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scottswatches

Size matters, but people want smaller

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Following on from the Chrono24 dealer newsletter this month, which said searches for larger watch cases have significantly reduced, there is also this just released survey by Mark Cho that asked nearly 1,000 watch collectors their optimum case size, and the average was 37.7mm 

http://www.markcho.com/201905-the-ideal-watch-size-survey-report

Now this only counts for round watches, and maths tells us that square cases take up more wrist space (a good hodinkee article here explains more https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/squaring-the-circle)

Maybe the excess of five years ago is on the wain?  Are Breitling for Bentley, AP ROO and Panerai now just deemed weekend watches? (Not that I would wear the B'ling any day!)

You can still contribute to the survey by clicking this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/theidealwatchsize

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It's why I only buy vintage, every time Ive bought a new watch in the past few years it looks fine in the shop and then when i get it home it looks massive, usually because it turns out to be about 44mm and only looked right because everything around it on display was 50mm plus. For me 30 to 35mm in a dress watch or daily, with 3 hands and a date (what I call desk watches, office watches and daily wearers). And 39 40mm in a chronograph or diver's watch is the perfect size. I can do 42mm in a modern one thats fine as it puts the vintage ones into a nice perspective in the collection. 

Its amazing how compact a mid 90's to early 2000's chrono looks in comparison with one from the past 5 years. Its a taste thing I suppose. Just like flares went out and drain pipes came in then back to flares. Fashion which dictates the size of a watch goes around in circles. The trend in the 70's was often for quiet big brash and bold with thick bluff cases and then by the 80's it was as slim as possible. Gradually getting bigger and bigger in the late 90's up until now. 

I would agree in a modern watch 38mm is a good size for a non chronograph and 40mm for a chronograph and diver's watch. 

I can't see bigger people as most are now going back to 32mm, but you never know. However i can envisage ultra slim cases becoming more and more fashionable. We will see. 

In fact when I look at my range of 80's and 90's Chronographs they are all 39mm/40mm excluding crown and with compact lugs. 

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23 minutes ago, scottswatches said:

 

Are Breitling for Bentley, AP ROO and Panerai now just deemed weekend watches?

 

If you wander around any major Southern City in the UK then you will see the answer to that question is ...... No ..... :laugh:

 

 

6 minutes ago, Nigelp said:

I would agree in a modern watch 38mm is a good size for a non chronograph and 40mm for a chronograph and diver's watch. 

I would say it depends on the watch Brand/Model... some styles lean towards bigger is better , others smaller is splendid. Personally I can wear 38mm-45mm watches and don't really care what size a watch is with-in that band so long as it suits.  

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5 minutes ago, JonnyOldBoy said:

 

If you wander around any major Southern City in the UK then you will see the answer to that question is ...... No ..... :laugh:

 

 

I would say it depends on the watch Brand/Model... some styles lean towards bigger is better , others smaller is splendid. Personally I can wear 38mm-45mm watches and don't really care what size a watch is with-in that band so long as it suits.  

I'd agree that what was a rare sight only 5 years or so ago is getting certainly less rare if not common, im seeing quiet a lot of people wearing anything from a Rolex to a Panerai, especially around the hotels in llandudno! Beleive it or not. I think 0% credit helps like with cars. We do seem to be in an age where everything is losing its exclusivity. Which i think is why people who are true enthusiasts go for the classics and vintage things, due to their rarity instead of something new. Like with the Heuer above. I'd have that over a new watch from the same brand or even one from any of the other nice to have brands. Which I think are losing their exclusivity. Vintage sort of guarantees its going to be a bit different a bit more exclusive. And i'm going to avoid a car analogy there too!:laugh::ooops:

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Agree with Nigel, a posh watch is quite an easy win with the he credit available, the trick is to find the objective quality and aesthetics that please you personally in your chosen watch, whatever the ticket price.  There are wins to be had at every price point, and perhaps those wins are actually harder to score with more expensive watches, because the expectation level should be high anyway.  If the winning is easy, is the easy worth winning, to paraphrase Julian Cope.  What was the thread about?

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2 minutes ago, Jet Jetski said:

Agree with Nigel, a posh watch is quite an easy win with the he credit available, the trick is to find the objective quality and aesthetics that please you personally in your chosen watch, whatever the ticket price.  There are wins to be had at every price point, and perhaps those wins are actually harder to score with more expensive watches, because the expectation level should be high anyway.  If the winning is easy, is the easy worth winning, to paraphrase Julian Cope.  What was the thread about?

I think there is an enthusiast sub market developing in all of this and due to this which is seeing those enthusiasts seek out watches not for a prestigious name on the dial but more for their enthusiast following. Whether it be a Seiko Pogue or a special Omega speedy. Ed white is it etc? I suppose we can call it the classic market and the one most likely to attract the ones that are really into watches rather than the merely well off. Like with...(ok ok i wont mention classic cars)

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As I have mentioned before size is irrelevant to me, if it`s a man`s watch & I like it, I`ll wear it.....

 

"Services" "airman" SWISS MADE (by the Fleurier Watch Co.,in the Val-de-Travers region), 15 Jewel, 13 ligne movement, circa 1926/27

(32mm excluding crown, 35mm inc.)

.1244957676_ServicesAirman2.thumb.jpg.5f8e9042caaef2df9715519920b8e395.jpg

 

Parnis MM Seagull cal.3600 17 Jewels.

(60mm excluding crown,68mm inc.)

1670658391_ParnisMM.thumb.jpg.8af49e258c2c9532c2ed8b97c8f75d09.jpg

 

652924136_(16).gif.c91488b5fea1caeab8d96f96c8f772ea.gif

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I've never liked really large diameter watches but if it fits my average wrist and I like it then I'll wear it.  40mm is probably the ideal for overall wrist fit and effect. I well remember the days when most men's watches were between 32mm and 38mm with Rolexes submariner looking large in comparison at 40mm.      My Grandads 9ct Smiths deluxe and Oris super didn't look small in the 1960s and my Grandad was a large guy.  Times and fashion change and nowadays there is so much choice so so much variety. 

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20 minutes ago, mach 0.0013137 said:

a man`s watch

Junkers do/did a 36mm 'red 12' watch that i nearly bought.  The difficulty being finding photos of the real watch.  Have you ever seen those supposed photos, then you realise the minute hand has disappeared behind one of the indeces ...?  Anyway, couldn't tell from the publicity if the decoration really was effeminate.  I like my watches butch! 

60310996_135486304189282_312503736012374

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I don't have large wrists, so for aesthetics and comfort the range of 37 to 40mm case diameter is ideal - most things above 40mm are out for me, whatever style of watch.  I say 'most' because it's not just the case diameter that matters, but also the lug end to lug end distance.  In this respect around 47.5mm is the absolute max for me.  If a watch has really short lugs but a larger dial, it can work for me.

I think the fashion for larger cases was just that; "look at how big my watch is!" driven initially by fashion brands and then the wider watch industry.  I think genuine enthusiast are increasingly looking for more 'interesting' watches, which in part is reflected in was I perceive as a growing interest in vintage watches and retro designs that are likely to be 40mm and below.

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would agree that 37mm seems "the perfect size" ... @scottswatches .... (for my wrist at least) ..... just bought a seiko 5 from R.L.T. (37mm) .... and the proportions (don't know if it has something to do with "the golden mean" or the "fibonacci sequence).... but it just seems just right ..... (although having had the @Davey P inspired "fat face" watch glued to my wrist for the past 2 months it did appear a little small at first lol) ..... that said ..... most of my largely vintage watches have a diameter of about 32mm ..... and a couple of 1930s "ralco" watches ..... which although "small and beautiful" (28mm) .... they do look tiny on the wrist

IMG_20190131_114327

ralco (small but beautiful)

IMG_20190317_102453_1

looks tiny on wrist

IMG_20190317_102453_1IMG_20190511_124857

@Davey P number "mr fat wrists" .... beware he who can "sport the helm"

IMG_20190604_094953

"JUST RIGHT" ...... in the "PORRIDGE" sequence :thumbs_up:

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4 minutes ago, Bonzodog said:

With eight inch wrists,anything smaller than 40mm looks silly.

I feel the same, I'm only comfortable with a minimum 40mm diameter watch on my 7 1/2 inch wrist.  The perfect size for me is usually around 45mm :thumbsup:

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Size matters for me :blush:

36mm is my absolute maximum, 33mm to 34mm probably my favourite size although I do enjoy wearing small 28mm to 32mm women's watches

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 i tried to go back to 80's gents 32mm to 34mm as the norm, but couldnt live with them in the modern age, i cant live with 42mm plus and ive found its the lugs that make the difference not the case size, a 43mm with 47mm lugs to lugs, is perfect, as is a 39mm with most lugs even 40. I  think Seiko and Rolex have known this for a lot of years. Shame the former in recent years have gone large. Perhaps if they return to their late 80's 90's and early 2000's sizes and designs which were much more their own and no one elses they will be unbeatable, if they aren't already that is. Case rested. 

no pun 

Edited by Nigelp
a missed
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11 minutes ago, WRENCH said:

Perfect, 34mm

A bit bigger and a bit perfecter - I only rarely go smaller than this, if I'm doing vintage.

IMG_20190606_222833743(1).thumb.jpg.9e304a9573ade7de12d63b789ddc4144.jpg

I am more likely to go a bit bigger at the weekend, especially with a chrono.

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well, I like over 40mm anything smaller on my wrist looks lost, like a child's watch on :laugh:

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3 hours ago, bowie said:

well, I like over 40mm anything smaller on my wrist looks lost, like a child's watch on :laugh:

I'm with Bowie...nothing smaller that 40mm for me either as they look silly on my wrist.

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40-44m feels comfortable to me. Daytona and SD4000 are 40mm and I wouldn’t want to go any smaller or they look like ladies watches.

Zenith and AP are around 46mm and they wear large on the wrist. But that’s what they are designed to do; to create an impact and not to be discreet.

G Shocks are much larger but again that’s what they are designed for. They wear comfortably due to the way they fit around the wrist. Being a casual and sports watch it doesn’t matter if they look bulky or large.

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