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Men Wear Watch In Which Hand?

Whether you have been wearing a wristwatch for many years or are the proud owner of your first watch, one of the first things you might ask yourself is in which hand you are meant to wear it.

Men Wear Watch In Which Hand or On Which Wrist?

Why isn’t the question “Men Wear Watch On Which Wrist?” Pocket watches predate wristwatches by about 300 years. Since pocket watches were held in your hand, we postulate that the term wearing a watch in a hand has carried over from when pocket watches were the only game in town.

It may come as a surprise to learn that guys weren’t the first ones to wear wristwatches, these accessories used to be made exclusively for women while men would opt for a pocket watch. However, throughout time, this has changed and now both genders enjoy some stunning wrist watches.

Man in Leather Jacket wearing a watch with a leather band.  Men Wear Watch in Which Hand?  One answer possible answer to the question is whichever wrist it feels most comfortable.
Long ago, only women wore wristwatches. Today, watches are worn by both men and women.

There is some suggestion that your gender should dictate which hand you wear your watch on, but we like to think there isn’t too much truth in that. After all, the biggest deciding factor on where you wear your watch should be based on comfort and nothing more. But nonetheless, let’s dive into the wonderful world of watch wearing to find out more.

In What Hand Do Men Wear Watch?

Many years ago, men did not wear wrist watches. Ladies would wear them but the guys, back in the day, would opt for a pocket watch. One of the main reasons for this was that most men, in those days, would spend at least some of their lives serving in the military. For timing military operations and other reasons, the pocket watch was seen as a much more practical solution.

The pocket watch was usually held in the left hand. This is because most people use the right side as the dominant hand. Holding a pocket watch in one’s right hand would have been inconvenient not to mention that there would have been a risk of damaging the expensive timepiece.

Right handed people typically handled pocket watches with their left hand.  This has carried over to wrist watches - they are worn on the non dominant wrist.  This photo shows a man in a vest handling a pocket watch with his left hand.
The hand on which a watch is worn traces back to the days of pocket watches. The pocket watch would typically be handled by the non dominant hand so that the dominant hand would be free. Similarly, wristwatches are usually worn on the non dominant had.

Men Wear Watch in Which Hand?

Keeping the dominant hand free is a feature of timepieces that began with the pocket watch, also sometime called a fob watch, and continued with wristwatches. When you look at a wristwatch, you will notice that the crown is almost always featured on the right hand side. This allows the wearer to put the watch on the left wrist and be able to comfortably operate it using the dominant right hand.

man wearing suit and wearing watch on left hand. Men Wear Watch In Which Hand?  The non Dominant hand.
It may practical to wear your watch on your non dominant hand. May watches are designed to be worn on the left hand.

But let’s not ignore the 10% of people in the world who are left-handed. These people should, by reason, wear their watch on the right arm, but this stops them from being able to easily use the push buttons and crown at the side. But the watch making industry knows this and so it is possible to buy watches made specifically for left-handed people, and these are known as Destro watches. Destro comes from the Italian language, meaning ‘right.’

Wearing your watch on your non-dominant arm means that there is less risk of you hitting it when using your hand. Moreover, you will probably feel more comfortable without a watch weighing you down when trying to move your hand. But all of that can be thrown to the wind because ultimately, it is what you feel most comfortable with. I am writing this now as a right-handed person, wearing a watch on my right wrist; it’s all relative.

What Does Wearing Watch On Right Hand Mean?

There are a lot of theories that surround the meaning behind wearing a watch on a particular hand and let’s be honest, most of these are just nonsense. But there is one reason that some people like to wear their watch on the right , and it is more to do with social status than anything else.

man wearing a gray suit looking at his watch on his right hand.  What does wearing a watch on the right hand mean?  You may be creative.  You may be showing off the watch.  You may be left handed.
If you are left handed, then it makes sense to wear a watch on your right hand.

If you are a right-handed person, then you will spend a significant amount of time using that hand. When you meet people, you’ll shake hands using the right hand, when you are using the phone, you will hold it with the right hand; perhaps your sleeve slips down to reveal your watch. You get the point…

…but what does this mean? Well, the more you use your hand, the more people will see it and so if you own a beautiful luxury watch then you’re going to want to show it off. Wearing it on the right will allow you to better do that.

The Psychology of Wearing Watch In Right Hand

Wearing your watch to show it off is one thing, but there is a lot of suggestion that wearing your watch on the right hand could have a psychological meaning. You see, the right side of the brain is very closely associated with the feminine side of your character and your feminine behaviors. That isn’t to say that you will emasculate yourself by wearing your watch in the right hand however.

man wearing three piece suit with watch on right hand. Is there psychology to wearing watch in right hand?  Maybe.
Right hand watch wearers may be more creative

Quite the opposite; it is believed that people who choose to wear their watch on the right arm are more creative and can be a little indifferent. They are also seen to be very practical people but who also have heightened emotions.

What Does Wearing Your Watch On The Left Mean – For Men

Typically, wearing your watch on the left denotes that you are a right-handed person, aside from in the exceptions we have already discussed. However, there is also a lot of suggestion that wearing your watch on the left is because you have a more dominant masculine side; the left side of the brain controls the masculine elements of behavior and character.

man in gray pintuck suite looking at his watch on his left hand.  What is the psychology of wearing a watch in the left hand?  Maybe nothing. Maybe you are more masculine.
Some poeple think that it is more masculine to wear a watch on the left hand.


The Psychology of Wearing Watch In Left Hand

There are several aspects of your personality that may ring true when being a left watch wearer. For example, some would say that this means the person is outgoing and spontaneous. These people are generally much more positive and cheerful.

In addition, there is some suggestion that the way you wear your watch further demonstrates aspects of your character. A good example of this is that people who wear their watch on the left with the dial facing up are much more practical and simple minded whereas people who wear the watch on the left with the dial facing down are easily offended and have a fast train of thought.

Military Watch Worn to Inside of Wrist   Once you choose the hand to wear your watch, there is another question - should the dial face up or down?
Once you choose the hand to wear your watch, there is another question – should the dial face up or down?

Video – Men Wear Watch in Which Hand

In the video below from USA Kilts and Celtic traditions, skip to 1:11 to find out the origins of the phrase “men wear watch in which hand.”

Men wear watch in which hand video



There is no right or wrong way to wear a watch. The most important thing that men should keep in mind when choosing which wrist to wear their watch on is comfort. (In fact, for the ultimate in comfort, consider the Bulova CURV line, which has a curved case to hug your wrist naturally.) That said, there are a lot of theories over which hand is best and the general consensus is that the left hand should always prevail as this will prevent knocks and damage for the 90% of people who are right-handed.

Watches for Left Handers to Wear on Right Hand

Here are some watches for left handed people that are designed to be worn in the right hand: