The 11 best watches for small wrists

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by Masha Vapnitchnaia
Best watches for small wrists. Featured: Casio F-91WM-1BCF, Timex Easy Reader Date Expansion Band an...

Given that research suggests the brain can skew your sense of time, it’s that much more important to keep track of the hours — and if you don’t want to rely on your smartphone, a wristwatch is both stylish and functional. The best watches for small wrists have a case size between 34 and 42 millimeters (mm) that won’t overwhelm your wrist or feel uncomfortable, and they have adjustable bands so you can find the best fit. When shopping, let your personal style and practical features such as water resistance be your guide.

While shopping, measuring your wrist and keeping general sizing guidelines in mind can help guide you. If your wrist circumference is around 6 inches, you might like a watch case that’s 34 to 36 millimeters. For a 7-inch wrist, you may prefer a watch between 38 and 42 millimeters. Of course, if you like the look of an oversize watch, you can definitely opt for a case that’s on the larger side since each option below has a size-adjustable band. In addition to clocking the case size, also take note of the watch band’s width. Generally, watch band width should be about 50% of the case diameter, but you can go for slightly wider or slimmer bands depending on your aesthetics.

As you shop, you’ll find a choice between quartz, mechanical, and automatic movement or a smartwatch. Quartz watches, which include analog and digital styles, use battery or solar power and most keep highly accurate time. Mechanical watches use springs and gears and need to be wound periodically, but they don’t require batteries and usually offer excellent durability. Automatic watches wind themselves, gaining energy from your movement while on your wrist. If they stop ticking, you’ll likely need to shake them to restart the gears. Alternatively, smartwatches connect to servers around the world and are exceptionally accurate.

Finally, there are a few features worth calling out. Watches with water resistance will stand up to sweat and rain, and some can be used for swimming and diving. A light-up dial can help you quickly check the time in the dark, and a chronograph or smartwatch will let you set a timer or even an alarm.

Part timekeeper, part accessory, these are the best watches for small wrists on Amazon.

1. The casual watch with a silicone band

  • Case size: 34 mm
  • Available styles: 1

Featuring a small, 34-millimeter plastic case, this Swatch watch has a durable, textured silicone band in a dark shade of blue that will complement just about any outfit. The clock face has a date and day display and glow-in-the-dark notches, as well as hour and minute hands. It’s a quartz watch, so it keeps highly accurate time, and the 19-millimeter band has a buckle closure. A battery is included and replacements are available. Plus, it can withstand brief immersion in water up to 99 feet, though it’s not suitable for swimming.

One positive review: “I've never owned a Swatch watch before, but I/m so glad I tried this one. It fits perfectly on my small wrist (abt. 5 1/2 In.) at the next to the last hole. The watch is very comfortable to wear and looks great on the wrist. Very classy and very easy to read the numbers.”

2. The old-school digital watch

  • Case size: 35.5 mm
  • Available styles: 10

A throwback that still looks cool, this Casio watch has a digital display and handy features like a stopwatch function, an alarm, and a face that displays the date and day of the week. The watch has a 35.5-millimeter resin glass case, a plastic band that’s 19.25 millimeters wide, and a buckle closure. It has quartz movement and there’s an LED backlight to make the display easier to read in low light. The watch is water-resistant up to 100 feet but is not suitable for swimming. There is a variety of color options to choose from, including black, clear, and green. A battery is included, and replacement batteries are available.

One positive review: “I have fairly small wrists for a male and I've always found watches hard to wear — I usually have to use the last hole on the strap with a lot of excess strap hanging out of the holder. The F91W fits my wrist really well (4th from the last hole) with a comfortable fit.”

3. The classic link watch

  • Case size: 38 mm
  • Available styles: 4

This stainless steel watch has a polished, three-link design with a band that’s 20 millimeters wide. It has a larger 38-millimeter brass case with a mineral glass watch face, a light-up dial, and a date window. The quartz watch is water-resistant up to 100 feet but is not intended for swimming. You can expect the included battery to last up to 10 years, though Timex recommends sending the watch in when the battery needs to be replaced. Keep in mind, the band does not have an adjustable clasp but you can have links removed at a jeweler if you need to make it smaller.

One positive review: “The watch itself feels good quality, with a mix of brushed and shiny stainless case. The face is bold and very easy to read. The luminous hands are next to useless in the dark, but the indiglo illuminated face works very well at the press of the crown button. It's a mid sized 38mm watch face suitable for thinner wrists, but due to the easy read face is highly visible.”

4. The fan-favorite, oversize chronograph watch

  • Case size: 42 mm
  • Available styles: 20

Backed by a 4.7-star overall rating and more than 11,000 reviews, this classic chronograph watch is a fan favorite on Amazon. With a 42-millimeter stainless steel case, it’s one of the largest watches on the list for an oversize look. It has stopwatch dials that display minutes and seconds and a dial with a 24-hour hand. There’s also a date display. The 22-millimeter band has an adjustable buckle closure, and the style featured here is made from leather but you can also choose from an array of different options, including silicone or stainless steel bands. A battery is included and replacements are available. Plus, the quartz watch is water-resistant up to 165 feet and you can wear it while swimming and showering.

One positive review: “Love how this product wears (rather big on my small wrist, but that's what I was going for) and works. Great value!”

5. The mechanical one with a cool exhibition case

  • Case size: 42 mm
  • Available styles: 2

The transparent exhibition case of this mechanical watch lets you see all the gears inside without obstructing the numbers, so you can still read the time effortlessly. The watch has a 42-millimeter stainless steel case that will create an oversize look on small wrists and a 22-millimeter leather band with a buckle clasp. It’s water-resistant up to approximately 98 feet and it can be worn while swimming and showering. Since it’s a mechanical watch, you’ll need to wind it manually but there are no batteries required.

One positive review: “Looks awesome and performs. It goes great with more formal clothes and compliments anything you wear. The watch movement is beautiful and smooth.”

6. The cult-favorite smartwatch

  • Case sizes: 40 mm, 44 mm
  • Available styles: 6

This Apple Watch is your best option if you’re looking for a fitness tracker and watch in one for small wrists, and it has an incredible 4.8-star overall rating with more than 5,500 reviewers weighing in. “I have a 6-inch wrist and wear a 40mm Apple Watch, and it fits perfectly,” says Cristina Sanza, an Inverse editor. “The silicone sport band is also easy to adjust and fits comfortably on the third or fourth hole.”

In addition, the watch has all the bells and whistles you’d expect, including a sleep monitor, activity tracker, voice control, GPS, and a heart rate monitor, and it’s compatible with your iPhone so you can receive texts and make calls. The Apple Watch tells highly accurate time, and it’s water-resistant up to about 164 feet and suitable for swimming. It also comes with a USB-C magnetic cable for charging the battery, which you’ll need to do about once a day.

One positive review: “It has been a tremendous help in tracking my fitness progress. All the features are easy to use and I like that it's compatible with my phone and other apps. My favorite feature is the water lock because I can keep it on my wrist when I do laps in the pool and it's tracking my laps.”

7. The analog watch with 12- and 24-hour time display

  • Case size: 38 mm
  • Available styles: 16

The streamlined face of this analog watch features both 12- and 24-hour time markers without feeling crowded, and it has earned more than 13,000 five-star ratings from fans on Amazon. It has a 38-millimeter brass case with scratch-resistant mineral glass and a light-up dial. The watch featured here has a lightweight 20-millimeter nylon band with a buckle closure but leather bands are also available. What’s more, the band has a slip-through design that makes it easy to swap out with other bands — such as this multicolor pack of nylon bands or this leather one — when you want a different look. It’s a quartz watch that is water-resistant up to 100 feet but not intended for swimming. The included battery will last up to 10 years and Timex recommends having the battery replaced by a professional. Keep in mind, reviewers mention this watch makes a noticeable ticking sound.

One positive review: “The hands are easily read and it's so comfortable that I often forget I'm wearing it. I typically have difficulty finding bands that fit well because my wrists are a bit small. This band has holes that are close enough to adjust it very well. I'm so happy with it.”

8. The sleek, minimalist watch

  • Case size: 37 mm
  • Available styles: 16

The sleek black face and band of this quartz watch give it a simple, yet elegant feel. The stainless steel watch features a 37-millimeter case and a five-link, 20-millimeter band with an adjustable fold-over clasp. According to a reviewer, three extra links are included so you can expand the band if necessary. In keeping with the minimalist style, there are no numbers on the watch face. The watch is water-resistant up to 328 feet but is not recommended for swimming. A battery is included and replacements are available.

One positive review: “You dont have to remove links to change the band size it's a sliding clasp. For the price it's great quality, i don't like big bulky watches and this one is very sleek and the perfect size.”

9. The watch that comes in lots of bright colors

  • Case size: 42 mm
  • Available styles: 13

This colorful quartz watch comes in more than a dozen saturated colors such as red, yellow, and blue, and it has earned more than 1,200 five-star ratings. It has a 42-millimeter aluminum case that’ll provide an oversize look on small wrists and a flexible 20-millimeter silicone band with a buckle clasp. The band can also be swapped with other 20-millimeter styles from the brand. The watch features a durable sandblasted dial and a separate sub-dial for tracking seconds. It’s also water-resistant up to approximately 98 feet but is not suitable for swimming. The watch comes with a battery and you can buy replacements as needed.

One positive review: “Love this Skagen watch, beautiful color and very comfortable silicone strap! I own many Skagens and they are all excellent quality at a reasonable price. Highly recommended!”

10. The solar-powered watch with a leather band

  • Case size: 36 mm
  • Available styles: 1

This solar-powered watch will run for about six months without needing to be recharged. What’s more, the watch gets energy from both the sun and artificial light sources, so you don’t need to rely on sunny days to bank power. It has a 36-millimeter stainless steel case with a durable mineral window, and it includes a date and day display. The leather band measures 19 millimeters wide and has a buckle clasp. Additionally, the quartz watch is water-resistant up to 100 feet but is not recommended for swimming. While you won’t need to replace a battery, the watch stores energy on a power cell which you can replace if needed.

One positive review: “I am a man with a narrow wrist. The length of the leather band is perfect for me [...] The watch is beautiful [...] I am looking forward to never changing the battery.”

11. The stainless steel, automatic diving watch

  • Case size: 40 mm
  • Available styles: 19

This stainless steel diving watch is water-resistant up to 660 feet, so it can be taken on almost any nautical adventure and it’s safe for swimming. It has a larger, 40-millimeter case and a 20-millimeter band with a fold-over clasp, and you can shorten the band length by removing links. In addition to keeping time, the watch displays the date. There’s no winding or battery required with this automatic watch, which has earned more than 10,000 five-star ratings — but you will likely have to restart it if you don’t wear it every day.

One positive review: “I had some concerns up front about how the watch would look on my slender 6 inch wrist, but the dimensions suited me perfectly, since the watch is ever so slightly smaller than other dive watches in the entry-level price bracket.”

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