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Watches…”How big is too big?”

I remember not too many moons ago when the 44mm TT1 Diver date was a monolith.  Many believed the 36mm and 40mm divers were the perfect size. Then the rumours abounded of a 47mm LE Diver and the controversy began. Since those recent times the 50mm barrier has been broken (ORIS Pro Diver Chronograph) and the thought of a 36mm diver is a remnant of the distant past. How big is too big when it comes to the world of watches?

This is a legitimate question for most of us who sport average sized wrists.  Just in case you were wondering the average male sized wrist is between 6.5 and 7 inches.  The term “Average” can be a little ingenuous as wrists sizes are larger in Europe, Pacific, Africa and the Americas than in Asia.

Has the run to larger watches been a simple element of trend? Perhaps. This decade has seen a preponderance of “Super Size me” culture be it in meals or drinks, TV’s or SUV’s.  One wonders if the recent global economic challenges will cause a rethink to this trend. Personally I can foresee a change to quality over quantity in terms of consumables while a change to greener technical masterpieces in non consumables. I still can’t see the consumer purchasing smaller TV’s, just greener ones :)

So has the increasing size of watches been solely a fashion “trend”?  In some cases yes but to the serious watch designers I believe it has created a glorious palette of opportunity.

The introduction of Titanium as a core material base in larger watches has eliminated a major drawback to designers.....weight.  A 47mm Titanium divers watch now weighs much the same as  a Stainless Steel 36 mm Divers watch.  Similarly, the advancement in case and horn/bracelet/strap design has allowed for a much better fit on the average sized wrist.  The previous two factors have been a Nirvana to watch designers who can now play with some magnificent designs utilizing a larger dial and in some cases a wider array of movement complications.

Unconvinced? Well until recently so was I. I mean, how can someone like myself with an average 7 inch wrist carry off a 51mm Pro Diver Chronograph? Actually, not badly at all thanks to the aforementioned factors.  Here are three photo’s with myself wearing a 51mm Pro Diver, my 47mm Carlos Coste and the new 44mm Titan SS Bezel Diver Date.

The point I am trying to mate is to not immediately rule out >44mm watches if you have an average wrist size particularly when you are in the market for a Divers watch. Keep in mind however that >44mm divers watches may be difficult to wear under a tight fitting cuff of a business shirt. If you love those cuffs nice and tight and you have your heart on a divers watch then you may need to investigate a little further :)

For a full expose on “Divers Wrist Shots” head to http://www.friendsoforis.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=34849

Until next week!

Rob Ayala
Friends of ORIS

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