Watches for men with small wrists – like phones, the watch world is experiencing a surge in popularity for the “bigger is better” offerings. The issue this is causing is that it’s becoming difficult for men and women to find a timepiece that is appropriately-sized for their own wrist proportions. This article will focus on men with a smaller wrist.
A timepiece is certainly an accessory. An item of clothing, almost. If that timepiece doesn’t fit, it’ll look odd compared to the rest of you. A watch that is too big will make you appear smaller. Too small, and it’s plain uncomfortable.
Trends have forced watchmakers to make bigger watches. This isn’t ideal for the smaller man. You can really notice when a man is wearing a watch that isn’t right. He might be wearing the sharpest suit, but the focus will be on that over-sized watch sitting on his wrist.
A watch tells time as its primary function. Secondly, it’s an accessory. It should be subtle, classy and sophisticated. A classy gentleman doesn’t wear garish gold chains, and ditto a watch that is too big.
Do you have a small wrist?
So, what actually defines the small wrist? It’s not related to your stature overall. You can find a lot of tall men who have small wrists. It comes down to size.
A small wrist is considered to be less than 6.5inches (17cm) diameter.
If your wrist is bigger than that, but you feel you have small wrists regardless, the same rules outlined here apply.
If you don’t happen to have a tape measure closeby, take a dollar (or five/ten/twenty pound) note and wrap that around your wrist. It’s 6 inches in length so if the edges touch or are shy of touching, then you know you have a small wrist.
Finding the right size watch
An appropriately sized wrist watch covers two-thirds of your wrist width.
Watch buying guide
The aim of a new watch to suit a small wrist is to find something that is proportional as well as suiting your taste.
Here are a few rules of thumb:
- Keep the case diameter less than 40mm
- Avoid chunky designs
- Avoid thick cases
- Make sure the wristband pairs with your wrist size
- Keep it minimal on the design features. No big crowns or oversized numbers
The key thing is the case size. You really do want to stick to that 40mm rule. The case size is certainly vital to finding a watch that looks good on your wrist. If you have bigger wrists but smaller hands, getting a watch this size works too. It’ll even out the proportions.
Secondly, the next key thing is the thickness. Thin is good here. Thinner watches look better on small wrists. This doesn’t mean you have to buy a woman’s watch (although if you wanted to, there are no rules to say you can’t). Thin watches retain their value, interestingly. You’ll find a lot of thin watches in collections. This is because it requires a lot of skill on the watchmaker’s part to manufacture it compared to a thickset one.
Thirdly, the strap. You really should get hold of a tape measure if you can. If you’re going for a new watch, you’ll be able to see what size the strap is that’ll be in the box. If you check this out before buying it, you’ll already know if it will look proportionate on your wrist.
There aren’t any exceptions to this. The less costly watch tends to have a factory-standard strap. You can often by a replacement that suits you better. Thin leather straps and subtle metal bracelets are the better options.
Finally, the design should be considered. Simple watches don’t have any feature embellished. These work really well on the smaller wrist. They bring less focus toward themselves and therefore the wrist.
A simple black leather wristband with a white gold or stainless steel case with a basic dial work very well. Compare this to a golden tone band or something with jewels are too bold and brash and bring complication to the dial.
Ditto the usual parts you find on a watch. Crown, lugs, pushers… Keep them modest.
Where to purchase the right watch
The internet is your friend here. You can certainly find the right watch with all the right size components in the right colours and at the right price from your sofa.
Check if your seller or retailer has a returns policy because even though you can do all the due diligence in the world when you unbox it and put it on, it could simply look wrong.
If you really wanted, you could find a watch online then check out where it’s stocked to go and try it on (and then buy it in-store).
$90 / £69
Firstly, this is an awesome budget option. The Weekender is a firm favourite. They’re reliable and surprisingly durable. They’re also so inexpensive you could afford to buy a couple and swap them to suit your outfit or mood. In the budget corner of the market, this is a really popular choice.
Timex are actually superb, generally. Read more about their backlit collection, called Indiglo, here.
Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield
$110 / £99
Right on the 40mm mark, this classic quartz watch is certainly a classic. It’s accessibly priced and commonly seen on a young professional. Daniel Wellington watches are easily modified, so you can swap from a traditional black leather strap to something more colourful and fun, in nylon.
Perfect as an everyday watch and especially so in the summer.
Another classic from DW is their Classic Bristol, you can read our review of that here.
$119 / £99
The Men’s Watch from Bulova is understated but equally classy. It has a metal dial that sits on a thin leather strap in black.
It’s a classic dress quartz watch. Not necessarily a collectable, but it’ll tell you the time accurately and last a long time.
The case is 37mm by 6mm. Perfect for the smaller wrist. Perfect for those working in an office.
Frederique Constant Automatic
Around $500 / £475
This is a timeless look. One of the most well-recognised and much loved dress watches. It has Swiss-made automatic movements inside a 40mm case.
Perfect for the office and tilts you gently into the world of luxury watches.
Around $2,500 / £2,200
The classiest option of all. Perfect for a small wrist. This time we have a square case that makes the Tank one of the most instantly-recognisable watches in the world. It’s seen on some of the most powerful men in history.
Hopefully, you feel empowered to know what to look for in a timepiece that will make the most of a smaller wrist. No need to be embarrassed. The right watch can make everything look in proportion!