As someone who has covered the ladies’ watch market since it exploded in the early 2000s, I have never been so inspired by the previews so far of ladies’ pieces being introduced in Basel later this month. Ladies watches went through three stages: first came smaller versions of men’s watches; then came hyperfeminine colors, including five years of nothing but pink; next, we saw giant, fully gem-set watches with multiple-complications, which I always suspected were really being bought by men.
Now, everything has calmed down. The Basel previews reveal some great everyday watches with elite but useful movements and respectable gem content. Elegance has replaced flash, colors are neutral, movements are mechanical, with useful complications such as large date windows, and best of all, diamonds are placed in all the right places in all the right sizes.
There are four in particular I would love to own:
First, Chopard’s Imperial Chrono All Black, an elegant example of how the favorite color in men’s watches for the past decade is finally coming to ladies’ watches – and every woman looks good in black. This one has a DLC coating and a sporty movement combined with substantial diamonds in the bezel, expressing perfectly the complexity of the modern woman.
Pale blue is a new trend. The sheer elegance of the mother-of pearl dials on the Omega Ladymatic and the Jaquet Droz Petite Heure, framed by white gold cases, exemplifies modern, minimalist design. Both are adorned by diamonds, but not too many diamonds. The two single gems set into the elongated links leading from the case of the Jaquet Droz are pure genius.
Finally, another upcoming winner is Blancpain’s Women’s Chronograph Large Date, with a beautiful rotor shaped like a flower, centered by a diamond. Now that’s a decorated movement!