Having a small wrist?
You might often regard wearing watches as a hobby, a passion, or just a way to cover up your thin wrists.
Whatever the intentions are, it’s actually not that tough of a challenge to unlock a watch that fits your wrist circumference, considering the more limited lines we can choose from.
The actual problem is, how to take the measurements of your wrists and the watch you’re eyeing, and considering how delicate they are, can they actually survive any other uses besides giving fashion edges?
Find out the answers via our insightful list of 7 best watches for small wrists and discover the rationale behind determining the proper type of watches that can channel out your personal traits at a proper price point.
- Best Watches for Small Wrists – Quick Comparison
- How To Know If You Have Small Wrists?
- Review of the Top 7 Watches for Men & Women With Small Wrists
- Timex Easy Reader Classic 25mm – Best Overall for Women
- Armitron Pro Sport Digital Chronograph Watch – Budget Choice
- Anne Klein 28mm Diamond-Accented Watch – Best Dainty Looking for Women
- Timex Easy Reader 35mm Date Leather Strap Watch – Best Overall for Men
- Timex Unisex The Weekender 38mm Mineral Dial Watch – Best for Simplicity
- Casio G-Shock Classical Quartz Digital Watch – Best Durability
- Fossil Grant Chronograph Watch – Best Fashion-Forward Looking for Men
- The Ultimate Watch Buying Guide for Small Wrists
- Bottom Line
Best Watches for Small Wrists – Quick Comparison
Related watch collections:
How To Know If You Have Small Wrists?
What if we tell you, your wrists aren’t as small as you think?
A 10-month consumer survey, which was conducted by The Armoury and Drake’s founder Mark Cho via eight of his Instagram accounts, found out 51% of the respondents misinterpreted their wrist sizes, owing to manufacturers’ intended distortion by releasing larger watches conventionally.
So what are the actual wrist sizes on average?
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recognizes 7 inches as the regular wrist size for female adults and 8.6 inches for their male counterparts.
So, if you find your wrist circumference under 6.5 inches, they’re arguably a bit too skinny.
Again, what determines a small wrist in the end?
It’s not rare to find under 5’2” tall women with 7’ wide wrists or 6’2” tall male basketball players with 6’5” carpus, so overall stature isn’t the ultimate attribute.
A rather common practice to gauge the circumference of your wrist is reading the length of a marked soft tape hanging below the knuckles or pre-gauged items like a 6-inch long U.S bill.
By this means, you will soon realize if your wrists are on the small fence (under 6.5 inches), regular or jumbo sizes (above 7 inches for women and 9 inches for men).
Review of the Top 7 Watches for Men & Women With Small Wrists
Wristwatches are a classy means to declare one’s fashion statement, and people with slender wrists do worry if the tight fit would accentuate the fragile frame of their hands and fortify the prejudices against their body insecurities.
It’s down to the genetics path and the faults in our stars are next to impossible to fix.
Consequently, the quest to find a timepiece that holds enough class, elegance, or masculinity without looking awkward is thus so tough a challenge.
Eventually, how big is too big? Where should the lugs droop to? People with thin wrists also have straps, case thickness, and a litany of problems to look after.
Then how about allowing some of that burden shed off your shoulder by looking at our collection of top 7 best watches for small wrists?
Timex Easy Reader Classic 25mm – Best Overall for Women
The first thing that deserves praise in this Easy Reader line is the supplementation of the handy date display compared to the Timex Weekender series.
Easy Reader is an illustration of what you think a classic watch should be, and it’s charming while staying simple.
It fits a 7.5-inch wrist to the T and accessorizes those slender carpi, with a sturdy strap paying big contributions to the tight fit.
It employs one of the thinnest bands out there with just 8 millimeters, which guarantees light-weights and the ease to fit under a cuff.
Again, it’s a great concept to pair up this thin band with a seemingly annoying ticking seconds hand.
After all, these two features do lubricate the convenience to read accurate timings down to each second for meticulous time-aware people, such as students or nurses.
The Indiglo backlight is always a satisfying touch to include, identical to The Weekender, especially on night time read or for far-sighted ladies.
And it wouldn’t be that awesome without the clear-as-a-mirror view the watch hands and the mineral glass crystal offered for ease to read.
With how handy a built-in date feature can get, the duty to tune it manually once a month is kind of a pain.
Not to mention, the battery’s life only lasts for around under a year (unlike what advertised) and the water-resistant rating is a bit moderate with just 3 ATM, which inevitably calls for easy condensation.
Armitron Pro Sport Digital Chronograph Watch – Budget Choice
The sporty look of this functional Armitron digital timepiece perfectly fits into the fantasies of physically active young ladies.
And this is insightfully appropriated for small wristed women since they tend to enjoy intensive muscle bulking activities with the hope to thicken their wrists.
The watch successfully channels the brand’s motto to make every user feel valued, as the 27-millimeter matte powder resin case and rose gold/silver top ring totally eliminates the weakling aura your wrists can radiate.
Yet it doesn’t just serve the look.
A digital piece must excel in functionalities as well, such as the chronograph with clear time display, easy to tune, over 10-bar water-resistant rating, built-in stopwatch and second time zone features, and unexpectedly capable of illuminating in the dark.
On the downside, this Armitron product can get on your nerves in the long run, commencing with how intricate it is to polish the silver ring no matter what bleach or oxidized cleanser within access.
But the biggest problem is there to remain, the band.
Not only does the strap swing off it effortlessly, but the four tiny screws need removing on top of the band if you want to change a dead battery that is uncalled for the hassle.
Anne Klein 28mm Diamond-Accented Watch – Best Dainty Looking for Women
If Fossil Grant is a bold fashion statement for the lads, then Anne Klein is the sensual and unconstrained version of the lass.
This sultry look will undoubtedly bring the house down as a gift for your lovely lady on Christmas Eve or birthday.
And in case you’re in doubt where the diamond’s location is and if it’s real, just look at the luxurious bead between the 12 o’clock position and the logo Anne Klein.
It’s genuinely a grain-sized diamond but under an enlarged illusion.
The two-toned gold chromed enamel bangle has a snug fit (most ideally for 6.5’ wrists), and the length is easy to be modified via the removable end links and an accompanied extender.
At the heart of the metal band is a pearlescent face with a subtle sheen that reflects top accurate Japanese-Quartz crystal.
If we have to nit-pick, this jewelry packs too many embellishments, from the crowns, the clasp to the band extender.
With it’s clearly skewed on the fashion and style area, proper replacement parts may be hard to find and the hands aren’t the simplest to tune either via excessively small dials.
Timex Easy Reader 35mm Date Leather Strap Watch – Best Overall for Men
Easy Reader claims to own the most outstanding durability among any Timex watch series, quoted by the manufacturer themselves.
This shows via a powerful duo including a 35mm all-metal case and heat-treated mineral glass lens.
It’s safe to say this is a timeless piece of accessories that successfully delivers the charisma and masculinity out of any man via any outfit, from the basic color scheme to standard Arabic numerals.
The engineers kept the design simple without an overwhelming pile of embellishments, so the hands are easy to read and dial.
If you set the time mode to seconds, the watch will record a 2-second gain every 2 weeks.
Thus, the accuracy is indeed top-tier with +/- around 60 seconds annually.
And the highlight is yet to come, the Indiglo backlight technology.
This is the most raved about the feature of Timex watches besides their elegant design.
The fully pressed pearlescent face illuminates amidst the dark and facilitates its owners in reading the time at night, in the cinema, or after eye surgery.
As perfect of a watch as Easy Reader may seem, it does have demerits, starting with the incredibly micro number display on the date window, which is an unexpected black sheep hindering the timepiece from fully living true to its name.
The other thing to note should be the once mentioned ticking sound of the hands, as it may trigger the majority of users.
Timex Unisex The Weekender 38mm Mineral Dial Watch – Best for Simplicity
Up until 2020, the all-time favorite of Mark Twain, Timex would exactly be 166 years of age, and that’s enough to claim a world recognized quality.
Besides the interchangeable quick-release leather and fabric Nato straps (fabric can make up for lack of water compatibility of leather), The Weekender is a decent budget choice for a starters’ watch on casual occasions.
As cost-effective as the watch can be, the quality doesn’t get yielded.
It may not feature high-end sapphire, but heat-treated mineral glass actually outperforms in terms of abrasive resistance.
This means if you happen to crash the surface into hard objects at night (which is nearly impossible thanks to the 28-year-old Indiglo neon backlight), it can still stay spotless.
All in all, if you want a graceful and versatile timepiece without any bells and whistles, this is the one for you.
But don’t get ahead of yourself if you find a popping crown snagging your shirt cuff or a noticeable ticking sound.
And if a wristwatch with a strong water-resistant rating is what you’re imagining, this would be unlikely to make your list.
Casio G-Shock Classical Quartz Digital Watch – Best Durability
G-Shock DW5600 is a legendary Tokyo-based shock-resistant gadget that can take up a professional hockey slap shot and still charge forward.
Compared to the classy and sleek Fossil Grant, G-Shock’s monotone black silhouette expresses a contrasting charm that screams boyish, rough while being practical and down-to-earth.
It doesn’t accentuate the outer beauty, but focuses on bringing seven quintessential traits to the table: resistance against electric shock, gravity, severely low temps, vibration, water (20 ATM, the deepest underwater point so far), shock and unbeatable toughness.
It can survive sharp objects like rocks, as well as confronting moisture or mud before making it out with minimal condensation, and that’s on the same level of toughness as an old-school Nokia brick.
The case is only 15-millimeter thick, which stays massively comfortable under any military uniform’s cuff.
For some extra serviceability, the watch only loses 20 seconds per month, while being competent in gauging 1/100 of a second during the first hour via elapsed and split time mode, hence it’s right up the alleys of athletes and military officers.
As sad as it may sound, users can end up with dry patches and rashes all over their skin due to the steel case and the resin band, thus we believe it’s a warning for anyone with oversensitive skin.
And maybe it’s an old design, so the dial buttons are rather too small to push, and even the backlight must be kept depressed all the time if you don’t want it to darken again two seconds after release.
Fossil Grant Chronograph Watch – Best Fashion-Forward Looking for Men
Fossil, with its 80s retro aesthetics, used to be the dream of every American cool kid during the 90s.
Falling under the same reign as Burberry, Armani, or Micheal Kors, Fossil passes on the heritage of being fashion-forward.
If you’re a man who’s on the hunt for a reasonable wristwatch to hang around 8-inch wrists with luxurious looking design and robust materials, then Fossil Grant makes a decent starters’ brand.
The polished look features a 44-millimeter stainless steel case at the heart of an all-leather band, displaying analog Roman numerals ooze with class suitable for both casual and formal occasions.
The leather strap even offers such soft and supple feels that it’s deliberately on pars with an over $300 Seiko.
You may find the IIII (instead of IV) and IV (a cut-off IX) odd, but it’s actually a trend emerging around the fashion world in common.
In fact, the fully multifunctional chronograph with a stopwatch down to seconds is a powerhouse outshining the controversial extra fashion touch.
As mentioned in the beginning, the stainless case is crafted sleekly and beautifully, except for the date going missing just like the Timex Weekender.
Due to the bigger case, Fossil Grant falls into a rather heavy category, or noticeably heavier than a Timex Weekender for sure, so it’s not the most comfortable to wear on small wrists.
And the Quartz movement also falls short on expectations comparing to digital pieces.
With an oversensitive crystal that loses 1 minute over every 18 hours, so you would need a solid base of knowledge to adjust three identical dials mechanically on periods
The Ultimate Watch Buying Guide for Small Wrists
When you buy a watch for small wrists (6’5” to 7’5”), it shouldn’t make your hands look weaker and more awkward.
Instead, you’re aiming for that proportional fit that oozes with grace and healthy beauty.
To successfully channel what you’re coveting, here are the things you should jot down while looking for a wristwatch:
The case diameter
The size of the case is instrumental in casting an illusion on your hands.
If you’re a gentleman with small wrists and large hands, an under 40mm case can eliminate your body insecurities.
If you’re a lady with pea-sized wrists compared to your frame, pick an under 33m case.
The band thickness
Paying special attention to the thickness of your watch band is critical to ensuring a proportional look.
Simultaneously, a thin band is capable of flattering slender wrists without staying bulky under your shirt cuff.
Thin bands would also compliment quick-release technology better, and they’re softer to adjust and remove.
Apart from the convenience, thin bands are more collectible than thick ones, since they take more time and effort to craft.
The strap/band size
If you’re planning to take measurements manually, you’ll have to gauge the lugs to determine what kind of straps (leather or fabric) appropriately proportional and how wide the strap should be.
During your new shopping spree, if you want to find out the circumference of wrists that the watch will look best on, just gauge the size of the pre-packaged OEM strap accompanying the watch.
The more drugstore the brand is, the more standardized the watch straps are.
Once you’re buying an after-market strap, go for a soft and buckle leather bracelet.
This is the most popular material, so the price and availability are flexible and easy to get access to.
And if you haven’t adopted any skin irritation from previously worn brass straps, you can give it a shot in place of commonplace leather.
One small caveat, however, once you’ve laid your eyes on metal chromed bands, go the great lengths and buy an expensive one.
Do not cheap out on this, as aforementioned, you wouldn’t want dry patches and red rashes on your fragile hands.
Imagine, after unboxing your delivery, you just want to put your watch on for an up-close investigation on impulse.
Yet, you’re here, working out a way to assemble a bunch of accessories such as extenders, or jewelry extra links on instead.
The flashier the watch is, the bigger attention you’re drawing to your wrists, and for people with slender wrists, it’s a nightmare.
Hence, a simple timeless design will always trump over colorful embellishments.
In case you’re finding the simple classic style plain-looking, go bold with large innate parts of the watch such as a larger crown, bigger lugs, or embossed dial pushers.
Do watches look good on small wrists?
Watch junkies with slender wrists share a common fear: their hand is being worn by the watch and not vice versa, which looks tacky and awkward.
In general, most brands have only released two or three watch series with small case circumference, and the unisex over-sized trend still dominates all over the marketplace.
Yet since 2018, smaller watches have been on the rise once more with the launch of Rolex Tudor and Oris.
These watches feature adjustable leather bands with 25mm – 38mm cases, which can cast a magnifying effect on your wrist and make the watch bigger than it actually does.
Do small wrists mean anything?
Besides being a body disproportion and making it hard to find a watch with great fit, there’s no official research linking thin wrists with health threats.
There existed a study carried out by Casey Butt with the top 300 natural bodybuilders, and the results indicated a positive correlation between wrist size and optimal muscular potential.
Other than that, small wrists don’t translate to weaker physical strength, as these are the people who sign up for weightlifting, tennis, or bench press the most in hope for wrist bulking up.
Which type of watch suits a thin wrist?
A slender wrist can end up looking more fragile or badly covered if you buy too large of a watch.
Hence, with references to the buying guide above, pick a watch with moderate case circumference (U33mm for women and U40mm for men) wrapped around with a thin leather band.
While the case diameter is absolutely critical, it’s the lug-to-lug width that directly expresses how a watch will sit on your wrist.
Make sure upon wearing the watch, the lugs do not protrude out of your wrist.
And from the joints out of the lugs, the bracelet tends to curl inward, thus shortening the overall length down.
So add a few inches to your true wrist circumference and the band won’t be stretched out significantly on your wrist.
Is a 34mm Rolex small?
Oversized watches were not a thing until the last decade, and 34mm has always been the gold standard in size.
Eventually, with some well-known 34mm Rolex series like Oyster Precision or Tudor, the big-sized face radiates a magnifying effect, which makes it perfect as a dress watch.
For a timepiece, it’s not about the size that counts.
What makes a watch feel right should be rounded up to the design, how easy it is to set up the dial, if there is a date window function available, or whether the face is easy to read.
In the end, ask yourself, are you wearing a watch, or is the watch wearing you?
Is a 40mm case too big for small wrists?
For a woman’s wrists, it’s likely to be on a moderate side when it comes to men’s wrists.
On top of that, we suggested going for bolder innate parts such as a bigger case like this than gaudy embellishments that draw too much attention to your thin wrists.
Hence, 40 millimeters is an acceptable measurement.
However, do not go beyond this point, since oversized faces exude equally bad effects as gaudy embellishments.
What size is too big for a watch? Should a watch slide on your wrist?
We don’t rely on size figures to determine whether a watch is too big or too small for your wrist.
Rather, in theory, the band shouldn’t glide down above 2 inches from the knuckle when your hand points down to the ground or leaves an imprint on the skin in normal states.
Yet beyond all the standards and conceptions, it all comes down to your personal taste of aesthetics.
If you want your watch to dangle around the forearm, even the elbow, that’s your business and no one can have a saying to that.
It can droop to 3” or 4”, or it can fit snugly without spare space.
Learn to love your flaws and embrace them with confidence, because you’re the one to set your own beauty standards, no need to chase after social norms.
It’s no easy quest to find the right watch for people with small wrists since most watches are over-sized and thus overpower the silhouettes of your hand.
Nevertheless, with the rise of small watches in 2018, the burden is now shed dramatically.
Among the top 7 watches for small wrists reviewed in our article, Timex Easy Reader Date Leather Strap Watch series for both men (35mm) and women (25mm) successfully make the Editor’s Choice for Best Overall due to:
- Simple design with a few embellishments
- Easy-to-read face with Indiglo backlight
- Date window function available
- Adjustable leather straps with sturdy clasps
- Moderate case circumferences
What about you? Do these 7 best watches for small wrists live up to your personal standard? Is there any other critique that you feel like we’ve missed out?
Don’t hesitate to share with us what you think by commenting down below! Have a good time shopping!