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Thread: Watch Trend sizes

  1. #1

    Watch Trend sizes

    With the discontinuation of the Explorer 39mm and Rolex bringing back the 36mm are we seeing a trend towards smaller watches.

    I found the article in the link below an interesting read:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/mens-wa...es-11617107212

  2. #2
    Master
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    I truly hope we’re not going back to the days of 36mm watches for men. I won’t be buying.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    I truly hope we’re not going back to the days of 36mm watches for men. I won’t be buying.
    😂 I truly hope we are!
    Fashion-wise, hockey-puck watches are the passing equivalent of flared trousers.😂😊

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by boring_sandwich View Post
    With the discontinuation of the Explorer 39mm and Rolex bringing back the 36mm are we seeing a trend towards smaller watches.
    I don't see a trend forming, if we take Rolex over the past couple of years only the Explorer has shrunk. Yachtmaster up to 42mm, Submariner up to 41mm, Oyster Perpetual up to 41mm.

  5. #5
    Master
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    My opinion is that anything between 36mm - 40mm is fine. It just looks right.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisparker View Post
    I don't see a trend forming, if we take Rolex over the past couple of years only the Explorer has shrunk. Yachtmaster up to 42mm, Submariner up to 41mm, Oyster Perpetual up to 41mm.
    It’s seem a number of other brands are also releasing smaller models as per the article.

    I personally think it’s a good move for the brands.

  7. #7
    WSJ gets it wrong as it normally does.
    There are no trends, only preferences. One thing that has changed is there are more choices in terms of sizes which is a good thing.
    What hasn’t changed is the defensiveness of the twig wristed:-)

  8. #8
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    I think most brands are trying to cover all wants. Some like a big watch (me) some like a small watch (me again)

    Normal people only buy one or two watches in their life time. There is quite a range of human sizes, so one size does not fit all,
    Someone is Japan or China might not want a 47mm dinner plate as it will not fit them, just as someone from Croatia or Holland might not want a 32mm 'girls' watch. It makes good business sense to offer something for everyone.

  9. #9
    Master
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    Personally I don't think so. An 8" wrist and a 36mm watch looks out of proportion. Again personally, anything below 39mm I wouldn't consider and I have 7.5" wrists.

  10. #10
    There are so many things to take into account; wrist size, BMI, wrist shape, whether you like a loose or tight fit, lug length, lug width, driver's bezel or something else, movement size, crown placement and protection.

    So long as there's plenty of choice. Rolex's change to the Explorer line up has limited choice, if you want to buy new.

    Speaking personally, I tried many Explorer homages at 36mm, 39mm and 40mm before buying my v1 214270. They enabled me to decide that I really liked the style and that 36mm was too small for my tastes.

    Of course you do get used to what you wear and changing watches every few days, is not something most people do.

  11. #11
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBanks View Post
    personally, anything below 39mm I wouldn't consider
    Me too. While the days of 45+ mm sizes may be passé, tiny watches look out of proportion too.

    45-46 mm watches may be like flared trousers. But 34-36mm watches are like leather chaps: they should never have been fashionable in the first place

    And I would never ask a gentleman about the size of his lug-to-lug

  12. #12
    Master
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    No - diversification. Just look at all the different cars available now compared to what there used to be
    Personal taste - some like larger, some smaller and others in between. There are plenty of small, medium and large watches about and that should continue
    If everything went back to 36mm, I would stop buying new watches, so they will cater to all tastes.
    Fine, I can’t buy a new explorer, but I can buy a Seadweller

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by mtagrant View Post
    Fine, I can’t buy a new explorer, but I can buy a Seadweller
    New? Good luck

  14. #14
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkpw View Post
    New? Good luck
    Ok, I can wear the one in my safe 😉

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    Grand Master
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    I dont think there's a trend.
    The most requested watch that I deal with is the RM11-03 which is a gnats hair away from 45mm.
    The other "most asked for" are 40-41mm.

    The likes of Hodonkey are big on smaller sizes but given that their money is largely invested in selling vintage at big prices its not really surprising that they'll tell you that 34 is all a chap needs.
    Personally, I think on an average sized wrist anything from 36-44 works fine if the lug length isnt overhanging anywhere.
    The too big/too small is often a case of adjustment and the eye getting used to what it sees compared to what its been used to seeing.

  16. #16
    Craftsman Idontgram's Avatar
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    To answer the OP’s point, I think the age of massively oversized watches is nearly over but I don’t think we’re heading back to 34mm dress watches and 37mm tool watches.

    As has been said many times, the case diameter is too crude a measurement regarding how a watch wears. I’m 6ft4 but slim, with a 7inch wrist. My watches range from 36 to 43mm though the 36 has very long lugs and the 43 very stubby ones.

    The exp1 with 20mm lugwidth and fairly long lugs, on a bracelet will wear large for 36, I suspect.

  17. #17
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    I think the only trend is a company running out of actual innovation and making a change to boost sales. We sew it last year with Apple iPhone - where they tout the iPhone minis size as something new.

    I'm quite happy wearing anything from 36mm to 42mm.

  18. #18
    Master Tetlee's Avatar
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    People have been predicting the move back to smaller watches for years now. I just think we'll continue to see choice in sizes so all tastes are catered for, the days of specific size trend in watches are long gone IMO.

    I have all case sizes in my collection, 34mm to 43.5mm and everything in between. I don't really think too much about the size of the case when I'm looking into buying, all comes down to design and how it looks on the wrist. I've tried on some 40mm cases which have looked too large, and similarly some 35mm cases which have looked a bit small, yet I have watches above and below those sizes I'm delighted with. Some people become too fixated with case sizes I feel, you really have to try things on as there are so many influences to how watches wear including lug length and design, dial openness and colour, bezel etc. One of my 37.5mm diameter watches wears smaller than another of my 34mm's for instance due to contrasting bezel making the dial appear much smaller.
    Last edited by Tetlee; 8th April 2021 at 15:32.

  19. #19
    Master
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    I think there's a slight trend, in that some years ago almost every watch seemed to be 42mm. Now every new watch I read about seems to be 40mm. But still a lot larger than vintage sizes.

    I don't see the jump to 36mm for the Explorer as a trend for 36mm specifically. Clearly they decided the old one was slightly oversized, but the choice of 36mm seems mainly driven by readily available parts and tooling.

  20. #20
    Master
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    IWC are offering the latest Big Pilot in 43 and 46mm.

  21. #21
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    The new 40mm is 41mm (well 40.6mm). There does seem to be more choice. Anything from 36mm to 46mm. For me the lug-lug is more important though rather than nominal diameter.

  22. #22
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    -

    45-46 mm watches may be like flared trousers. But 34-36mm watches are like leather chaps: they should never have been fashionable in the first place

    -
    My new favourite quote.

  23. #23
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    BMI's been mentioned. Is it the elephant in the room in this conversation?

    (Rather pleased with that as a one liner 😂😊)

  24. #24
    Master M1011's Avatar
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    Seems an odd jump from the one watch Rolex has made smaller in recent times, versus all the others they've made bigger!

    As others have said, variety is a good thing. There's no reason why 36mm or 44mm have to be the 'right size', because clearly some folk will like each of those options.

  25. #25
    I have watches from 34 to 42mm and have very slim wrists.

    When I ordered my Seiko SKX007 online, I emailed after requesting for the watch to be sized before shipping. I suggested taking ‘a few links out’ which I was advised would not be accurate. I was advised to tie string around my wrist and send in the measurement. I did so and the reply was to recheck as I ordered a big watch.

    I remember seeing Tag Heuer F1 watches in the 90s thinking wow, what a big watch. Now, it seems tiny. I think bigger watches are here to stay, up to 44mm. Anything more and you would be classed as public enemy no.1.

  26. #26
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    As always, just using the case size is not really a good indication of how a watch will wear.
    Thickness, lug-lug, case style & dial aperture all play a part.

    Personally I think the 36mm Explorer will be a good change, particularly work on the bracelet (which also makes watches look bigger).
    Even with my average wrists though, a slim 36mm can look a bit small on leather for a non-dress watch and benefits from a few passes of a nato to help balance it out.

  27. #27
    I think it’s all relative. I have 8 3/4 inch wrists and a lot of ‘big’ watches look a bit silly on me - step forward anything like a Seiko Monster, a Seadweller, they just wear quite small whereas a 40mm non diver with a decent sized face can look fine. I’m not interested in a 36mm watch, it wears like a boys or ladies style on me, and I’m not a giant or a particularly ‘beefy’ bloke, I just have large wrists. Each to their own - and often the spec sheet only tells part of the story. I have a Casio frogman that fits me ok - it’s only 3 holes from the end of the strap when I wear it - but it is really uncomfortable and doesn’t suit my wrist shape. Each to their own - but for some of us the ‘larger watch’ fashion actually wears better than ‘normal’


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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    I truly hope we’re not going back to the days of 36mm watches for men. I won’t be buying.
    Why not for "men"?

    It's been well document this year leading upto WW and post WW that brands are now changing their releases and ranges to drop the gender term.

    The "mm" makes no difference, it's the lug to lug "mm" thay really is important to how the watch fits on any wrist.


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  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    My opinion is that anything between 36mm - 40mm is fine. It just looks right.
    It depends on the wearers wrist size I guess, a 36mm watch on a 8 1/2" hairy wrist does look a little silly just as a 49mm watch on someone with a 6 1/4" wrist looks wrong. I wear something g around 44mm not because it is a fashion statement but because smaller watches just look lost on my wrist.

  30. #30
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by optix View Post
    Why not for "men"?

    It's been well document this year leading upto WW and post WW that brands are now changing their releases and ranges to drop the gender term.

    The "mm" makes no difference, it's the lug to lug "mm" thay really is important to how the watch fits on any wrist.


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    Men are generally larger than women, and they often have different styles - I assume that is because men generally prefer a different style to women
    The mom makes a difference, whether it is diameter, lug to lug or both

  31. #31
    Journeyman
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    Being a bigger guy I find 36mm to small. For me the sweet spot is 40-42mm

  32. #32
    Grand Master jwg663's Avatar
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    Depending on my mood & activity level, I'll wear anything from a 34mm Longines to a 55mm G-Shock. My left wrist is about 21.5cm. (BTW, my right wrist is 22cm. The left has a definite watch indentation.)

    As long as the watch is legible, I'm fine & the size is relatively unimportant.
    ______

    ​Jim.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by optix View Post
    Why not for "men"?

    It's been well document this year leading upto WW and post WW that brands are now changing their releases and ranges to drop the gender term.

    The "mm" makes no difference, it's the lug to lug "mm" thay really is important to how the watch fits on any wrist.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    What’s ‘WW’ in this context? Wonder Woman? :)


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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwg663 View Post
    Depending on my mood & activity level, I'll wear anything from a 34mm Longines to a 55mm G-Shock. My left wrist is about 21.5cm. (BTW, my right wrist is 22cm. The left has a definite watch indentation.)

    As long as the watch is legible, I'm fine & the size is relatively unimportant.
    I would broadly agree with this. My sweet spot is 34mm to 38mm. My wrist is 7.5 inches so I can wear bigger watches and do, but find anything bigger than 40mm gets less time on the arm.

  35. #35
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    Wearing my 36mm Smiths Expedition today, missed the cute little guy!

    Biggest watch is 47mm. Wears fine.
    The smaller watches' crowns don't dig into the back of my hand, I'll say that much.

    I think the truly massive trend might die out though.

  36. #36
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    I'm not sure that the new Explorer is indicative of a trend. First, I wonder if they think it will have appeal as a unisex watch, especially in far Eastern markets. Second, for some reason the dial of the Explorer just looked better/more balanced in the 36mm size than it did in the larger 39mm size and perhaps Rolex realised this. But after all is said and done, next year Rolex will probably introduce a 41mm Explorer - which will really set the cat amongst the pigeons as it will imply that the 36mm size is for women.

  37. #37
    Master
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    I have 7 in wrists and have been wearing a ceramic sub for years and a newly acquired 41mm navitimer these just seem to look right, tried wearing my vintage longines 36mm dress watch and it just looked too small now so I just put it back in it’s box

  38. #38
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Well Zenith - is going against the "trend". The new release: Defy Extreme has bulked up the Defy with crown protection and more angular - measures in at 45mm - so not all brands follow the herd.

    https://www.zenith-watches.com/en_gb...0-9004-02-i001


  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    Well Zenith - is going against the "trend". The new release: Defy Extreme has bulked up the Defy with crown protection and more angular - measures in at 45mm - so not all brands follow the herd.

    https://www.zenith-watches.com/en_gb...0-9004-02-i001

    Cannot say that I am impressed. Dial is too fussy and the style seems outdated.

  40. #40
    Craftsman Halitosis's Avatar
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    We increasingly see ladies wearing sport models - I recall lusting after Cameron Diaz and her Submariner in the movie Knight and Day. So I think this is a clever move by Rolex to fill a gap for those who find a 40mm sport model too big. The two tone even more so and will be seen across Floridian tennis courts soon.
    *I’m not saying it’s a ladies watch


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  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Halitosis View Post
    We increasingly see ladies wearing sport models - I recall lusting after Cameron Diaz and her Submariner in the movie Knight and Day. So I think this is a clever move by Rolex to fill a gap for those who find a 40mm sport model too big. The two tone even more so and will be seen across Floridian tennis courts soon.
    *I’m not saying it’s a ladies watch


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    Knight and Day came out in 2010 so not a new thing at all! - it has to be said that a 40mm ‘sport model’ Rolex really isn’t a large watch by any stretch of the imagination (at least not the old 5 digit refs) - if it can be worn by a slender actress like Cameron Diaz without looking silly!
    What really do look silly - as in too small to read and out of proportion - are old fashioned tiny ‘ladies watches’ like your granny wears - much too small - to the point where it’s almost impossible to read the time, and disproportionately thick - even the ladies Rolex DJ suffers from this and looks like an ugly little barnacle on the wrist. A larger, slimmer watch like a 36mm explorer will look much better proportioned imho. Personally I remember trying on an (then current 36mm) Explorer in the past (remember when every jeweller had an explorer and explorer II in the window for like 15 years?!?) and it looked silly on me even then - like my first Timex when I was about 9 years old! On my wife however, I guess it would look perfect. Luckily for me, she won’t wear an expensive watch, prefers a cheap men’s quartz Tag aquaracer


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  42. #42
    Master jukeboxs's Avatar
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    Watch Trend sizes

    I have an average wrist (6.75) but find 36mm too small for my liking, it really looks ridiculous on some here. A big mistake by Rolex IMO, my 39 Exp is ideal. I hope they continue offering normal 40-43mm sizes for the rest of us.


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  43. #43
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jukeboxs View Post
    I have an average wrist (6.75) but find 36mm too small for my liking, it really looks ridiculous on some here. A big mistake by Rolex IMO, my 39 Exp is ideal. I hope they continue offering normal 40-43mm sizes for the rest of us.
    I suspect the big mistake was choosing 39mm, since they’ve now discontinued both the 39mm Explorer and the Oyster Perpetual 39. And now they’ve jumped all the way back to 36mm, presumably because they already had all the bits lying around. Had they chosen 38mm in the first place, it would have been neither too big for some nor too small for others. Omega also dabbled in 39mm with the older version of the Aqua Terra, before settling on a choice of 38mm and 41mm. I can’t recall ever reading a post moaning about the sizing of the newer Aqua Terras, while with Rolex the discussion never ends.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    I suspect the big mistake was choosing 39mm, since they’ve now discontinued both the 39mm Explorer and the Oyster Perpetual 39. And now they’ve jumped all the way back to 36mm, presumably because they already had all the bits lying around. Had they chosen 38mm in the first place, it would have been neither too big for some nor too small for others. Omega also dabbled in 39mm with the older version of the Aqua Terra, before settling on a choice of 38mm and 41mm. I can’t recall ever reading a post moaning about the sizing of the newer Aqua Terras, while with Rolex the discussion never ends.
    Rolex have gone back to 36mm for the explorer? I must have a look!

  45. #45
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    I'm new to the hobby and only have a few watches so am still in the honeymoon period where all watches seem lovely. I have a 7" wrist and am of average build (sound like a lonely hearts ad - Apparently!)

    In the past, before I became interested in this as a hobby, I have had a couple of 35mm pieces which I wore every day and didn't even give the size a passing thought. It was a watch, it told the time and I was quite happy.

    Wind forward a couple of decades and I now have a couple of 40mm divers and have just picked up a Smiths PRS 29 which is 36mm. Nowadays, my decisions on watch size are becoming way more complicated! I was unsure if the 36mm would be too small as everyone seems to be wearing big watches. When my Smiths arrived I thought I had made a mistake as it seemed too small - but, having worn it for a few weeks it works really well for me and as others have mentioned it is the longer lug to lug that makes it wear so well. I'm not sure if I'll ever but anything bigger than 40mm as I don't like the size on me or thickness that big watches seem to bring.

  46. #46
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    I honestly think seeing football managers and the like wearing club sponsor's massive watches has twisted people's perceptions of what a man should wear.

    36mm is not too small!

    I was watching The Big Sleep last night and Bogey was wearing what I believe was a Longines Evidenza tonneau shaped watch, as were the other fellas in the film. Maybe the odd Reverso - who knows?

    They didn't appear to be questioning their masculinity.

    Bear in mind I'm trying to convince myself to lay out for a reverso....

  47. #47
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    43mm now seems to be this standard for a ‘big’ watch. AP ROO/ IWC BP / Rolex SD all recent launches or announcements.

  48. #48
    Master M1011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    I suspect the big mistake was choosing 39mm, since they’ve now discontinued both the 39mm Explorer and the Oyster Perpetual 39. And now they’ve jumped all the way back to 36mm, presumably because they already had all the bits lying around. Had they chosen 38mm in the first place, it would have been neither too big for some nor too small for others. Omega also dabbled in 39mm with the older version of the Aqua Terra, before settling on a choice of 38mm and 41mm. I can’t recall ever reading a post moaning about the sizing of the newer Aqua Terras, while with Rolex the discussion never ends.
    There isn't a right size. We're all different. For some the 39mm is probably too small, for others too big. Some will love the 36mm, others wouldn't dream of it. It's a waste of time trying to argue what the right size is, because there isn't one.

    Oh and I highly doubt the 36mm move was done to appease a few WIS. They brought it in line with the new case size of the OP, so it was going to be 36 or 41. The 36 is a more unisex size and fills a gap in the professional range, which I imagine was the logic behind it. Conjecture of course, but seems perfectly logically.

  49. #49
    Craftsman Blueboy1's Avatar
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    It's interesting that until the '90's men with large wrists were perfectly happy (ot at least they didn't have much of a choice) with smaller watches and wore them for nigh on 100 years. Things changed quickly...

  50. #50
    Master
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    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that. I don't see the reduction to 36mm in the Explorer as a trend but perhaps an acknowledgement by Rolex that enthusiasts wanted a return to the original case though I suspect that the revised 36mm OP is now one of their biggest sellers to both men and women and that a larger Explorer I will return in the OP 41 case or similar very soon.
    Personally, I don't wear watches with a lug to lug of more than 48mm which discounts lots of larger diameter models. I just can't stand strap gap. I've accepted that my buying options are limited by the size and shape of my wrists and I'm thankful for the focus this brings to my choices.

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