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  • Writer's pictureMarcella

Size Reeaaally Doesn't Matter


The Stella Breslin or banana not shown to actual size
 

OK, hear me out.


Sometimes, maybe, size does matter. Like in NYC closet space. Or pizza slices. But when it comes to wristwatches, it's perfectly acceptable to appreciate both the big and the small, as well as everything in between. It all depends on fit.


Sometimes I think the watch world (more than anyone else) is obsessed with size. I’ve heard some enthusiasts claim they could never wear anything under 44mm and others claim their smaller wrists can’t handle anything over 36mm. Everyone seems to have their “perfect” size when it comes to fit and comfort. But I’d like you to consider, just for a moment, that size truly doesn’t matter when it comes to wristwatches. There are other factors, such as your wrist shape, the watch's lug-to-lug dimension as well as the lug drop that play a crucial role in fit. So if you’ve got time for a quickie article, let's dim the lights, put on some mood music, and dive into the idea that it's not about the numbers but rather about the comfort and personal preference that each individual finds in their timepiece.

 

The Fallacy of One-Size-Fits-All:


A lot of people tend to believe certain wristwatches are universally appealing, but that is far from the truth. For example, I think everyone can agree the Tudor BB58 is a beautiful watch. My skinny-arse 6" wrist jumped on the “I’ve gotta have it” bandwagon just like a lot of others. Don’t get me wrong, I adore this watch. But man, when I wear it, it feels like a lethal weapon. In theory, the case size of 40 should be a good fit for me - I wear other 40s (the Stella Felix and Breslin for example) quite comfortably. But what I didn’t take into consideration is the other dimensions and the shape of the case that make the BB58 feel like a cast iron frying pan at the end of my arm. With a lug-to-lug of 50mm with very little drop, and a height of 15mm, the watch wears me instead of visa-versa.


My advise - don’t get sucked in by the allure of an “all-inclusive” watch. Every watch has unique proportions, and where one model may be a great fit, the same case dimensions on another might be a completely different story. Now let’s talk about what else you should consider when searching for your perfect fit.


 

Understanding Lug-to-Lug Dimensions:


The Breslin Lug to Lug is 48mm

Perhaps more crucial than case size is the lug-to-lug dimension, the measurement that represents the distance between the two lugs on the watch case. The lug-to-lug dimension will take up the most space on your wrist so if it exceeds the width of your wrist, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable. Ideally, you want a lug-to-lug that doesn’t create space between the watch and your wrist. Have you ever seen a child wearing a grown-up watch? That’s what I’m talking about. It may look adorable on them but trust me, this is not the secret to regaining your youth (and if you do know the secret, please lmk).


On the flip side, you might feel a watch with a smaller lug-to-lug dimension appears too “understated”. I’ve even heard men say smaller watches are too feminine for them. I hate to break it to you guys, but that’s all in your mind. The truth is, a smaller lug-to-lug could actually be your perfect match and if you never give one a try, you might never find your one true watch. I don't like to think of watches as masculine or feminine. Rather, I say wear what you like, keeping comfort and personal style in mind.


 

Embracing Lug Drop:


Stella Breslin Lug Curves

Now I’m going to get really nuts and say I believe lug drop is even more important than lug-to-lug dimensions. I mean, let's talk about the curves. The lug drop refers to the case’s curvature of the lugs and I’ve always been a sucker for a sexy lug. A good curved lug will determine how well the case conforms to the natural shape of your wrist, like a nice friendly hug.


Your perfect lug drop will create a harmonious blend between the watch and your skin. This not only enhances comfort but also makes the watch more aesthetically pleasing, as it becomes an extension of your wrist rather than an intrusive accessory. Unfortunately, we don’t have any “number” for lug drop that you could say, “Oh, a lug drop of xx is perfect for me” because case designs vary in so many different ways. The best thing to do when shopping online is to look at the case profile and if the lugs have a nice down curve, you will get more of that hug. If you can see the watch in person, even better! Try it on and see how well it conforms to your wrist. A nice pronounced lug drop will sit comfortably and securely, reducing the likelihood of slipping and sliding during everyday wear.


 

So What’s the Right Fit for You?


An approximation of watch and wrist size

In the 25-plus years that I’ve been designing watches, I’ve seen trends go from micro-movements to Big Mac combo meals. My advice is, don’t follow the trends. While it may be tempting to jump on the hot new watch bandwagon it's essential to remember that personal comfort and preference should always take precedence. A large, attention-grabbing watch might be a statement piece for some, but for others, a subtle, well-fitted timepiece could hold much more appeal.


Take the time to try on various watches and consider how each one feels on your wrist. A friend over at Farer advises his customers to borrow a buddy's watch and wear it for a few days. I love this advice if you have a good friend with a nice watch collection. For me that’s Stephen. He buys the watches and I “borrow” them! But if your friends are into, I don’t know, collecting beanie babies instead of watches (why??), I recommend getting to a watch fair near you and trying on as many as you can. Maybe we'll see you there!


 

Let's wrap it up:


In the world of wristwatches, there's no shortage of sizes, shapes, and styles to choose from. So how do you choose the right one for you? The most important thing is to let go of the idea that you can only wear certain sizes and keep an open mind. If you love the look, quality, color, dial, etc. of a watch, give it a try. Spend a little time with it if you can. Maybe even take it on a second and third date. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover your perfect match isn’t what your “type” was all along. Find a watch that speaks to you and it will become an inseparable part of your daily life.


 



 

If you're into the numbers:


BRESLIN Dimensions

  • 40mm Case

  • 48mm lug to lug

  • 12.7mm thickness

  • 20mm lug opening


ELLIS Dimensions

  • 41.5mm Case

  • 49.5mm lug to lug

  • 13.1mm thickness

  • 20mm lug opening

FELIX Dimensions

  • 40mm Case

  • 48mm lug to lug

  • 13.6mm thickness

  • 20mm lug opening

 

I'll leave you with one final thought on size:


"It doesn't matter how big a ranch you own or how many cows you brand, the size of your funeral is still gonna depend on the weather." - Harry S. Truman


Best,


Marcella


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