25 Watches For Small Wrists

Looking for small men’s watches? Sick of oversized, bulky watches that look way too big for your wrists? You’re in the right place!

Small mens watches

When you wear a watch that’s too big for your wrist, it makes your hands and arms look smaller and weaker than they really are, and let’s face it: no guy wants to look weak and dainty, right?

The key is to wear watches that fit your build. They should be proportionate to your wrist – not too big, thick or bulky.

Watch Sizes

Watch case sizeThere are several ways to measure the size of a watch, but you want to pay attention to the size of the case. Specifically, the case diameter.

Watch case size is extremely subject to change based on whatever is trendy, but it seems that the “average” watch case is around 40mm.

Unfortunately, even that is too big for men with small wrists.

Note: If you’re not sure whether you have thin wrists, you should measure them. Use tailor tape to measure around the widest point of your wrist – right over the bone. Anything less than 6.5″ can be considered thin.

You might be able to wear 40mm watches if they have thin cases and straps, but your best bet is to stick with something smaller (less than 40mm in diameter).

Types of Watches

Luckily, there are plenty of small men’s watches to choose from, no matter the budget. The table below lists 25 “Modest Man approved” watches that are perfect for men with small wrists.

You can sort by price to find a watch that fits your budget:

  • $………….Less than $50
  • $$………..From $50-200
  • $$$………From $200-500
  • $$$$…….From $500-1,000

You can also sort by type, but rather than going into all of the different types of watches – dress, diver, field, sport, etc. – let’s just categorize these watches by formality:

  • Formal = Business formal or black/white tie
  • Smart = Business or “smart” casual
  • Casual = Shorts, jeans and t-shirt, gym wear, etc.

This handy little infographic will give you an idea of what type of watches fall into each category:

What type of watch to wear

After all, it doesn’t really matter what type of watch it is. It only matters when you can wear it.

Got it? Good. Now it’s time to audit your watch collection, set a budget and use this list to find your next watch.

Small Men’s Watches

NameFace Size (mm)PriceType
Citizen AR3015-53E Stiletto 36$$$Dress
Citizen BM8430-59E Bracelet 37$$Smart
Nixon A045511 Time Teller 37$$Smart
Nixon A377 Sentry 38 38$$Smart
Tissot PR100 38$$$Smart
Bulova 98H51 37$$Dress
Casio F91W Sports Watch 33$Casual
Casio MQ24-E1 Black Resin 35$Casual
Timex Men's Camper 34$Casual
Horween Leather Weekender 38$$Casual
Timex Easy Reader 35$Smart
Seiko 5 SNK807 37$$Smart
Seiko 5 SNK793 36$$Smart
Seiko SNE124 Dress Watch 39$$Dress
Seiko SGF206 Dress Watch 37$$Dress
Frederique Constant FC-245M4S5 37$$$Dress
Tissot TIST41142333 Le Locle 39$$$Dress
Hamilton H38435721 Jazzmaster 38$$$$Dress
Frederique Constant FC306MC4S36 39$$$$Dress
Apple Watch w/ Sport Band 38$$$Smart
Apple Watch w/ Milanese Loop 38$$$Smart
Daniel Wellington Dapper Bristol 38$$Dress
Tissot T52148131 T-Classic 34$$Dress
Timex T5E901 Ironman 38$Casual
Casio W89HB-5AV Illuminator 35$Casual

How Many Watches Do You Need?

Unless you’re a watch guy, you don’t need tons of different watches in your collection. At the very least, make sure you have one dress watch and one casual watch.

Your dress watch should be sleek and minimal with a clean face. I prefer leather straps, and my go to color is brown (since most of my dress shoes are brown).

Your casual watch can be a diver, a field watch, a chronograph or whatever style you like. You can go with a leather, metal, rubber, nylon or canvas strap.

Watch Straps

NATO watch straps

T2N893 (left) vs. T2N654 (right)

Since many watches have interchangeable bands (a.k.a., NATO straps), it’s a good idea to keep some extras on hand (pun intended).

A new strap will change the whole vibe of a watch, and it’s a lot cheaper than buying a whole new watch. The Timex Weekender is a great example of a budget watch that can be dressed up or down with different bands.

Stick with 18mm or 20mm straps (22mm will be too wide), and try to experiment with different materials and colors.

Key Takeaway

Just remember this: if you have small and thin wrists (less than 6.5″ around), you should wear proportionately small watches (i.e., ones that have a case diameter of less than 40mm).

Whether it’s a dress watch or casual watch, try to keep it small. Every watch on the list above is a great choice for men with small wrists.

What’s your favorite small men’s watch? Leave a comment below!

Comments

  1. Damn I hate leaving comments that don’t go through and simply disappear! 🙁

    So, again… great post as usual, Brock.

    My main problem with watches are my tiny wrists. Besides being short, by wrists and hands are even smaller in proportion to my body. Finding a good strap that doesn’t look huge on me is a pain.

    Keep it up and share StyleCon stories, please.

    Thanks!

    • Sorry about that…your comments should go right through since you’ve left comments with this email address before (new commenters have to be approved).

      Will hare more soon! Hope to see you there next year.

  2. Hello Brock,
    When it comes to large watches on a smaller wrist, the most important thing is to not wear the band loosely, which gives the appearance of the watch swimming around the wrist and forearm. (This is also especially bad for the watch, easily banged up and catches on many things.) I have a 6 1/2 inch wrist and comfortably wear my Daytona Rolex and other chronographs that I own. Sometimes I’ll even where a large strap watch over my shirt sleeve for effect.
    I had a vintage watch store on Madison Avenue for many years and also authored “A Time To Watch—The Wrist Watch as Art: Classic, Rare and Extraordinary,” we never referred to men’s watches as small, instead 3/4 size, or affectionately as BOY SIZE.
    Glad you’re into watches, they’re great fun and conversation starters in business circles, since an interesting watch has nothing to do with price. The worst is wearing a fake; which fakes out no one, except ones self. It’s better to wear a cool Timex, than a fake Rolex, Patek, Audemars….
    Best,
    Jac

  3. ChurchillWS says:

    Does the chart indicate case diameter or dial size? I feel like it should list case diameter. The dial size of the watch, which many people refer to as the face, and the size of the bezel of the watch also plays into how big a watch “wears.”

    • I use case diameter, not face diameter, because (like you said) the overall case size is what determines how big the watch looks.

  4. I would like to respectfully submit the Seiko SARB033 for your consideration I love mine. It goes with anything formal or casual. This watch has a ton a great reviews all over the internet as being one of the best values in an automatic.

  5. Great column , Brock! With a 6 1/4′ wrist it helps to wear a watch that’s the proper proportion for me. Your guide makes it a snap. Thanks!

  6. I actually own a Nixon Time Teller. It’s actually from the Star Wars line so it’s all black with a black face and black leather straps. Great to know it made the list for watches for small wrists

  7. Mike Fleck says:

    Dress – Any of the Seiko 5 series – I love my Seiko automatic. Change the link band (which is cheap) for a good quality leather band. Total cost will be around $125-$150 and well worth it.

    Casual – my new favorite for casual wear is the Timex Indiglo (Horween Leather Weekender – https://huckberry.com/store/t/category/watches/casual) which I got at Huckberry with Brock’s recommendation. Simply love this watch.

  8. Dan Bar-el says:

    Hi Brock,
    So nice to read your posts.
    Thank you!

  9. Kit Bush says:

    What about Chronographs? Most are 40mm; any decent ones that are 3/4 size?

    • fraser pears says:

      Kit, the Sinn 356 chronograph is a nice fit for a thinner wrist. At 38mm with a total length of 56mm the fit is perfect. Two dial colour options black and copper.

  10. Terry Christensen says:

    Thanks, Brock, for a nice selection of modern made watches for small wrist guys. The Hamilton Jazzmaster is my favorite “dress” watch and the Seiko 5 Automatic with blue band is my favorite “smart” watch. I have a small collection of vintage watches that I love to wear as my “one only” accessory that people will notice. My favorites have art deco style cases and mid-century modern cases. I’ve found that many of these older watches for men are smaller sized and fit well on my 6.5″ wrist! The earlier ones were hand-wound every day. Then there were watches that incorporated a self-winding mechanism, then they went to “electric” (battery operated), and then Bulova designed the Accutron (battery operated with tuning fork) to improve accuracy. It’s interesting to follow the personal time keeping technology changes we have had from pocket watches, to wrist watches, and now to our smart phones!

    Looking forward to hearing about StyleCon 2016!

  11. Great article! Thanks for gathering the info for us smaller men. 😀

  12. Is there some reason why you seem to favor round-faced watches. Square and rectangular-faced tend to be narrower without looking skimpy. I prefer simple faces (lines/dots instead of numbers or just 12, 3, 6, and 9), no date (you already have a cell phone if you don’t know what the date is), second-hand optional, sharp contrast between face and hands. I also prefer watches that are thin as measured from the crystal to the back. Unless you are a deep-sea diver, a sky-diver or a competition racer you do not need the crowded face of a chronograph and the stop watch function. I don’t often travel to Beijing or Nairobi (like never), but if I should ever do so, I think myself intelligent and tech-savvy enough to reset my watch to the local time zone.

    Adam

  13. Brock, any thoughts on what works best under a dress shirt sleeve? I was looking for watches with a smaller case thickness, but from what you are suggesting I wonder if addressing the case diameter is a better idea. A family member suggested Skagen (sp?) but the case thicknesses all looked 8mm+.

    • You’re right that case thickness would be a better measurement to look at if you’re trying to find something that works under your sleeve cuff. If I’m wearing a jacket, I’ll leave the cuff unbuttoned on my watch hand.

      Doesn’t really work when you’re not wearing a jacket, though. You either have to wear a very thin watch, roll your sleeves up, or make sure to get shirts that have enough room to wear a watch.

      • Any thin watches that you like or would suggest? From my searching, it sounds like Skagen is the only big option, but I didn’t find anything on their site to match the reputation for thin watches.

  14. I just noticed that the Weekender is apparently just 35mm in diameter.

    I can’t believe that none of these companies has a search or filter function which allows you to sort by case thickness or diameter. Especially something like Timex with a ton of watches.

    • I hear you on that! Luckily, Amazon has every filter you can imagine in the men’s wrist watch section, including case diameter.

      • fraser pears says:

        Excuse me for saying this Brock, you keep focusing on the case size of the watch when it’s the total length of the timepiece that’s the problem. Extended lugs or lugs which do not follow the curvature of the wrist contributes far more to an ill fitting watch.

        Plenty of younger guys want a large watch – it’s the current trend. They still can without looking like there’s a pie plate on their wrist with extended antennae protruding beyond the wrist bone. A cushion case watch with little overhang (short, built in lugs) will fit skinny wrists much better than say a smaller cased conventional watch with long lugs.

        There are 42mm dive watches with a cushion case that have a shorter length that say a 38mm 3hander with long straight lugs. This is a size that almost ALL manufacturers fail to provide, retailers do the same, it’s the most important size to a thin wrist watch wearer.

        There is a reason people shop at AD’s (authorized dealer), a competent salesperson can provide solutions that simply looking at a picture on the internet cannot. I am not advocating you enter hallowed ground as such and go to a Breguet dealer. I’m referring to the many shops around town that service and sell watches. Trying on a watch is the only way to really know how it will fit. Little things like bracelet spacing, does it fit correctly, can it be adjusted? Are the holes in the leather strap going to fit on the smallest fitment?

        With the proliferation of well built Chinese mechanical watches on the market today, there are many options for watch wearers. All at a very reasonable price. Add the fact there are so many “micro” brands out there offering great value with many different sizes and designs.

        It’s a great time to be a watch lover.

  15. Favourite small wrist watch is the NOMOS Glashutte Club 701 (36mm)
    In watch circles $ is the sub $500 watches and $500 to $1500 would be considered $$
    $$$ is $1500 to $15000 and $$$$ would be $15,000 and up.

  16. Sam is spot on. It’s important to have these discussions without being biased to price. Any collector can talk watches with any other collector, without the fear of being judged on their buying capacity. One may covet a $300 watch, as much as, the $30,000, $300, 000, or $1,000,000 watch anyone’s deep pockets may be able to buy. Design, complication, aesthetics
    should be the criteria—everyone values time differently.

  17. Hey Brock, what do you think about the Citizen BM8180-03E ? It has a diameter of 37mm but its thickness is 9mm. Would it be appropriate for someone with small wrists?

  18. Tom Howe says:

    Most all vintage men’s watches are smaller. I have amassed a nice collection of smaller watches shopping on ebay. I prefer to buy only automatics since they can sit in a drawer indefinitely and still run when you need them.
    For a higher end watch, both Tag Heuer and Hamilton still sell automatic watches at 39mm. Just include the “<40" in your search of Amazon or any online retailer.

  19. BoWilliams says:

    My current favorite everyday wristwatch is the Seiko Men’s Solar Watch. I’ve worn mine daily for over five years without any problems. It keeps accurate time. The Seiko has a “military” look. The watch strap that comes with the Seiko is crappy so I purchased several different NATO watch straps to give it an upgraded look. With a 40 mm case, it’s the perfect size for my small wrist and sometimes forget that I’m wearing it. Best of all, it’s cheap (a little over US$100) and solar battery powered so no battery replacement needed.

    https://www.amazon.com/Seiko-SNE095P2-Stainless-Steel-Watch/dp/B004KSDHKS/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1472591802&sr=8-7&keywords=seiko+military+watches+for+men

    Another wristwatch brand that’s perfect for short guys are those made by a British company called Nite Watches. Their watches have a 39 mm case. I don’t have one yet, but the MX10-201S is on my wish list.

    https://www.nitewatches.com/store/us/

  20. Julia Kirwan says:

    My husband has a 30mm Movado watch that is a beautiful low profile, weighs less than a nickle, and is perfect for a smaller wrist. (He isn’t a small man, about 5’9″). I wish someone would make watches this size again! He has a Citizen Eco Drive watch that is smaller too, but the internal battery needs to be replaced for $75 and I thought I could buy another watch and get him “new” for just a bit more than the Citizen. I haven’t really found one, so we are replacing the battery.

    PLEASE WATCH MAKERS – SOME GUYS WANT A SMALLER WATCH, NOT A “STATEMENT” PIECE THAT KNOCKS INTO EVERYTHING!

Leave a Comment

Home · Free eBook · Start Here · About · Resources · Advertise · Contact