As we all know, Fashions and trends go in cycles, style is eternal. The watch maker trend over the last few years has been to make larger and larger wristwatches, culminating in excesses such as, the Breitling Bentley 6.75 with a 47.8mm casing, the Audemars Offshore models that feature cases as large as 62mm, and the truly horrific Dewitt limited WX-1 concept featuring a 48mm by 72mm casing in which the movement extends to make the watch measure 104mm in length! This (in my opinion) appalling trend even persuaded Rolex to remake their Daatejust into the Datejust 2 with a 41mm case
One brand which founded itself on large casings is Bell and ross, with their utilitarian military stylings, they positioned themselves firmly as a big is better brand, one wonders how successful they would have been had they released their products in a kinder gentler age, it is unquestionable that they rode the wave of big watch mania to become a success, creating casings up to as large as 52mm, and with 46mm as the standard case size.
Well they have been producing for about a year now 2 smaller models, the BR03-92 with a 42mm case and the BRS-98 with a 38mm case, a sure a sign as any that things are returning to sanity. Also the new Richard Lange by Lange & Sohne has only a 40.5mm case, IWC's Da-vinci automatic has a 35.6mm case, Richard Mille (whos watches are seriously expensive) produced pretty much all models around 39mm and Rolex said the other day they will burn all Datejust 2 models in a big fire - No thats a joke, but it would be nice if it were true.
I am very pleased at the reversal of this trend of excess, it may be some time before wrist watches start to return to 36mm being the standard, indeed this may never happen, as things have just gone too far, however it would be nice to see things reach a stage where 38mm at least is the standard, 48mm and upward is just ludicrous, very few people can wear such large wristwatches and look elegant, and inevitably a terrible phenomenon occurs where people follow the fashions, think they look good, and actually look ridiculous. So hooray for a return to style over trends.