Any guesses as to why 42mm is more popular?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by KPOM, May 17, 2015.

  1. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    New steel 38mm watch orders are shipping in 2-3 weeks, and sport in 3-5 weeks, while 42mm orders are still in the 5-7 or even "July" category. It seems that the 42mm is a lot more popular than the 38mm. Any ideas why?

    The 38mm seems to be a better fit for most women, and I'd guess at least 1/3 of men. Even given a 70/30 split between men and women as far as buyers, that would suggest something much closer to a 50/50 split between 38mm and 42mm orders. I know big watches are in fashion right now, but the 38mm is about the size of a traditional men's watch, and somewhat on the large side for a women's watch.

    Is it the size of the screen (i.e. people think it's easier to read)? Is it the same phenomena that led to the Galaxy Note and iPhone Plus? Something else?
  2. LoveToMacRumors macrumors 68020


    Feb 15, 2015
    For the price difference, the 42mm is a much better deal. Here in canada, i paid the 42 ss classic buckle at 1056$ CAD so i want the watch to be as noticable as possible thus the 42mm.

    38 is extremelly small and harder to read. I have iphone 6 and the difference for the watch is like reading on an iphone 5 or even 4. Much too small.
  3. flur macrumors 68020


    Nov 12, 2012
    The slow supply doesn't necessarily mean it's more popular. It might be that Apple underestimated the demand on the 42, or there was a production issue.
  4. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    Size vs price. For $50 you getter a bigger watch. Bigger is taken as better.
  5. KPOM thread starter macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Set the 38mm to bold text (thanks John Gruber!). In any case, the 38mm watch display is easy to read. We aren't talking a huge difference in display size. Besides, this is mostly for glancing. I've been looking at watches a lot smaller than this for years (decades, actually).


    But that's not always true. Would you prefer a Ford F150 or a BMW 328 (price no object) if you were living in a city?

    The other way to think of it is that they do the same thing and look the same. So why pay $50 more when the smaller one is just fine?
  6. perezr10 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2014
    Monroe, Louisiana
    I don't think your comparison to the Galaxy Note or 6 Plus makes any sense since the smaller phones outsell the larger ones.

    Regarding the watches. I think potential buyers would overwhelmingly be men and most guys are going to go for the larger watch.

    Personally, I don't think it matters. You can't see any more on the 42mm and you aren't meant to "fiddle" with the screen very much. The size difference isn't even 4mm, it's closer to 3mm. In fact, I have a 38mm and more people assume it's the 42mm when they see it on me.
  7. bunnicula macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2008
    I don't think it is.

    That's why they haven't made as many.
  8. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    Am I reading this correctly? You want the watch to be big and noticeable because you spent a lot of money on it? If this is what you're saying, I'd like to have a word with your parents.

    I can think of many reasons for wanting the larger watch. I can not think of one worse one than this.
  9. psylence2k macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2012
    I'm actually quite surprised at the popularity of the 38 mm with men. I didn't really think many males would go for it but by the "Show your :apple: Watch" thread it seems ALOT of males actually bought the 38 mm which really surprised me. I dont know if that's because of the price, current availability , size preference or a combination but I never thought it would be like that.


    to play devil's advocate a watch is traditionally a fashion item and once it gets into a certain price range it's also a luxury good.

    I dont know why it's so shocking that someone would like to "impress" with such a purchase. Have you not realized that vanity has always been a very popular, common, and widely accepted aspect of such purchases ?
  10. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    Vanity obviously drives luxury purchases for some. What I fail to understand is how size equates to luxury via noticeablity. I thought humans were moving past that. A tiny vintage 2 door Jaguar roadster is infinitely more luxurious and noticeable than a big white stretch Lincoln Continental limo.
  11. psylence2k, May 17, 2015
    Last edited: May 17, 2015

    psylence2k macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2012
    Well as far as the original post goes I dont think that guy necessarily meant that bigger size was meant to be perceived as more luxurious, just more noticeable which is what he said.

    You can't really compare a watch to car though. If you're standing around and a car drives by you're gonna notice it regardless of what type of car it is. A hundred people can walk by you one by one and unless you're focusing at that moment on what they're wearing you probably wont notice any of their watches because watches are relatively tiny. Which is why it would make sense for someone to feel like purchasing a bigger watch would make it more noticeable because watches are relatively small and cars (even compact ones) are easily noticeable when they move by us.

    Most people would definitely notice that a Ford focus drove by them before they noticed someone walking by with a rolex. Why ? because size affects visibility which is why when it comes to your car analogy, a Jaguar roadster would not be more "noticeable" than a big white stretch Lincoln and that has nothing to do with the perceived "luxury" of either vehicle.

    So it makes sense that if someone wants to be noticed or "turn heads" with something as tiny as a watch that the bigger the watch the high probability it will be visually noticeable. I feel like that's just a basic law of nature and just common sense. Bigger size = more noticeable.
  12. bdobsonca macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2015
    Size. Mystery solved. Moving on.
  13. eifer macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2008
    I have a feeling that a decent amount of people are thinking like "I'm a man so I need a 42mm" when in reality the 38mm would be more appropriate.
  14. KojiH, May 17, 2015
    Last edited: May 17, 2015

    KojiH macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2012
    If you look at regular wristwatches most modern mens watch diameters start at 40mm and up. For many mens boutique watch brands the trend has been oversize, meaning 45mm plus. Look at brands like Bell & Ross, Graham, Shinola, U-Boat, Panerai, Hublot, and even some of the offerings from Omega and Breitling.

    So based on this I could see many men choosing the 42mm. Also many women may choose the 42mm for the larger screen as well as the trend in women's watches has also been moving toward larger diameters as well.

    I'm a mechanical/automatic watch collector and my preferred case diameter range is around 44mm to 50mm. I find I don't wear my 40mm or smaller pieces at all any more.

    So for me I would have preferred if Apple had chosen a larger size range between the two offerings. Perhaps a 38mm and a 45mm.
  15. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    The 42mm is the more popular size after all, as 42mm models are estimated to represent over 80% of sales.
  16. nfl46 macrumors 604

    Oct 5, 2008
    I found the 38mm WAY too small. It's very hard to read the screen. I can't speak for all men, but a majority of men forefinger could probably cover the whole 38mm screen.
  17. AbsoluteMustard macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2015
    Boston, USA
    The 38mm is very small. Thats why. The 42mm watch is only 35.9mm wide, which is how watches are measured.

    42mm battery life is better


    "decades" that explains it. It is more in fashion to have larger watches. Older people aren't usually in fashion.

    I would prefer a 328 over a 128, a more apt analogy
  18. Mac 128 macrumors 603

    Mac 128

    Apr 16, 2015
    Well, there's a much bigger difference in price between the smaller phone offerings and the "phablets" than with the 38mm & 42mm Watch. So for $50 you get a larger display on what is an already tiny screen, as well as better battery life on a device that is notoriously publicized as power starved. Seem like a no brainer if you're comfortable wearing that big a device on your wrist.

    I agree that male dominated early adopters probably account for the main difference.
  19. Givmeabrek macrumors 68040


    Apr 20, 2009
    The 38mm is just too small. It's the width that really matters. It's only 33mm. Much smaller than traditional watches. The height is masked by the fact that the band is attached to it. That's a tiny watch. :cool:
  20. solarguy17 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2007
    Why? Maybe guys like me don't have monsterous (or large) wrists and feel like the 38 is more comfortable to were because it is SLIGHTLY smaller.
  21. Crazy Matt macrumors 6502

    Crazy Matt

    Apr 20, 2015
    IMHO the 42 looks redicioulus on most people.
  22. utcarsons macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2010
    The 42 is only 2.6 mm wider. That seriously makes the 38 tiny? :confused:
  23. Sanlitun macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2014
    Bigger battery and better screen (higher DPI).

    If you are used to wearing a larger watch it's not really that big. It's certainly no where near as bad as the Moto 360 which is ridiculous.

    In any event it's supposed to be a big chunky fun novelty which for a lot of users won't last through the summer.
  24. wdfly macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2015
    men are far more likely to buy one of these than women, men want/need to larger watch. the 38 fits me pretty good, i'm currently wearing the one i got for my wife because she doesn't want to wear it after all but i prefer and am still likely to get the larger watch later just because it will fit me just as good and it has a larger screen and better battery life.
  25. mpike78 macrumors regular

    Dec 8, 2014
    I have a 195/200mm wrist the 38mm looks too small on my wrist or I would of gotten the 38 but the 42mm just gave me that little extra my wrist needed.

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