There are fashion watches and then there are luxury watches. For women, it’s difficult to find the two combined. It's like a catch 22 situation. If you are on the quest for a “fashion” watch, you are limited to models that often lack good mechanical craftsmanship and on the other hand, if you have a budget for a high-end timepiece, you are normally confined to eccentric granny style designs. So what to do?
For the most part, it’s best to go back to the timeless classics; the Cartier Tank, Piaget’s Polo and Omega’s recently re-launched Ladymatic are all versatile pieces that go with both casual and elegant attire. They also make fantastic heirlooms to pass on to each generation.
If these models do not fit your idea of superb quality, do not despair as big players like Patek Philippe and Blancpain have recently been rolling out complex women’s pieces with a more subdued/minimalistic design. It seems the high-end brands are finally catching on that not all women appreciate timepieces decked out with lashings of bling, flowers and cherubs.
If high precision watch mechanics are not really your cup of tea and you prefer something a bit more contemporary and sleek, there are a few fashion houses like Chanel and Hermès that have stepped up their game over the past few years by producing beautiful timepieces like the Chanel J12 and the Hermès Arceau Le Temps Suspendu.
For a truly elegant and superbly crafted watch, you can always depend on Piaget. The Piaget polo, named after its owner’s passion for horses, was hugely popular in the 70s and in particular by the “jet-setters.” Today the model is Piaget’s most celebrated timepiece. Its 18k yellow gold quartz movement model is superbly chic and its stylish simplicity means that you can wear it from a regular day at the office to a glamorous gala evening event.
Chanel J12 Automatic Chronograph
During tough economic times, people begin to cry out to fashion houses to produce high-end watches as they prefer investing in well known established “but does not necessarily cost a fortune” names. Chanel, over the past few years, has been doing considerably well in delivering quality timepieces. Its J12 ceramic line for both men and women is by far its most successful and perhaps most elegant line. The combination of its sophisticated movements, white ceramic case and black hands with luminescent lights makes for a timepiece that is both classic yet innovative at the same time.
While we are not big fans of its name (Ladymatic brings to mind something very far from a watch) we do love the elegant design and mechanical movement of the timepiece. Originally launched in 1955, the watch lost its resonance after a few decades but was re-launched recently again by Omega with the help of Nicole Kidman. Nowadays, women are becoming increasingly more interested in mechanical watches and hopefully the re-launch of this model will further women’s curiosity even more.
Patek Philippe Ladies First Chronograph
It can only be a good move investing in a brand that is considered to be one of the best watchmakers in the world. Its Ladies Complication collection offers timepieces that include Chronographs, Annual Calendars, Moon Phases, World Times, Travel Times as well as Skeleton watches. We particular love its 7071R-001 hand-wound rose gold chronograph inspired by the brand’s art deco watches from the 1930s. The watch is a perfect combination of classic design paired with mechanical ingenuity.
Cartier Tank Américane
Jackie Onassis, the original “Cartier Tank” woman sealed its iconic faith when she chose to wear the watch along with simple black clothing after the death her husband, JFK. Today, the Cartier Tank is not merely a watch but a statement of strength, sophistication, class and tradition. It is quintessentially the perfect timepiece for those who love a timeless, versatile, understated yet luxurious piece.
Hermès Arceau Le Temps SuspendU
The original Hermès Le Temps Suspendu won the prestigious award of Best Men’s Watch at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genèva back in 2011. The ladies model, featuring a 38mm case is available in both stainless steel and rose gold with the option of having a diamond bezel. A part from having a cool retro aesthetic, the timepiece features an “off the clock” button allowing its wearer to, in theory, stop time, which means the hands of the watch stop but the movement continues to function normally. Once the lady is ready to go back to reality, she presses the button again and if by magic, the hands return to the actual time.
Officine Panerai LuminoR
The unisex watch is perfect for women who prefer a chunkier timepiece or who enjoy wearing a seemingly men’s watch. This hand wound mechanical movement is made up of 247 components with 21 jewels and features a massive 8-day power reserve. Its 18-carat rose gold case is complimented by the black interior and dark brown alligator leather straps.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin DuofacE
While Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface is marketed as a men’s watch, its dainty shape and feminine aesthetics could definitely render it more of a lady’s timepiece. Crafted in celebration for the brand’s 180th on the original Riverso’s connections to the sport of polo. The watch, featuring an in-house wound caliber, has two dials offering globetrotters the possibility of keeping time of their home away from home.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms BathyscaphE
One of Luxe High Life’s favourites on the list, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe is a vintage inspired timepiece that is crafted utilising the latest pioneering materials in the industry. Based on the two diving watch models Fifty Fathoms created in 1953, its new version, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe comes equipped with an in-house automatic calibre and a unidirectional bezel activated by turning it counter-clockwise.
Audemars Piquet Royal Oak OffshorE
Sleek, cool and unfussy, Audemar’s Piquet Royal Oak Offshore ladies watch is mechanically crafted like the men’s models, however it differs in so far that is has slightly more feminine aesthetics. Slightly smaller at 37mm in diameter, it features white gold hands, a Royal Oak bracelet and a “Mega Tapisserie” guilloche on the dial. A self-winding automatic movement, it has a 40-hour power reserve. anniversary celebration, the timepiece is modelled