Why high-end watches are definitely not only for men
Published on 5 March 2021
To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, we say it’s time to challenge the notion that women can’t enjoy high end watchmaking.
After all, women are leading countries, global businesses and social movements, excelling in every field and at every level. So why should what a woman chooses to wear on her wrist be restricted to something pretty and pink?
These women – rebels, champions and trailblazers – run the world, and we’re supposed to believe that they aren’t as fascinated by intricate craftsmanship as men? The beauty of a fine guilloché dial is obvious to men and women alike, as is the truly boundary-pushing engineering it takes to create a complicated chronograph, let alone a tourbillon. Women have worked hard to get where they are today, to reach the top of their game, and don’t deserve ultimate elegance as a reward?
So we invite you to challenge convention and choose the timepiece that ignites your passion, without limitations. If you’re drawn to the subtle chimes of a minute repeater, go for it. Or is it the miniature masterpiece that is the enamelers art that captures your eye — well, we don’t blame you. From the incredible precision of a split-seconds chronograph to the most sumptuous examples of the gem-setters art, there’s something for every style. And should you feel like including a seasonal fashion watch in your collection, then by all means, do so. After all, Chanel and Nike can happily share the same wardrobe space.
So, do you choose to challenge? If you’re looking to indulge in some exceptional watchmaking, here are some examples to whet your appetite.
Worn by some of the most chic women in France, including Catherine Deneuve and Jeanne Moreau, the Cartier Baignoire hits the mark for those who prefer their style iconic yet subtle. Nicknamed for its resemblance to a bathtub – baignoire in French – the design is as relevant today as in its debut incarnation in 1912. For this small quartz model, the elegant 18k yellow gold oval case is teamed with a silvered dial and a narrow alligator strap in taupe, for a neutral palette that guarantees versatility. Immerse yourself, and unwind.
Panerai Luminor Due – 38mm
Historically considered a men’s brand, thanks to the sheer scale of their products, Panerai grew its female fan base dramatically with the release of the 38mm Luminor Due. This model offers the distinctive Panerai tool-watch aesthetic in a smaller package, complete with mechanical P.900 calibre, date window and small seconds. Meanwhile, the quick release system means the strap can be changed easily at home, all the more reason to invest in a rainbow of colours and materials to suit every occasion and every personality.
Patek Philippe Twenty~4
Launched in 1999, the Twenty~4 was Patek Philippe’s first dedicated female collection, named for its day-to-night flexibility, the original ad campaign posing the question, ‘Who will you be in the next 24 hours?’ Steel and diamonds had rarely been paired before, and the match turned out to be a showstopper that’s still going strong. The case and bracelet work together as a clean, uninterrupted line that showcases the diamonds – 36 on the bezel and a further 10 as hour markers – while the grey sunburst dial is pure, understated elegance.
Patek Philippe Calatrava
If you wear your heart on your sleeve and your accomplishments on your wrist, the exquisite detail of the Patek Philippe Calatrava may well be for you. No fewer than 348 diamonds and 354 sapphires have been used in this masterpiece, intermingling to depict a snowy landscape, watched over by a mother-of-pearl sky, hand-engraved with a feather motif. The pale blue alligator strap completes the ultra-feminine design – and it’s not just a pretty face, thanks to the ultra-thin self-winding mechanical movement within.
IWC Da Vinci Automatic 36
A watch collection that pays homage to one of the most diversely talented humans to have walked the planet has much to live up to. Perhaps that’s precisely the motivation we need on our wrists, as a reminder to keep on striving to achieve our goals, whatever they might be. With 42 hours of power reserve, this has more stamina than most luxury timepieces, giving it what it takes to keep up with your busy lifestyle. Automatic and self-winding, it features a date window at 6 o’clock, a distinctive blue second hand and silver-plated dial for outstanding brilliance. Articulated lugs guarantee a snug and comfortable fit. Now go forth and succeed.
Words Ceri David