Note: This post about dive watches for small wrists was written by Chris, a TMM reader who wanted to find the perfect dive watch for men with thin or small wrists.
Huge thanks to Chris for his thorough research and great write-up!
For your convenience, here's a quick list of small dive watches for any budget (low to high):
- Invicta 8932OB Pro Diver (38 mm)
- Seiko SKX013 (38 mm)
- Longines Hydroconquest (39 mm)
- Oris 73376524154MB (36 mm)
- C60 Trident Pro 600 (38 mm)
- Omega Unisex Seamster (36 mm)
- Rolex Yacht-Master 37 (37 mm)
Take it away, Chris!
Contrary to popular belief, not all watches are suitable for all occasions.
Some watches are best worn with formal outfits, while other should be reserved for casual looks.
But there is one type of watch that is extremely versatile: the dive watch.
Dive watches (or “divers”) are perfectly suitable for business or smart casual attire, and they certainly won't raise any eyebrows in casual environments.
You can even wear them with formal outfits like three piece suits.
But there is one problem with dive watches that men with small wrists have to look out for: the fact that they're often too big and bulky.
The Classic Dive Watch
One can’t talk about dive watches without mentioning the Rolex Submariner. Since its introduction in 1953 the model remained largely unchanged and has become the quintessential dive watch.
Besides the four-figure price tag, there is one problem though that specifically concerns men with small wrists:
The 40 mm (1.6”) diameter and the generally clunky dive watch design make it appear too big on most modest men’s wrists.
As mentioned in the TMM post about watches for small wrists, 40 mm is the absolute biggest watch diameter men with small wrists should wear.
Keep in mind though that applies only if the case and straps are thin. Clearly, the Rolex Submariner doesn’t fall into that category.
But dive watches are so classic, iconic and cool. Which is why James Bond has been wearing them for over 50 years.
Back in 1962 when the first James Bond movie hit the big screens, Sean Connery (portraying the famed secret agent) wore the aforementioned Rolex Submariner, as did many of his successors.
But Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton aren't exactly small men. They range in height from 6'1″ (Moore) to 6'2″ (Connery), and the Rolex Submariner looked perfectly proportionate on their larger-than-average wrists.
A New Watch for James Bond
When Pierce Brosnan (6’1”) took over the role of James Bond for Goldeneye in 1995, the lead actor wasn’t the only thing that changed.
James Bond was also wearing a new watch – the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M.
While the Seamaster can’t deny certain visual similarities with the Rolex Submariner, its diameter is actually slightly bigger at 41 mm.
That alone would make it even less suitable for men with small wrists. But don't worry! There's another option for us modest men…
The Omega Seamaster 36.25 mm Diver 300M Watch
Along with their 41 mm model Omega offers a 36.25 mm (1.4”) model of their Seamaster Diver 300M watch.
Together with the case, the straps were sized down as well and measure 18 mm (0.7”) on this model – perfect for smaller gents.
The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M is available with a blue and a black face. If you want a look that’s close to the Rolex Submariner, go with the black face.
I prefer the blue one (which is also what James Bond wore in the movies) but you might want to make your choice of color depended on your skin tone.
Note: Check out the The Modest Man Style Guide to learn how skin tone (among other things) affects which colors fit you well and which you should avoid.
Smaller Dive Watches
If you’ve never worn a dive watch before, even the 36.25 mm model can feel big on your wrist, which might take some time to get used to it.
But remember that dive watches are bigger by design, and unless you have unusually skinny wrists you’ll be fine with a 36.25 mm watch from a style perspective.
If you still feel that the 36.25 mm model is too big for you, don't worry. Omega offers an even smaller 28 mm (1.1”) model. While some of the internals are different compared to the 41 mm and 36.25 mm models, the design is very similar.
Make sure to check out the 28 mm model in person, though, and don’t just order it online without having tried it on first. It's a very small watch, and you might find it too small or feminine on your wrist.
A More Affordable Dive Watch for Short Men
Before you run off to pick up the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M model of your choice, let’s talk about the price real quick.
While the Seamster is definitely cheaper than the Rolex Submariner, it's still a luxury watch that costs between $2,000 and $4,000.
Note: Prices may vary depending on where you look, and I recommend buying from a licensed Omega dealer to avoid getting ripped off.
But if the Omega Seamaster is (understandably) not in your budget, you might want to check out the Longines Hydroconquest.
Along with the standard 41 mm model, a smaller 34 mm (1.3”) model with a blue face and a 29.5 mm (1.2”) model with a black face are available.
The Hydroconquest is still a very high quality Swiss made watch. In fact, Longines and Omega both belong to the same parent company, the Swatch Group.
The Hydroconquest can be had for roughly $800 on places like Amazon.
It's still a lot of money for most men, but remember that the dive watch is the most versatile watch of them all from a style point of view.
And a quality dive watch will likely last you a lifetime.
Do you own a dive watch? Would you buy one? Let me know in the comments below!