Does a Watch Go Under or Over the Sleeve?


We’ve seen the watch market explode over the last few years. Not only that, but watch enthusiasts and experts have taken social media by storm. The likes of Nico Leonard and Adam Craniotes have carved out a following by talking about watches and how to wear them.

But somehow, “Does a watch go under or over the sleeve?”, is still one of the most frequently asked questions on the internet.

The answer, unfortunately, is not as straightforward as you might think. But, we don’t mind going deep.

So, here goes nothing.

What Is The Correct Way To Wear A Watch?


While some purists will say there is one and only one way to wear a watch, we beg to differ. In our opinion, as long as you’re comfortable and your timepiece compliments your outfit – you’re doing it right.

Having said that, there are certain “rules” that many people choose to abide by like only wearing a watch on a certain wrist, so let’s tackle those before we get to the sleeves and cuffs

Left Or Right Arm

The age-old debate about whether or not a wristwatch belongs on your right arm has stirred up quite a bit of controversy over the years.

Traditionally, it was considered more “gentlemanly” to wear your watch on your non-dominant arm. So, if you’re right-handed, your piece would go on your left arm and vice versa for lefties.

The logic behind this train of thought is that it’s less likely your piece will get damaged if it’s on your weaker arm. Naturally, since most of the population is right-handed, it had become a rule for guys and gals to wear theirs on the left arm.

However, in more recent years, this “rule” has been thrown out the window and people have started to wear their watches on whichever arm they please. Some even wear two of them. Yes, we’re talking about you, Lewis Hamilton.

Our thing is, as long as you’re comfortable, we say do whatever feels natural to you.

Tight Or Loose

While we are “liberal” when it comes to which wrist is the “right” one, we can’t say the same about how tight or lose your watch should be.

In our opinion, a watch should be snug but not too tight. You should be able to fit one finger under the strap and that’s it. If you can fit more than that, your timepiece is too loose and if you can’t fit any fingers under the strap, it’s too tight.

Or, if you don’t want to stick your finger under the strap, a good rule of thumb is that you should be able to slide the timepiece up and down a smidge with relative ease, but that you can’t flip it around or have it slide down your forearm.

Again, this is all a matter of personal preference but we think the best way to wear a wristwatch is snug but not too tight.

High Or Low

Any watch for men should fit right at the tip of the ulna, according to, and quite frankly, we couldn’t agree more.

Don’t let your piece dig into the back of your hand or hang off the edge of your wrist. That’s just sloppy.

But then again, what’s the point of wearing it up your forearm? How exactly would you use it?

Should It Go Under Or Over The Sleeve?


Now for the main question at hand – under or over.

The question that divides even the most fashion-savvy people.

No, we’re just kidding. There is only one correct answer which is to wear your watch under the sleeve. Period.

Not only does it look better, but it’s also an unwritten rule that you just don’t break.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and if you’re wearing a slim-fit body shirt, feel free to let your baby show. But if you’re wearing a jacket or some sort of outerwear – tuck that baby under.

As for why you should wear it under the sleeve, it goes back to the whole “gentlemanly” thing.

Wearing a piece over the sleeve is just too casual or even too braggy. It’s like saying “Hey, look at my fancy Rollie!”

Should A Watch Be Under The Cuff?

Sort of the same question, but let’s just make a distinction for when you’re attending a formal event. For example, a wedding or a job interview.

And, if you thought that it would be different – it won’t. The answer’s still the same. Tuck that thing in. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Boderry, Casio or a Patek. It sits under the cuff. End of story.

Which Watch To Wear On Which Occasion?


Now that we’ve learned the basics of how to wear a wristwatch, it’s time to take things up a notch and talk about which piece goes with what outfit.

The truth is, the options are endless. You can practically pair any type with any outfit but that doesn’t mean you should do it.

Here are some tips on which watches go best with certain looks.


A dress wristwatch is a quintessential piece for any formal occasion. It’s simple and elegant and it doesn’t draw too much attention to itself.

The best way to wear this piece is with a suit or a tuxedo. Of course, you can also pair it with a more casual outfit like a blazer and jeans but it won’t have the same appeal.


A field watch is a perfect accessory for any outdoor activity. It’s rugged, durable and it can take a beating.

The best way to wear a field watch is with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt or whatever you wear when you’re out and about. You can also pair it with a flannel shirt or a sweater, and even gym clothes.


A dive watch is a perfect wristwatch for any water-related activity. It’s water-resistant, durable and it has a unique look that sets it apart from rest of the herd.

The best way to wear a dive watch is with a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. You can also pair it with a bathing suit but, once again, it won’t have… Anything. These things are amazing in any way, shape or form. A must-have for every man.


Just don’t.

They’re expensive and practically worthless.


There you go. Now you know how to wear a wristwatch-like a gentleman.

Remember, the key is to keep it simple. A watch is a simple accessory that should complement your outfit, not steal the show. Tuck it in.

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