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Steinhart Ocean Collection: 39mm VS 42mm
Watch Review

Steinhart Ocean Collection: 39mm VS 42mm

Does 39mm or 42mm fits you more?
Aug 26, 2019
Before we get into our first blog sharing of whether the Ocean dive watches size are suitable for your wrist, we would like our readers to know the ultimate goal for this post. It is neither about the long-running argument on whether your wrist size suites a particular dimension of watches, nor educating one that specific watch dimensions are the “holy grail” size. We want to share about our thoughts and findings based firmly on our long experience with Steinhart timepieces, and hopefully, you guys can have the same enjoyment we had with our Ocean dive watches or any divers with the similar design and sizes.


Firstly, let’s briefly go through how did the Steinhart’s Ocean come about from the brand. 

Steinhart Watches GmbH is a German company which established in Augsburg, Bavaria, in 2001. Steinhart Watches GmbH is a result of the rising passion concerning watches that the founder and creative head, Günter Steinhart, has been carrying with throughout his life. The ideas (incl ding their Ocean series and design originate in the headquarters in Augsburg, all of the components and the mechanical heart of each Steinhart watch hail from the Suisse Jura. 

Those who have come across Steinhart timepieces will know they are all about honest pricing, and robust Swiss Made watches. This is especially so with their Ocean dive watch series are the go-to essentials for anyone who wants to get a well-priced automatic mechanical tool watch.

Introduction of Ocean series

Now, the Ocean series consist of more than 20 variations, most of them made out of 316L stainless steel that features a 300m water resistant, sapphire crystal and pairs with a metal bracelet. The price range starts from 450USD onwards. Therefore they are widely known for their honest pricing for a Swiss-made dive watches. They usually come in at 42mm wide and 49mm from lug to lug with a thickness of 13mm (to ensure 300m water resistant). 

We at Gnomon realized that many times our customers are worried regarding the sizing might be too big and looks bulky for one’s wrist. Therefore in this article, we would like to share our own experience wearing the Ocean series (since many of us have owned one or two variants by ourselves).

In this particular article, we would share our long experience and thoughts on their evergreen Steinhart Ocean 42mm GMT Black on a bracelet, and their newer 39mm Ocean Blue / Red GMT for the sake of this discussion. So let’s get right into it.



Is the Ocean 42mm GMT Black too big for most wrist?


Firstly, the Ocean 42mm GMT Black was one of their classic range that features the dimension as mention above and has the ETA 2893-2 GMT caliber. Some of our Gnomon members have owned one for more than two years, with wrist size measured from a 7-inch wrist (in the photo), to slim wrist of about 5-inch wrist (the lady’s wrist check you are about to see below). We wore it daily, and here are our thoughts on the wearability. We concluded that our findings on the 42mm Ocean ultimately ideal for those who want a taste of an actual sports watches without looking out of place even on our smallest member’s wrist.

Although on paper the Ocean 42mm GMT has a lug to lug of 49mm, and with straight cut shaped lugs (common find in German’s designed tool watches), Our members did not find the watch over-hanged drastically. They have NEVER FIND IT TOO BIG for their wrist. They enjoyed hassle freely on their wrist every single time they strapped it on. Further, none of them find the 42mm variation prone to knocks even on its bracelet. However, we did find that 44mm variety is too wide for our 5-inch wrist member, but looks beautiful on the larger ones (6’5-inch onwards). We all agreed that this 42mm GMT Black wears well even for our lady member with 5-inch wrist size nevertheless.



Ocean 39mm GMT Blue/ Red just right?


Moving on to their latest Ocean series. Steinhart saw the shift in the market for smaller/ vintage size watches, and they came out their own by downsizing to 39mm for most of their classic Ocean divers since early 2018. It might sound not much different from the 42mm, but that 3mm shave downplays a tremendous difference in wearing.

The Ocean 39mm GMT Blue/ Red has a lug to lug length of 46mm (another 3mm down from 49mm) and making it wears smaller like a vintage 60s dive watch with a similar shape design. Our members have spent the same amount of time wearing it, and they sense the compact size of it.

Further, if one pays close attention enough, Steinhart had a trick up their sleeves with the 39mm Oceans. Instead of satin-brushed finishing on the bigger 42mm brethren’s bezel grooves giving the tool watch feel, the 39mm variants all had polished bezel grooves to upped its ritziness touch. 

Numbers generally don’t express comfortability and wearability.

All of us here at Gnomon agreed (after trying them both on) that the 39mm as compared to the bigger 42mm one, fits better on everyday wear basis and leans more to the classy and retro side. Whereas the 42mm Ocean is definitely towards the pure sporty form, ready for an action dive watch. Ultimately, We want our readers to know that Steinhart has nailed the ideal Dive watch’s dimension for almost all wrist size, even if it is 42mm or 39mm, they are all wearable and will not look out of place at all.

Therefore if one is on the fence whether to go for a 39mm Ocean or a 42mm onward ones, we strongly feel that he or she should boil down to whether they are looking for the vibe they favor instead of the sizes.  One who prefers an absolute vintage throwback, everyday wear sizing diver or a sturdy sports vibe with authentic tool watch feels. Ultimately, which Ocean timepieces you will like to see on your wrist through your life.

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