15 BEST Luxury Watches for Large Wrists (43 mm+)
As the 90s gave way to a new millennium, the early 2000s ushered in some trends that were questionable at best. In fashion, we saw the rise of layered polos with popped collars, Ed Hardy, and low-rise jeans.
The music charts were dominated by the likes of Savage Garden and Nickelback, and every hip-hop song had an air horn or siren in it.
Again, all questionable, but in the luxury watch industry, we saw a trend that would benefit those lumberjacked watch enthusiasts with large wrists. That’s correct; today, we will be giving you a list of the 15 best luxury watches for all of you enthusiasts with 4x4s for wrists.
What Is a Large Watch and Are They for You?
I think it is safe to say that large watches aren’t for everyone. With that said, how do you know if an oversized timepiece is right for you? And when did they become popular?
As we talked about earlier, the trend of luxury watches for large wrists started in the early 2000s and was made popular by Hollywood and pop culture icons of the time. Think Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and some of the decades early hip hop stars like Pharrell Williams and Jay-Z, who were both some of the earliest wearers of Jacob & Co.
While much of fashion and style is subjective, it would be a fair observation to suggest that large watches, which can be categorized as a timepiece with a case size of 43mm in diameter and above, are best suited for those of us with a wrist circumference of 7.5 inches and up.
Don’t get me wrong, if you are a small-wristed guy with the confidence to pull off a large timepiece, go for it! Just know that you may risk looking like a kid playing dress up with your dad’s watch.
Should You Buy a Large Timepiece?
Don’t know if you are big-wristed enough to purchase a large timepiece? No problem! I think it is important for those looking into large timepieces to consider a few things before spending your hard-earned money on your next addition to the collection, size, and legibility.
For those of us with larger wrists, we should start by looking into timepieces that are inherently larger than others. For example, pilot watches. These timepieces are historically larger than other timepieces because they were purpose-driven tools that needed to be large and legible so pilots could see and use them while flying.
The same goes for many dive watches, tactical watches, and other tool watches. They all serve a purpose, so size and legibility are incredibly important. With that said, the wearing experience is definitely geared toward wearers with larger wrists.
15 Timepieces That Are Large and in Charge
1. Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea (ref. 136660)
No list is complete without the always popular industry giant that is Rolex. The Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea ref. 136660 is considered by many to be the ultimate tool watch. With its 44mm Oystersteel case, part of the 904L family of stainless steel, and Cerachrom bezel in black ceramic, the Deepsea is/will always be a legend in the world of watches.
The Deepsea is the latest iteration of the Sea-Dweller family of watches. It was first released in 1967 as a way for Rolex to push the technological boundaries with what they were doing with their existing dive watch, the Submariner. The Sea-Dweller was also the first watch to have a helium escape valve for saturation diving.
The Deepsea ref.136660 is not only a legendary dive watch capable of reaching depths up to 3,900 meters/12,900 feet, but it is also a great companion for those looking for a piece that might only do a little desk diving from time to time.
But, in the event that the Deepsea isn’t hardcore enough for you. Rolex recently released the Deepsea Challenge, a massive 50mm titanium dive watch capable of reaching depths of 11,000m/36,090ft!
2. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication
It is safe to say that the AP Royal Oak craze has gotten a bit out of control. While yes, I think anyone in their right mind is totally in the right when it comes to the extent they are willing to go to acquire one, I do think that some people sleep on the Royal Oaks big brother, The Offshore.
The Offshore Grande Complication ref. 26582CE.OO.A00CA.01 is a prime example of just how much technology goes into Haute Horology. The Offshore Grande Complication is a timepiece that offers more in one package than I thought was possible.
It comes equipped with hours, minutes, small seconds, date, day, month, perpetual calendar, chronograph, column wheel, rattrapante, moonphase, and minute repeater, all wrapped in a 44mm black ceramic case with a sapphire dial, black counters, white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with a black inner bezel.
This timepiece is the Inspector Gadget of horology but one that will certainly help you stand out from the droves of “Normy” Royal Oak owners.
3. Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean (ref. 220.127.116.11.01.002)
Omega launched the Planet Ocean line in 2005 as an homage to its rich dive watch legacy and heritage. The stylishly oversized 45.5mm Planet Ocean ref. 2200.50.00 fit perfectly in line with the large watch trends of the time.
Since then, Omega has been fine-tuning and crafting the Planet Ocean line with some subtle changes over the years, which include varying sizes, color options, and new generations of movements. This brings us to the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean ref. 18.104.22.168.01.002.
At 43.5mm case diameter and a case thickness of 16mm, this stainless steel cased professional grade dive watch can reach depths of 600m/2000ft. It is powered by an in-house Omega caliber 8900, the first METAS-certified Omega movement, and contains a George Daniels-invented Co-Axial Escapement.
But, the standout feature on this watch is the high polished ceramic dial with white gold applied numerals, indices, and the Omega logo.
Much like the Rolex Deepsea Challenge, if this isn’t enough watch for you, Omega released the Planet Ocean Ultra-Deep, which comes in a 45.5mm case and can reach depths of 6000m/20000ft.
4. Grand Seiko SLGA001
Grand Seiko is a watch brand that has seen a meteoric rise in popularity within the watch community since its international launch in 2010. While this can be attributed to the overall quality of the products, I think what makes Grand Seiko so intriguing is the brand’s dedication to craftsmanship through its simple and elegant designs, technology, and great value for money.
The Grand Seiko SLGA001 is a perfect example of how Grand Seiko uses technology in a professional-grade dive watch to ensure accuracy that is second to none.
The SLGA001 is a limited edition of 700 pieces and is powered by the Grand Seiko Spring Drive 9RA5, which is accurate to an astonishing +/- 10 seconds a month! That is +/- 0.5 seconds a day!
But it isn’t just the accuracy of the SLGA001 that makes it such a great timepiece. The SLGA001 comes in a 46.9mm high-intensity titanium case that is lighter and three to four times stronger than stainless steel.
This means for those of you like me who are a bit of a brute, you can rest assured that this insanely finished timepiece is both highly accurate and incredibly rugged.
5. Hublot Big Bang Meca-10 Black Magic (ref. 414.CI.1123.RX)
Listen, I know that Hublot is an acquired taste. For most enthusiasts, it is a brand that we love to hate. But, Hublot does one thing very well, they evoke an emotional response. So whether you like them or not, there is a chance you are talking about them; that is the greatest advertisement/marketing anyone needs.
Regardless of where you stand on Hublot, it is reasonable to say that the Big Bang Meca-10 Black Magic is a pretty unique timepiece that does some things very well. The Meca-10 is named this, for one of its coolest features, a 10-day power reserve.
While Hublot isn’t the only one to offer a 10-day power reserve, they are definitely in rare company. That said, Hublot has always seen materials as integral to its design. So, the 45mm black ceramic case does a great job housing the caliber HUB1201 Manufacture, a very attractive skeletonized manually-wound in-house movement.
The Meca-10, like the Offshore Grande Complication, is definitely a statement piece with its use of ceramic for its big, bold case, one that would look right at home on a large wrist.
6. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique (ref. 5015 12B40 O52A)
1953 was the year that gave birth to the modern dive watch. Released the same year as the Rolex Submariner and Zodiac Sea Wolf, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms will always hold a special spot in history.
Originally created for the French Navy as a combat diver, the Fifty Fathoms was actually the first dive watch to go to market with a rotating dive bezel, beating out Rolex by only a few months. But what makes the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique ref. 5015 12B40 O52A such an intriguing piece is its case size.
With a case diameter of 45mm and a case thickness of 15.4mm, this satin-finished titanium-cased Fifty Fathoms is a true oversized modern dive watch in every sense of the word. But, due to the titanium case, it is a much easier wearing timepiece than past steel models.
The incredible navy blue dial with white gold applied indices/numerals and matching blue sapphire bezel are the perfect shade of blue to remind you that the ocean is where this timepiece was born.
7. Glashütte Original PanoMaticCounter XL (ref. 1-96-01-02-02-04)
Glashütte Original is a brand that has always followed the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) philosophy when it comes to the number of collections in their lineup. With just five collections, Glashütte Original has always strived to create a “culture of excellence and creativity.”
With that said, I believe that the Glashütte Original PanoMaticCounter XL ref. 1-96-01-02-02-04 is the perfect example of that philosophy. The PanoMaticCounter XL is an incredibly striking example of a chronograph that is both excellent and creative.
With a case diameter of 44mm, the stainless steel cased flyback chronograph is the perfect marriage of creativity and luxury with a unique feature set that you’d be hard-pressed to find on another timepiece.
The PanoMaticCounter XL has this unique feature right in its name, the ability to utilize pushers on the left side of the case to move a counter function from 00-99.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. The dial of the PanoMaticCounter XL has a fascinating 3D effect due to a separately mounted dial ring giving this timepiece a dial with wonderful depth.
8. Oris Aquis Depth Gauge (ref. 01 733 7755 4154-Set MB)
Much like the PanoMaticCounter XL, the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge ref. 01 733 7755 4154-Set MB has a unique feature that makes it an amazing dive companion for those with wrists big enough to handle this 45.8mm behemoth.
The Aquis Depth Gauge is not only a very capable dive watch that can reach depths of 500m/1640ft, but it can also accurately show you the depth at which you are.
By using a patented system, the Depth Gauge allows water to enter through a small hole cut into the sapphire crystal and fill a small channel milled into the outer edge of the crystal. This allows for a watermark to correspond with a number indicating the depth at which you are.
While the Depth Gauge may be a bit gimmicky and niche, it proves that independents like Oris can still create some incredibly cool technology useful to anyone using it in a real-life scenario.
9. Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch (ref. L2.622.214.171.124)
There is no denying that the Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch ref. L2.6126.96.36.199 is a huge timepiece. With a case diameter of 47.5mm, a case thickness of 16.3mm, and a lug-to-lug distance of a whopping 57.5mm, this aviation-inspired timepiece is truly an expansive beast that will most definitely be quite the conversation starter.
Longines has always done an amazing job tapping into its historic catalog to produce some very unique and heritage-driven pieces. The Lindbergh is no different.
In true aviation fashion, this incredibly large and legible timepiece comes in a steel case with an oversized onion crown which can easily be manipulated with gloved hands. Remember, this was a tool watch and served a purpose, meaning everything about this timepiece is functional and purpose-driven.
In an attempt to not incorrectly describe the functionality of this piece, I urge anyone interested to research the proper way to calculate and utilize the Lindbergh Hour Angle.
So, if you plan on attempting your own solo Trans-Atalantic flight in a monoplane, the Longines ref. L2.6188.8.131.52 might just be the watch for you.
10. Seiko Prospex SNR029
The Prospex line of timepieces provides a variety of watches at different price points, but what makes them so great is the emphasis on the “Professional Specifications.” Much like the Grand Seiko SLGA001, the Seiko Prospex SNR029 is a Spring Drive driven watch capable of incredible accuracy.
But what makes both of these “large” dive watches so wearable is the lug-to-lug distance. The Seiko Prospex SNR029 has a lug-to-lug distance of only 50.9mm, which means that even though this is a larger cased watch with a diameter of 44.8mm and a case thickness of 15.7mm, it wears very compact on the wrist.
This will make the wearing experience great for someone with a large round wrist as opposed to someone with a larger flat wrist. I am of the former. I have a 7.5”+ wrist but it is rounder than it is flat, which means that many of the larger Seiko/Grand Seiko watches fit me very well and are a joy to wear.
11. Panerai Luminor Marina (ref. PAM00422)
No large watch list would be complete without the addition of a Panerai. This list is no exception. Much like Andre the Giant, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Muhammed Ali, the Panerai Luminor Marina ref. PAM00422 is larger than life.
It’s bombastic and boisterous; some might even say too hard to handle, but regardless of where you stand on Panerai, one thing is true. They know how to make a beautifully-large timepiece.
With a case dimension of 47mm and a case thickness of 17.5mm, primarily due to its incredibly domed crystal, the PAM00422 is an excellent example of a large and modern oversized timepiece with elegant curves due to the Panerai 1950 profiled case.
The matte black sandwich dial construction gives off copious amounts of lume due to the fully lumed disc that sits underneath the dial. The stenciled dial offers great depth and character that is hard to beat but is also a nod to Panerai’s rich and prevalent dive history.
12. Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46 (ref. AB0137211B1P1)
The Breitling Navitimer is one of the most recognizable watches in Breitling‘s catalog. Since its release in 1954, it has been seen on the wrists of actors, comedians, musicians, and even astronauts.
But, the reason the Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46 ref. AB0137211B1P1 makes our list today, is its size. With a case diameter of 46mm and a rather thin case thickness of only 13.95mm, the Navitimer B01 is a broad yet slim case that makes the B01 a very wearable timepiece.
The stand-out feature on any Navitimer is the slide rule bezel. Developed by Willy Breitling in 1952, the slide rule bezel allows pilots to perform all necessary flight calculations while in the cockpit of their plane.
In 1954, upon its release and due to the functionality of the slide rule bezel, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) announced the Navitimer as the official timepiece of the group.
What makes the Navitimer B01 46 such a neat piece with a nod to history is the use of the AOPA logo just above the Breitling name.
13. IWC Big Pilot (ref. IW501001)
Much like the Navitimer B01, the IWC Big Pilot ref. IW501001 is a pilot’s watch and a tool watch. This means that it was designed with a very specific purpose in mind.
When created in 1940 for the German Air Force, the IWC Big Pilot came in at an enormous 55mm! But after its re-releases in 2002, the IWC Big Pilot became an instant classic for those wrists big enough to wear it.
The Big Pilot has since gone through some changes, mainly its size. But, with a case diameter of 46.2mm, a case thickness of 15.6 case thickness, and a bit of a step to the bezel, the timepiece has a bit of a camber which allows for the watch to wear nicely, making this appropriately named timepiece a must for aviation lovers.
14. Zenith Defy 21 El Primero (ref. 95.9000.9004/78.R582)
Many believe the Zenith Defy Skyline is the best sports watch with an integrated bracelet for under $10,000. While I agree with this statement, I believe that Zenith Defy 21 El Primero ref. 95.9000.9004/78.R582 is the true standout in the Defy line.
With a case diameter of 44mm, this beautifully finished titanium-cased chronograph houses the venerable El Primero movement. But the light and agile titanium case isn’t even the best part of this timepiece.
The open-worked dial is truly beautiful. While I understand that skeletonized dials aren’t for everyone, There is something to be said for the attention to detail that Zenith puts into every piece.
15. A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater (ref. 147.025)
While the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater ref. 147.025 isn’t the first or only minute repeater on our list. It is the first-ever mechanical timepiece to have a jumping numeral display and minute repeater together in one beautiful package.
The A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater ref. 147.025 comes in with a case diameter of 44.2mm and a case thickness of 14.1mm. The case is made of solid platinum, making it the only timepiece on our list made of precious metal.
The beautifully symmetrical dial layout is perfect for those of us with a little OCD, but the real magic of any A. Lange & Söhne happens when you flip the watch over, and the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater is no different.
The intricate detail and finishing on the manually wound L043.5 is truly astounding. The luxurious, almost steampunk aesthetic of the finishing must truly be seen to be understood. If you are looking for your next piece and want a true piece of art on your wrist, the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater is the watch for you.
In today’s watch world, we have more options than ever. With the rise of microbrands and affordable luxury, there is no shortage of different timepieces we can put on our wrists. With the slow change of the watch sizing and design of the early 2000s, those of us with larger wrists will always have a more difficult time finding the perfect piece.
But in an attempt to help kick-start your search, we hope this list will act as the catalyst for your future watch purchase. While this is most definitely not a comprehensive list, it is filled with great timepieces from all ends of the spectrum. From Haute Horology to affordable luxury, this list is a reminder that not all trends from the 2000s should be put to rest just yet.