I’ve found the perfect watch, but it’s gigantic I’ve found the perfect watch, but it’s gigantic

I’ve found the perfect watch, but it’s gigantic

D.C. Hannay

Call it wishful thinking, but sometimes you find a watch that’s absolutely killer, but hopelessly super-sized for your decidedly average wrist. As much as I’d like to think of myself as an uber-buff action hero, it’s just not grounded in anything resembling reality.

Dwayne Johnson Ceramic Luminor Panerai GMT

Like many starting out in the hobby, my collecting mindset leaned toward the “bigger is better” school of thought at the outset. But I’ve come to grips with the fact that some of my outsized choices looked, frankly, ridiculous on my 6 ⅞-inch wrist. I have smelled what the Rock is cooking, and unlike him, I would look like an absolute tool attempting to carry off a 47mm Panerai. Thankfully, the brand has plenty of tasty choices more suited to my personal dimensions. But there are timepieces I’m absolutely smitten with, that are sadly destined exclusively for those with far greater wrist real estate holdings than I. If that’s you – congratulations – because these are all great. But for me, the following timepieces just aren’t in the cards, unless I get cracking on with Chris Hemsworth’s fitness regimen.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Crystal Rock

girard perregaux laureato absolute crystal rock

GP has been enjoying a renaissance with their recent release schedule, especially with their Laureato line. In fact, the 38mm models would seem a perfect fit for yours truly, but I have bigger ambitions. I’m a sucker for high-tech materials, and the Laureato Absolute Crystal Rock ticks that box with its carbon/glass case and bezel construction. The swirling, variegated material is the ideal match for the grey-to-black fade of its dial, and its manufacture chronograph movement cements its status as a legit contender in the luxury sports watch realm. Unfortunately, its 44mm diameter is just too much for these pipe-cleaner wrists, so here’s hoping GP decides to bring the material to a 38mm version.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive SLGA015

grand seiko spring drive diver slga015

Grand Seiko is a brand that gets a lot of love from enthusiasts, and with good reason. They absolutely kill it when it comes to dials and movements, even with their sportier models. I find myself especially attracted to the whole Spring Drive concept, a unique proposition in the luxury space. One of their most appealing models is the SLGA015 Evolution 9 dive watch in titanium, but sadly, I could never carry it off convincingly. It’s a shame, because it looks fantastic, with highly legible handset and dial hardware, great finishing, and the aforementioned Spring Drive under the hood. But the 43.8mm diameter and lug-to-lug of 51.5mm is just too much of a good thing. I’d love a Spring Drive in my collection, but unless GS releases a diver with more compact dimensions, it won’t work for me.

Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Mosquito Night Fighter

breitling super avi mosquito night fighter

I have a personal affection for Breitling, with a Navitimer 806 as my most prized piece. It’s not a small watch, with a 41mm diameter, but it wears well on me, due to its compact case height of just under 13mm. It has real presence, without veering into supersized territory. I’d love to add a modern (read: less delicate) Breitling to the stable, and the Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Mosquito Night Fighter would be a real contender, were it not for its substantial 46mm diameter. Yes, Breitling has been known for years for their big, bold watches, but their current range covers a broad expanse when it comes to sizes for every wrist. It’s just my luck that one of their coolest new references happens to be one of their most sizable. The classic contours of its ceramic case, along with the striking grey-on-black reverse panda dial are striking, but I can’t even attempt it with measurements of 46mm across, a height of almost 16mm, and a lug-to-lug of 51.5mm.

Panerai Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech

Panerai Carbotech Marina Militare 4

I’ve always found the square cushioned cases of Panerai’s design language to be attractive, but their hulking presence has been a stumbling block for my admiration to move beyond the window shopping stage. That’s all changed in recent years, with models as trim as 38mm coming into the fold via the Luminor Due lineup. But dammit, the PAM I want is a righteous chonk, the badass Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech. The deadly serious stealth of the carbon case, along with the stark white-on-carbon Marina Militare dial give it a take-no-prisoners attitude. Heartbreak for my wrist arrives with its 47mm case dimension, as there’s no way in hell I’m going to pull that off. “But dummy! There’s a 42mm Submersible Carbotech!” I’m aware, but with its bright blue dial detailing and absence of the Marina Militare branding, it’s just not the one for me. But hope springs eternal, just knowing that it’s technically doable. Fingers crossed…

Omega Speedmaster Grey Side of the Moon

omega speedmaster grey side of the moon
Image courtesy of Analog:Shift

I’m a longtime Speedy enjoyer, with both a Moonwatch and a Reduced in the case, but I find myself drawn as if by tractor beam to the Dark Side of the Moon series, with their techy ceramic cases and nontraditional colourways. The Grey Side of the Moon variant is especially alluring, with its highly legible black-on-grey dial that sports just a touch of red, and that case material that leaves them wondering if it’s ceramic, or some exotic metal. Then there’s the Co-Axial Chronometer movement, visible through the exhibition caseback, a horological masterclass if ever there was one. But it’s a no-go, with a girth of 44.25 mm, and a nearly 50mm measurement from lug-to-lug. A standard Speedy Pro is near my limits, especially the way the lugs wear like an awning across my wrist when on the bracelet, so the ceramic versions are definitely too much. Omega, if you’re listening, consider something that us mere mortals can pull off.