Three Modern Watches for Smaller Wrists

Article By: Logan Hannen

WATCH101 | June 04, 2019

This past week, we got into three vintage watches for those with big wrists. It’s an age-old dilemma, and one that hopefully we were able to shed some light on. However, in modern times and with watches becoming increasingly large as time goes on, those with smaller wrists have just as difficult a time finding a watch, new, that will fit them right. For that reason, today, we’re going to take a look at three modern watches that are designed with the smaller wristed (or at least those who prefer smaller timepieces) in mind.

1: NOMOS Club Campus Neomatik Ref. 748

Source: NOMOS

Case Diameter: 37mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Strap: NOMOS Proprietary Steel Bracelet
Movement: NOMOS Caliber DW3001 Automatic Movement
Price: $2,780

It’s no secret that I’m a bit obsessed with NOMOS, and given their classical design language and sizing, it only makes sense that one of them would appear on this list. As far as an option for your everyday watch is concerned, this one is hard to argue with. It features an automatic movement, designed entirely in-house by NOMOS (hardly the norm at this price point outside of brands like Seiko and Citizen), and comes on their new, pseudo-mesh steel bracelet.

The watch features the classic Club Campus California dial, with Arabic numerals on the top half of the dial and Romans on the bottom. The important bit, for our purposes, is the case diameter – at 37mm across, the watch is exceptionally conservative in its sizing, which is only accenter further by its impressive 8.3mm thinness. It’s lug-to-lug width is substantial, but with the smaller proportions of the case overall, this really only serves to make 37mm a more wearable size for a wider range of wrists than may have otherwise given it a chance.

2: Seiko 5 SNKL43

Source: Amazon

Case Diameter: 37mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Strap: Seiko 5 Folded Link Steel Bracelet
Movement: Seiko 7S26C Automatic Movement
Price: $135

I just picked this watch up myself in an effort to try and surmise what all the fuss about the Seiko 5 being a value prop was all about, and boy was I not disappointed. I’ll spare the gory details of my amazement for a proper write up, but suffice it to say that the finishing, design, and execution are done to a much higher level than $135 would suggest. On a design level, it does kind of feel like the affordable version of an Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra, especially in the case finishing department.

At 37mm, the case of the SNKL43 is nominally the same size as the Club Campus above, but its stockier, almost Oyster case, mixed with its shorter lugs, give it a smaller impression on the wrist than the NOMOS. That being said, it feels more like a true 37mm, rather than the NOMOS’ “big for 37mm” wrist presence. And again, at $135 right now (the price, I’ve noticed, has gone up three times in the last month), it’s at the top end for the watch still being bang for your buck, but for the time being, it definitely is some of the best value in smaller watches.

3: Breguet Classique Ref. 5930

Source: Breguet

Case Diameter: 35.5mm
Case Material: Yellow Gold
Strap: Black Alligator Leather
Movement: Breguet Caliber 517/1 Automatic Movement
Price: $16,700

Breguet is a brand that I’ve had a long, and enduring love for. They’ve consistently been at the forefront of horological innovation, everything from the tourbillon to the self-winding movement. Their Classique line is perhaps the best example not of their ability to innovate, but their ability to create classic, enduring designs, and the reference 5930 is as good an example of that as any.

Cased in yellow gold, the watch comes in at 35.5mm in diameter, making it the smallest on this list and also the most classically sized for it. Its dial is silver, and features a selection of different finishing techniques that Breguet has become known for, including a beautiful, hand-finished guilloche pattern. Its hands are signature Breguet (literally – the handset is known as “Breguet hands”), and its case is finished with the same iconic coin edging that has become a brand signature. Add to it the discreet date window at 6 o’clock, and you’ve got a dress watch that is incredibly functional, perfectly proportioned, and iconic in almost every way, making it perfect for the smaller wristed among us, as well as those who are looking for something in a bit of a more classic size.