There is no lack of grandiose high jewellery, high complication timepieces for women. Precious stones in every imaginable colour, exotic materials, technically impressive functions – there’s never been a better time for the modern woman to enjoy mechanical watchmaking.
But those million-dollar masterpieces aren’t exactly practical for everyday wear, so we’re here to highlight the watches that don’t need excessive flash to be feminine, and are perfect for any occasion.
BVLGARI SERPENTI SEDUTTORI
It speaks to Bulgari’s creativity that its Serpenti collection is still able to evolve after countless interpretations of the brand’s iconic snake motif. There have been profoundly elaborate high jewellery pieces, but we’re partial to this year’s much more wearable Serpenti Seduttori. The collection focuses on gold – white, yellow and rose – and it works beautifully in showing off the hexagonal, scale-like bracelet links.
BREGUET CLASSIQUE 9068
When the blueprint is as clean and simple as Breguet’s Classique, details are everything. The Classique Ref. 9068 is more than just another round watch with diamonds. The fluted case middle, perfectly distanced lugs and the one-size-seems-to-fit-all 33.5mm diameter are a pleasure on the wrist, as is the moderately sized Roman numerals, blued steel hands and engine-turned guilloche dial. A more feminine mother of pearl dial version is also available, but all versions are set with 88 brilliant-cut diamonds.
CARTIER BAIGNOIRE ALLONGEE
Always one to make a statement with daring shapes, Cartier has done it again with this year’s new Baignoire Allongee. The “elongated bathtub” case now features a dramatic three-tiered geometric texture that wraps around a sandblasted silver dial. It is available in yellow, white and rose gold, and in medium (47mm x 21mm) or extra large (52mm x 23mm). Those who just want the shape without the modern mood can opt for the more conventional diamond-bezelled versions.
CHANEL PREMIERE ROCK INTENSE BLACK
Inspired by such timeless forms as the Place Vendome and the Chanel No. 5 bottle stopper, Chanel’s Premiere watches have never had trouble exuding dignity. Which is what makes the attitude-infused Premiere Rock Intense Black such a fun deviation. The black ADLC-coated triple chain interlaced with black calfskin and smooth lacquer dial is thoroughly rock-chic, but not inappropriate for fancier ‘dos. Limited to 1,000 pieces.
GIRARD-PERREGAUX CAT’S EYE MAJESTIC AVENTURINE
Aventurine’s natural golden spangles make it ideal for depicting the night sky in moon phase complications, but it seems a waste to restrict its sparkle to a tiny window. So we’re thrilled that Girard-Perregaux has been heavy handed with the glass in its 2019 Cat’s Eye models. We’re especially fond of the time-only Cat’s Eye Majestic Aventurine. Featuring a pink gold case and matching blue alligator strap, it’s like a miniature diamond-studded galaxy on the wrist.
GRAND SEIKO ELEGANCE COLLECTION STGK013
Not quite tonneau-shaped and lacking a bezel, the Grand Seiko STGK011 that join’s Grand Seiko’s women’s collection isn’t the most conventional design. Based on the similarly bezel-free 62GS from 1967, this timepiece has been recalibrated for femininity with an elongated and curved case in stainless steel flanked with diamonds. The deep purple of the mother of pearl dial is known as Koki-murasaki and the shade was considered a symbol of status in ancient Japan.
JAQUET DROZ LADY 8 PETITE MALACHITE
Though Jaquet Droz is always busy dreaming up new automaton watches to dazzle and impress, the watchmaker hasn’t forgotten the ladies. The Lady 8 Petite, a downsized version of the figure-eight-inspired women’s collection launched last year, welcomes a vibrant malachite dial – a material symbolically associated with abundance. Both the dial and the moving malachite bead that forms the top part of the case are encircled by 18K red gold set with 68 diamonds.
JLC REVERSO ONE DUETTO
Having options is always a bonus. On top of the customisation choices available to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s famous Reverso watches, many have two faces with two completely different looks. The new Reverso One Duetto carries on the tradition with one side showing hours and minutes on a silver sun ray guilloche dial, while the other features a more glamorous glittering lacquer dial. On rose gold models, the second dial will be in burgundy while the stainless steel models will have blue dials. Both are decorated with 56 diamonds and come with leather straps to match.