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Does It Look Better for Women With Large Wrists to Wear Large Watches?

author image David Lipscomb
David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.
Does It Look Better for Women With Large Wrists to Wear Large Watches?
A woman is wearing a large wrist watch. Photo Credit: Design Pics/Design Pics/Getty Images

Women have adopted the large watch look embraced by many men. Although the watches themselves need not be unusually big to achieve this style, for many women with larger wrists, the choice is a matter of proportion. Given the ongoing increase in overall women's watch sizes over the past few decades, large timepieces remain feminine and on-trend -- regardless of wrist size.

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Large Is Relative

An item's size description is usually related to other similar items, or in comparison to its environment. In the case of watches on women, a watch might be considered "large" solely because it's a men's model -- which is almost always bigger than a comparable women's version. Women with wrist diameters in the 6-inch range might consider a watch in the 42 to 44 millimeter range to achieve this proper sense of proportion. In comparison, men -- with an average wrist diameter of 6 3/4 inches -- fall into the same size range. Style isn't always about practicality, however, so women may choose a larger or smaller piece based on personal preference.

The New Normal

Watch brands that traditionally cater to men are seeing an uptick in female clientele. An example is Panerai, a brand that, although not making a "women's watch" in particular, offers most models in the 40 to 44 millimeter range -- and has more and more female purchasers each year. This behavior reflects an overall trend in the eschewing of more delicate pieces, in favor of more durable watches with increased wrist presence. This trend actually started in the 1960s, as women began to move away from very small bracelet-based timepieces, gradually inching upward in size as the decades progressed.

Remember, It's Jewelry

For many women -- and men for that matter -- a watch lacks a practical application. The smartphone in her hand keeps better time. Many women therefore opt to purchase larger watches in certain tones simply because they coordinate better with other pieces of jewelry, where a smaller piece might disappear in a slew of bangles. And just like men, women with larger wrists might simply view a larger watch as a statement, whether that statement is of style, status or personal taste.

How to Wear It

Many fashion experts will offer that an oversized watch on a woman should still be left relatively loose, mimicking an actual bracelet. This means that one or two links at most might need to be removed when worn by larger-wristed women. Teaming the timepiece with a few favorite bracelets -- or alone for extra impact -- keeps the look feminine, despite the larger nature of the watch.

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