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Rolex Watches for Men With Smaller Wrists

Paul Altieri

Over the last decade or so, we have seen an increasing number of larger Rolex watches. There was the introduction of brand-new models, such as the Yacht-Master II, Deepsea, and Sky-Dweller, which all featured larger-than 40mm cases. Moreover, Rolex also launched larger versions of the Day-Date, Datejust, Oyster Perpetual, and Yacht-Master to sit alongside smaller options. And finally, Rolex fitted some collections, like the Explorer, Explorer II, Air-King, and Sea-Dweller, with larger cases entirely.

For fans of larger watches, this is good news. Yet, for others who prefer watches with more restrained proportions, bigger is most definitely not better. Thankfully, there are still plenty of Rolex watches for men with smaller wrists out there – some in the current catalog and some discontinued models. Here are a few of our top picks.

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on Rolex Watches.

34mm Rolex Watches

Vintage Rolex Watches for Men With Smaller Wrists Air-King 5500

If you’re looking for a mens Rolex watch with a 34mm case, you’re in luck as there’s quite an assortment to choose from. For instance, there are the older versions of the Rolex Air-King, which have 34mm cases (these have since been replaced by a much larger 40mm Air-King). Although most Air-King watches are stainless steel models, there are in fact a few two-tone Air-King models as well. Furthermore, while the majority of Air-Kings are simple time-only watches, Rolex did produce one Air-King Date reference.

Another option for a 34mm Rolex watch is the Oyster Perpetual – the brand’s entry-level time-only model. Modern Oyster Perpetual watches are exclusively made in stainless steel and fitted with Oyster bracelets, however, if you look to vintage Oyster Perpetual models with 34mm cases, you’ll find options in steel, yellow gold, and two-tone steel and gold.

The Date watch is an alternative Rolex model that sports a 34mm case. Not to be mistaken for the Datejust, the Rolex Date has always been a slightly smaller version – perfect for those with smaller wrists that still want a date function on their Rolex watch. Although the Rolex Date was recently discontinued, there are currently countless models to choose from on the secondary market, making it one of the best luxury watches for small wrists.

35mm Rolex Watches

Rolex Watches for Men With Smaller Wrists Platinum Yacht-Master 168622 35mm Rolesium

For a slightly larger – and sportier – Rolex watch suited for smaller wrists, there’s the mid-size Yacht-Master with its 35mm case. While Rolex no longer makes a Yacht-Master watch with a 35mm case (it was replaced by the Yacht-Master 37 in 2015), there are of course ample options on the secondary market.

Characterized by its rotatable bezel with raised numerals, the Yacht-Master 35 comes in a range of material options, such as a stainless steel case with a platinum bezel, two-tone steel and yellow gold, and full 18k yellow gold. Equipped with the familiar Professional style dial with lume-filled plots and Mercedes-style hands, the Yacht-Master also features a date window for added practicality.

36mm Rolex Watches

Vintage Rolex Watches for Men With Smaller Wrists Datejust 1601 Two-Tone

Often regarded as the sweet spot for Rolex case sizes (for most of its history), some of Rolex’s most famous watch models came equipped with 36mm cases. As such, if you have a smaller wrist, you can choose from an extensive variety of 36mm Rolex watches.

For an everyday dress watch, there’s the iconic Datejust 36 collection, boasting a host of material, dial, and bezel options. For example, you can go the straightforward route with a full steel version, fitted with a domed bezel and a simple dial to showcase Rolex’s famous pairing of time and date functions. Alternatively, at the other end of the spectrum are much dressier Datejust editions crafted from gold and embellished with diamonds.

However, if you want the ultimate status watch, then the Rolex President is in order. As the Day-Date name implies, this particular Rolex includes a duo of windows on the dial to indicate the date of the month and the day of the week (spelled out in full). Rolex only makes the Day-Date President in precious metals – three shades of gold or platinum – but you can choose from different bracelets including the famed President bracelet, the sportier Oyster bracelet, or a classic leather strap.

Finally, there’s also the Rolex Explorer in the 36mm watch range. After switching to a larger 39mm case for a few years, the famous mountaineer’s tool watch has returned to its roots and is once again available in 36mm – ideal for smaller wrists.

Rolex Watches for Men With Smaller Wrists Datejust 36mm  126234 Palm Dial

Frequently Asked Questions About Smaller-Sized Watches:

What is the Smallest Mens Rolex Size?

The smallest Rolex size for men is 31mm, but even that size is too small for most men’s wrists. The Date, Datejust, and Oyster Perpetual all have 31mm case size options. The next smallest Rolex size for men is 34mm, including the Air-King, Date, and Oyster Perpetual. The Air-King 34 was discontinued for the 40mm model, and the Date seems to have retired for the time being. If you have a larger wrist, both case sizes will probably be too small, unless you are specifically looking for a Rolex watch with a smaller presence on your wrist.

Can A Man Wear A Small Rolex?

The answer to this question is subjective, as it really comes down to the wearer and their watch tastes. But if you ask us, it’s certainly possible for men to pull off the look of a smaller dress watch, especially if they have a small wrist. In fact, small watches appear to be making a comeback. Vintage timepieces, such as the Rolex Daytona, didn’t always offer the larger case sizes that modern collectors enjoy today. Still, they’re becoming increasingly popular among many horology enthusiasts, despite being what many would consider small watches.

Vintage Rolex Watches for Men With Smaller Wrists Date 1501 14k Yellow Gold

Do Watches Look Good On Small Wrists?

There is a luxury watch to suit any wrist, including small or slender wrists. If you pay attention to both the case diameter and the case thickness, it is more than possible to find a watch that will look really good on a small wrist.

What Watch Looks Best on Skinny Wrists?

Many of the watches already covered in this guide look good on people with small or thin wrists. If you’re in the market for a non-Rolex sports watch, the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight is a popular choice among collectors who prefer a smaller watch. It measures 39mm in diameter and is just under 12mm thick, all while offering the wearer the classic dive watch aesthetic. The Oris Divers Sixty-Five is another great sport watch measuring 36mm in diameter. Cartier is another brand that caters to smaller wrists if you’re in the market for something a little dressier.

Larger watches seem to be the hot watch trend for the moment, but trends come and go. Ultimately, your best bet is to choose the right watch for your wrist size. It’s clear that whether you go casual, dressy, or sporty, there are plenty of awesome luxury watches for men with smaller wrists.

Rolex Watches for Men With Smaller Wrists Day-Date 36 reference 118238
Paul Altieri