I just ditched my 38mm Apple Watch for a 42mm model

“I got an Apple Watch about a week ago,” Jim Lynch writes for CIO. “It was the 38mm Stainless Steel with Classic Buckle. I was very happy to get it, and I think it’s a great watch. It’s particularly well suited for those with small wrists or those who simply prefer a smaller watch.”

“However, after using it for a while I decided that I needed the 42mm version,” Lynch writes. “So I hit eBay, and was lucky enough to find a 42mm Stainless Steel with Classic Buckle. It arrived today and I wanted to share some of my observations about the differences between the two sizes.”

1. Tap targets are easier to hit on the 42mm Apple Watch
2. Text is easier to read
3. The 42mm Apple Watch battery lasts longer
4. Mickey looks better!

“When I first looked at the 42mm on my wrist, it did seem significantly larger than the 38mm. But that feeling lasted for about fifteen minutes,” Lynch writes. “After that when I looked at the 38mm it seemed too small for my wrist. It’s similar to what happens when you go from an iPhone 5S to an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. At first the larger phone seems huge, but then you quickly adjust and your old phone seems tiny by comparison.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In our quest for the lightest weight Apple Watch and Apple Watch Band combo, we considered the 38mm for about three seconds before we decided it’d be too small. In the case of Apple Watch, like iPhone, bigger is better.


  1. Not everyone agrees that bigger is better with the iPhone; I prefer the 5s. But with the watch, I can’t imagine anything smaller than the 42; it’s already hard enough to read and to have enough content on a display that size.

    1. I agree that different people will appreciate different sizes with Watches as with iPhones.

      I also predict that once a large number of people have adapted to always having an Apple watch some of them will start wanting large ones screens than 42mm.

      Today that would look gauche as our aesthetic assumptions are that the wrist is for watches. But a few years from now people will become used to thinking of wrists as for computers and Apple will have more freedom to make large wrist screens look good in their own right.

      Think Star Wars or Star Trek. If an alien or engineer had a screen on their wrist it would probably be 2″x3″ or something not some silly watch. I wouldn’t mind a large wrist band/screen now except that the world isn’t ready for that style yet.

      Aside from style, any person using a watch as an always-available computer that doesn’t take up a hand during work (think delivery people, or whatever) will benefit from large wrist screens.

      1. Or a screen that covered that back of my hand would work too. That would actually be easier to orient for viewing and also for taking pictures and video or Facetiming if it had a camera.

        And of course if it had a laser it would be easier to aim!

      2. No physical hardware that big on a wrist. 4″ x 3″ virtual holographic screen al la the Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within movie from 2001. Cool movie but bad timing as 9/11 hit shortly after its release.

  2. As long as you look at your watch bigger is better.
    As soon as someone else looks at you (and your watch) there definitely is something like “this watch is too big”.
    Style matters to some!

    1. Two words: Hoop Earrings.
      Two more: 2 Carat Diamond

      Jewellery is just as much about other people as it is about you. In fact, I’d say that it’s predominantly about others. Apple is trying to position the watch as fashion/jewellery and technology. If they’re successful (and its too early to tell), size will be dictated more by fashion than function.

    1. Not every man has 11″ wrists, nor necessarily prefer a large apparatus on their wrist. Apple never marketed either size as Male/Female… some prefer a larger, or smaller size, regardless of gender, simply for the aesthetics and their particular taste.

    2. 38 mm is not woman’s size.

      If fact, by far majority of global population is much smaller than average white man for whom 38 is too small; this means, that 38 mm is fine size for most men on the planet.

      Also, you should not forget that having a watch that so big that you can not see strap when looking at it (from top to down, perpendicularly) is comical.

  3. Even though I wanted the smallest watch possible since so many prognosticators said that smart watches were all huge, I got the 42mm since I figured its battery had to be bigger. My 42mm Milanese is perfect, not too big, not too small, and it lasts far longer than any of the early reports stated. I used to have the battery %age as one of my “complications” on the watch face, but no longer. It’s never been an issue.

  4. I need to put on reading glasses every time I look at a watch, so there is no watch that I can casually glance at. Can’t read anything smaller than an iPad without stopping, reaching in my pocket, getting out my glasses, unfolding the glasses, putting them on and then looking at my watch. And then repeating the process in reverse.

  5. No one “ditches” an Apple product. They might give it away. They might sell it. Or they may merely stop using it. But they do not “ditch” it.

    One ditches Windows.

    One ditches a Dell.

    One ditches Android.

  6. “it did seem significantly larger than the 38mm. But that feeling lasted for about fifteen minutes,”

    Yea, when I look at my wife’s 5s (I now have the 6 plus) it looks soooooo tiny in my hand.

    Good to hear about #4. 🙂

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