The Best Small Watches For Men

The Best Small Watches For Men

Large watches started taking the industry by storm around the turn of the new millennium.  Before then, men’s watches were quite small by today’s standards, typically measuring no bigger than 36mm.  Large timepieces will likely always be in vogue as nearly every brand on the market continues incorporating models with 40mm+ case sizes into their portfolios.  However, small watches are having a bit of a moment, and not just among collectors with smaller to average-sized wrists, either. 

In today’s industry, small watches are for any wrist – big or small.  They might not appeal to your watch tastes, and that’s ok.  But if you find yourself among the growing many that appreciate the distinctive look and feel of a smaller watch, you’re in the right place.  These are just a few of the best and most popular small watches for men.

Hamilton Khaki Field

I’m partial to the first watch on this list because I own it and have always thought it looks nice on my husband’s wrist, which measures approximately 7 inches.  It’s a field watch, through and through, with a straightforward design set and resilient build.  At the same time, it measures a versatile 38mm in diameter and sits low at around 9.5mm thick.  While it’s not the smallest watch on my list, it will appeal to men with average to larger-sized wrists in the market for a durable weekender or everyday watch.

Photo: Hamilton

Oris Divers 65

Oris released the Divers Sixty-Five in 2015.  The collection is a love letter to a successful dive watch produced by the revered Swiss watchmaker in the 1960s, featuring a similar design set right down to the shape of the hour markers and the “light old radium” Super-LumiNova.  The scratch-resistant sapphire crystal is domed to mirror the shape of Plexiglas, and the crown sits alone without the protection of modern crown guards.  The functionality of a dive watch in a neat 36mm package.

Photo: Oris

Tissot PRX

At 35mm in diameter and 9.6mm thick, the Tissot PRX is a compact watch.  It has the desirable tonneau-shaped case and integrated bracelet made famous by the likes of Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe, but for well under $1k.  It’s a comeback watch inspired by the Tissot PRX, released in 1978 with all the charm of both a vintage and a modern timepiece.

Photo: Tissot

Rolex Datejust 36

Watch size is subjective.  But most can agree that the Rolex Datejust 36 looks suitable on just about any wrist size - small or large, men or women.  Reference 16233, particularly, caught my eye with its older-style case with more tapered lugs and a 12mm profile.  It’s sleek yet instantly recognizable as an exclusive Rolex watch.  Not to mention gold and two-tone watches are making a serious comeback.

Steel and gold Rolex Datejust 16233

Photo: Bob's Watches

The Cartier Tank

Cartier is the king of small watches, featuring a vast portfolio of uniquely shaped cases to suit nearly any wrist.  Among the most popular is the Tank, which has been in production for over a century and features a design inspired by Renault tanks from World War I.  Despite its robust name, the Tank has a timeless quality that transcends generations and fashion trends and looks phenomenal with casual or formal attire.  It’s classy and unassuming and sits nicely on the wrist with its slim profile.

The Cartier Tank Solo: 35mm x 27mm

The broader Tank collection houses several sub-models, each with its redeeming qualities from slightly more unorthodox case shapes like the sleek Américaine to the traditional Tank Louis Cartier. If vintage is more your style, the cult favorite Tank Solo will look exceptional on just about any wrist. Just ask actor Jeff Goldblum who wears his gold Cartier often.

Photo: Jeff Goldblum

It's easy to appreciate the craftsmanship of each of these watches, even if you don't feel inspired to hop on the small watch trend.

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