There are women who prefer the design and complexity of men’s watches and then there are women who want a beautiful, feminine watch with equally serious movements. Watch brands have been eager in recent years to fill these needs. For the latter of those two requests, Ulysse Nardin and Jaquet Droz have unveiled watches that combine an artistic exterior with complicated movements.
The most recent from Ulysse Nardin is the Jade “Jellyfish.” The marine-inspired motif was created with champlevé enamel technique mastered by Donzé Cadrans, a firm owned by Ulysse Nardin that specializes in enameling crafts. With this particular technique cells are carved with a chisel on the metal plate and filled with vitreous enamel. The dial is then heated until the enamel melts and is then smoothed using a file. The delicate final step consists of chiseling the metal parts on the surface. A total of 58 diamonds line the curved tentacles of the jellyfish as the finishing touch. The 18k white gold case has a bezel set with another 58 diamonds.
The watch is powered by the UN-310 automatic caliber with a silicon escapement and a 48-hour power reserve. The movement was introduced in 2013 specifically for the Jade watch.
The crown on the watch is manicure friendly as a simple turn is all that’s needed to set the time or adjust the date. A crown position indicator on the dial shows the wearer which setting is being adjusted.
Meanwhile, Jaquet Droz released its latest version of the Lady 8 Flower watch that combines emblematic feminine esthetics and complicated mechanics.
There are two dials to this watch. On the top, a small rounded sapphire crystal contains a depiction of a lotus flower made with gold skeletal petals. A push button triggers the automaton mechanism and the petals open to reveal a 0.24-carat diamond briolette. The main watch dial is in 18k gold and paved with diamonds. The bezels are lined with blue sapphires. The two dials form a figure eight, the symbol of infinity in Asian cultures.
The watch is powered by the Jaquet Droz 615, automatic movement with silicon balance spring and pallet horns, and a fan-shaped platinum oscillating weight with a 38-hour power reserve.
The Lady 8 Flower is available in 18k white gold and red gold and is limited to eight pieces.