Does 4 MM really matter? 38 MM vs 42 MM

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Syke23z, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. Syke23z macrumors member


    Aug 21, 2014
    Hey Guys! Cannot wait for the :apple:Watch! I know a lot of the forum is still deciding between the 38 MM or 42 MM face. I was wondering if 4 MM will really make that much of a difference. While cutting out templates I realized that 4 MM (the difference between the 2 watches) is a very small amount. in the end do you think is really matters, if I preorder incorrectly.

    Wrist Size: 165 - 170 MM (Around) and Across about 45 MM.
  2. Wallabe macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2015
    That much difference? No. But it will make it easier, text, or even pictures that you're looking at.
  3. SHKLMRE macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2013
    Theres not just a difference in height, there's also a difference in width so the 38mm is noticeably smaller than the 42mm. For something the size of an Apple watch, 4mm does make a difference.
  4. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    The width is the biggest difference. I do not mind the height of the 42mm, but I think the width is a little ridiculous.
  5. Special2k3 macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2015
    My wife says "yes" :)

    I'm wondering how much more batterie life the 42mm version has compared to the 38mm one.

    Best regards

  6. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    an hour at most is my guess...otherwise it would have been a standout feature.
  7. Skylitfly macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2014
    Yes, 42mm seems to be huge for me. I'll be getting the 38mm for sure.
  8. MojoRisinSD macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2012
    My wife also agrees that it matters. I mocked up 2 exact size replicas with some cardboard, electrical tape, and creativity... when she saw both on my wrist, 42mm was the instant winner.
    You also need to take into consideration that the 42mm is actually less than 38mm wide, that is smaller than any other full feature smart watch on the market. I don't have large wrists, but they are not tiny either (175mm), and I will be going with 42mm.
  9. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    again the width is not smaller than anything out there. I laid my pebble on top of the 42mm (via the apple store app), and it is actually wider than the original pebble.

    Really they are near the same size as the pebble minus the prongs.
  10. MojoRisinSD macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2012
    That is why I said "full feature" smart watch. I know a lot of people love the pebble, but I wasn't considering it for this comparison.
  11. 2macORnot2mac macrumors regular


    May 14, 2010
    I still think the thickness of the watch will determine what size one might go with.
  12. AJsAWiz macrumors 68040


    Jun 28, 2007
    I agree. I think the size difference is more pronounced for those with smaller wrists. I'm going with the 38 mm as well.
  13. AreYouIn? macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2009
    I thought I was the only one who went the electrical tape and cardboard route. My dad is an electrician so every time he fixes something for me he ends up leaving electrical tape behind. I have a few half used rolls in a kitchen drawer. It's my go to tape usually because I can't find any other.

    The 4 mm definitely makes a difference. My wrist are 184mm and I think I'll be going with the 42 mm. I'm still contemplating the 38 because it looks more feminine but I'll most likely get the 42.
  14. fs454 macrumors 68000

    Dec 7, 2007
    Los Angeles / Boston
    Bigger screen, bigger battery. They cancel out.
  15. zacheryjensen macrumors 6502a


    May 11, 2009
    No, they don't. It's bigger enough that it will add time to overall battery life. The battery grows in three dimensions while the screen only in two, and all evidence suggests the screen is OLED (direct or just lit, either way, that's defining the power requirements.)

    Anyway, more importantly, Apple says the 42mm will experience longer battery life. End of story.


    The width is only 36mm on the 42mm model. That's smaller than an average classic styled men's wristwatch which are typically 38-40mm. The thing is, the sizes quoted by the watch industry usually describe the width while Apple is describing the height.

    Also, it's worth pointing out that the 38mm version is actually 38.6mm. There is really only 3.4mm difference in height.

    I won't say that this tiny difference will never matter, but, depending on the type of band, it won't even be perceivable. It's a bigger deal if you're sporting average or smaller wrists (170mm and lower) and want the classic buckle or Milanese loop as they both add a significant amount to the height of the watch with their extended lugs. But, if you're going for the leather loop, sport, or link bracelet, the 42 is not going to look much different than the 38 on an average wrist.

    Something to keep in mind is that watch styles for rectangular watches, in terms of fit, are different from round ones. Since the watch face and band are similar in width for some of the band styles, it will be irrelevant as long as the watch doesn't extend beyond the surface of your wrist. The biggest factor will be the width and 36mm is small by today's standards for all but the very smallest wrists.

    Yesterday Apple posted some video guides for the Apple Watch. Two have a male model wrist and two have a female model. Watch them. If you think their fit is appropriate, realize that the male model has about 165mm wrists, maybe slightly smaller and is wearing the 42mm in both videos. And yes, I took the time to capture a frame and scale it appropriate to figure this out. It's hard to find good examples of this watch or anything similar on a wrist with a good view.

    Anyway, if that doesn't look too big to someone, then it should help answer their questions about size. I didn't take the time to do the same size comparison for the woman's wrist, but, am guessing it's average for a woman and sporting the 38mm model. I assume Apple made these model choices deliberately to demonstrate the appearance they expect for sizes they expect people to be choosing.
  16. sahilpatel12 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2011
    does a milli second matter in racing? :rolleyes: . print apple watch sizing and see and still unsure? order both sizes and see in apple store on april 10th and cancel whichever you dont like. im pre ordering 42mm space grey and also silver with blue or yellow band. ill visit my apple store and see which i like and which i dont and ill cancel the watch i didnt like. my wrist are pretty much like yours.

    my current gshock is supposly bigger than 42mm one's

    cutouts :
  17. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    It's about a 10 percent size increase. It's best to try it on first, obviously.
  18. Exile714 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2015
    Have you looked at the actual sizes in the Apple Store app? It's hard to find (it was for me anyway), but worth the look. The 42 really does feel significantly larger than the 38. What's more, both felt bigger than I had imagined they would. Take a look.
  19. Pinksteady macrumors 6502a


    Aug 19, 2008
    Very interesting point, I hadn't spotted that difference with the lugs, thanks
  20. Dwalls90 macrumors 601


    Feb 5, 2009
  21. bobob, Apr 5, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015

    bobob macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2008
    15% if you take the overall volume of the watch into consideration.

    • 0.82 in³ = 38mm Apple Watch
    • 0.96 in³ = 42mm Apple Watch
    • 0.96 in³ = Pebble Time Steel
    • 1.17 in³ = Moto 360
    • 1.47 in³ = LG Watch R
    • 1.76 in³ = Samsung Gear S
  22. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I was talking just the screen size, but that's a neat little chart comparing the major smartwatches. It's kind of amazing that Apple got even smaller than those others, but I'm guessing later models of the competitors will catch up.

    As an aside, the person who is on like his eighth science class in the past two years cringes at cubic inches. I cannot think about it unless it's in metric. :D
  23. Syke23z, Apr 6, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015

    Syke23z thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 21, 2014
    Thanks for all the feedback / responses! I have printed out a 42 MM watch and I think it looks pretty good actually. I am just a little worried about the actual product. Anyways I will be ready to preorder this Friday and will hopefully go to my nearest :apple: Store to try a few on. What do you think about the 42 MM? I can post 38 at request. Thanks for your feedback / opinions once again. :)

    Attached Files:

  24. iBreatheApple macrumors 68030


    Sep 3, 2011
    Didn't read through the replies so this may be redundant but...

    You've got to remember that you're not simply adding 4mm. Measuring out diagonally adds estate to the height and width of the display.
  25. RayDonovan macrumors regular


    Aug 30, 2014
    So what are the actual dimensions of the watches?

    Just width and height.

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