Jewelry & Watches

How to Buy a Watch If You Have Small Wrists

Avoid anything big and flashy.
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It has never been a one-size-fits-all situation when it comes to timepiece shopping, but finding a watch that merely fits is not all there is to it. To the collector, a timepiece doubles as a statement piece—it’s the men’s equivalent of a designer handbag or the diamond ring on one’s finger. This makes how it suits on one’s wrist an imperative consideration.

It’s common for men to be attracted to the bigger and more extravagant timepieces. This could be because of the way it subtly peers out of any jacket sleeve or suit—just enough to say ‘look at me.’ Small wrists will have to suffer for that flex, however. Trust us when we say bigger is not necessarily better in this case. If smaller than average wrists are what nature dealt you with, then it’s best not to follow any oversized case trends or go the retro route and sport an eccentrically small-faced watch.

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We’ll start by addressing one of the frequently asked questions of this issue—is there a formula or guide to acing the proportions? First, we have to define the average case size: the case diameter would be between 37 and 39 millimeters but that’s not yet considering the style. This measurement would vary across diving watches and sports watches, which would typically go beyond these dimensions, while more on-trend or stylish watches would be more compact. If you want to get technical and are a stickler for precision, you can stick to a watch with a case diameter below 40 millimeters.

Personal preferences and styles aside, you must also look into the size of your watch’s band against the size of the case diameter. Any case that’s more than twice the size of its band may appear comical and ridiculous. It’s always easy to remember that smaller bands or straps will always suit a smaller wrist. The same goes for timepieces with oversized parts—thick cases, bezels, crowns, and lugs. It’s generally best to avoid these if it’s proportion you’re prioritizing.

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Next, we move to the style of the watch. Avoid choosing a design that showcases all the bells and whistles, as this may either emphasize a skinny wrist or conceal it completely. Make the decision process easier and opt for a classic and minimalist style.

To give you a few ideas, we’ve rounded up some of our top picks for small wrists:

Hublot Classic Fusion Orlinski Titanium

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Patek Philippe Grand Complications 41mm, 18K Rose Gold and Alligator

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Omega De Ville Tresor 125th Anniversary Edition

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Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 40mm, Stainless Steel Oyster Bracelet

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Grand Seiko 9R02 Spring Drive

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Chanel Monsieur Watch 40mm

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Tudor Black Bay P01 42mm Stainless Steel

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Of course, these factors would have to compromise for your personal style and if it's a chunky design that gives you pleasure, then, by all means, go for it. 

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About The Author
Hannah Lazatin
Features Editor
Hannah is originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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