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Watch 101

Rolex Watch Case Size

Paul Altieri

Rolex Sizing Guide: Find The Right Size For Your Wrist

There are a lot of factors that people consider when buying a watch – the dial, the hands, the type of bracelet, the style of the bezel. However, one thing that often tends to be an afterthought is the size of the watch itself, and this is arguably one of the most important things to consider when shopping for a Rolex watch. Despite the familiar, iconic aesthetic enduring from one generation of watches to the next, Rolex has made minor revisions and enhancements to the cases over the years, so even two models with the same case diameter may wear differently on the wrist.

Just like clothes, it is important that your watch fits you correctly. This doesn’t just mean that the strap or bracelet needs to fit around your wrist; the actual size of the watch itself can have a significant impact on the overall wearing experience. Although personal preference will always be paramount, finding the right size watch for your wrist will go a long way towards guaranteeing a happy ownership experience.


Rolex Submariner

How To Size Your Rolex Correctly

When finding the right size Rolex for your wrist, there are many important measurements and proportions to consider other than the actual case size of the watch itself. Two watches with identical case diameters can wear significantly different should they have different thickness or lug-to-lug measurements. Additionally, various protrusions from the case such as winding crowns, chronograph pushers, lugs, and crown-guards can also drastically alter the overall wearing experience and should be taken into account whenever you are purchasing a new watch.

Similarly, in addition to the strap or bracelet fitting properly around your wrist, the width of the strap can also have a significant impact on the overall wearing appearance. Furthermore, the amount of taper in the strap or bracelet is also highly important. A bracelet with a steep taper will wear quite a bit smaller than one that maintains the same width the entire way across. At the end of the day, the absolute best way to find the right watch for your wrist is to try them on in person, but keeping these factors in mind will significantly help narrow down your search.

rolex case sizes

How To Measure a Rolex

First, you should be aware of the industry norms. The diameter of a watch is its external width across its horizontal axis (from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock), The vast majority of diameters are listed without taking into account the protrusion of the crown or crown guards. That means the “case size” number listed is almost always the diameter of the case, but not the amount of real estate that will be taken up by the watch once it is on your wrist.

Typically, watch measurements are taken with a Vernier tool (a pair of measuring calipers), and expressed in millimeters. The given case diameter measurement of a watch can often be a bit misleading due to the multitude of other factors and dimensions that have an equally important impact on the overall wearing experience. Additionally, it is also worth noting that square or rectangular watches will often wear larger than their case diameters might otherwise indicate, since the diameter applies across the entire watch, rather than just at its widest point (like with a watch that has a circular case).

Case Size (Rolex Width)

When you see a case size listed for a Rolex watch, this measurement typically corresponds to its diameter, which could be considered the width of the watch. Since most Rolex watches feature round cases, the diameter is often representative of the widest point of the case (excluding the lugs or winding crown).

Despite this case diameter being the go-to measurement for watches, this can often be a bit misleading since it is only representative of the width across a watch at a single point. The shape of the case, along with all its various protrusions such as the winding crown, lugs, crown-guards, and chronograph pushers can all drastically alter the overall wearing experience of a watch. For example, the Rolex Submariner ref. 116610 has the same 40mm case diameter as its predecessor (ref. 16610); however, it appears significantly larger due to its thicker lugs and crown guards.

Case Thickness (Rolex Height)

When we talk about the “height” of a watch, we are talking about how thick it is, or how tall it will stand up on your wrist. This measurement often gets overshadowed by case diameter, but the thickness or height of a watch can sometimes be the difference between one model being a perfect fit and the other being almost unwearable. With the exception of purpose-built tool watches like the Yacht-Master II and Deepsea, most Rolex models are reasonably thin, but it is still important to keep this dimension in mind when searching for the right model for your wrist.

Additionally, the type of watch can also have a significant impact on how thick it can be. Typically, dress watches wear better if they are thin and can easily slip under a shirt cuff. Conversely, a professional dive watch can actually benefit from being slightly thicker due to a taller bezel design offering more room to grip on the side of the bezel. However, your wrist size and shape are always going to be the greatest determining factors in terms of how thick of a watch you can comfortably wear.

Case Lug-to-Lug (Rolex Length)

Although the term “length” is not often used to describe the lug-to-lug measurement, it is an appropriate one in this context. This measurement has nothing to do with the distance between the lugs (also known as lug-width) – this will denote the width of the strap or bracelet that your watch requires. Instead the lug-to-lug measurement corresponds to the distance from the tip of one lug to the tip of its opposite equal. This “length” is very important because it can vastly impact the overall wearability of a watch – arguably more than the actual case-diameter of the watch itself.

For the vast majority of wristwatches, the lugs stick out from either side of the case (on the top and bottom). While the case diameter represents the size of the case itself, it does not include how far the lugs stick out beyond that, and it is this lug-to-lug measurement that is often the most accurate representation of the overall perceived size of a watch once it is on your wrist. A watch may have a very manageable case diameter, but if its lugs stick out far beyond the edges of its case, its lug-to-lug measurement may ultimately make it difficult to wear on smaller wrists.

rolex measurements

Other Rolex Measurements to Consider

Beyond the case diameter, thickness, and lug-to-lug measurements of a watch, there are also a few other dimensions and proportions that can significantly impact the overall perceived size of a watch. While you will not often see these numbers listed on Rolex watch specifications sheets, they are still important to keep in mind when shopping for a Rolex, as they can dramatically impact the overall wearing experience of a given model.

Lug Dimensions and Shape

Despite playing a major role in the overall look and feel of a watch, rarely will you ever see any measurements listed in regards to the actual lugs themselves. Lug-to-lug measurements are sometimes listed; but most luxury watch brands (including Rolex) never include these measurements on their website.

Most Rolex watches feature very standard lugs, so their dimensions are less of a consideration when trying to figure out which size of Rolex you should get. However, the actual shape of the lugs and their size in proportion to the rest of the case can have a noticeable impact on the overall wearing experience of a watch. For example, the Rolex Submariner ref. 124060 features a 41mm case, while its predecessor (ref. 114060) features a 40mm case. However, since the lugs of the ref. 114060 Submariner are slightly thicker than those of the ref. 124060, the two watches actually feel incredibly similar on the wrist, despite their different case sizes.

Bezel Sizes and Proportions

Bezel sizes are rarely ever listed for watches, but the size of the bezel – and more importantly, the style of it and its size relative to the rest of the watch – can drastically alter the overall wearing experience. Since case diameters are typically the measurement most often used to describe the “size” of a watch, the size and style of the bezel is another aspect of a watch’s proportions that frequently gets overlooked.

A perfect example of this are the two vintage Rolex Daytona watches from the final series of the first generation. Both ref. 6263 and ref. 6265 Daytona watches feature cases with identical proportions; however the black acrylic bezel found on the reference 6263 is ever so slightly wider than the steel bezel of the reference 6265 and does not slope downwards towards the edges, so the ref. 6263 has a noticeably larger presence on the wrist.

Crystal Sizes

Beyond bezel and lug proportions, the crystal size of a Rolex is another factor that can significantly alter its overall look and feel on your wrist. Just like with the bezel and lugs, the proportions of the crystal relative to the case size can influence the overall wearing experience of a watch. Generally speaking, the bigger the crystal is relative to the overall case size of the watch, the larger the watch itself will feel on your wrist, because a greater percentage of its overall size is allocated to its display.

For example, both the Rolex Submariner 126610LV and the Rolex Datejust 126333 have official case diameters of 41mm. With that in mind, the crystal found on the Datejust 41 is quite a bit larger than the one on the Submariner, so the Datejust will likely feel a bit larger on the wrist, regardless of the fact that the two watches actually have the exact same outer case diameters.

Bracelets and Straps Sizes

Just like everything else, the strap or bracelet fitted to your Rolex can have a significant impact on its overall perceived size. Both the style of the strap or bracelet, along with other factors such as its width and the amount of taper it has can drastically alter the way that the watch wears on your wrist. Typically, the wider the strap, the larger it will feel on your wrist, but a steep taper can often offset a wide measurement at the lugs, simply because the width at the clasp is smaller.

Additionally, the style of the strap or bracelet itself can frequently have an impact on size. Bracelet styles with a wider link design, such as Rolex’s Oyster Bracelet can sometimes seem larger on the wrist than a bracelet with a more delicate link design like the Jubilee. The two bracelets may have identical outer proportions, but the style of the individual links can influence the way that the bracelet wears on your wrist.

Once you get outside the realm of Rolex bracelets, straps can have an even larger impact on the overall wearing experience of your watch. A classic two-piece leather strap typically results in a watch wearing rather small (hence why it is the go-to option for dress watches with their elegant designs). However, something like a NATO strap will often cause a watch to wear larger due to the extra bulk of the fabric and the way it causes the watch to stand up further off your wrist.

rolex daytona sizes

Size of Every Rolex Watch (current models)

Over the years, Rolex has produced watches with a number of different case sizes. Additionally, certain watches like the Submariner and Explorer II have steadily grown in size over the years, as consumer preferences call for increasingly larger watches.

Below are all of the different collections of Rolex watches and the various case sizes that are currently available for each one:

Datejust – 31mm; 36mm; 41mm

Date – 34mm

Oyster Perpetual – 28mm; 31mm; 34mm; 36mm; 41mm

Sky-Dweller – 42mm

Day-Date – 36mm; 40mm

Lady-Datejust – 28mm

Pearlmaster – 34mm; 39mm

Cellini – 39mm

Submariner – 41mm

Daytona – 40mm

Sea-Dweller – 43mm

Deepsea – 44mm

GMT-Master II – 40mm

Yacht-Master – 37mm; 40mm; 42mm

Yacht-Master II – 44mm

Explorer – 39mm

Explorer II – 42mm

Milgauss – 40mm

Air-King – 40mm

* Includes current-production models only

How to Size Rolex Watches

Rolex Sport Watch Sizes

The largest watches in Rolex’s catalog can be found among its various sports models. At the present time, the largest Rolex watches available are the Deepsea Sea-Dweller and the Yacht-Master II, both with official case diameter measurements of 44mm. Despite being built for very different purposes, both models are purpose-built tool watches designed from the ground up to thrive in specific environments.

Generally speaking, Rolex’s sports watches have sizes that range from 37mm to 44mm, although there are certain older models from the Explorer and Yacht-Master collections that can have cases that measure just under this range. The original Rolex Explorer had a case size of 36mm, and the Rolex Yacht-Master was previously offered in both 35mm and 29mm (Lady Yacht-Master) sizes, alongside the standard 40mm model. Below are some of the used Rolex models you might find in the current market.

ModelReferenceCase Size (mm)Bracelet Width (mm)Materials
Submariner1240604121Stainless Steel
Submariner126610LV4121Stainless Steel
Submariner126610LN4121Stainless Steel
Submariner1266194121White Gold
Submariner1166184020Yellow Gold
Submariner1140604020Stainless Steel
Submariner116610LV4020Stainless Steel
Submariner140604020Stainless Steel
Submariner166104020Stainless Steel
Submariner16610LV4020Stainless Steel
Submariner166134020Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
Submariner166184020Yellow Gold
Submariner168004020Stainless Steel
Sea-Dweller166004020Stainless Steel
Sea-Dweller1266004322Stainless Steel
Sea-Dweller1266034322Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
Deepsea1266604422Stainless Steel
Explorer II165704020Stainless Steel
Explorer2142703920Stainless Steel
Explorer II2165704221Stainless Steel
GMT-Master II116710BLNR4020Stainless Steel
GMT-Master II126710BLRO4020Stainless Steel
GMT-Master II126711CHNR4020Stainless Steel & Everose Gold
GMT-Master167004020Stainless Steel
GMT-Master II167104020Stainless Steel
GMT-Master II167134020Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
GMT-Master II167184020Yellow Gold
Daytona1165204020Stainless Steel
Daytona1165234020Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
Daytona1165284020Yellow Gold
Daytona1165004020Stainless Steel
Yacht-Master 40166224020Stainless Steel & Platinum
Yacht-Master 40166284020Yellow Gold
Yacht-Master 372686223718Stainless Steel & Platinum
Yacht-Master 372686553718Everose Gold

Rolex Dive Watch Sizes

Dive watches are specifically designed for use while deep underwater. Consequently, visibility is key in the design of a dive watch, and most will have slightly larger case sizes relative to dress watches or casual models. With the exception of certain vintage Submariner watches from the 1950s that have cases slightly smaller than 40mm, the vast majority of all Rolex dive watches have case sizes that range from 40mm to 44mm.

As of 2020, the Submariner is the smallest Rolex dive watch with an official case-diameter of 41mm (the previous generation measured 40mm in diameter), while the Deepsea Sea-Dweller is the largest with a case size of 44m. The classic Sea-Dweller takes up the middle, offering a case size of 43mm; however, it should be noted that the case of the 43mm Sea-Dweller is quite a bit thinner than the case of the 44mm Deepsea, since it does not feature the same Ring Lock structure.

Rolex Mens Watch Sizes

The size of both men’s and women’s watches have steadily grown over the years. While the average size of a man’s watch during the 1950s was around 33mm to 35mm, most modern men’s Rolex watches have case diameters that range between 36mm and 42mm. With that in mind, there are certain Rolex watches for men, both modern and vintage, that feature case sizes both larger and smaller than this.

Historically, 36mm has been the go-to size for men’s Rolex watches, excluding the brand’s various sports models which often have cases larger than this due to their need to include additional features or functions. However, both the Rolex Date and Oyster Perpetual lines offer options with 34mm cases and these versatile models work well on most male wrists. Additionally, the Sea-Dweller, Deepsea, and Yacht-Master II all have either 43mm or 44mm case sizes, and while they are larger than the average men’s Rolex watch, they certainly fall into the men’s side of Rolex’s current catalog.

ModelReferenceCase Size (mm)Bracelet Width (mm)Materials
Day-Date 361282383620Yellow Gold
Day-Date II2182064121Platinum
Day-Date 402282384021Yellow Gold
Datejust II1163344121Stainless Steel & White Gold
Datejust 411263334121Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
Datejust 411263004121Stainless Steel
Datejust 361262333620Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
Datejust 361262313620Stainless Steel & Everose Gold
Datejust162003620Stainless Steel
Datejust162033620Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
Datejust162203620Stainless Steel
Datejust162333620Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
Datejust162343620Stainless Steel & White Gold
Datejust162383620Yellow Gold
Datejust162483620Yellow Gold
Cellini505093920White Gold
Cellini505353920Everose Gold
Milgauss116400GV4020Stainless Steel
Sky-Dweller3269344222Stainless Steel & White Gold
Sky-Dweller3269384222Yellow Gold

Rolex Unisex Sizes (Midsize)

Technically speaking, all Rolex watches are unisex watches. While the brand does have sections on its website specifically dedicated to men’s and women’s models, personal preference will always be the greatest determining factor, and any Rolex watch can be worn by any person as long as they enjoy wearing the watch. That being said, there are certain case sizes and collections of Rolex watches that offer more unisex options than others.

As a whole, Midsize Rolex watches are those that have case diameters that measure anywhere between 31mm and 37mm. Although 31mm Rolex watches are more often worn by women than men, and 36mm is the classic size for men’s Rolex watches, these are not firm rules, and these highly versatile case sizes can be effortlessly worn by both men and women.

The Rolex Date, Pearlmaster, and Oyster Perpetual all offer 34mm case size options, while the Datejust can be found with both 31mm and 36mm options. Since these case sizes are intended for both men and women, Rolex produces variations with a wide range of aesthetics, so that both men and women can both wear them. Additionally, at 37mm in diameter, the smallest Yacht-Master watch is also often considered a unisex Rolex watch, and it looks at home an an incredibly wide variety of different wrist sizes.

ModelReferenceCase Size (mm)Bracelet Width (mm)Materials
Date152003419Stainless Steel
Date152103419Stainless Steel
Date152233419Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
Date152333419Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
Date152383419Yellow Gold
Datejust781583116Yellow Gold
Datejust781593116White Gold
Datejust782403116Stainless Steel
Datejust782483116Yellow Gold
Datejust782733116Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
Datejust782743116Stainless Steel & White Gold
Datejust782783116Yellow Gold
Datejust782793116White Gold
Oyster Perpetual674803116Stainless Steel
Oyster Perpetual674833116Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
Oyster Perpetual770143116Stainless Steel & White Gold
Oyster Perpetual770803116Stainless Steel
Oyster Perpetual774833116Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
Oyster Perpetual775183116Yellow Gold
Yacht-Master 372686223718Stainless Steel & Platinum
Yacht-Master 372686553718Everose Gold

Rolex Ladies Watch Sizes

Rolex has a long history of producing watches specifically for women, and just like the men’s models, Rolex’s ladies watches have steadily grown in size over the years. While some vintage Rolex women’s cocktail watches have tiny cases as small as 12mm, the classic size of the Lady-Datejust was 26mm. However, in more recent years, the case diameter of the Rolex Lady-Datejust has grown to 28mm and now features larger and thicker lugs for noticeably more presence on the wrist.

With that in mind, Rolex ladies watches are also available with cases both larger and smaller than this. You will find older Oyster Perpetual models with 24mm cases, alongside the Lady Yacht-Master with its 29mm case. Additionally, while many ladies Rolex watches have case diameters that are less than 30mm, there are numerous Rolex watches for women that have larger cases that range from 31mm to 36mm. Some of these models offer cases that are the exact same size as the men’s models, but the overall aesthetics of the watch in regards to the style of its dial, bezel, and color palette are entirely intended to appeal to a traditionally female audience.

ModelReferenceCase Size (mm)Bracelet Width (mm)Materials
Lady-Datejust2791602814Stainless Steel
Lady-Datejust2791732814Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
Lady-Datejust2791782814Yellow Gold
Lady-Datejust791602613Stainless Steel
Lady-Datejust791632613Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
Lady-Datejust791732613Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
Lady-Datejust791742613Stainless Steel & White Gold
Lady-Datejust791752613Everose Gold
Lady-Datejust791782613Yellow Gold
Lady-Datejust791792613White Gold
Lady-Datejust791902613Stainless Steel
Lady-Datejust792392613White Gold
Lady-Datejust792402613Stainless Steel
Pearlmaster803182914Yellow Gold
Pearlmaster803192914White Gold
Pearlmaster802982914Yellow Gold

As of 2020, the smallest size of ladies watch that Rolex produces has a case diameter of 28mm. Both the Lady-Datejust and the smallest size from the Oyster Perpetual collection now have case diameters of 28mm; however 26mm was the classic size of the Lady-Datejust for many years, and until the 2020 update to the Oyster Perpetual collection, the smallest Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch had an official case diameter of 24mm.

ModelReferenceCase (mm)Bracelet Width (mm)Materials
Oyster Perpetual672302413Stainless Steel
Oyster Perpetual760302413Stainless Steel
Oyster Perpetual760802413Stainless Steel
Oyster Perpetual760942413Stainless Steel & White Gold
Oyster Perpetual761832413Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
Oyster Perpetual761882413Yellow Gold
Oyster Perpetual761932413Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
Oyster Perpetual761982413Yellow Gold
Oyster Perpetual762432413Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
How to Size Rolex Day-Date
Paul Altieri
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