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For someone buying their first watch or their first “nice” watch, it is worth knowing some of the gender perceptions that exist in the watch world.

So I thought I’d summarise some of those for the novice watch buyer.

Let’s start with the absolute basics; the parts that make up a watch, so that you know what the terms used in this blog are referring to.

watch men and women

watch parts for men and women

Differences between men and women's watches

1) The looks

Ladies watches tend to be smaller in terms of face size than men’s watches,  and they also tend to have a shorter strap as women generally have smaller wrists than men.

Women’s watches are also more low-key in their appearance, with the emphasis placed on quiet elegance rather than outlandish designs.

Men’s watches usually come in more defined shapes, bolder trims and more flamboyant colours.

I am not sure the reason behind this. 

Could it be that women do not want excessive attention drawn to their watches at the expense of other accessories? Perhaps.

More likely, is that women usually have an abundance of other accessories so a flashy watch is not a top priority for them.  But I am speculating.

However, there was a period of time when big watches were fashionable for women.

 

2) The strap

Although metal straps and leather straps are equally popular across men and women’s watches.

For women, leather straps tend to be slightly more common while metal straps are men’s preferred option.

Women may pay attention to details such as watchstrap colour and how the strap fits in with the rest of the watch. 

Do they complement each other?

And if the watch colour goes with a certain outfit the women may wear. And more importantly how it fits with her other accessories such as jewellery.

These fine details tend to be important for women.

Women’s watches usually have thinner straps than men’s. 

Again, this fits in with the desire for subtle elegance in women’s watches, rather than rugged showmanship of men’s watches.

3) Face size

By this, we mean the size of the dial area. 

The big glass front of the watch. 

As we discussed already, men’s watches are typically bigger than women’s, so their watch face sizes tend to be larger; and the hands tend to be more prominent.

4) Weight

Men’s watches are generally heavier than women’s watches. 

This is a key buying decision to consider for women, because some women might not be comfortable carrying a watch that is too heavy for their wrist all day.

On the flip side, some men might go for women’s watch precisely because it is light on the wrist, so it’s all down to individual preference.

5) Circumference of the watch and strap

Generally, men have wider wrists than women. 

 

In other words, the circumference of their wrist is bigger. 

So men’s watches are almost always longer from end-to-end than women’s to accommodate this bigger wrist.

It is also worth noting that wrist bones for men are also larger, which can make it easier for watches to “sit” rather than slide off when the arm is lowered.

6) Number and types of features

In recent years, there has been a tendency to equip men’s watches with an array of features – mostly “techy” features.  Anything from GPS to solar charging.

Women’s watches tend to have more stylish and ornamental features such as diamonds or personalised engravings.

This Casio is a prime example of how feature-heavy some men’s watches have become. It almost looks like a computer!

Can men and women interchange watches?

Off course!

Some women actually prefer the rugged and colourful look of men’s watches and wear those. 

It is really up to the individual. 

However, in my experience, it is rare for men to wear women’s watches and pull it off. 

It just does not look right. 

Probably because it looks much smaller on their wrists and come across as wristband than a watch at first glance!

Many sports watches are actually unisex so these are already interchanged between genders.

 

Now let us look an example of both a man’s watch and a women’s watch to illustrate the points above.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman (Men’s)

 

 

Check out this beauty!

Firstly, notice the bold colours on the face. 

Clear greyish white and black colour on the CASE trim. 

You will rarely find such bold colours on women’s watches.

Also, notice how chunky the watch appears. 

The dials, hands, and the crown of the watch are all very all big and thick. 

A typical feature of men’s watches.

The strap is also substantial in its width.

The watch really dominates the wrist with its sheer size.  And it will often be noticed by people.

Tommy Hilfiger Kelly watch (women’s)

A women’s watch with classic looks.

The first striking feature is that lovely sleek and slim strap.  It almost looks like a wrist strap if the watch wasn’t attached to it.

Notice how the watch parts are so much smaller than the men’s watch we looked at earlier. 

The dial is almost recessed into the watch. 

The dials are very thin and understated.

The watch markings and engravings are also very subtle

And generally the watch looks more subtle on the wrist compared to the men’s watches. 

It doesn’t dominate the wrist as much.

So where the last men’s watch was big and bold, the emphasis here is subtle elegance.

 

Tissot men’s T-race watch (Men’s)

(Note: There are many models of this watch with slightly different colour themes)

Let’s have a look at this Tissot.

It is a hefty 43mm in diameter across the face so we can immediately see this is a man’s watch. 

It is made for a big wrist.

Check out that chunky crown and those big hands and numbers.

This is a watch that wants attention. 

It demands attention!

But despite all the “chunkiness”, there are some touches of quite elegance; like that lovely red/white tint on the face which contrasts nicely with the white hands.

But the main issue i want to draw your attention to is the amount of features on this watch.

It is packed with features, from multiple stopwatch options, calendar feature and in-built daylight saving.

You rarely find women’s watches to be heavy on “techy” features.

Conclusion

When it comes to buying a watch, it is worth knowing what typically a man/woman’s watch looks like.  But that doesn’t mean you should conform to this.

A watch should be an extension of your personality, taste and needs. 

If you are a woman and you prefer the looks of men’s watch, then go for it! And vice versa.

However, it is worth bearing in mind what you want from your watch before buying. 

Elegance and grace?

Or your focus is on functionality and durability?

This will largely determine which type of watch you should go for.

The types of men and women’s watch is just there as a “for your information only”

I hope you found this article useful

Hi, I am jay. And i love watches! This blog contains useful info and tips which i think people will find useful. From buyers, to enthusiasts. I hope you like it.