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I have resigned myself to the fact that the watch that I want and want to wear 90% of the time (dare I say my "Grail") is the Polar Rolex Explorer II. I would hope this becomes an heirloom watch for my son, which means I intend to maintain it well and regularly for a number of decades.

I'm really struggling whether I buy the current 42mm style or older 40mm style? I have a 7 1/4" wrist and I'm fairly certain my son will be bigger than me. I own watches up to 47mm so am not shy about wearing big watches. I enjoy it. But I just bought a 40mm Tissot Visodate and can appreciate the merits of owning a smaller watch as well (not that 40mm is small). I suspect a smaller thinner watch that will be worn for decades ultimately would take less abuse than a bigger taller watch.

Do we think over the next 10-20 year that the early 21st century will be remembered as the time of the mega-watch sizes, like big hair from the '80's, never to be seen again? Or are bigger watches here to stay from a preferred fashion perspective?

I don't know whether smaller watches will be valued less and less over time or whether 40+mm watches down the road may eventually become taboo and devalued? Your thoughts?



 

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Well if/when it swings back the 42mm Polar will look vintage, just like the sub-micro watches my father passed down to me look now. In my view choosing a watch to look current when it is passed down seems to defeat some of the allure of the piece. I always think choosing based on passing it down is backwards, wear what you like now and when it is passed down it will represent more of you at this point in your life than a watch chosen with a different set of criteria than you just buying a watch to wear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well if/when it swings back the 42mm Polar will look vintage, just like the sub-micro watches my father passed down to me look now. In my view choosing a watch to look current when it is passed down seems to defeat some of the allure of the piece. I always think choosing based on passing it down is backwards, wear what you like now and when it is passed down it will represent more of you at this point in your life than a watch chosen with a different set of criteria than you just buying a watch to wear.
Thanks, a very thoughtful response.
 

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I think that style of watch is too small at 42mm so the pendulum could swing a little to smaller sizes and you would be fine.

Jeff
 

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I have the same size wrist as you Tseg, and I recently got the current model Exp 2 based in part on the size. To my mind, 42mm just looks and feels better. It's an aesthetic and emotional judgment that hits you immediately, and one you can't suppress with too much analysis.


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Watches are losing relevance. So the fashion trends are much less likely to drastically change from now.

Also, smartwatches are going to become a big thing, and they will be as large as possible (to get bigger screens in) - very much like the contemporary pissing match between smartphone manufacturers about screen inches. So they will keep pushing the "large thing on wrist" aesthetic. Now, what MIGHT happen is a counter-movement against the large trend of the smartwatches, but that's not gonna happen any time soon, I think.
 

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Purchase the watch you like the most and take care of it. Love your son and be good to him. Pass the cared for watch down to the son you have raised lovingly and he will cherish it because it was a gift from you. This is a universal win!
 

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I've got about the same wrist size, though that rarely enters into my watch decisions, and find the 40mm version about perfect. The first time I saw the 42mm version in a store, I was surprised how little I noticed the extra 2mm. My opinion on watch size fashions is that smaller watches will come back (probably never to 33mm, again) but the trend is slow. Because most people who have a nice watch only buy one in a lifetime, it takes a long time for changes to happen. For all the talk of larger watches among WIS, I still see few in the real world, and the ones I see are the large G Shock types or Invicta.
 

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As a recipient of an heirloom Rolex, I think the other opinions are spot on. Buy what feels right to you, and the sentiment and impact of what you give your son will take care of itself.
 

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Any heir who gets your watch will care a lot more that it belonged to you than anything else.
 

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42mm is safe I believe. Even if the trend of oversized watches comes to and end, I think both 40 and 42 will always be fine, especially for a sports watch. If you like the 42, go for that one. It will always be in the happy-medium of sizes.
 

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I think watch "size" is relevant to the size of the wearer. Classic style will trend at 38-40mm, sporty blingy style will be what the market bears....right now 42-44mm.
 

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I am getting a wee bit of deja vu here. Nobody has a crystal ball capable of predicting fashion, and your values are not always shared by your progeny....

So, that being said, be yourself, wear what you love and your son, when/if he inherits the piece will have a piece of what made you...well...you... which is the point isn't it?
 

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I wonder if thinking smaller sizes will come back is like people 70 years ago thinking the pocket watch would come back.

I think the window has shifted such that people are all just used to wearing something 2mm larger than they would have 20-30 years ago.

My comfortable range is 39mm to 44mm, and there are a lot of vintage pieces I like but won't buy because of the size. It could be your son will appreciate you opting for the 42mm.
 

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It's fair bet that watches will get smaller again but it's just to difficult to tell. It might be in 10 or 20 years time or it might be in July. I would get the watch that's in vogue now rather than trying to predict what will happen down the line and when it will take place.
 

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When we are talking Explorer IIs it just has to be the 40mm. It's near-on perfect.
 
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