Let us not pussyfoot around the issue — size does matter. Any cultured watch enthusiast will tell you that the diameter of your timepiece should fit your wrist. Too small and it comes off as feminine or childish, too large and it looks like your overcompensating. Predictably, the fashion trend for men’s watches has leaned towards the latter. The industry fell victim to satiating the self-gratification of boys comparing watch sizes, dictating a norm of gauche timepieces wrapped around our wrists.
From the 1930s to the 1990s, watch sizes for men remained relatively consistent, never bulging to anything over 36mm in diameter. Then in the 1970s women’s fashion became more comparable to the opposite sex along with advancing social liberties. Women’s watches became representative of the equalising discourse as they grew to be bolder and more sizeable. Naturally, with their ‘masculinity’ threatened, timekeepers for men grew in size too. Today, anything under 40mm is, arguably considered women’s watch, with many watch models starting to hit the 55mm mark for the men’s range.
This is not to say that there aren’t any good large watches. However, skill and artistry in haute horology were previously defined by micro-engineering as many features as one could into a smaller space — that was the challenge for watchmakers. Like any other part of their wardrobe a man’s watch should be fitted and certainly, nobody needs a wristwatch the size of a pocket watch. Thankfully the market is beginning to respond against gaudy showpieces. Subtlety, synonymous with sophistication in the world of watches, is fast becoming the buzzword of 2018. We have picked out 6 watches that prove how the new statement pieces are the understated ones.