Oversized Watches for Small Wrists : Michael Kors Review

movadoI’ve always been a big fan of timepieces because they are a functional accessory. I love checking time discreetly during meetings. For the past two years, I’ve worn my Movado Esperanza watch (pictured left) religiously on work days (found it for half off at a Movado outlet store). This sleek watch has a face diameter of 26.5 millimeters, and it’s a great “professional” watch for tiny wrists.

Lately I’ve been itching to expand my watch collection with something that’s compatible with gold jewelry and warm-toned outfits. My friend had a favorite Michael Kors one (donned frequently in this post). I fell in love with the oversized look and masculine chronograph details. And for accessories that need to be super versatile – you can’t go wrong with a tortoiseshell pattern. The black and browns in tortoiseshell goes just as well with bright colors, as they do with a classic black suit. 

I first ordered the Michael Kors “Jet Set” Two-Tone Watch with a face diameter of 38mm – a huge jump from my beloved 26.5mm Movado. Apprehensive of the size, I also ordered the “mini” Kors, measuring 33mm. When the two watches arrived, I took one look and knew that I had to “go big or go home.” There was no doubt in my mind that the 38mm was the keeper!

Likes (of the 38mm on the left): Blend of rich tortoiseshell colors with gold, light champagne colored face, chronograph details, date (neato! I never know what day it is), plus the bold size allows it to double as a statement bracelet. I’m in love!
Dislikes: Not much. If I had to nitpick, the links are a bit stiff.

After having 4 links removed, the watch fit just right. I think the key to pulling off an oversized watch is to wear it higher up on your wrist where it’s more “meaty” and wide. You don’t want the face to cover the entire width of your wrist. Preview of my next post, post-link removal:
Nordstrom currently has a wide selection of these watches on sale as part of their Anniversary promo, but neither of the styles I bought are included. See Vicky’s post on a gold-toned one.

Readers – what are your thoughts on oversized watches? Are they a do or don’t for tiny wrists?


46 thoughts on “Oversized Watches for Small Wrists : Michael Kors Review

  • kileen July 23, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    i love the oversized 38mm one you chose!! it looks great on you and i do agree that wearing it higher up on the wrist makes it seem less out of place.

  • The Little Dust Princess July 23, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I tried on a bunch a while ago and liked the look of an oversized watch as well. : ) I purchased the gold one that Vicky has!

  • Cher July 23, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I actually like to wear it low and loose on the wrist, like a bracelet. I feel like wearing it high is too overwhelming on the wrist. All personal preference, I suppose. It looks great on you!

  • Callandra July 23, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    What a beautiful watch! Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Angie July 23, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    yay for fellow watch craze. i just got my favourite watch recently at UO and it fits my tiny wrist well on the last few holes xD it's quite dainty but i want to wear huge chunky watches! still trying to figure out how to DIY link removal on my kenneth cole one.

  • Michelleesque July 23, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I absolutely love oversized watches. I was crazy about them since I was younger – wearing my dad's Rolex watches when he took them off after work. I think the thing that I don't look forward about doing is removing the links. I still have other watches that require removing a couple of links and I have yet to do that.

  • Claud July 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Jean the 38mm watch look amazing on you ^^ I love it, it totally outshine the 33 mm. I ended ordering the rose gold -MK runway 33mm hmm………Congrats on your great choice!

  • faye lu July 23, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    i have tiny tiny wrists and love the look of big watches! i think they're definitely a DO .. so long as they don't weigh my wrist down =)

  • Fiona July 23, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Your blog posts are amazingly timely! I've just received some amazing chelsea boots (I totally agree about the quality) from Talbots courtesy of your secret shoe sale tip, and now this–watches! My 24/7/365 watch JUST broke and I was about to write you for an oversize watches trend post when LO AND BEHOLD! Thank you so much, PAG!

  • JCHokie July 23, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    I wear the MK Small Madison in rose gold and absolutely love it. Love the one you got too.

  • Natasha xoxo July 23, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    What a great post! I fell in love with the Michael Kors Baguette-Bezel Watch in Rose Gold this summer. Every time I wear it, I receive compliments.

    xo, tasha
    twenty-something blog

  • Elaine A (TOBeautyReviews) July 23, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Looks gorgeous Jean! Jessy tried the promo code and the free ship thing didn't work for her ๐Ÿ™ And we're both in Toronto so I didn't bother. Strange!

  • Sarah July 23, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Jean, I loved the tortoise shell-and-gold motif of your Bloomies purchase; I have tiny wrists and decided to balance out the 38mm face with feminine links:


    I'm very happy with my new watch… thanks for putting forward another tasteful recommendation!

  • Canadianpetite July 24, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Looks good on you Jean! I've always loved the look of masculine watches on smaller women's wrists which is probably why I bend toward men's watches. Luckily, it's become the trend so now there's more choices – like tortoiseshell.

    Are you wearing nude polish? I got used to your vibrant nail polishes.

  • Bridgett ~ La Bella Cook July 24, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Love your blog! I'm very petite and my hubby got me hooked on oversized watches. I wear an IWC mark (14) pilots watch and also a Tag Heuer Monza. My wrists are very thin so I always have to have them fitted with a smaller strap but I enjoy the look of the oversized (for my size) look and get quite a few compline ts as well. I don't see myself going back to petite watches anytime soon. Great post! I'm really enjoying your blog.

  • tessa July 24, 2011 at 2:58 am

    i have this problem ALL the time with bracelets ๐Ÿ™ can never wear bangles and the such them because my wrists are too narrow. sadface.


  • Michelle July 24, 2011 at 4:11 am

    I have tiny wrists too but I love big-faced watches. I recently bought a MK watch as well and love it! The design is different yet classy. Although the bulkiness seems a little out of place for work, I keep a "professional" Bulova watch on the side as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Vicky July 24, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Oh Jean. I was so looking forward to this post! I love both watches on you! The 33mm one is a beautiful one as well, although it probably doesn't serve the oversized look purpose that well. I really like the brown tone of that watch. I would have totally taken that watch out of your hand if I hadn't bought my gold one. lol.
    About your trick on wearing it high, I think it's so true for small wrist gals like you. For meaty armed folks like myself, I wonder if that still applies. Your thought? I can't try it with mine 'cuz I removed too many links to do so.
    Oh, I agree with @Michelle's point on the "professional"ness of this watch. I also feel that wearing this watch to work is a bit too much. It's more of a fun watch. This of course doesn't prevent me from wearing it to work, because you know my work place. People wear flip flops to work. lol

  • The Fashion Mood.com July 24, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I love both of them on you, especially the 33mm one. I also have a very small wrist so I think the 38mm watch would be too big for me ! ๐Ÿ˜€


  • youngandfoolish July 24, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I LOVE timepieces–it's definitely much more inconspicuous for checking time during long meetings than whipping out a Blackberry. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Big watches work on small wrists as long as they're not too big/take up your entire wrist. When I was shopping for watches, I discovered that timepieces with 41mm dials made my wrist look like I was trying on my dad's watch, but everything 38mm and under looked fine.I finally decided on a Victorinox Swiss Army with a 34 mm dial (http://www.amazon.com/Swiss-Army-Womens-Watch-241321/dp/B002F03ZZA) and have been happily checking the time every since. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Tara July 24, 2011 at 10:13 am

    My next watch purchase will definitely be an over sized MK rose gold watch….so you make the right choice!

  • JenniZ July 24, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Love your blog! Love the oversized look! I have the same watch in a different color. mine has a rose gold tone to it, I love it.

  • audrinajulia July 24, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Excellent! This is such an in time post, and very helpful as well. In a few months I'm planning to purchase an over sized Michael Kors watch that I saw in nordstrom website but really don't know if the size will fit perfectly.So now I know that 38mm will do just fine.

    I'm really happy that Katherine interview you, for that I've known your site.Looking forward for your post part 3 regarding chanel.:)

  • alison*elle July 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Ah, so glad that you posted this! I've been looking into getting one of the MK watches and have been searching for pictures of people wearing them to no avail. This came at the perfect time ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mimi Wong July 24, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I really like your gold leaf ring. I can't find it in etsy.com. Where did you get it?

  • PetiteAsianGirl July 24, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    @Canadianpetite Mens watches is a great way to get the true mens-inspired look! And yes, you are so keen. I'm wearing a Zoya nude polish that came in my July Birchbox. It's a nice understated look compared to summer brights : )

    @Sarah Wow, it's gorgeous! I didn't even see links like that when I was browsing. I love how femimine it is – hope you were able to use the $50 off coupon from last week.

    @Fiona Glad to be of help! If you have a Nordstrom by you, I highly recommend going in to try on all their sale MK styles right now : )

    @Michelle I will definitely be wearing mine to work, bulkiness and all!

  • PetiteAsianGirl July 24, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    @Mimi Wong I got mine at TOpshop but I've seen identical ones at Forever 21 for about $1.50!

    @audrinajulia Thank you! I'm so glad Katherine introduced us.

    @youngandfoolish I love it! Very chic. And good tip on finding an exact measurement that is too large for your own wrist, so that shopping for watches online is less risky.

    @Vicky Lol Vicky …I like how you call your XXSP self "meaty armed." I think it's all personal preference. Like Cher mentions above, she prefers to wear hers looser around her wrist like a bracelet.

    @Michelleesque Wait…you're removing the links yourself? You must be very skilled! I've never thought to attempt those things myself, i just go to a store that carries the watch (whether or not I bought it from there) and just ask them to do it. It's usually free of charge if it "appears" that you got your watch from there!

  • Jackie July 24, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    I never thought I could wear watches until a few years ago when I found out just how easy they were to "alter".

    I have an Ann Klein watch that I wear all the time. I love it because it's petite and two-toned (so it goes with everything). I may want to get something more like this in the future. I love how it's ALMOST too big and the tortoiseshell color.

  • Michelle July 24, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I love your new watch! Such a versatile pattern! I was drooling over the tortie watches at Nordstrom today!

    I am loving the striped items you are wearing, too!! That last blue is especially pretty!

  • Katherine July 24, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Such a gorgeous watch acquisition, Jean! I love the MK ones and think they are timeless – and I have a very special fondness for tortoiseshell, the one you picked out is one of my all time favorites of that watch line ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Alterations Needed July 24, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Oh! Love your watch! The tortoiseshell is really striking. I have freakishly small wrists (Remember Jen and I comparing?), so I stick to dainty sizes when it comes to my wrists. On me, over-sized doesn't look cool…it looks awkward. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Funnily enough, as you mentioned in your other post, I'm liking the menswear "vintage" Timex pieces from J.Crew. But not the prices. Perhaps some vintage shopping is in order.

  • MizzJ July 25, 2011 at 3:17 am

    Oo I hadn't seen a tortoise shell version of the MK watch before and it's very nice! Classic, but slightly whimisical. I own a gold Invicta with a rose face and I am absolutely in love with the oversized watch look. It's that masculinity factor, like you're wearing your bf's watch that is just so attractive!

  • Deirdre July 25, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Wow! Great minds think alike. I have been wearing a Movada Esperanza for years. Very professional. I purchased the MK 33mm tortoise shell back in January and have gotten a lot of wear out it. Whenever I wear it someone takes notice. I don't know if it is the size or the tortoise shell. I also have a white gold Tag Hauer at 30 mm that no one ever notices.

  • Lizzy July 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Can you share what your wrist size is, Jean? I believe mine is much smaller, and these watches won't work for me :(. I'm 5'2'' and 105lbs but with tiny hands and feet: shoe size 4 – 4.5 and wrists around 5in all around watch area!

  • PetiteAsianGirl July 25, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    @Deirdre I bet it's a combination of the size and tortoiseshell. I read your comment and was bummed I didn't get any compliments today, lol! But then again I only encountered men all day … no one appreciates or cares, bah.

    @LizzyMy wrists are bigger than yours – I just measured and it's about 5 and a quarter inch around where I normally wear my Movado watch. If you're not comfortable with the truly oversized, I'd try something along the 33mm range! The "mini" Kors definitely wouldn't be too big on you as I found it to be too small in comparison.

  • The Faux Fashionista July 27, 2011 at 5:16 am

    I just came across your blog and omg I'm hooked! I'm petite too (5'2") and have a penchant for stylish office wear <3

    Been eyeing the Jet Set for over a year now. Am just waiting patiently for Shopbop to have their 30% off everything coupon code (they had it last November I think) before I pounce ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mary Lane July 27, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I'm not exactly petite but I definitely have itty bitty hands, so when I started looking for a menswear watch I was apprehensive of getting one that was too big. I ended up with a Michael Kors watch, and even the face is as big around as my wrist I still love it! You're right – go big or go home!


  • Seo Pakistan December 18, 2011 at 12:50 am


  • Anonymous January 30, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Thanks for telling me about wearing it higher on the wrist, This look really works!

  • Jenn February 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    May I ask where you went to resize your watch? I recently bought a MK watch similar to yours but i need 4 links removed as well.

  • Anonymous February 29, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    I actually just bought the exact 33mm one pictured above. I absolutely love it. My wrists are extremely small (I had to have 5 links removed) and it looks like a huge trendy watch without being too heavy or overpowering. The 38mm one looks really nice on you!

  • Emma Thompson May 8, 2012 at 11:35 am

    You have no idea how helpful this article is! I've been wanting a Michael Kors watch for the longest time but have been hesitant because I have such small wrists. Who knew other ladies shared my problem! I will wear my watch higher on my wrist so it does not take over my wrist!

  • Karen June 6, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Hey Jean, is this the same as the MK Jet Set two-toned watch you have? The color of the tortoiseshell is a bit off in the amazon link's image. I would REALLY appreciate your opinion in this. I've been eyeing this watch for so long – I want to buy the right one! Thanks!!


  • Anonymous June 14, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Found your blog while trying to decide on medium (38mm) vs. mini (33mm) MK watches. I too have skinny wrists, just under 5.25". I too am sizing up from a tiny watch (24mm or so). I too liked the medium size better than the mini if you want the boyfriend watch look. Thanks for the info and help!

  • Ginette Nzeyi November 21, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Need a new watch for Christmas, check this VERSACE from Amazon on : http://tinyurl.com/72v5rk5

  • Ilsy Aguilar December 8, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    where did you go so so they can remove the links because my MK watch is too big also and i wanna remove some links

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