Three inch neckties like the cashmere on the left in the photo are the new size for fall on the Drakes London website (that's the larger size on the right). Or, as Michael Drake tells it, "The 8 cm shape is a move on from the classic 9 cm but is not in any way extreme." And he is not alone as Hermes has done the same thing, offering 3" ties as a standard width after a hiatus of decades.
Now necktie widths are supposed to relate to jacket lapels and it has to be stressful for necktie designers to place these width bets. After all, the lapels on the jackets already in men's closets aren't about to change, so a new width has to be evolutionary in order to preserve the market for neckties purchased to go with that glen check that arrived just last spring.
Gentlemen's neckties have ranged from a bit less than three inches to nearly four since World War II, but we haven't seen the narrower end of the range for three decades. And though it took a long time to go from narrow to wide, the collapse in size has taken place in just a few years. Blame the Italians.
Nonetheless, Michael is right. The narrower width is not extreme. I like it. And it gives me justification to take out a couple dozen well-loved three inch ties that have been patiently waiting their turn in the bottom of a drawer downstairs.
8 cm is the new 9 cm.