The History of Large Faced Watches

by Donald Bond


So many clients of mine has asked me over the years why watches are getting larger. Especially women wearing watches two to three times larger than ever before. For one, yes, it’s become a fashion statement. It’s easier to wear a men’s Rolex as it shouts “Rolex” much more than a small ladies version of the same watch.

Besides making a fashion statement, the real reason behind the larger watches for women was actually started by a famous woman who wasn’t a fashion icon at the time. She became a fashion icon not by the clothes she wore but the poise and grace she possessed.

The History of Large Faced Watches 1One day, Princess Diana was spotted at a Polo match Prince Charles was participating in wearing one of his gold Patek Philippe watches behind her own watch. Many didn’t know why she was wearing two watches, especially a much larger one. The true meaning by wearing Prince Charles’ watch was a gesture of good luck while he played during the polo match. Romantic? Yes. An unintended fashion statement? Yes. This simple gesture of wearing his watch behind her own was simple a romantic good luck charm.

As Princess Diana grew into her role, she did become one of the most famous fashion icons of all time. By simply strapping on a men’s watch, she changed the watch industry especially for women. Many iconic watch brands recognized this and began to manufacturer men’s watch especially for women. Rolex did this with their Cosmograph Daytona series with pastel Mother of Pearl dials and leather straps, along with flower and bird designed dials fitted to the men’s 36mm and 40mm watches. Omega did the same with their Speedmaster series fitting them with diamond bezels and Mother of Pearl dials.

Today many of the brands we know today, understand watches are not just a function of time, but a time of fashion.

– Donald Bond | Rolex Specialist