Tudor Plea For Proportionality

Ihave spent some careful time observing watch diameter discourse from a distance. As I mentioned last week, men wearing small watches is a topic that, up until now, I have tried my very best to avoid. Not for lack of opinion (duh), but because I simply had other, more pressing matters to concern myself with. Smaller watches on men? How revelatory! Don’t mind me, I’ll just sit on the periphery and continue screaming into the void i.e. mentioning anything to do with intentional watch design for women.

To the man wearing sweatpants and a “lady sized” Cartier Tank; to his friend wearing a stone dial Piaget Altiplano from the 70s with a Bode jacket; and to the purists wearing green chore coats and desert boots, carrying Leicas, and harping on about the ref. 16570 being great on a gray NATO. I see you, I validate you, and on some level, I understand you.

This male-led watch-size “polemic” isn’t a fight for anything new. We could boil it down to a classic case of “enthusiast takes contrarian stance.” If the average consumer is wearing an Omega Seamaster or Tudor Black Bay, and Rolex upped the size of a Sub to 41mm, well, then I understand the logic of wearing only the smallest and rarest of obscurely shaped Cartier watches. I empathize because my brain works like this too.
To borrow a witty quip from fellow small/medium sized watch enthusiast Phil Toledano – I am a pathological contrarian. I love to wear things that aren’t cool in the moment and discard items I once treasured as soon as they become ubiquitous. It’s how I feed my fashion superiority complex. I wore Ugg boots for an entire winter in 2017 when they were strictly relegated to mums on the school run. I no longer wear my Prada Re-Edition nylon bag because, ew, everybody and their mother in NYC now wears Re-Edition Prada nylon bags. My beloved Celine Triomphe sunglasses suddenly spotted on every girl in the West Village, time for a refresh.

But let’s get back to the watch space and its much larger and more complex issues regarding size and equality. Why would I want to spotlight a watch diameter tirade that feels almost trivial when I spend half my time asking for even just a shred more intention or nuance from most brands when it comes to “women’s” watch design? Why can’t these very opinionated men just wear smaller vintage watches and deal with the very predictable trend pendulum that will eventually swing back in their favor? I will always be vehemently repulsed by athleisure, but I won’t let its omnipresence impact my personal style choices. If you’ve always been a slimline-watch supporter, isn’t it the ultimate in chic to wear what you’ve always worn? To be timeless? Diana Vreeland lived by the creed that “elegance was refusal.” What she meant was, stick to your guns and wear what YOU think looks good, not what people tell you is au courant.
After ruminating on the sidelines and keeping my distance from the rhetorical turbulence of “Make Small Watches Great Again,” I took a step back, detached myself from the supercharged ego and frenzy of the enthusiast space, and did a Wim Hof breathing exercise. Eventually, with some time and distance, I realized that this size argument wasn’t so misaligned with everything I had actually been asking for. In fact, the call to downsize men’s watches could easily be reframed into the watch space’s call for more fluidity.

Which in turn would mean I was aligning myself with the enemy. (To which I remind you all, I use the term enemy in jest here). In fact, the enemy was far more ahead of the curve than I could have imagined. Collectors have been going small for some time now. It’s the brands that are slow to react.
This hypothesis led to my greatest eureka moment: It’s not the collectors or enthusiasts who are slow to the mark when it comes to cultivating a fresh perspective or aligning with a modern attitude; it’s the brands who are mostly responsible for creating the impression that the watch world is staid. Moreover, the pool of enthusiasts has grown… considerably. It now includes younger, more fashion-forward consumers who have come to the hobby via less traditional outlets such as rap music lyrics, celebrities, and social media. Add the rising buying power of women in the luxury sector into the mix, and what you now have is a truly divergent mix of customers.

If you’ve made it this far into my article, I hope you are aligned with me on recognizing and appreciating the diversity of wants and needs of the 2024 watch consumer. Hopefully, you agree that this is no longer about smaller watches for men or larger watches for women. It’s a push for a more versatile agenda. I understand that today, commercially, larger watches are what sell. I am not asking to banish watches over the 39mm mark. Actually, I am firmly in favor of keeping Unimatic divers and AP Offshores and RMs in the cultural framework. But brands, you must learn to dance the dance between creative expansion and commercial viability.

This size agenda is no longer a question of nomenclature. Calling watches unisex is the bare minimum, and I know Cara Barett would agree. This is a quest for a far more febrile type of modernity. A shift to change the culture with new products and a different way of marketing the existing product https://www.bagsbagu.com.