23 models competing, with no clear trend emerging… Is merely adding diamonds enough to ensure that a watch is considered feminine? Obviously not, although in practice very few ladies’ watches manage to sparkle and shine without the addition of precious stones. Should the watch be discreet, practical, gem-set, elegant or original, easy to wear in all situations, quartz-driven or instead equipped with a mechanical movement – possibly featuring a complication?
Ladies’ watches represent an inherently vague category encompassing competing timepieces that are often polar opposites. While female horological connoisseurs may succumb to the charms of sophisticated and sought-after mechanical models (notably epitomised by the Récital 11 Miss Alexandra from Bovet), trend-followers will be more attentive to the design or look of a watch (de GRISGOGONO and its Allegra watch and the Magnolia watch by DeLaneau are good examples). Meanwhile, others may simply look for a watch for daily wear, a watch for a lifetime, one combining mechanical and aesthetic qualities while being easy to wear on all occasions.
Breguet Classique ladies’ watch
Breguet demonstrates its complete mastery of timeless classicism with this Classique 9068 33.5 mm ladies’ model. The extremely pure dial is adorned with a guilloché motif hand-engraved on a rose engine, surrounded by a diamond-set bezel enhancing the slender fluting of the white gold case. The lugs are also set with brilliant-cut diamonds. The blued steel Breguet hands serve to indicate the hours, minutes and seconds, while the date – a particularly useful addition – appears through an aperture at 3 o’clock. The movement is enriched with Breguet’s latest innovations, notably including its silicon balance-spring. Ageless charm and reliability are the keynotes of this charming creation.
Chanel J12 - 365
As the years roll by, this particular name has remained a firm fixture on the watchmaking scene for the past 14 years. While certain subtle original details slightly modify the face of this iconic watch, the new 365 model unmistakably belongs to the J12 lineage. The major new feature lies in the 36.5 mm diameter black ceramic or pink gold case topped by a finely ratcheted bezel instead of the graduated rotating version. The new model is also gem-set on the inner bezel ring rather than on the bezel itself, while the small seconds subdial is also set with diamonds. Women in the know will appreciate the presence of a mechanical self-winding movement notably serving to drive a date display at 6 o’clock.
Chopard L.U.C. XPS 35mm
The very first L.U.C ladies’ model is the epitome of absolute chic. The collection makes its first incursion into feminine territory with a reinterpretation of the ultra-thin L.U.C XPS model. The dainty 35 mm diameter pink gold case measuring just 7.10mm thick houses a self-winding movement equipped with two barrels and boasting a 65-hour power reserve. The noteworthy performances of this timepiece certified by the COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) are conveyed through a delightfully refined and elegant exterior graced with a diamond-set pink gold bezel, shimmering white mother-of-pearl dial, hour-markers set with brilliant-cut diamonds and a grey canvas strap.
So all in all, a wealth of classicism, refinement and elegance pervades these three watches of which the numerous qualities stem from an excellent balance between reliable mechanisms and frill-free aesthetic appeal. Will they win over the jury? Unless the latter decides to overlook this understated spirit and instead favour an unabashedly more flamboyant and more design-oriented approach to watchmaking . We will find out on October 31st…