The Watch/Wrist Size Dilemma — Is There Such A Thing As A Watch That’s Too Big Or Too Small?
This is largely going to be a visual exercise. What you’re about to see is three Fratelli — Sofia, Nacho, and Jorg — trying on a wide range of watches. Nothing new so far, I agree. But what they will be doing is wearing very differently sized watches, ranging from the elegant Cartier Tank Solo to the beast-like Omega Seamaster Ploprof to see and feel what fits and what doesn’t. We are trying to settle a watch/wrist size dilemma — is there such a thing as a watch that’s too big or too small? Since this is no exact science, there is and will be plenty of room for debate.
Whether something is too big or too small in the case of a watch is always — and I repeat, always — a matter of personal preference. There is no law regarding the wearing of watches, and therefore no official watch police. A 47mm Panerai looks clunky on my wrist, but on a big fella, it looks just right. But in the end, as is with everything you put on, if you wear a watch — regardless of its size, shape, and color — with confidence, you will make it look good. Still, a watch’s width, length, and height do, in fact, matter in a physical way. The size and the shape of the case, lugs, and the bracelet or strap and clasp are tangible factors. The size and shape of the “bump” on your wrist (the end of the ulna ) also determine if a watch feels perfectly at home on the wrist or not.
Is there such a thing as a watch too big or too small? — Sofia
To keep things simple, we decided to come up with three categories — “Too Big”, “Too Small”, and “Just Right”. Please keep in mind the qualifications are strictly personal. Sofia wearing the 55mm wide, 48mm long, and 17.5mm thick Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M might look cool to you. She, however, thought it was “Too Big”. The fact that the bracelet was not sized to her wrist also didn’t help form a more positive judgment.
She thought the same of the Omega Seamaster Professional 41mm, with a lug-to-lug length of 47mm and a height of 12.5mm.
But the Rolex Explorer, measuring 36 × 12mm and 44mm from lug to lug was “Just Right”.
Call me prejudiced, but the fact that Sofia also rendered the Large model Cartier Tank Solo “Just Right” wasn’t the surprise of a lifetime. That watch measures 34.8mm long, 27.4mm wide, and 5.55mm thick. So you might expect she would hand out the same sign of approval to the 25mm Omega Constellation in steel and gold with a diamond bezel around a mother-of-pearl dial. But you’d be wrong. She felt this slender and elegant watch was just a tad “Too Small”. Continue reading for an oversized surprise regarding a slightly larger Constellation.
Is there such a thing as a watch too big or too small? — Nacho
Nacho usually prefers his watches in sizes best described as “moderate” or “conservative”. Yet, the Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M is an attractive beast of the deep sea. Everyone wants to have a close encounter with. That’s why he put it on.
But almost instantly, he classed it “Too Big”. And that left him trying on both the 41mm and 36mm versions of the Omega Seamaster Professional on both wrists at the same time.
That’s when he found out that the Omega Seamaster Professional 41mm felt “Just Right”. It was with pain in his heart that he rendered the 36mm version with a lug-to-lug length of 42mm and a height of 11mm a bit “Too Small” for wearing every day with complete satisfaction.
Does it come as a surprise that Nacho thinks the Cartier Tank Solo he won in a photo contest and wears a lot gets the rating “Just Right”? Of course not. But he also passed that judgment to the 36mm Rolex Explorer. Interesting, but what I really want to know is how he’ll feel once he straps on his grail watch, the 40mm Rolex Explorer II 16570 with a height of 12.2mm and a lug-to-lug length of 47mm.
Is there such a thing as a watch too big or too small? — Jorg
Nacho thought the 42 × 13.7mm Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday Ultraman with a 47mm lug-to-lug length, was “Just Right” for him, and so did Jorg.
But Jorg, who is quite a bit bigger than Nacho, also thinks the Seamaster Ploprof is “Just Right” for him. And when he does, who are we to argue? And I have to admit that the monstrous diver’s watch sits well on his wrist. The fact that he adores this watch, and that his admiration is almost tangible when he wears it, helps to forge his opinion as a solid fact. As I said before, wear something with confidence, own it, and everybody will agree.
Another object of Jorg’s desire is the Rolex Sea-Dweller Reference 16600. This 40 × 15.1mm tool watch with a lug-to-lug length of 46.9mm is the beefier version of the famous Submariner. The lack of a Cyclops makes it a bit more understated than its famous cousin, but the Sea-Dweller makes up for that with a beefier case. On Jorg’s wrist, the watch is almost a size Medium, whereas on Nacho’s wrist it looks like a size Large. But overall the Sea-Dweller is a versatile, quite understated tool watch that fits a lot of wrist sizes and shapes.
Based on the cold hard numbers you’ve read before, you would be inclined to think that the 32.5 × 6.5mm and 36mm long Omega Constellation Manhattan — this one is a 1980s model — is way too small for Jorg’s big wrist. But you would be oh so wrong. Jorg insists that the ’80s icon wears a lot bigger than its measurements would have you think. And that’s why he feels comfortable wearing it. And when I say comfortable, I don’t mean that in the physical way. It’s such a small and light watch almost anyone can wear it without noticing it’s on the wrist. I mean it in the stylish sense. He wears it like a piece of jewelry, and he takes visible pleasure in the watch’s unique design. You should hear him rave about the four stand-out claws and the superbly integrated bracelet.
Is there such a thing as a watch that’s too big or too small? — The final answer
And that brings us to the moral of this story: wear whatever you like and makes you feel happy. The “Watch/Wrist Size Dilemma” only exists if you limit yourself. And the answer to the question “is there such a thing as a watch that’s too big or too small?” is not found in millimeters, but in someone’s personal taste.
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