Saturday, April 21, 2018

It's Okay to Wear a Watch That's "Too Big"

The two most frequent questions on watch forums are “Should I buy a Rolex or Omega?” and “What size watch should I wear?”

Let those lugs hang out. Nobody will think less of you and
you won't be ejected from your favorite restaurant.
Watch collectors obsess over these two questions above all else, even more than, “I can only afford a new watch or a vacation with my family — which should I do?” But here’s the truth about watch size: It doesn’t matter, unless you want it to. 

If you're worried about what other people might think of lugs overhang your wrist like spaghetti lingering outside your lips, if you think that that watch circle on your wrist eclipses your entire arm, consider this: Nobody is noticing. I promise 

Every now and then there’s a newspaper horror story about a man wearing a tie that sweeps at his knees, sporting pants legs with room for double-thighs, or wearing a dangerously unbuttoned shirt. But when have you ever seen any article condemning any man for wearing a watch that’s too big? No politician, sports star, or businessman has ever been singled out by a reporter for wearing a watch the size of a planet’s moon. For that matter, when was the last time you can remember an article that read something like this, “The Nobel Prize recipient, wearing his Patek Nautilus 5711 said…”?

Most people don’t notice your watch at all, let alone its size. 

Is you watch too big? In your own mind, perhaps. Nobody else cares.

But the obsession with watch size runs deep among many watch owners. The internet is filled with watch size guides that are not without practical benefit. There’s even a mathematical watch size calculator. And that’s fine. Despite this article’s theme — it’s okay to wear a watch that’s traditionally “too big” — it’s also fine to stick to the size limits you’re comfortable with. I’m not saying that the world wouldn’t be a better place if every watchmaker built watches in a half dozen different sizes or used hinged lugs. I’m just saying that the rules you know are artificial constructs you can break whenever you want. 

Have you ever been on a bus or train and squinted with all your might trying to figure out what watch the guy over there is wearing? Is it an Omega — or maybe it’s just a quartz? A Nomos or a Daniel Wellington? If only that watch were a millimeter or two larger, you’ll be able make out the brand of watch he’s wearing. If only… So do it. Wear a bigger watch. Do it for yourself, but also do it for all the other watch collectors you pass by during the day. 

“I’d love to buy that watch, but it’s too big for me,” is the familiar and sad watch collector’s refrain. But it doesn’t have to be. Just tell yourself you’re — how to put it? — man enough to wear any size watch and all of a sudden there’s a new universe of watches you can buy. 

Women frequently wear men’s watches: Rolex, Omega, Breitling — just about everything under the sun. And why not? These large watches actually look good on thin wrists, too. Women who are brave enough to break through the watch-size barrier find that the range of watches they’re able to wear aren’t limited to “ladies watches.” Why should your watch be limited to what you think is the legally mandated watch size. 

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