Once upon a time, one needed to exchange a good piece of treasure to own a wristwatch. Today, you’d say that everyone can buy a watch. But not every watch can be a luxury timepiece and that’s exactly why wristwatches have considered being status symbols ever since they are invented. And we all know that there are time-telling pieces out there that cost millions of dollars.
As long as we exist as specie, men have been socially pressured to prove themselves in almost all segments of life, in order to earn a land, a partner or, simply, hunt for food. And it’s not just a human characteristic - most animals play the same games too. But in animal world that process is usually quite simple. A male of any other animal species most often has to be good, or better said, better than other males competing for the same prize in just one discipline, whether it’s fighting, dancing, or hunting. When it comes to humans, it gets way more complicated than that. The culture and the society have a large impact on our lives so the pressure on social roles changes over time and geolocations. But some gender stereotypes are common to many different eras and countries and get to be universally accepted, even if they are, often, quite exclusive. For example, it is commonly accepted that terms like status, taste and wealth - and all the things they can represent, including watches, won’t be far from the image of a successful man, even if it doesn’t have to be that way necessarily. Of course, there are people who simply love a good watch and don’t care about the status symbols, but there is a whole sub-nation that judges a book by its cover and will tell a lot about the man based on the watch he is wearing. Then there is another side of this coin - there are people who will carefully pick their timepieces for the occasions, knowing exactly what they want their message to be in a given time. In different time periods and various social circles these stories can have all colors and shapes, such as, painting the picture of wealth or personal interests, or, simply, a refined taste, but the one that held on for so long was being quite elementary: It’s a story about size.
Size seems to take a significant meaning in all segments of men’s life. From his body to his cars, size can impact a man’s life in all kinds of ways. Big things have always represented masculinity and strength in the men’s world. Hence, having a big watch can represent a lot more than just a time teller. Consequently, it is no wonder that wristwatches for men mostly grew in size during the course of history and rarely swung back to smaller cases. Except men’s watches for small wrists, the majority of timepieces stayed over 40mm men’s watches range for several decades (for example, 40mm dive watch is now pretty much considered a standard), which, you must admit, can also be a burden if you need to wear it for longer periods. But, on the other side, there are giants like Diesel Grand Daddy Chronograph (Ref. DZ7262) of 76mm or Musk MR2919 of astonishing 90mm in diameter. As there are many great large watches, these two included, we don’t doubt their worth, but, if you don’t own one, imagine wearing it for 6-8 hours straight. Not an easy task, which confirms the theory that it’s not easy to be a man in this competitive world. But luckily, the times are changing and values evolve.
Sure, large watches, such as tool-watches still remain popular, as there are many handsome models out there, but it seems that the human condition grows towards practical side of life more and more. We don’t necessarily need to go big to prove ourselves as worthy, as more often less is more in these modern times. For example, you can drive a line between the growing popularity of tiny houses and small watches for men. These are the times when you can have luxury packed into smaller frames and more practical dimensions and yet not lose on its worth, in both mentioned cases. Both things are a matter of great knowledge and borderline artistic skills of their makers. That is why we’re facing more and more small watches for men on the market (most often 38mm men’s watches, but also the growing number of 37mm watches).
Hence, we’ve compiled a list of our recent favorites and also some of the best men’s watches for small wrists - or simply for those who don’t want to have a sore wrist after their work day and are fans of small dive watches.
Let us start with Seiko’s Spirit collection that seemed under the radar for some time, but plays the perfect role for Seiko mods due to their colors. Seiko SARB033 Black, run by the mighty Seiko 6R15 caliber, has a case diameter of 37mm and lug width of 20mm, meaning that you can do a mod with, let’s say 20mm quick release watch bands or 20mm leather watch bands and therefore have a nice chameleon that fits any occasion during day and night and, plus, it won’t bust your wrist. Another nice example is his angelic brother, Seiko SARB035 White, that you can also fit with any Seiko 20mm watch bands. The same goes for all watches we picked this time, whether their cases are 37mm, 38mm, 39mm or 40mm, they all have lugs of 20mm, meaning the tan line won’t be too wide.
Seiko SKX013 is a sibling of the famous SKX007, run by caliber 7S26, but far more tolerable on your wrist than the latter by being 37mm watch. Seiko SKX023 is another handsome diver of the same size, with the same black dial and from the same line that won’t make one of your arms stronger than the other and can be easily fit with any of the 20mm watch bands.
On Seiko Alpinist SARB017 : 20mm MiLTAT WW2 2-piece Light Grey Camouflage Nylon Watch Band
Then there is the famous Green Alpinist (Seiko SARB017) with 6R15 nicely packed into its 38mm case, but note that also its modern cousins Seiko White Alpinist SPB119, Seiko Black Alpinist SPB117, Seiko Green Alpinist SPB121 and Seiko Cream Alpinist SPB123 have the same case size, so there is plenty of an option to choose from in this range.
Diver lovers rejoice, this isn’t the end of our list of small dive watches. Seiko Mini Turtle SRPC41 (Pepsi dial), Seiko Zimbe Turtle SRPD17 (Green dial) and magnificent Seiko Zimbe Turtle SRPD19 (Yellow dial) fit into 39mm cases and have nothing less than their giant cousins.
On Seiko Zimbe Mini Turtle SRPD19: 20mm Quick Release - Khaki Quick Release Italian Suede Leather Watch Strap
We also have to mention Seiko SZSB006 TicTAC (SEIKO×TiCTAC 35th Anniversary Limited Edition SZSB006 MADE IN JAPAN JDM), created with Japanese retailer Tic Tac in celebration of its 35th anniversary, that sits on the fence between large and small watches with its 40mm case but looks quite something for a, relatively, small watch.
Besides Seiko, another popular small watch is Hamilton Khaki H70455733, with power reserves of 80 hours that has features inspired by military plus bold looks and is wonderfully packaged into a 38mm case.