Small(er) but Mighty

Like so many, I had my large watch phase during my collecting journey. I look back at that era like many of us look back at pictures in our high school yearbooks and wonder… “What the hell was I thinking?” 
Beyond Baggy Jeans? Come on, man. 
I still have and love some larger pieces, but nothing ridiculous or far too large for my wrist. I find that 42mm cases are about as large as I dare to go these days, and usually deploy watches 38mm-40mm for my daily wear.

That said, I really enjoy smaller vintage pieces ranging from 34mm-37mm in case diameter. I understand that many modern tastes look at these pieces as too small, but I don’t. And while I had a phase of wearing freaking dinner plates on the wrist, I don’t think my affinity for some smaller watches is merely a phase. 
Earlier this month I picked up a 2017 Midsize Omega Seamaster. It was the previous Seamaster generation but in a 36mm case rather than the standard 41mm. The current Seamaster, as many of you already know, is 42mm so this new addition is truly diminutive in comparison. I find it beautiful and maybe even better looking than its full-sized brethren. 
So here’s my question, do you think the mid-sized Seamaster will grow in desirability for collectors? I’m not asking for financial benefit or anything like that. I’m just curious what others think about smaller pieces which weren’t made in the same quantities as the larger models.

I’m not selling nor do I plan on letting my wife steal it from my collection. I know she wants to adopt it but this little guy ain’t going anywhere. 

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I don't think it will.

I'm a big fan of, and prefer, watches between 34-40mm as are many WIS these days.

Dive watches are different. For some reason a 36 mm diver doesn't look right to me. Same as a 42mm dress watch would look out of character.

The fact that larger version of the Seamaster is so recognizable it, to me, makes the 36mm appear even smaller.

Ther's a reason they made fewer.

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I think we will be seeing a gradual ebbing back from the 44mm+ area. 

As the smaller sizes come more & more back into the mainstream, I believe that will mean watches at the forefront of that shift become more desirable; especially if they weren't produced in large numbers. Not LE's, but that middle ground between LE's and a full production run.  

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I think its important to consider the overall wrist presence and not just case diameter. Factors like lug-to-lug distance, male vs female endlinks, Nato vs non-Nato strap, can all make a watch "wear" bigger or smaller.

I think a Tudor GMT (42mm) looks just as big on the wrist as a Casio Duro (44mm) for example. But the Tudor also looks different on a strap vs bracelet, the bracelet makes it look more compact IMO because it tapers off the case height visually.

Not to mention dial size which is why 40mm 3-handers look so big and 40mm divers dont, the diver dial size is smaller because of the bezel.

So I guess my point is a "good" case diameter is relative to the watch and wrist. People tend to think these days 40mm works for anything, and it does, if you like the look, but not because its the "right" size.

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For me, the subject of size is dependent on the style of the watch in question. Due to their purpose built nature, sports watches such as divers and chronographs are "allowed" to be large so the thought of wearing something like an overbuilt Seiko Emperor Tuna doesn't really unsettle me. I wouldn't dream of wearing a dress watch that's anywhere within sneezing distance of that size though.

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No, and I'm almost certain of it. Certain as I can be anyway. I would be THE customer for these watches. 

  • I grew up with Brosnan as Bond and loved the design since I was little boy when I had no idea what it was.
  • I think the 90s Omega Seamaster divers are the best dive watches ever made, not by Omega but by any brand. In particular, I would totally want and own the watch without the James Bond association.
  • I have very small wrists at around 6" in circumference so the smaller watch will, unlike the full size, not be too big for me.
  • I really like the Omega brand and found their customer service to be fantastic when it comes to maintaining vintage watches. As I intend to keep the watch forever that is a big bonus.

In theory the 36mm diameter Omega 2551.80 should be my favourite watch of all time and yet here we are at the point where, once it came to opening up the wallets, I bought this

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which is the full size automatic 2531.80. Why? Well, I'm not sure. Maybe because Bond wore it, but I genuinely like the watch regardless of the Bond association. Maybe because I am insecure and compensate for my small wrists and hands, then again this doesn't make too much sense as a smaller watch would make me look bigger. Maybe because of value retention and investment potential, no because I bought it way before it was thing and those were cheap af. Mybe because I was fat with 7"+ wrists when I bought it, well, that would make sense except that I could easily sell this one and buy the smaller, even make a profit in the process, but I haven't!

It's definitely some subconscious weirdness that is going on in my head but whichever way you cut the sandwich, if I haven't bought one then I cannot imagine too many people in this world will. 

Amazing watch by the way, enjoy!

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foghorn

I don't think it will.

I'm a big fan of, and prefer, watches between 34-40mm as are many WIS these days.

Dive watches are different. For some reason a 36 mm diver doesn't look right to me. Same as a 42mm dress watch would look out of character.

The fact that larger version of the Seamaster is so recognizable it, to me, makes the 36mm appear even smaller.

Ther's a reason they made fewer.

WIS?

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I don’t think it will. Its the right size for a true dive watch…not that anyone dives with a watch any more! Great on wrist though, so keep enjoying it! Here’s my 36mm early 90s Seamaster mid-sized. Two tone! (is that back in vogue now? 😂) 

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The fashion(!) is certainly trending towards smaller case sizes, but as others commented shape, design and lug-to-lug are pretty much just as important when it comes to wrist presence. On top of this you have to choose your watch to fit YOU sartorially and physically. I like 36's and 37's, but they need to wear BIG to fit my 7 3/4" flat wrists. I'll attach me wearing a 44, a 42, and a 37.

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christian108108

WIS?

Short for "Watch Idiot Savant" a term used on watch fora for years for people like us.

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I agree that case size isn’t the only factor. I’m far more concerned with lug to lug distance than any other measurement... well… for watches anyway. 
 

I don’t personally think the mid-sized Seamaster will become some highly coveted piece, however, I do notice that when they come up for sale, they sell fairly quickly. Maybe it sees a cult following like those who fawn over the Tudor Submariner.