These small watches are mini in size and big on style

These small watches from independent brands and big hitters show us that size can indeed matter

 The Chopard Alpine Eagle watch, among our pick of small watches, seen on wrist
The Chopard Alpine Eagle watch
(Image credit: Courtesy of brand)

This selection of small watches – all between 35mm and 37.3mm, and by brands spanning from Chopard to Christopher Ward – are mighty fine in the style stakes.

Seven small watches we’re big on

Paulin x The Armoury

blue watch on man's wrist

(Image credit: Courtesy of the brand)

From the unusual alliance of Scottish brand Paulin and The Armoury comes 35mm of purple-popping delight. A 1960s-vibing tonneau case of a slim 8.2mm height frames a lavender dial. In a new twist on the California dial, from the creative mind of watch collector Mark Cho of The Armoury, this one features an unusual mix of Roman and Chinese numerals.

Unimatic x Massena LAB U5S-ML

small black-dial steel watch with black strap seen above a clock face

(Image credit: Courtesy of brand)

Unimatic is the Milan-based maker of minimalist tool watches with a sartorial, modern take on vintage cues. Pairing up with Massena LAB, it has shrunk its Made In Italy minimal aesthetic into the 36mm, near-perfect U5S case. A whopping big crown oozes functionality, while the pared-down legibility is crisp, the toughness underlined by a total 300m depth rating. Our favourite detail is the lumed lollipop seconds hand, a nod to midcentury divers with a bright lemon yellow needle tip.

Christopher Ward Twelve

green-dial watch with steel bracelet on wrist

(Image credit: Courtesy of brand)

British-designed brand Christopher Ward gets the small watch trend – using terms like ‘small is the new big’ and underlining its versatility by making us understand that the 36mm Twelve isn’t for a man or a woman. It’s just a watch. And one that happens to be a minty-fresh alternative to some big hitters in the integrated bracelet game. The bracelet is sleek, and the Twelve with its Frosted Lichen dial is a modern alternative to a few 1970s grails.

Chopard Alpine Eagle 36mm

watch on wrist

(Image credit: Courtesy of brand)

The Alpine Eagle has been a big hit for Chopard since its drop in 2019, and it is a curated take on the hot trend of integrated bracelets. With a focus on ethically mined gold, gems, and recycled steel, Chopard offers its 36mm sports watch with a sustainable conscience. We like the clean steel versions, but our desire for the two-tone version in ethical rose gold and lucent steel is palpable. Sporting a swirling-textured grey dial inspired by an eagle’s iris, it will draw you in.

Tudor Black Bay 54

black-dial watch with steel bracelet

(Image credit: Courtesy of brand)

With the Black Bay 54 being released in 2023, the brand reached the pinnacle of retro. By reducing the Black Bay by a significant 2mm to 37mm, the gilt-dialled piece became the vintage-perfect diver’s watch we all wanted. A simplified, monochrome bezel now makes the gilt dial details pop, while the case feels more proportionate and broad-shoulder perfect.

Also available from

AnOrdain Model 2

green-dial watch with brown leather strap

(Image credit: Courtesy of brand)

Like Paulin at the start of this story, AnOrdain is a Scottish independent brand known for its small-cased wristwear. What sets the mechanical timepieces from AnOrdain apart are their jewel-like dials made from vitreous enamel. The brand is one of the few producers in the world of in-house enamel dials, and its three master enamellers produce a glass-like dial surface, perfectly framed by the pebble-smooth case of the 36mm Model 2.

Grand Seiko SBGW287

cherry-coloured watch

(Image credit: Courtesy of brand)

The SBGW series from Grand Seiko is known for its proportionate, curated 37.3mm case with hand-polished details. Its broad-shouldered design wears near-perfect on most wrists, and we’re all about the rich cherry taste of the 287. On a matching, supple alligator strap, the deep red sparkle of its dial is inspired by ‘Boshu’, the end of autumn.


Thor Svaboe is a seasoned writer on watches, contributing to several UK publications including Oracle Time and GQ while being one of the editors at online magazine Fratello. As the only Norwegian who doesn’t own a pair of skis, he hibernates through the winter months with a finger on the horological pulse, and a penchant for independent watchmaking.