The best small watches for men aren’t compensating for anything. Oversized silhouettes might be enjoying a moment in menswear, but when it comes to your watch, big proportions don’t always translate to big wins, style-wise. While there’s definitely a place for XXL G-Shocks and burly divers in any collection, pint-sized tickers offer a wholly different—and equally worthy—style proposition.

Before bust-down Rolexes and million-dollar Richard Milles became some of the most coveted watches on the planet, small timepieces enjoyed a long and uninterrupted reign as the pinnacle of taste and style. And for good reason: Watchmakers had been working for generations to make their movements as small as possible without sacrificing accuracy, making slimness and lightness extremely desirable traits—akin to a bezel full of rainbow-colored gemstones today. That all changed with the advent of luxury sports watches like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in the 1970s, whose beefy (for the time) 39mm case earned it the nickname “jumbo.”

5 Tiny Tickers with Superlative Style Chops

Fifty years on (and thanks to Instagram, a platform seemingly made for flexing oversized timepieces), the Jumbo looks downright petite next to most men’s watches of today, which usually measure anywhere from 40mm-45mm—a size once considered unwearably large. Recently, though, as more people have discovered the charms (and diminutive proportions) of vintage watches, demand for smaller case sizes is on the rise—and brands are paying attention.

If you have a slim wrist, or just prefer the look of a smaller watch, your best play is to shop by the numbers. The easiest way to judge a watch’s wearability is to look at the case size (a.k.a. the overall diameter, not including the crown) but it’s also worth looking at the case thickness (which has an impact on how big a watch will look on your wrist), the type of bracelet it has (integrated bracelets tend to make a watch wear larger) and the lug-to-lug measurement (that’s the distance across the dial between the tips of the lugs that hold the strap in place).

What’s the ideal size? That’s debatable (and a great way to get a group of watch nerds fired up) but most folks would agree that a small men’s watch is anything from 34mm to 38mm. While large-and-in-charge cases remain the norm (for now) there are plenty of smaller options available if you know where to look. The elite selects below are the very best small watches for men on the market.

The Best Small Watches Under $100


Before Tyler the Creator went deep on Cartier he was all about this Casio, which is by far the most style you can get for $13.


At just 6mm thick, this Casio is as slim as it is stylish.


Like a pair of Sambas for your wrist.


Is it any surprise that the baby of the G-Shock family is just as rugged and stylish as its bigger siblings?


When it comes to colorful plastic watches, why should kids get all of the good stuff?


A relic from the era of smoking on planes and office bar carts. Unlike those things, the Marlin hasn’t lost any of its appeal over the decades.

The Best Small Watches Under $250


Swatch helped to define the look of the 1980s with zany plastic watches like this one which, like its original forebears, looks just right at 34mm.


The best deal in watches is an even better deal at 37mm.


Standard Issue Calendar Field Watch

Thanks to its ocean-ready locking crown, this rugged field watch can actually take you from the beach to the office without missing a beat.


The A-11 field watch was issued to US Army soldiers in WWII and renowned for its toughness and accuracy. This faithful homage captures it in all of its original glory, including a hand-wound movement and a 32mm case.


In addition to being one of the most reliable and good-looking field watches out there, this solar-powered Citizen is also the perfect size for a slender wrist.


You don’t need a bank balance with multiple commas to add this MoMA-worthy piece of 20th century design to your collection.

The Best Small Watches Under $500


A compact barrel-shaped case and hypnotically engraved dial make this NYC-designed watch a picture of refinement at any size.


Everytime Mesh Strap Watch

A slight 34mm case and an austere three-hand dial make this office-ready Tissot a case study in the power of understatement.

Kuoe Kyoto

A simple yet incredibly sophisticated 35mm ticker from one of the most promising indie brands to come out of Japan in recent years.


Small dive watches can be harder to find in the wild than giant squids, making this 36mm Tissot—complete with 1000-foot water-resistance—a fine catch indeed.


A bubblegum pink dial makes the perfect complement to the Modul C’s 35mm cushion-shaped case.

The Best Small Watches Under $1,000


PRX Powermatic 80 35mm Watch

With the same case size as the 1970s original and a 21st century automatic movement, this new PRX is the best of both worlds.


This tough-as-nails diver is designed to be used by professional search and rescue squads, but it looks just as good with jeans and a chore coat as it does with a survival suit.


This British indie brand has amassed a loyal following for its quality, design, and attention to detail, all of which are on display in this sherbet-colored take on a classic field watch.

Read the full article here


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *