09.11.2023 - Rolex

How to find the perfect Rolex watch size

A classic Rolex watch size for men is 36mm diameter, and for women is 31mm in diameter. If you have a thinner wrist, try smaller (the smallest Rolex is 28mm). If you have a rounder or thicker wrist, try larger (the largest Rolex is 44mm).

If you want a new Rolex, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the perfect fit. It’s got to be comfortable to wear, suit its purpose, and look good in the process. Personal preference is very important here, but the guidelines in this article should lead you in the right direction.

How Rolex watches are measured

When you see measurements like 36mm or 31mm, they are referring to the case diameter. It’s the most advertised measurement for Rolex watches, but there are other important measurements to consider.

The case diameter doesn’t include the crown (the knob attached to the case), so start where the crown attaches to the case and measure across to the other side of the watch. That’s the case diameter. 

Watches can be measured lug-to-lug. The lugs are the protrusions at the top and bottom of the case that attach to the watch strap. Measure from the end of a top lug to the end of a bottom lug. The lug-to-luge measurement will be bigger than the case diameter.

Don’t confuse this with lug width, which is the gap in the lug where the bracelet or strap fits. This affects what the size of bracelet/strap you can use with the watch, which is measured as the bracelet width

Finally, case thickness is the distance between the front of the watch face to the back of the case.  

What size Rolex will look best on your wrist?

Though it is sometimes fashionable to wear an oversized timepiece, if you have a thinner wrist should usually choose a watch with a diameter smaller than 36mm. Those with larger wrists will be best served with a watch in the 36mm-44mm range.

Keep in mind that the larger the watch you choose, the harder it is to wear the watch discreetly. You may not be able to wear a shirt cuff over a bigger-sized case.

It’s also worth considering the lugs and bezels. The lug-to-lug size (or the entire length of the case) is crucial to the fit of the watch. If the model extends past the wrist the watch will move about and may get damaged. But if the case you choose is too small, it may look odd on your wrist.

The best thing to do is try the watch before you buy so you can see how they look.

Does it suit your purpose?

If you’re looking for a day-to-day watch, then you can generally go with how comfortable it is. But if it has a specific purpose, then size plays a bigger part. For example:

  • A dress watch needs to be in proportion to the wrist
  • A sports watch size is more critical as too big and it gets in the way, too small and it can’t be seen.
  • A Sea-Dweller diving watch is often oversized as it needs to be easily visual when diving. Also, diving watches tend to have a thinner bezel.

What is the perfect size of Rolex watch?

Historically men’s watches were around 34mm and women’s were 31mm but over time watch sizes have grown and there is now a large overlap with many sizes becoming unisex.

A 36mm was always considered a classic men’s size but now is a midsize option in the Rolex catalogue and some 36mm are now tailored to women. Find out more about Rolex’s watches aimed at women here.

Current Rolex models size tables

ModelCase Diameter (mm)Case Thickness (mm)Lug Width (mm)
Rolex Submariner4112.521
Rolex Datejust41, 36, and 3112.5 (for 41mm)21 (for 41mm)
Rolex Day-Date4012Not specified
Rolex GMT-Master II40 and 4112.420
Rolex Explorer II4212.222
Rolex Daytona4012.420
Rolex Sea-Dweller4315.522

What are the most popular Rolex sizes? 

44mm Rolex watches

Let’s start with the big boys – the 44mm Rolex watches. So here we have the Rolex Yacht-Master II Regatta and the Rolex Deepsea.

The Yacht-Master was introduced in 2007 with a chronograph for competitive sailors. It’s still a big hit now and available in a range of materials including steel, yellow gold, Everose gold, two-tone steel and a white gold version with a platinum bezel.

41mm Rolex watches

There are also 42mm but 41mm Rolex watches are also incredibly popular. We’re talking the likes of the discontinued Rolex Datejust II, as well as new Submariner 41 and Submariner Date 41.

The Rolex Submariner 126610LN is a new 41mm that was only introduced last year but was previously a 40mm size. It’s a revamped version of the 1953 original but features a nifty rotatable bezel as its key functionality. Its 60-minute graduations allow a diver to accurately and safely monitor diving time and decompression stops.

40mm Rolex watches

Fans of the brand will find some of their watch favourites in this go-to diameter block, including the Daytona and GMT-Master I and II, as well as the Air-King and Milgauss, which were much smaller and have now gone to 40mm size.

Submariner 40 watches are noted for having the ‘Super Case’ which wears bigger thanks to thick lugs and broad crown guards.

39mm Rolex Watches

In this category we’ve got the Rolex Explorer and the II vintage style as well as the Oyster Perpetual.

The 39mm size offers a range of styles from dress watches like the Day-Date Masterpiece through to the sporty Explorer and Explorer II aka the ‘Steve McQueen’ offerings. 

36mm Rolex watches

While there are also 39 and 38mm sizes of watch, one of the most popular sizes is the 36mm and as we meniotned previously, it’s now considered a unisex style size.

So here we have the Rolex Day-Date 36, Explorer and Datejust 36 to name a few.

The Datejust was released in 1945 to celebrate Rolex’s 40th birthday and was the first automatic wristwatch to have a window on the dial to indicate the date. 

Rolex Sizes

There are still lots more smaller sizes which go right down to 24mm in discontinued models.

If you’d like help to find the perfect Rolex or you want assistance to sell your Rolex, we can help. Contact us today.