There has been a lot of crap discussion about the size of mens watches. It never seems to stop and one quote is even more silly than the other.
When we flash back to the nineteen twenties/thirties, all watches were small, men’s watches as well as ladies watches. But there still was a significant difference between them. The differences however were not the dimensions of the time piece, but the DNA of the watch, the lines and the details. But before I ramble on, don’t get me wrong; ladies of course get away with any watch they like!It was around 1997 when I saw for the first time, very well dressed Italian ladies in Milano wearing Rolex Submariners, it was a bit the talk of the town. Fashion magazines as Vogue and Marie Claire even mentioned the trend. It was also around this time that Panerai was acquired by Richemont and presented their first 44mm Luminor models. Really huge for that period since Cartier presented their first ‘large’ 38mm watch only in 1985, the Pasha! Other brands started to launch larger models and it did not take long before I was wearing a large Santos 100 myself, a love affair that lasted just two years.One of the most famous watches, created for men is without any doubts the Rolex Day Date, worn for decades by famous men around the globe. This watch, and also the more affordable and very popular Oyster Date and Explorer, were created in smaller cases and until a few years ago, only available in 36mm that size. But the fact that Rolex tried a larger version in 41mm, doesn’t mean that the 36mm automatically becomes a ladies model. The watch does not have any feminine details, it is still a mens watch. In the meantime Rolex stopped the production of the 41mm Day Date and went back to 40mm. That one millimeter made quite a difference, since the new Day Date has much better proportions than the 41mm.
Cartier’s Santos Dumont mens model is another example. Released in a 24x34mm and 36×27 case, this is a very small and elegant men’s watch. On a ladies wrist it does look fine, but it still has that unmistakable masculine DNA, while the Panthere, created as a Uni Sex timepiece in 1983, has much more a feminine approach, with it’s softer round lines.It also works the other way, but when will we spot the really large ladies watches created by Graff, on a mens wrist. Probably never, since even from a distance these timepieces, despite their size, breath elegance, sex and femininity.
You may call me Caitlyn, because of my my ongoing promotion for smaller mens’s watches, but mark my words; sooner or later, you will be back to decent sized watches, since after all, the larger watch didn’t made you more a man, nor did it give you a better style.
While I don’t see that the Watch Industry will go back to the dimensions of the past, I am pretty sure that, with the exception of Panerai and the really complicated watches, where the caliber demands a larger case, we will see many more wearable models in 38 or 39mm and that the really large fashionable cases with small calibers, are on their return.And in fact that trend has started already very quietly. Rolex launched more colourful mens models in 36mm and 39mm, Cartier released some of their tourbillon models in 39mm Ballon bleu cases and Piaget launched that amazing looking automatic Aliplano (pictured above) with gold bracelet in 38mm, to name just a few and this is probably just the beginning.