Big watches are, well, HUGE right now, both literally and figuratively speaking.
Names like Breitling and Omega have increased the size of some of their flagship models to 46mm and beyond in the last few years and they’ve been hugrily received by watch fanatics around the world. But it wasn’t always like this.
For me - and I know this is a macho cliche of the the most obvious variety - there’s no greater standard-bearer for ‘what’s hot’ than James Bond. For watches in particular the world has looked to the Bond franchise since the 1960s to tell us what we should be aspiring to and while there have been many examples over the decades it’s been largely dominated by the Rolex Submariner and the Omega Seamaster. But the first timepiece sported by Bond - Bond being the 6’2” former Mr Universe contender, Sean Connery - was a 34mm Gruen Precision.
I’ve had the pleasure of owning one of these and I can tell you it’s a gorgeous little thing - a gold & silver dress watch of extremely tasteful proportions. I let it go because I had a very similar Omega dress watch which is very similar and I didn’t need two the same, but I will never forgive myself!
For me, a 46mm watch looks fantastic…on the right wrist. On a skinny wrist it looks all kinds of wrong. But for me, seeing a smaller watch on a larger wrist (thank you Mr Connery) looks anything but out of place. It’s understated, it screams class, it says “I believe in quiet precision and I do not need to prove myself to you or anyone else.”
My advice is to get online and seek out some pristine pieces from the 1950s and 1960s; right now you can pick up some beautiful Rolexes, Omegas, Todors and many other 33-36mm dress watches for under £1,000 but they won’t be there forever…