The first wristwatches in the modern sense of the term were made for women. While men’s watches were safely hiding in watch pockets, the first wristwatch was designed for the Queen of Naples in 1810 by Abraham-Louis Breguet. Men’s wristwatches eventually became the norm, and designs for women’s luxury watches were relegated to second tier status, with all the design energy focused on men’s watches. Characterized by smaller case sizes and feminine looking jeweled bezels, women’s luxury watches were often simply diamond and jewel saturated smaller versions of men’s designs.
Luckily, the current market for luxury watches for women is thriving, and is no longer strictly diminutive. Manufacturers are now providing women with beautiful, high quality timepieces, often constructed with in-house movements and multiple complications. In the following article, we’ll highlight a few of the current selections available among women’s luxury watches.
Buy & Sell a Vacheron-Constantin Metiers d’Art Florilege
One luxury watch collection quite deliberately aimed at the women’s market is Vacheron Constantin’s Metiers d’Art Florilege. As a tribute to the 19th century English botanical illustrations from Robert Thornton’s Temple of Flora, the elaborately decorated collection combines the crafts of guilloché (precisely repeated intricate patterns), enamelling, and gem setting.
Together, the techniques combine to create dials with an amazing sense of depth and perspective in their detail. This absolutely stunning three watch collection includes The White Lily, The Queen, and The China Limodoron. Each piece features an 18 carat white gold case with 64 round-cut diamonds set in the bezel, and Vacheron-Constantin’s in-house produced caliber 4400 movement.
Buy & Sell a Rolex Lady-Datejust 28
Rolex has long been synonymous with luxury timepieces, and the Rolex Lady-Datejust 28 deserves a mention in any survey of women’s watches. Originally offered in the mid 1950s, the Lady-Datejust was reintroduced in 2015, and one model now features a chocolate-colored dial complemented by diamond hour markers. The exceptional attention to detail in gem-setting (including precise alignment of the height of the gems, their orientation and position, as well as their proportion) is a strong compliment to the exquisite metalwork.
The Lady-Datejust 28 is offered in Rolex’s own patented “Everose Gold,” a pink gold alloy, as well as a range of other metals and bracelets, including a bezel set with 44 brilliant cut diamonds. Some models feature hands and hour markers treated with Chromalight, Rolex’s luminescent paint that glows blue in the dark. The date numeral is enlarged by Rolex’s signature Cyclops lens at the nine o’clock position.
Buy & Sell a Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin
While not technically a “ladies watch,” A. Lange & Sohne’s Saxonia Thin is part of a greater truth about contemporary women’s watches: women can wear almost any watch they like. While the 40 mm case diameter might seem a bit large, the ultra-thin, 5.9 mm depth more than makes up for the ‘large’ case size. A masterpiece of understated simplicity, the Saxonia Thin features the in-house caliber L093.1, the thinnest ever produced by Lange.
The beautiful, solid silver argenté dial, faceted rhodium gold, baton-shaped hour indexes, and rhodium gold hour and minute hands only add elegance to this distinctive German dress watch. Available in pink or white gold, this superbly simple time-only watch represents Bauhaus design at its finest.
Buy & Sell a Graff Floral Tourbillon
Graff offered its first mechanical watch for women only a few years ago, but has exceeded all expectations in the women’s luxury watch market with its Floral Tourbillon collection. Combining the skills of its watch division in Geneva with its jewelry atelier in London, Graff spent over 2500 hours in the design and development of these exceptional timepieces.
The floral motif is used throughout: the delicately intricate tourbillon cage (located between the five and six o’clock positions) is in the shape of a flower, and three highly stylized, fully blooming flowers on the dial rotate individually to the beat of the movement, highlighted with marquise cut precious stones (rubies, emeralds, sapphires, or diamonds). The hour and minute hands also echo the floral motif, with the hands themselves in petal shapes.
Buy & Sell a Van Cleef and Arpels Ballerine Enchantee
Another ladies luxury watch that combines fine jewelry design with in-house haute horlogerie is Van Cleef and Arpels’ Ballerine Enchantee. Featuring a translucent and champleve enamel ballerina on a blue guilloché dial, the feminine figure morphs into a butterfly with the touch of a slide on the side of the case.
With the activation of the time on demand feature, the outer veils of the tutu become butterfly wings that rise to indicate hours and minutes, remaining in place long enough to read the time before returning back to their initial positions. This wonderfully complex double retrograde movement is housed in a 40.5 mm white gold case set with diamonds.
Buy & Sell a Blancpain Day Night
The Blancpain Day Night is a truly innovative timepiece, featuring a dial made entirely of mother of pearl, divided into three parts on four levels, with the day/night disk at the center of attention. The disk itself turns twice per day, with each rotational change lasting about four minutes. The finishings on the disk are a tour-de-force of craftsmanship, and include décalque, champlevé, and marquetage techniques. The rotating disk depicts a night and day motif with gem-set sun and moon. Fourteen diamond stars and pearl clouds accents compliment the 50 yellow sapphires of the sun and 50 diamonds of the moon. The bezel is also set with two rows of diamonds–140 in total.
Unique to this timepiece is way the retrograde indications, seconds and hours, are combined with the minute hand. Minutes are displayed by a hand that sweeps continuously over its circle of rotation. When it completes its sixty minute transit, the second hand is retrograding—it too has completed its arc and returns instantly to its starting point to begin its sweep again. In a similar way, the hour hand retrogrades twice per day, also in sync with the minute hand.
Buy & Sell a Cartier Crash
First introduced in 1967, Cartier’s now iconic Crash watch is famous for its asymmetrical, practically surrealistic case and dial—a shape based on an accidentally melted Cartier Bagnoire that was once returned to Cartier. In its latest iteration, the Crash case is sculpted out of platinum, with skeletonized Roman numerals that appear to melt along with the case itself.
Blue sword shaped hour and minute hands, as well as a blue, cabochon-cut sapphire on the crown, are further hallmarks that make the watch instantly recognizable as Cartier. The movement (caliber 9618 MC) is equally unique, built specifically to fit the case.
Buy & Sell a Patek Philippe Aquanaut
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut (launched in 1997) is the perfect dress sports watch for the active woman. The Aquanaut exudes combines casual elegance with technical perfection, uncompromising performance, and imaginative creativity in design.
The Aquanaut’s appeal is due to in part to its gently rounded octagonal shape that makes the luxury timepiece feel both modern and classic. The surface structure of the Aquanaut’s landmark dial reflects the attractive texture of the watch’s strap, which is made of a high-tech composite that is soft, comfortable, water resistant, and hypoallergenic. The complex construction of the Aquanaut case is underscored by the screw-down crown for extra protection on the wrist of active women.
Buy & Sell a Piaget Altiplano
The Altiplano collection by Piaget has become one of the most popular ladies timepieces in the category of elegant ultra-thin watches. The Altiplano exhibits a combination of subtle refinement and unabashed femininity. The Altiplano watch seen in the photo here is made of a rose gold case discreetly set with diamonds.
This Piaget classic also features a white dial to match the color of its bracelet, slender Roman numerals, and an off-center small seconds dial delicately encircled with diamonds—all of which combine to produce a composition marked by an outstanding balance between sophistication and sobriety.
This Piaget Altiplano watch is equipped with an ultra-thin 450P hand-wound movement and will appeal to women who are seduced by a spirit of mechanical perfection.
Where to Sell a Designer Ladies Watch
If you would like to sell your valuable timepiece from Rolex, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels or other fine watch brand, please contact Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers today for a free appraisal and consultation.
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Learn more about selling an expensive timepiece at the following link: Where to Sell a Watch.