Small Is The New Big: 2023 Is All About The Genderless Dial

Small Is The New Big: 2023 Is All About The Genderless Dial

Avani Gangwal
26 Apr 2023 |
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The watch industry is finally in a place where your timepiece will not be defined by size and fit but by style and form.

There has been speculation on this for a few years now, but timepieces are now divulging to a dial size of 37-40mm making them easily wearable across genders and most importantly a sweet spot that leaves its preference purely on individualism. While some may argue that this also widens the gap to explore an audience that otherwise felt that they spill-over-the-wrist but this started earlier than expected and this year has come into full bloom.

The signs are everywhere, brands like Tudor, Chopard, TAG Heuer, and Cartier amongst others have narrowed down their iconic offerings by a few mms, while some claim it fits the original vintage inspiration, others boast it are better suited to the design of the watch itself, whatever be the case (size), we are here for it and am more than excited to equip our wrist to its fitted best.

Given that the average wrist size for men varies between 7.5 to 9.5 inches, for women, it's roughly between 5.9 to 7.1 inches, case in point is the middle ground has always been a 38mm watch. Fabled back in the 20th century as a fairly decadent size, today, it is counted as a more neutral crossroad between genders. And as we move into a world where you aren’t defined by gender or a construct of it, watch brands have caught on and are up to speed and are giving a plethora of options that allow you to make your own choice. That being said, there are still plenty of watches that are sized up and equally more that have been shrunk down, but today you can wear a watch because you truly love it not because it ‘fits’ you.

2023 is all about embodying the one that transcends size, and here’s a list of icons that have done just that:

1. Chopard L.U.C 1860

Chopard L.U.C 1860

Chopard's latest creation, the L.U.C 1860, is a stunning tribute to the brand's roots, taking inspiration from the very first L.U.C timepiece. Combining a rich salmon-coloured solid gold guilloché dial the watch comes in a strikingly effective 36.5 mm Lucent Steel case. Powered by the L.U.C Calibre 96.40-L with a 22-carat gold micro-rotor which enables the watch to achieve a power reserve of up to 65 hours.

2. Tudor Black Bay 54

Tudor Black Bay 54

Tudor's Black Bay line has a new member, the Black Bay 54 with a smaller 37mm case. Despite being smaller than its siblings, it remains a stylish and utilitarian timepiece suitable for both genders. The watch has a vintage-inspired design, taking cues from Tudor's Oyster Prince Submariner ref. 7922, with a minimalist unidirectional bezel displaying only five-minute intervals. It is powered by the MT5400 in-house movement, offering a 70-hour power reserve, a silicon hairspring, and a free-sprung balance wheel. The Black Bay 54 comes with a steel bracelet or rubber strap, both featuring Tudor's proprietary "T-Fit" micro-adjustment system.

3. Zenith Defy Revival Shadow

Zenith Defy Revival Shadow

Zenith's latest addition to the Defy Revival series is the Defy Revival Shadow, featuring dark tones and muted textures in line with the Chronomaster Revival Shadow released in 2020. Crafted in a compact 37mm titanium case and the fourteen-sided bezel is micro-blasted to achieve a matte finish, while the iconic ‘ladder’ bracelet is also crafted in titanium. The matte black dial has rhodium-plated faceted square hour indices, filled with beige Super-LumiNova. The watch is powered by the automatic Elite 670 manufacture movement, visible through the caseback, and comes with a new folding clasp for better ergonomics.

4. TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Glassbox

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Glassbox

For the grand 60th anniversary, TAG Heuer decided to celebrate the Carrera just like it was when it was first conceived. The redesigned Carrera Chronograph aptly now bares the name of ‘Glassbox’ that refers to the domed and curved crystal that pays homage to 1970s design. The new 39mm unique design allows TAG Heuer to display the inner tachymeter scale in a new way without shrinking the dial down, in fact, it looks grander than expected thanks to the glass box. The blue dial model includes a minimalist small-seconds subdial and date aperture, while the black dial model features three silver-toned subregisters and a date aperture at 12 o'clock. Powered by the newly evolved Heuer 02 movement the watch also now has an 80-hour power reserve.

5. Cartier baignoire

Cartier baignoire

The Baignoire watch has a rich history, dating back to 1912. This year, Cartier has introduced a new version, combining a watch and a piece of jewelry in one. The dial and Roman numerals are set in a richer gold ribbon, while the oval shape of the watch is transposed into a bezel for a comfortable fit and sized down all the way to a tiny 24.6mm x 18.7mm dial. The new Baignoire is available in rose gold, yellow gold, and fully paved options and is actually designed to be stacked.