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The Average Wrist Size for a Man, Based on 1563 Answers

What’s the average wrist size for a man?

Just after becoming a watch enthusiast, I discovered that my wrists were small. And smaller than average for sure. But I didn’t really know exactly how much smaller they were. I needed to know about my wrists size to find the best watches for me. As crazy as it may seem, this information was nowhere to be found on the Internet. So I started to gather data from polls on watch forums, and here are the results.

The average wrist size of a man is 7.25 inches or 18.42 cm – 50% of men have a wrist that is bigger than 7.25 inches and 50% have a wrist that is smaller. 80% of men have a wrist size bigger than 6.75 inches or 17.5 cm and 20% of men have a wrist size bigger than 7.75 inches or 19.67 cm.

Also, 95% of men have a wrist size between 5.85 and 8.65 inches or 14.86 and 21.97 cm.

Read on to find out how I got these numbers based on 1563 poll answers.

Why is your wrist size important?

If you’re asking yourself what the average size of a man’s wrist, you’re definitely not alone.

  • Maybe you wonder if something is wrong with your wrist size. From the data I gathered, I can tell you this: there is nothing wrong with them. It’s not because the majority of man have a 7.25 inches wrist that being below or above this value is bad. I certainly don’t feel bad anymore about my small wrists!
  • It’s useful to know your wrist size compared to the men’s average to properly choose a watch case size or bracelet size and fit. Large, Medium or Small doesn’t mean much. The only real value is a number.
  • And sometimes, we just like to know where we are, compared to the others. That’s okay!

The source polls and answers

So, I did I find these numbers?

I analyzed more than a thousand answers given on 3 different polls to discover them. I gathered those 1563 answers (as of 8 February 2018) on 3 polls on WatchUSeek forums (check the Ressources part at the end of the article if you want to check them).

Why there?

Because I happen to read a lot on WatchUSeek forums, and I know from many hours spend there that people active on that forum come from all walks of life.

Some are young, some are older. Some go to the gym, some don’t. Some are hardcore watch fans, some seek information for their first (and maybe only) watch. And of course, some have bigger wrists, and some have small wrists.

Not everybody answered to this poll, so the answers might have a slight bias toward one end or the other of the spectrum, but I’ll assume the sample was good enough.

The process

The 3 polls all asked people to answer this question: what is your wrist size? The goal is to try to find the average wrist size for a man, but the polls were created a bit differently.

Polls A and B offered respondents to give a discrete (definite) size by 0.25″ increment, like so :

  • less than 5.50″
  • 5.75″
  • 6.00″
  • 8.75″
  • 9.00″ or greater

Poll C offered size ranges of 0.25″ each, namely :

  • Less than 5.00″
  • 5.00 – 5.25″
  • 5:25 – 5.50″
  • 8.75″ – 9.00″
  • greater than 9.00″

Of course, I could not directly match a discrete answer (6.50″) with a range answer (6.25″ – 6.50″).  Does a 6.50″ answer mean the respondent is in the 6.25″ – 6.50″ or the 6.50″ – 6.75″? I don’t know.

To solve this problem, for pols A and B, I assumed that a 6.50″ answer would be :

  • part of the 6.25″ – 6.50″ range 50% of the time
  • part of the 6.50″ – 6.75″ range the remaining 50% 0f the time

But what should I do for an odd number of answers?

While reading the forums since 2015, one thing struck me: most WatchUSeek forum members, regardless of their wrist size, would assume that they had smaller wrists than the average man.

So, in a case of a man having a 6.37″ wrist size (right in the middle of 2 discrete answers), I think most would answer 6.5″ and not 6.25″. This is why I decided to give that one remaining answer to the lower range rather than the higher range.

For example, poll A had 15 answers for a 6.50″ wrist size: I gave the 6.25″ – 6.50″ range 8 answers and the 6.50″ – 6.75″ 7 answers. And I did that for all discrete answers of poll A and B.

Also, the 3rd poll was more precise in the lower range, offering Less than 5.00″, 5.00 – 5.25″ and 5:25 – 5.50″ choices. In comparison, the first 2 polls only proposed the less than 5.50″ choice. Because the number of answers in the 3rd poll was so small in that range, I decided to all gather them in an up to 5.50″ range.

The results

So now, all results were aggregated in a list looking like this :

  • up to 5.50″
  • up to 5.75″
  • up to 9.00″
  • greater than 9.00″

Here is the breakdown:

Range in inchRange in cmTotal
Up to 5.50″Up to 13.97 cm7
Up to 5.75″Up to 14.61 cm8
Up to 6.00″Up to 15.24 cm24
Up to 6.25″Up to 15.88 cm89
Up to 6.50″Up to 16.51 cm148
Up to 6.75″Up to 17.15 cm207
Up to 7.00″Up to 17.78 cm206
Up to 7.25″Up to 18.42 cm233
Up to 7.50″Up to 19.05 cm195
Up to 7.75″Up to 19.69 cm149
Up to 8.00″Up to 20.32 cm101
Up to 8.25″Up to 20.96 cm80
Up to 8.50″Up to 21.59 cm52
Up to 8.75″Up to 22.23 cm37
Up to 9.00″Up to 22.86 cm14
Greater than 9.00″More than 22.86cm13
Total
1563

And here is the bar chart of those results:

While reading the forums since 2015, one thing struck me: most WatchUSeek forum members, regardless of their wrist size, would assume that they had smaller wrists than the average man.

So, in a case of a man having a 6.37″ wrist size (right in the middle of 2 discrete answers), I think most would answer 6.5″ and not 6.25″. This is why I decided to give that one remaining answer to the lower range rather than the higher range.

For example, poll A had 15 answers for a 6.50″ wrist size: I gave the 6.25″ – 6.50″ range 8 answers and the 6.50″ – 6.75″ 7 answers. And I did that for all discrete answers of poll A and B.

Also, the 3rd poll was more precise in the lower range, offering Less than 5.00″5.00 – 5.25″ and 5:25 – 5.50″ choices. In comparison, the first 2 polls only proposed the less than 5.50″ choice. Because the number of answers in the 3rd poll was so small in that range, I decided to all gather them in an up to 5.50″ range.

The results

So now, all results were aggregated in a list looking like this :

  • up to 5.50″
  • up to 5.75″
  • up to 9.00″
  • greater than 9.00″

Here is the breakdown:

Range in inch Range in cm Total
Up to 5.50″ Up to 13.97 cm 7
Up to 5.75″ Up to 14.61 cm 8
Up to 6.00″ Up to 15.24 cm 24
Up to 6.25″ Up to 15.88 cm 89
Up to 6.50″ Up to 16.51 cm 148
Up to 6.75″ Up to 17.15 cm 207
Up to 7.00″ Up to 17.78 cm 206
Up to 7.25″ Up to 18.42 cm 233
Up to 7.50″ Up to 19.05 cm 195
Up to 7.75″ Up to 19.69 cm 149
Up to 8.00″ Up to 20.32 cm 101
Up to 8.25″ Up to 20.96 cm 80
Up to 8.50″ Up to 21.59 cm 52
Up to 8.75″ Up to 22.23 cm 37
Up to 9.00″ Up to 22.86 cm 14
Greater than 9.00″ More than 22.86cm 13
Total   1563

And here is the bar chart of those results:

Average wrist size for a man graph
Graph of the average wrist size for a man

A nice bell-shaped/normal curve, right?

To be fair, it’s a bit bottom-heavy. This might be because most men wrists don’t get bigger than 7.75″ or because men with smaller wrists answer the polls. It’s hard to know.

Again, I’ll assume the sample was fairly well balanced.

The analysis

Let’s go for a (very light) statistical analysis.

  1. The mean (or average) of all the answers is 7.28 inch or 18.49 cm.
    This was found by adding wrists sizes and diving by the number of answers. We tend not to use this value though, because discrete ranges skew the results. A mean value would be more truthful, so there you go.
  2. The median (or 50th percentile) – a more statistically correct average wrist size for a man – is 7.25 inch or 18.42 cm.
    That means that 50% of men have smaller wrist than 7.25″ and 50% of men have a larger wrist than 7.25″.
  3. The 20th percentile is 6.75 inch or 17.15 cm
    80% of men have a wrist size bigger than 6.75″ (and 20% have a smaller wrist)
  4. The 80th percentile is 7.75 inch 19.67 cm
    20% of men have a wrist size bigger than 7.75″ (and 80% have a smaller wrist)
  5. The standard deviation is 0.70 inch or 1.78 cm
    which gives us the last 3 statistics :
  6. 68% of men have a wrist size between 6.55 and 7.95 inch or 16.64 and 20.19 cm
    That is 7.25″ (the mean) +- 1 time 0.70″ (the standard deviation)
  7. 95% of men have a wrist size between 5.85 and 8.65 inch or 14.86 and 21.97 cm
    That is 7.25″ +- 2 times 0.70″ (the standard deviation)
  8. 99.7% of men have a wrist size between 5.05 and 9.35 inch or 12.83 and 23.75 cm
    That is 7.25″ +- 3 times 0.70″

The whole percentile list :

Inch (up to…)Cm (up to…)Percentile
5.5013.970
5.7514.610
6.0015.241
6.2515.883
6.5016.518
6.7517.1518
7.0017.7831
7.2518.4244
7.5019.0559
7.7519.6972
8.0020.3281
8.2520.9688
8.5021.5993
8.7522.2396
9.0022.8698
9.2523.5099

(Read about percentile on Wikipedia)

Conclusion and disclaimer

So there you have it! 7.25 inch or 18.42 cm is the average wrist size for a man. Maybe it’s good news for you, maybe not.

If you find that your wrists are a bit too small or skinny, you can try and train to get bigger wrists, but the improvement might be really small.

I’m no professional analyst by any mean so my process might not be perfect. And the sample may be biased in a way or another. But this should give you a pretty good estimate of what the actual average wrist size for a man is!

By the way, if you are struggling to find watches that look great on smaller wrists, I made a list of all my favorite ones. Check them out here: Men’s Watches For Small Wrists.

Resources

WatchUSeek polls

Interesting links