap sizing . Tapered watch straps are narrow/slim at the end and wider at the top where they connect with the watch. Usually, the difference of both ends of strap is between 2 to 4 mm and is described as 22mm/20mm; 22mm means the wider side connecting with the watch case/lugs, and 20mm is the bottom end (buckle side) of the strap. Tapered watch straps are usually worn with dress watches so that the dominance of the watch case can’t be compromised, and non-tapered straps are usually worn with watches with bigger cases. Yet, again personal preference comes first in this case too. If you like wearing a non-tapered strap with a dress watch, go for it and enjoy the style.

External References:

Leather Watch Straps’ Guide: A Few Basic but Very Important Concepts.
Belt Size Measurement Guide and Size Chart for Men & Women

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