Big Time: A Selection of Big Watches for Men
The kind of watch a person wears can say a lot about their personality—and if what you possess is a big, oversized one, then it only follows that you should find a timepiece to match, hence this selection of notable big watches for men.
Why You Should Wear a Big Watch
Let’s say you’re built on the heavier, more imposing side, and you need a watch that will hold up in proportion to a chunkier arm or wrist. Or maybe you’re the kind of guy who wants to be able to instantly tell time at a glance, so a large display will be ideal. It can also be that you need something that will stand up to a lot of strenuous movement and activity, so a hefty, brawny, sturdy piece that will survive a few knocks and dents is in order. Or it could simply be that a big, robust watch just plain, in your eyes, looks cool—the kind of thing that announces your presence and lets people know you are not someone to be taken lightly.
Larger watches had a moment in the late ’90s and early ’00s, with brands attempting to outdo each other in thickness and diameter by coming out with models that practically resembled wall clocks for the wrist. A large dial is anything that measures in the range of 44mm and above, while thicker cases are built to house intricate movements and complications. Because of their attention-catching proportions, bigger watches are not exactly for the faint of heart… so the key to wearing one, really, is that you have the confidence to pull it off. Here are a few that may be bold enough for you.
1| IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Heritage
A watch that has the word “Big” on it should be a no-brainer. It’s worth noting, however, that the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch is among the timepieces that sparked the movement toward bigger cases when it was re-released in 2002. This watch’s predecessor was even bigger, if you can believe it, as it was patterned after a 55mm model designed for the German Air Force in 1940. Today’s version clocks in at a still large 46.2mm, a size that is at once visible while navigating the air and elegantly discreet on the wrist. When used for aviation purposes, pilots appreciate the conical crown that allows for adjusting the time even when wearing gloves.
2| Panerai Luminor Marina PAM00422
Panerai, known for its masculine, hefty timepieces and originally crafted for the Italian Navy, caused a sensation when it first unveiled the Luminor Marina 1950 PAM127 in ’02. At 47mm, the watch was considered startlingly huge for its time. This one, the PAM00422, retains that same hefty diameter size and features the three-days in-house movement caliber P.3001. It also carries the vintage-inspired details that make the piece so coveted among fans, and the beige leather strap is guaranteed to look even more handsome as it gets weather-beaten with age.
3| Hublot Big Bang Unico Black Magic Bracelet
No list of big watches for men would be complete without an appearance from the brand that put “bigger is better” on the map. Founded by Carlo Crocco in 1980, the avid sailor started Hublot with the intention of creating luxury sports watches that would perform under pressure, yet still look sharp with a suit. Sporty and brash, this 45mm Big Bang manages to fit the bill, and it combines two signature features the brand is known for: a rubber strap, something Crocco was particular about for ease of use during water sports, and a case made of tough zirconium-oxide ceramic, a scratch-proof material that stands up to wear and tear. Plus, it looks pretty badass.
4| Louis Vuitton Tambour Blue Chronograph 46
The French luxury brand has made the watch world sit up and take notice with its fashionably cool timepieces as of late, and this one—with a sporty red, white, and blue colorway—will add a pop of fun to your wrist. (You may also exercise the option to change the strap, from rubber to alligator or calf leather to the signature LV monogram, if you wish.) The sleek dial is highlighted by a design touch contributed by Gaston Vuitton: a dark contrasting V down its middle. Don’t miss the subtle little date indicator located between 4 and 5 o’clock. The watch is also water-resistant up to 100m, should you care to put it to the test.
5| Breitling Navitimer 8 Super 8 B20 Automatic 46
Breitling has been known to create some ridiculously huge watches, and this one is no exception—the case measures 46mm, but the bidirectional rotating bezel comes in at 50mm, so it really comes out to a hefty 50mm in all. The other draw is its cool origin story: This particular model was inspired by the reference 637, a stopwatch that World War II pilots used to wear strapped around their thighs, which kind of helps explain the outsize proportions. This one, however, is meant to be worn on your wrist, with luminescent hands and numerals that make for easy reading in low lighting. Considering the watch’s size, though, it’s a little hard to believe you’ll have any trouble at all ever seeing the time.
6| Citizen Promaster Aqualand 200M Depth Meter
Once you realize that this is a serious dive watch, the 53mm diameter case size starts to make a whole lot more sense—you do, after all, need this to be fully visible when you’re checking the time and all of the other indicators in the deep. There are other features that divers would find valuable as well: a unidirectional rotating bezel, Eco-Drive light-powered technology (ensuring it will never need a battery change), auto-start dive mode, a depth display of up to 70m, a rapid ascent alarm… but even if you decide never to wear it for venturing under the sea, this is one of those big watches for men that will still look pretty cool on your wrist—if you have the guts and the presence to pull it off, that is.