Welcome to the second episode of the second season of Fratello Talks! As we kick off the year, we’re dusting off old debates, and today, we talk about the myth of a perfect watch size. Your host Nacho is joined by RJ and Thomas to discuss horological proportions. Is there such a thing as a perfect watch size? We don’t think so. Too many factors come into play, from thickness to lug-to-lug and even the case shape, not to mention the wearer’s wrist circumference and profile. Ultimately, trying as many different watches as possible and seeing what works for you is the way to go. What may seem too big or too small on paper is sometimes more wearable than expected in the metal. You might just be surprised! But before we ponder proportions and philosophize on size, let’s see what’s on the wrist.

Wrist check

We start with RJ, who is wearing his 36mm Rolex Day-Date ref. 18238. Relatively small on paper, it’s a watch that famously wears a notch above its proportions. Compared to the Explorer, which RJ prefers in the 39mm size, when it comes to a Datejust or Day-Date, 36mm is the way to go for him.

Up next is Thomas, who is wearing an IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43 ref. IW329301. On the bigger end of things, Thomas was still surprised at how well it suited his wrist. Though it was clear that the 46mm Big Pilot was one step too far, the “Little Big Pilot” certainly seemed to charm Thomas. You can read his thoughts on those two and the Mark XX here.

Up last is Nacho, who, after last week’s super-sized Breitling, has opted for something on the opposite end of the spectrum. He is wearing his 1961 Omega Seamaster. Coming in at just 34.5mm, it’s a classically sized watch with plenty of punchy patina and character. Though he mostly wears it on the OEM beads-of-rice bracelet, today, he has opted for a taupe Epsom leather strap available in the Fratello Shop.

The myth of the perfect watch size

They say that variety is the spice of life. Yet, in the world of watches, there’s often a tendency towards totalitarian discourse regarding size. We’ve all been told what works and what doesn’t. This is too big, and that’s too small. And if you’re searching for just right, you’ll be guessing at the fractions somewhere between 37 and 38mm. But don’t forget the lug-to-lug! There comes a point where a matter goes from complex to subjective. And when it comes to watch size, we’re happy to declare it a matter of personal taste. Sure, some objectivity lies within the subject of proportionality. But what happens when a watch is designed to be (and wear) big? In our opinion, watches like that are best enjoyed how they were meant to be and not downsized to chase a trend. This way, questionable iterations (we’re looking at you, Panerai Due) can be avoided.

Regardless, the bottom line is this: when in doubt, try it on. And if you feel like something suits you, don’t listen to what the trends say. They’re cyclical, so you’ll be right on trend every few years anyway.

What are your thoughts on the subject of watch size? Do you agree that it’s subjective? Or do you think there’s one watch size to rule them all? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and tune in next week for another episode of Fratello Talks.