Miss Time: The wonder that is the world of women’s watches…
Once, not too long ago, the world of haute horology was dominated solely by masculine designs, with their ‘lesser’ female counterparts at best an afterthought. With the rise of womankind across the workforce – and indeed, in every other aspect of contemporary life – leading watch manufactures have risen to meet growing demand for ever more complex femme-focused timepieces. Of the latest such models on offer, seven in particular deserve special mention.
Vacheron Constantin’s Égérie Self-Winding
The first of these comes in the form of Breguet’s Reine de Naples 8918, the latest iteration of a timepiece created in celebration of Napoleon’s younger sister, Caroline Murat. Knowing her to be a long-time admirer of the brand and a haute horological enthusiast, founder Abraham-Louis Breguet crafted the original, with its distinctive oval dial, very much in her honour. Burnished with a mother-of-pearl dial, its scarlet-hued appeal stems from its oversized Arabic numeral hour markers, ruby pusher and red alligator leather straps. Adding an extra element of allure are the 117 brilliant-cut diamonds that adorn its bezel, with the entire timepiece powered by a self-winding calibre 537/3 movement, clearly visible through its wholly transparent sapphire crystal caseback.
Breguet’s Reine de Naples 8918
Another red-dominant watch has comes courtesy of Vacheron Constantin, with its Égérie Self-Winding model similarly fitted with a diamond-studded bezel and red leather straps. In this instance, however, this particular haute horology master has opted to craft the case and hour markers in a lush pink gold, creating quite a contrasting effect. Adding to its appeal, an unusual off-centre subdial – also encircled by glistening diamonds – between 1 o’clock and 2 o’clock serves as the date indicator. The Égérie is also available with black straps and in a stainless steel-white gold incarnation.
Rolex’s new Oyster Perpetual models
For a flexible yet chic everyday option, meanwhile, you could do far worse than check out famed watch manufacture Rolex’s new line of Oyster Perpetual creations. Available in either a 41mm or a more subtle 36mm edition, both come adorned with dials in a veritable array of vivid colours, ranging from black and green to far brighter coral, turquoise blue and candy pink models. All come with the latest Calibre 3230 movement – which was just unveiled last year – as standard, and are rounded out with the brand’s iconic Oyster bracelet.
Piaget’s Altiplano Tourbillon Limited Edition
Next on our list is a more outré interpretation of the truly femme-focused timepiece – the Joséphine Aigrette from luxury brand Chaumet. With no buckle or clasp to be seen, instead it comes enticingly equipped with an assortment of leather or satin bracelet straps, additions that elegantly grace any wrist. The dial proper, meanwhile, has been crafted in a unique tear-drop shape and imbued with a striking minimalist appeal, with its sole adornments consisting of miniature hour and minute hands, as well, of course, as the brand’s distinguished logo.
Chaumet’s Joséphine Aigrette
Serving up another stunning creation – albeit one with a starry twist – is haute couture label Hermès’ newly unveiled Arceau Petite Lune Jeté De Diamants Et Saphirs. Inevitably bringing to mind thoughts of a twinkling night sky, its pale mother-of-pearl dial has been sprinkled with 87 blue sapphires and 68 white diamonds, an adornment that extends to the bezel. Underneath the hood, meanwhile, beats a calibre H1837 self-winding movement, powering a date indicator at 6 o’clock and a beautiful moon phase indicator at the top half of its fascia.
Roger Dubuis’ Excalibur Spider
Similarly embodying an off-centre motif is Piaget’s Altiplano Tourbillon Limited Edition, which marks the first time the maison has offered this grand complication in a smaller 38mm diameter lady-friendly version. A past master at crafting super slim timepieces, Piaget has clearly not skimped on precision engineering this time around either. Sitting pretty on its sunray-engraved mother-of-pearl dial is an ultra-thin flying tourbillon at 2 o’clock, which is mirrored by an hour-and-minute counter that together form a lucky figure ‘8’ and infinity symbol. Limited to a release of just 88 pieces, a diamond-studded bezel completes its elegant appeal.
Hermès’ Arceau Petite Lune Jeté De Diamants Et Saphirs
For those in search of a true statement piece, our final recommendation – the Excalibur Spider by Roger Dubuis – is truly a must. Crafted in a dazzling collision of high-octane racing lines-meets-haute horology, this avant-garde gold and white creation truly exemplifies cutting-edge watchmaking for women. With a dial punctuated by a star-shaped motif, the jewel in its crown is undeniably its flying tourbillon at 7 o’clock, a feature that has elegantly displayed via the clever incorporation of a delightful open-worked aesthetic. Deftly balancing beautiful form with precision-engineered function, it’s sure to appeal to any watch-loving fashionista.