Keep a watch from sliding on your wrist

How To Keep a Watch From Sliding on Your Wrist

A quality wristwatch isn’t just a way to keep track of time; it can also be a fashion statement and something that completes your wardrobe. But then again, they can also be a nuisance. For example, a watch that doesn’t fit well can dig into your skin, maybe even cut off circulation, or it can slide up and down your wrist, distracting you as you work. 

Here are the four primary ways to prevent a watch from sliding or rolling around on your wrist:

  • Get the band professionally tightened.
  • Add another hole on the end.
  • Remove some of the links.
  • Buy a watch that fits.

In this article, I’ll talk a little bit about how a wristwatch should fit, how you can fix a watch that doesn’t fit well, and, finally, how to make sure your next wristwatch fits just right. 

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1. Get the Band Professionally Tightened 

Getting the band to the right level of tightness can be tricky. The band should be tight enough that the watch doesn’t shift around much while you walk or go about your daily activities, but it shouldn’t be so tight that it leaves deep marks or impressions in your skin when you take it off. 

With the watch on your wrist, you should be able to fit one finger under the watchband, but it should be difficult to fit a second finger. 

You want the skin underneath the watch to be able to breathe, and you definitely do not want the watch to cut off circulation to your hand. 

If your new watch isn’t fitting quite right, head to a professional jewelry store and ask them what they can do to help. This is the best option if you want the job done right, especially if the watch was expensive

2. Add Another Hole on the End

If the watch has a leather or fabric strap, and if it’s not of great value, you should be able to punch another hole into the wristband.

This will allow you to pull the band a little tighter when you put the watch on. 

For the most accurate positioning, this Leather Hole Punch Set for Belts, Watch Bands is easy to use and has several different sized spikes, so you can find the one that fits best. 

However, you need to be careful about this because punching through too many holes in the band can weaken the leather. 

3. Remove Some of the Links

If you have a metal watchband, you can probably have one or more metal “links” removed quite easily. In fact, with the right tools and some patience, you might be able to take care of this yourself (here’s how).

Check out this video by AlanKuAudio to see how to remove a link properly:

However, you are probably better off going to a jeweler. The operation should only cost about $20 at most reputable jewelry stores.

In the worst-case scenario, you should consider replacing the entire band. 

4. Buy a Watch That Fits

If the watch itself is too big for your wrist, then adjusting or changing the band won’t make things any better. 

You can avoid this whole problem altogether by selecting a watch that fits the first time. 

How To Wear a Watch

Most people will wear a watch on their left wrists; that way, it doesn’t get in the way when they use their dominant right hand for writing or other tasks where dexterity is at a premium. 

Lefthanders are more likely to wear a watch on the right wrist. 

This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, though. Most watches will work fine on either side, but where the watch sits on the wrist is critical. 

Usually, a watch will be most comfortable just above the end of the ulna bone. If you’re looking at the back of your hand, that will be the little piece of bone that juts out on the outside of your wrist

Understanding How a Watch Fits

As much as you might like a particular brand or style, what matters most is finding a comfortable watch. Much of this is common sense, and simply going to a watch store and trying on several will probably work just fine. 

However, if you want to be a fully informed watch-buyer, or you are buying online and don’t have the option of trying a watch on, you want to know how watches actually fit. 

To start, there are a few terms you need to get a handle on:

    • Case: This is the part of the watch that includes the watch’s face and the movement.
    • Lugs: These are the hinges that connect the case to the watchband. 
    • Crown: It is a small, cylindrical part that extends from the side of the case. Not all watches will have a crown, but they are used to wind up mechanical watches. 
    • Case Depth: It refers to how thick the case is. This may or may not include the glass or crystal covering the watch face. Case depth can affect how much the watch case will press down into your skin. 
    • Case Diameter: This is the width of the case, not including the crown.
    • Lug-to-Lug Size: This is the distance between the two lugs — which can be critical to how a watch fits. 

Here are some graphics that illustrate the terms

The lug-to-lug size is important because the case will not bend around your wrist as the wristband does. When you put the watch on, the lugs should be resting on your wrist. If they are “hanging” out over the side, the watch case itself is too large. 

The case depth is also significant because a thicker case typically means a heavier watch. If the watch is slightly too big, in addition to being heavy, you’ll see a lot more movement.

When buying a watch online, you’d be better off going for a metal strap with links and sizing up. That way, you can have them removed if it turns out that it’s too big. 

In contrast, if you opt for a leather strap and find the size is too small, you’ll likely need to replace the strap before you can wear it at all. 


You don’t want your watchband to be so tight that your watch doesn’t move at all. 

But if the movement of your watch is distracting, or your watch slides past your wrist and into your hand, then your watchband is too loose and needs to be tightened. You can often do this at home, but it’s better to visit a jewelry store for more expensive models.

If the watchband is too small, your best bet is to get it replaced entirely.