There were times when it wasn’t proper for women to wear a watch, and a lady couldn’t check the time in public (naturally many brands have found very elegant solutions for this, including Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier). Long decades passed, many women’s watches were made, but these were more pieces of jewellery than anything else.
Later female watches stood out more in design or decoration, and were at times the simplified, smaller versions of their male counterparts. In the past few years the number of watch companies and manufactures who have a little different approach to women’s timepieces has significantly increased. Perhaps it was the shift in women’s roles, and the birth of new generations and approaches that have brought about new avenues in the field of watches too. New models made their debut in Geneva and Basel earlier this year that offer an alternative for those who want to wear more on their wrist than a colourful or gem-adorned timepiece.
The number of women with enthusiasm for watches is on the rise, and they seek ever more interesting pieces. I received a lot of positive feedback after I photographed the Bovet Récital 9 Alexandra on my wrist in Doha, and I thought that it would be worth writing about such exciting watches. I dedicate the ’Girls don’t just wanna have fun’ mini-series to women who want to be different and individual, and who look for that extra special something in timepieces too.
Let’s open it with complicated watches for not so simple women.
I could perhaps summarize the pieces in the first part of my series as watches that are not for everyone. They are timepieces that are either loved, or loathed, but definitely cannot be passed by silently and need a certain attitude from the wearer.
The Breguet Classique Grande Complication Tourbillon womens’ model is one of my favourites. An elegant, slightly masculine, refined white gold watch with black alligator straps. The bezel and horns are set with diamonds, and it carries the classic Breguet dial. However the “soul” of the watch is the tourbillon that is a rarity in ladies’ models. In addition to the technical mastery, the artistic craftsmanship also deserves merit. The watches of the Classique series were inspired by A.L. Breguet’s philosophy: clean lines, harmonious proportions and the beauty that does not come at the expense of functionality. Pair with a crisp snow-white shirt, a ladies’ tux, black stilettos, and you’re good to go…
The Bovet Récital 9 is an amazing piece. The beautiful skeleton movement lends a jewel-like character to it that carries serious technical parameters too. The royal blue strap rhymes delicately with the screws of the movement, certain parts of the tourbillon and the colour of the moonlit sky. At certain points during the day, the hands form the shape of a heart. The Miss Alexandra is an in-house made Dimier caliber 15BM01-MP manually wound movement with a seven-day power reserve. The moon phase indicator occupies a large proportion of the dial, where as an uncommon solution it is not the moon disc that moves, but a double-circle disc covers the Moon according to the current moon phase.
Harry Winston is famous for diamonds, thus exceptional quality diamonds could not go amiss on the Harry Winston Ocean Biretro either. The Ocean series has been basically created for men, with extraordinary watches that have a unique approach (for example the Harry Winston Ocean Triple Retrograde Chronograph Black Zalium Watch) however the collection features two ladies’ versions that are distinctly different. Both are a fine fusion of Harry Winston’s “Rare diamonds & Rare movements” concept. The Ocean Biretro is a genuinely feminine timepiece: with a rose-gold watchcase, white mother of pearl dial and white alligator straps. The white and gold combination is striking and immensely popular in the Middle East for example. The watch is fitted with a mechanical self-winding movement and bi-retrograde indication of the days of the week (at 4 o’clock) and the seconds (at 8 o’clock). The date is visible on a large display at 6 o’clock.
The Double Mystery piece in the Franck Muller Ronde series is a little bit of an exception, as I have chosen to include it in this selection because of its interesting dial and not its complications. Instead of the hands, two concentric discs and the little gemstone arrows serve to show the time. Diamonds of course continue to be girls’ best friends, and they have not been frugal with these gems on this watch: both the dial and the side of the case are fully set. However the abundance of diamonds is paired with sleek lines and the final result is superbly balanced. For those who like extravagance, the colourful gem-set pieces of the 4 Saisons series (featuring rubies, emerald, blue sapphire, yellow sapphire, orange sapphire, pink sapphire, violet sapphire, garnet tsavorite, garnet pyrope, garnet spessartite and amethyst) have plenty to offer.
I am a professional recreational sailing companion. I love chilling with my sailor friends out on the calm waters, enjoying the sunshine with a little bit of summer breeze. I’m very good at leaving them undisturbed to take care of the sail, wind, heading directions and all the necessities. If I ever want to check the time during this journey of joy I prefer looking at a timepiece that is something like the Ulysse Nardin Executive Dual Time Lady. In fact, if I had this on, I’d gladly be the person in charge of keeping the time. In 1994 Ulysse Nardin invented the GMT± with its signature “plus” and “minus” pushers that instantly adjust the hour hand to another local time. The “Home Time” window displays the time at home when one is travelling in another time zone. Easy to read, easy to set. The Executive Dual Time Lady has a stainless steel case with white ceramic bezel and a mother of pearl dial with diamonds. The bracelet is a very nice pastel blue coloured rubber.
You can find all articles of the series here.
I appreciate the professional guidance of Les Ambassadeurs in making this series happen. Thank you gentlemen!
Photo credits: Loupiosity.com.
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