5 Watch Style Mistakes to Avoid

One of the things every watch collector should watch out for is becoming too opinionated. Often, these types of people become too invested about their taste and think that every deviation from is a mistake. But there are some watch style choices out there that are so universal that we’d like to go over them below.


Wrong Size

One of the most common mistakes we see in the horological world is people wearing the wrong watch size. The first example is pieces that are too small. Whether that person has a large wrist, or the product is simply tiny, this is a classic watch wearing error. The general guideline is that women should not go below 26 mm, while men shouldn’t fall under 36 mm. It may be acceptable to go with a smaller piece depending on a variety of factors, but the vast majority of the time you should shoot for larger than the above values.

Rolex Yacht Master II Ref. 116680-0001 watch on the wrist

The second instance of this mistake is wearing a watch that is too big. In our experience, this error is much more common than going with a piece that is too small. The reason is that people get intoxicated by the eye-catching flash of gigantic timepieces. When they start to enter the 50-65 mm range, they begin to look a bit silly. While a hefty watch could have its place in your collection, many will consider it to be tacky. The better bet is going with a smaller diameter.

Casual Watches at Formal Occasions

Our second mistake is wearing casual watches at formal occasions. While we love a nice military watch or a rugged Casio, they have specific environments that they work best in. A luxurious setting is not one of them, and the chances are that your timepiece will stick out like a sore thumb. A better strategy is wearing an elegant dress watch, which will blend into the rest of your outfit and not draw too much attention to itself. You can also opt for a luxurious looking dive, pilot, or racing watch, depending on your personal style and the event you’re attending.

Rolex GMT Master II Ref. 116710blnr-0002 watch on the wrist

Dress Watches in Rugged Conditions

The other side of the coin is wearing dress watches in rugged conditions. Doing yard work, going on a camping trip, or playing a game of pickup basketball are not conditions in which you should be sporting your most elegant looking timepiece. Not only will it look out of place, but you could end up breaking one of your more expensive pieces. The alternative is purchasing a watch that is built to fit in these types of situations.

In doing so, you have two options. The first is purchasing a “beater watch,” which is a cheap product that you won’t mind getting some scratches. Our favorite brands for these are Casio and Timex. If you have a higher budget, you can graduate to a slightly more expensive brand like Seiko. Your second option is diving watches, which are specifically built to last through harsh conditions. Either way, your wrist accessory must be able to take a beating and look natural in these environments.

Poor Color Matching

Most of us have an intuitive sense about matching. We apply this principle when we dress ourselves every day. You’re (hopefully) not going to wear purple pants and a red shirt together, but you might make a similar mistake when you sport your favorite wristwatch. The first way you can do so is not matching your watch colors to your outfit. People often make this mistake when they have a bright diver or strap. Though that color looks excellent on its own, it does not look good with the outfit you chose for it.

Rolex Datejust brown dial watch on the wrist

The second way people mess up matching is when choosing a strap. Changing this part of your watch out is one of the best ways to shake up its look, but this decision can go wrong. We frequently see people choosing bright NATO straps to go with a watch that would look much better with a simple bracelet or leather one. This error can make a gorgeous watch look silly.

Too Flashy

Lastly, we have watches that are too flashy. Now, we don’t want to judge people on their watch styles. You like what you like, and you shouldn’t be ashamed of it. Still, when someone takes a perfectly attractive watch and throws jewels all over it, that may be a bit ostentatious. What makes things even worse is when those jewels are not genuine. Either way, “icing out” a timepiece is probably not in your best interest.

side view of Rolex Daytona Ref. 116595RBOW watch

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