Women should only wear watches with faces smaller than 36mm – right? Not so long ago, that advice was fairly standard, but as we knock on the door of the 2020s, more and more women are challenging that tired convention.
If you decide to go big, it’s important to understand the difference between wearing a larger watch, and wearing a larger watch well. The key to success is choosing a watch that matches your personality, and belongs in your natural environment. With that in mind, we wrote this guide to help you get clued up.
Men’s vs Women’s Watches
Size is one of the main differences between men’s and women’s watches. Traditionally, women’s watches were (almost) all made with faces smaller than 36mm, while most men’s watches were in the 36-40mm range. In fact, the average women’s watch was designed to achieve a more slimline aesthetic all round, with a thinner, less chunky strap – resulting in a dainty watch that weighed in well below gent’s varieties.
So, can a Woman Wear a 40mm Watch?
‘Can’ and ‘should’ are two very different words… Can a woman wear a 40mm watch? Of course. Should she? That’s purely a question of personal taste – but we say why not try!
Some women instinctively believe that a smaller, lighter-weight watch (a classic ‘woman’s watch’) is more elegant, creating the appearance of slim wrists. In fact, it’s questionable just how well this works; if your wrists are larger, then setting a very small watch against them can sometimes just accentuate this.
Wearing a larger watch is a bolder choice: one that challenges an established social norm and makes more of a statement. Even setting aside the fact that you’re doing something a little ‘different’, large-face watches just make a bigger visual impact.
Four of the Best Large-Face Women’s Watches
So, you’re signed up to the idea of wearing a large-face watch – right? That’s great, but choosing the right watch is the key to nailing the on-trend, emancipated-woman look... Let’s close the show by comparing four ways of pulling it off:
Dip a Toe
If the idea of wearing a large-face watch makes you a little nervous, you might want to dip a cautious toe in the water first. This women’s Rolex Datejust could be perfect for you. With a 36mm dial, you might like to think of it as an ‘entry-level’ large-face watch, while the combination of diamonds and rose gold ensures it’s still distinctly feminine.
Go Big – Or Go Home!
The Hublot Big Bang Tutti Frutti was made for women who are serious about not taking life too seriously! With a pink alligator-leather bracelet and ring of pink sapphires, it manages to be decidedly feminine, despite its impressive 41mm case size.
Board Room Chic
Altogether more restrained is this 36mm Cartier Ballon Bleu. If you savor simplicity, then this is the watch for you – the combination of a stainless steel bracelet and domed bezel with a silver dial creates an understated harmony. Perfect for the board room, this is the kind of watch that will prove your credentials; without upstaging your boss.
Of course, if you are the #femaleboss, then you can step up without worrying who you’ll upstage. This Patek Philippe Nautilus drips with diamonds – and at 40mm, it’s a serious statement piece…
Perfect for any woman who believes too much is never enough!
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