In the early 2000, watch sizes began creeping up to become larger, and watch manufacturers were producing seemingly loud and oversized timepieces as a result. There’s always a silly debate among watch fanatics about the “right” and “average” sizes. Some viewed modestly-sized watches with the mindset of “bigger is better,” while others merely yearned for a visual status symbol that could more easily grab the attention of others. Picking the right size definitely plays a significant role in how a watch would look on the wrist. Nevertheless, there are no fixed rules to this, and any watch that makes you happy is the right one for you.
Traditionally, wrist watches for men back then in the 90s were significantly smaller, averaging out from 34mm to 39mm in diameter, and admittedly, they looked remarkably classy, evoking a tasteful elegance. Fortunately, the era of big watches is coming to an end as smaller watches are making a massive comeback with vintage-inspired timepieces becoming tremendously popular—put down your colossal wrist-mounted clocks on your wrist. It’s time to embrace some chic mid-size watches because I’ll be giving the spotlight to some of the mid-size timepieces that really resonate with me in this month’s lookbook.
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Captain Cook Automatic Midsize White Ref. R32500013
The first candidate on the list comes from a fantastic brand that has recently come on board the brands we offer at Gnomon. Rado is a brand that honors their proud heritage with timepieces that beautifully explores references from their past catalog, packed with modern upgrades. One of their most distinctive and iconic collections of watches is the legendary Captain Cook line which takes after the original 1962 Captain Cook. The Captain Cook Automatic Midsize White Ref. R32500013 is a reference that I find myself constantly looking at for its attractive combination of a white bezel and a white dial, resulting in an exceedingly clean appearance that looks phenomenal. Coming in with a diameter of 37mm, the fit on the wrist closely resembles the fit of the original 60s Captain Cook, a perfect mid-size diver that carries so much class.
Glycine Airman No. 1 Cream GMT 36 Ref. GL0372
It is delightful to see Glycine embracing a gorgeous 36mm size that stays faithful to the diameter of the first-ever Airman back in 1953. This release was absolutely what the masses were waiting for me and a large portion of the watch community. As a watch that modeled itself after the original Airman, the 36mm size is truly perfect. Although this may be a size that many perceive as too small, the relatively long lugs that extend out considerably allows the watch to be worn notably larger than the dimensions suggests, sitting closer to a 37 or 38mm. This is a perfect example of how to recreate a timeless classic, welcoming contemporary upgrades such as the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal opposed to an acrylic one and a capable modern automatic movement while retaining the original vintage look and dimensions.
Citizen Automatic White Ref. NB1050-59A
This is a real masterpiece from Citizen that is hands down, my favorite mechanical watch. Citizen is really stepping up their game with stunning offerings in their recent releases, especially this one. Simply the case on its own is already a treat to look at, displaying the brilliant mirror-like polishing and sharp, defined satin brushing that could rival even timepieces that cost double its price. Measuring with a case diameter of 38mm, this is a size that is indeed fitting for a dressy/sporty watch like this. Considering its impressive specifications, execution and design, the Citizen Automatic White Ref. NB1050-59A could be the great choice for a one-watch collection.
Glycine Combat SUB 36 2-tone Green Ref. GL0341
Just like the Airman, the Glycine Combat SUB 36 2-tone Green Ref. GL0341 comes in size reminiscent of vintage watches from the golden era of watches, especially with its two-tone appearance. The CombatSub collection from Glycine has consistently delivered impeccable value as a Swiss-made automatic dive watch. However, this latest 36mm iteration certainly opens more doors for those who found the larger 42mm on the regular models too overwhelming. The pairing of the sunburst green on the dial with deluxe gold tones is a superb color combination that has admittedly caused me to fall deeply in love with this reference. Considering Glycine’s illustrious heritage and experience in watchmaking, this 36mm Combat Sub excellently ticks all the right boxes.
Seiko Dolce Steel Ref. SACM171
The last contestant comes from a brand that we are all-too-familiar with, the acclaimed Japanese watch manufacturer that seemingly has a watch for each spectrum segment. The Seiko Dolce Steel Ref. SACM171 is a hidden treasure in the world of JDM (Japanese domestic model) timepieces, carrying a high-precision quartz movement that appeared on Grand Seiko models. Being the most petite watch on this list, coming in with a diameter of 33.5mm, perhaps this is a size that many would feel underwhelming. However, feeling it on the wrist, the dressy nature of the Dolce is definitely emphasized by the compact diameter. From the minimal dial design to the stunning polished case execution, this is a dress watch that I’d rock any day and feel like a million dollars.
Gnomon Watches first opened her doors for business online in early 2002, founded by bona fide horology suitors who share a profound passion for watchmaking and fine craftsmanship.