The Swiss watchmaking industry is starting to design complex watch movements for the discarded female market that has customarily been dominated by timepieces for men looking to show off their position with a Rolex or Omega,
In recent times the women’s market has mostly focused on simple, low-cost quartz watches or luxury diamond pieces with mind-blowing price tags. But Swiss watchmakers at the Baselworld fair announced they are now taking steps to create new collections of mechanical watches for women, especially since they are seen as a lucrative customer base as they will often buy more pieces than men as fashion changes.
La Montre Hermes, a branch of the handbag maker Hermes, noted women are showing an increasing interest in mechanical watches (driven by a spring as opposed to electronically) but valued them for different reasons than men.
Chanel’s watch division also has faith that simply knowing they have a complicated piece of engineering on their wrist is a something that is desired by the female market. At Basel, Chanel revealed a limited edition of its Premiere watch with an intricate flying Tourbillon mechanism. Typically exposed on a watch face to show it off, Chanel has chosen to hide the works behind a camellia-shaped design.
Independent Ulysse Nardin stated women’s watches make up a third of their sales and the fashion for larger watches gives them more leeway in design, allowing them to fit the complicated calibers into creations for women.
Watchmakers have also expanded the range of materials they use in reaction to the growing want from women. Enamel, Mother of pearl, and even feathers were highlighted on watches on display at Baselworld.
Since men can be more familiar with watches than jewelry they should not be underestimated either, the amount of business to be had from men looking to buy the perfect gift stands to create a lot of business as well.