Gone are the days when ladies’ watches were mere gem-studded and smaller versions of the men’s, using a Quartz or older movement
Today, watch brands have dedicated models aimed at women, incorporating intricate and whimsical designs and complicated movements
Stunning ladies’ watches with sophisticated mechanisms, artisanal decorations, and quality craftsmanship
Gone are the days when ladies’ watches were mere gem-studded and smaller versions of the men’s, using a Quartz or older movement. As we all know, ladies want to be celebrated for their inner qualities, too. Today, there are brands that have dedicated models aimed at women, incorporating intricate, even whimsical designs and complicated movements. Some are solid investment pieces, while others are simply collectible works of art. Here are seven of our classic favourites.
The iconic egg-shaped Reine de Naples timepiece has appeared in many variations since 2002. For 2018, the 8908 model features several complications including power reserve and moon phase indicators. Among the seven variants is this piece in an 18K rose gold case measuring 36.50 x 28.54mm. Its bezel and dial flange are set with diamonds, while the iridescent Tahitian mother-of-pearl dial features off-centre hours, minutes, and seconds counters. The sapphire crystal caseback shows off the self-winding in-house Calibre 537 with a power reserve of 45 hours. Fitted with a black satin strap and a distinctive ruby-set crown, it is yet another classic and elegant timepiece.
Blancpain manages to win over the ladies with the Quantieme Phases de Lune. A desirable piece, thanks to its 33.2mm size and elegant profile, the steel version makes it an affordable (and practical) option, while the diamonds on the bezel offer a glittering contrast against the white dial. It features a moon phase indicator at 6 o’clock, a calendar counter, diamond hour markers, and a stainless steel Mille Mailles bracelet that is secured with a folding clasp
From Patek Philippe’s annual collection of rare handcrafts, the Calatrava ‘Birds and Clouds’ 5077/101 timepiece features a dial decorated in hand-executed guilloche work and gold-applied ornaments. At 38mm, it fits a ladies’ wrist yet is big enough for one to admire the dial, a guilloché sunburst radiating from 6 o’clock under blue lacquer. Twelve diamonds form the hour circle, while gold birds ‘fly’ around the white gold Dauphine hands. It is housed in a white gold case where the Calibre 240 ultra-thin self-winding movement may be admired through the sapphire crystal back.
The 10 unique creations of Grand Bal Jardin Imaginaires are inspired by the magic and intrigue of nature. Model No.6 takes a ladies’ mechanical movement to the forefront, literally. Powered by the Dior Inverse 11 ½ Calibre automatic movement, it features a 360 degree functional oscillating weight in openwork pink gold, set with round and trillion-cut diamonds and round trillion-cut rubies, and decorated with white and pink gold feathers, butterfly wing, gold leaf, and glass. Meanwhile, the back features a pink sapphire crystal caseback and opaque polished pink gold metallisation with a butterfly wing decor.
This high jewellery secret watch from the La Nature de Chaumet jewellery collection is a dramatic piece that does double duty — as a bangle and a watch. The collection takes inspiration from oak, laurel, and wheat, with this piece taking a leaf (pun intended) from the oak leaf. Representing strength, the leafy motifs are evident throughout the bangle. Glittering oak leaves wrap around the wrist before unveiling a small watch dial, fully paved with diamonds, hiding under one of the diamond leaves.
The Seamaster Aqua Terra ladies collection embodies style and substance. The jewellery edition takes it a step further with 18K Sedna cases — a gold alloy developed in-house that is resistant to fading. This model features a diamond-paved bezel, 12 marquise-cut red rubies for indexes, and 191 diamonds on the dial. Silvery guilloché waves are interspersed with Sedna gold waves and diamonds, while the glossy red leather strap accentuates the colour of the rubies. Like the rest in the jewellery edition, the watch is powered by the Master Chronometer Calibre 8807.
Three years in the making, this is proof of Richard Mille’s dedication to creating women’s mechanical timepieces. Featuring 10 variations of mother-of-pearl, onyx, black sapphires, and diamond settings, the collection is powered by the watchmaker’s first in-house automatic tourbillon Calibre CRMT1. The tonneau-shaped skeletonised Calibre is mostly made of titanium. Each timepiece weaves the art of fine jewellery and the brand’s technical prowness in its red gold dial — a mere 0.9mm thick — with hand-set gems and precious materials. The design draws from different influences, from Art Deco to tribal art masks and African sculpture.