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Size matters


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Little watches in the 50's aimed towards women became ridiculous for women after women realised they don't need to wear tiny watches anymore. They can wear the same watches as men and quite rightly too. 

So at that point we begin to see the the watch industry make 40mm+ watches for men (in place of 34mm) because having more room for movements reduces the cost of production and replaces their production industry of smaller movements. 

When we look towards the sociological aspects of the industry v social popularity we can see the industry begin to ballance watchmaking into a centralised industry, losing the "sexual driven" requirements of size being replaced by the wrist/arm size of the buyer. 

We can still see remnants of the past industry requirements splitting into niche markets with overtly large watches (for whoever needs to make a statement) and smaller watches (with butterfly's and unicorns) to fulfill other requirements (and other non-horology fashion statements). The bulk of the main watch makers sticking with providing "wrist size" watches that differ only in size requirements (with functions based on those size V production cost restrictions).

These days we are beginning to see standardised movements being placed within stylised watch cases. The movement is small enough to fit our drive to buy smaller (to fit our wrist size) watches with the same movement fitted into larger (to fit our wrist size) watches.

The watch industry (at the very top end) are beginning to just make androgynous "watches" in 2 or 3 wrist sizes and we can see this filtering down to other manufacturers. In honesty they rely on the production of the movement industry and although quartz movements can be very small, mechanical movements rely on this cost.

This is why without case size differences (including spacers) or bespoke made movements, we see watches all made within roughly the same size.

What interests me is the ballance between what can be produced against what society desires. I suppose this is the market that we play in with our toys. My guess is that following that progress in the market will give us the most desirable watches of the future (excluding the blind exclusivity of cost and rareness).

Perhaps the best mechanical watches to collect are those watches that fulfilled the "small" requirements of the past as we may never see them manufactured again.

Edited by SolaVeritate
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Trends ebb and flow. Although we've definitely seen a consistent trend of growth with watch dimensions. I do think, however, that we've come to a plateau in this regard. Seems that since the late 90s things have kind of hit a halt when it comes to size increases. There will always be the occasional swing and a miss with certain fashion brand, such as Diesel, but for the vast majority of watches manufactured the average watch size send to have settled to about 40-44mm. Personally I think that's perfect, as 40 works great for those with smaller wrists and 44 still achieves the oversized look for those with small wrists whom desire that look. Then the 44mm look great on pretty much any sized wrists.

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The trend to ever larger watches was limited by the failure of humankind to evolve gargantuan wrists.

Of course, we could always carry our watches in our pockets, on a chain :whistle: 

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My grandfather had huge wrists. He never had trouble with small watches in the 1960s for the simple reason that they were what was available to the average person.  I think it would’ve taken a brave person to tell him he was wearing a girl’s watch, even in his 70s

624563230_Album5003.thumb.jpg.51463b8bb8b1054c5db5a853e42842a4.jpg

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1 hour ago, AVO said:

My grandfather had huge wrists. He never had trouble with small watches in the 1960s for the simple reason that they were what was available to the average person.  I think it would’ve taken a brave person to tell him he was wearing a girl’s watch, even in his 70s

624563230_Album5003.thumb.jpg.51463b8bb8b1054c5db5a853e42842a4.jpg

But that's my point. Small movements did not fit in such large watches of that time. They were made especially for ladies watches much smaller than 34mm.

image.thumb.png.72bc5a0f1a5d979254912e44c853ccd4.png

This is an omega from back then (1950s?).

The watch industry is moving away from these movements and producing standard sizes (in larger and larger numbers) because the need for these sizes of smaller movements are not required (or not required in smaller and smaller numbers).

It is allowing the industry to begin to standardise manufacturing processes of movements to allow the case size to be the defining factor of watch size.

Wrist size is beginning to define case size not movement size because of social needs. The opposite was social needs/demands defining movement size and case design.

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1 hour ago, SolaVeritate said:

Wrist size is beginning to define case size not movement size because of social needs. The opposite was social needs/demands defining movement size and case design.

Most women I know wear Apple/smart watches of some kind, which are huge, with a few who wear gender specific quartz dress watches. There are two who wear vintage gold Rolex. I honestly can't remember the last time I saw a modern mechanical on a woman's wrist ?

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Little watches in the 50's aimed towards women became ridiculous for women after women realised they don't need to wear tiny watches anymore. They can wear the same watches as men and quite rightly too. 
So at that point we begin to see the the watch industry make 40mm+ watches for men (in place of 34mm) because having more room for movements reduces the cost of production and replaces their production industry of smaller movements. 
When we look towards the sociological aspects of the industry v social popularity we can see the industry begin to ballance watchmaking into a centralised industry, losing the "sexual driven" requirements of size being replaced by the wrist/arm size of the buyer. 
We can still see remnants of the past industry requirements splitting into niche markets with overtly large watches (for whoever needs to make a statement) and smaller watches (with butterfly's and unicorns) to fulfill other requirements (and other non-horology fashion statements). The bulk of the main watch makers sticking with providing "wrist size" watches that differ only in size requirements (with functions based on those size V production cost restrictions).
These days we are beginning to see standardised movements being placed within stylised watch cases. The movement is small enough to fit our drive to buy smaller (to fit our wrist size) watches with the same movement fitted into larger (to fit our wrist size) watches.
The watch industry (at the very top end) are beginning to just make androgynous "watches" in 2 or 3 wrist sizes and we can see this filtering down to other manufacturers. In honesty they rely on the production of the movement industry and although quartz movements can be very small, mechanical movements rely on this cost.
This is why without case size differences (including spacers) or bespoke made movements, we see watches all made within roughly the same size.
What interests me is the ballance between what can be produced against what society desires. I suppose this is the market that we play in with our toys. My guess is that following that progress in the market will give us the most desirable watches of the future (excluding the blind exclusivity of cost and rareness).
Perhaps the best mechanical watches to collect are those watches that fulfilled the "small" requirements of the past as we may never see them manufactured again.

I have ~6.75” wrists and most of my watches are 40-46mm. Anything smaller would look like a ladies watch IMO but that is why we have a choice in the marketplace.

I don’t go for a particular model due to its size; I go for the aesthetics first and then see how it fits in the wrist.

Plenty of people dismiss watches because they are 2mm larger than what they are used to. Read that again….2mm! Sounds crazy especially when they do not consider how the lugs may fit around the wrist or how balanced the watch feels.

Imagine a lady turning you down as you are 0.5” longer or shorter than what they are used to. Sounds just as crazy as dismissing a watch for being 1-2mm larger or smaller!
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Little watches in the 50's aimed towards women became ridiculous for women after women realised they don't need to wear tiny watches anymore. They can wear the same watches as men and quite rightly too. 

"Little" watches are still commonly worn by women of all ages, it wasn't a case of not needing to wear tiny watches it was a personal choice, my mum wore a 32mm man's watch for everyday during the 1960's and a little decorative thing for "best", not sure where you are coming from with the "quite rightly too" comment, fashion is what it is, there's no "equality" angle here and many women who wear larger watches wear those styled specifically for women. Let's consider some tiny watches, these "ridiculous" watches are still made - Omega make women's watches in 24mm 25mm 27mm 28mm 29mm sizes, Breitling make women's watches in 29mm and 32mm, Rolex make women's watches in 28mm 31mm I could go on but do you see my point?

So at that point we begin to see the the watch industry make 40mm+ watches for men (in place of 34mm) because having more room for movements reduces the cost of production and replaces their production industry of smaller movements. 

We had larger men's watches available in the 50's and 60's in the 36 to 40mm range, we had even larger watches in the 70's 38mm to 44mm being common, in the 80's and 90's many watches were smaller than the 70's and in the early 2000's we had watches of 46mm and 48mm and larger which became fashionable. Again it is fashion and the drift towards diver and tool watches not to mention the larger size of the average man. If you look at a movement database you will see most movements in men's watches in the 50's and 60's are no different in size to a modern ETA2824 for example. Many large watches such as those from the early 2000's had a movement such as the ETA2824 which is about 25mm in diameter in a case with an internal diameter of 40mm or more.    

When we look towards the sociological aspects of the industry v social popularity we can see the industry begin to ballance watchmaking into a centralised industry, losing the "sexual driven" requirements of size being replaced by the wrist/arm size of the buyer. 

There are many other factors such as styling, also unisex (mid size) watches have been around for decades it's not new, "sexual driven requirements" as you curiously call them are alive and well.  then there is this - "we can see the industry begin to ballance watchmaking into a centralised industry" We have had consolidation of Swiss brands into groups but this process is not new it has been going on for decades hastened by the need to adapt to the quartz challenge. At the same time we have had many new producers come on the scene.

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16 minutes ago, JoT said:

Little watches in the 50's aimed towards women became ridiculous for women after women realised they don't need to wear tiny watches anymore. They can wear the same watches as men and quite rightly too. 

"Little" watches are still commonly worn by women of all ages, it wasn't a case of not needing to wear tiny watches it was a personal choice, my mum wore a 32mm man's watch for everyday during the 1960's and a little decorative thing for "best", not sure where you are coming from with the "quite rightly too" comment, fashion is what it is, there's no "equality" angle here and many women who wear larger watches wear those styled specifically for women. Let's consider some tiny watches, these "ridiculous" watches are still made - Omega make women's watches in 24mm 25mm 27mm 28mm 29mm sizes, Breitling make women's watches in 29mm and 32mm, Rolex make women's watches in 28mm 31mm I could go on but do you see my point?

So at that point we begin to see the the watch industry make 40mm+ watches for men (in place of 34mm) because having more room for movements reduces the cost of production and replaces their production industry of smaller movements. 

We had larger men's watches available in the 50's and 60's in the 36 to 40mm range, we had even larger watches in the 70's 38mm to 44mm being common, in the 80's and 90's many watches were smaller than the 70's and in the early 2000's we had watches of 46mm and 48mm and larger which became fashionable. Again it is fashion and the drift towards diver and tool watches not to mention the larger size of the average man. If you look at a movement database you will see most movements in men's watches in the 50's and 60's are no different in size to a modern ETA2824 for example. Many large watches such as those from the early 2000's had a movement such as the ETA2824 which is about 25mm in diameter in a case with an internal diameter of 40mm or more.    

When we look towards the sociological aspects of the industry v social popularity we can see the industry begin to ballance watchmaking into a centralised industry, losing the "sexual driven" requirements of size being replaced by the wrist/arm size of the buyer. 

There are many other factors such as styling, also unisex (mid size) watches have been around for decades it's not new, "sexual driven requirements" as you curiously call them are alive and well.  then there is this - "we can see the industry begin to ballance watchmaking into a centralised industry" We have had consolidation of Swiss brands into groups but this process is not new it has been going on for decades hastened by the need to adapt to the quartz challenge. At the same time we have had many new producers come on the scene.

OK..  me --> :russian_roulette:

Hey, its just an opinion.. A badly written one probably but still just an opinion. 

But.. :bash:  and  :cursed:

Umm.. :thumbdown:

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