What woman hasn’t dreamed of wearing a luxury watch? The best often combine the beauty of fine jewelry with the practicality of a precision timepiece. To enjoy both in the same adornment seems both reasonable and audaciously decadent at the same time. Though it is a popular idea that mechanical watches have given way to digital or sports watches, the truth is that the market for high quality hand made mechanical watches is on the rise, with men and women alike favoring the complexity and elegance a precision crafted piece offers. Men are enjoying stylish advances in watch technology, as are women, but women often enjoy the extra opportunity to enjoy the pieces designed as jewelry. The top place to see what is newest on the market is Baselworld.
The annual Baselworld watch show will celebrate 100 years as a trade show in 2017. Basel, Switzerland is the place where the totality of the world of watches attends, and this is the place where the latest trends and most amazing timepieces, ever, are displayed. It is the event where the greatest watch brands are seen, and those that matter most in the world are said to number a select group of 18.
These are the names which comprise the finest houses of the watch fashion world:
- Audemars Piguet
- A. Lange & Sohne
- Glashutte Original
- IWC Schaffhausen
- Patek Philippe
- Vacheron Constantin
Here are a few of the most amazing ladies watches; representing the newest and best in the world:
Faberge – Lady Compliquée Peacock
This lovely watch won the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve 2015 honor, in the High Mechanical category. It was mentioned at the 2016 Baselworld event as continuing to be an exemplar of the finest workmanship, along with the most recent The Lady Altruist 2016 Faberge entry. The peacock is the central attraction of this watch, because its feathers fan out in movement in precision with the passage of time. The peacock is hand engraved with 18-carat white gold, there is a diamond set bezel, mother of pearl minute and hour indications, and the entirety is encased with a platinum 38mm case. The strap is alligator. The price is provided upon application.
Breguet: Reine de Naples
A beautiful case in 18-carat white gold, and a delicate oval shape surrounded with 64 brilliant cut diamonds make this a stunning timepiece. It is water resistant to 30m. The dial is set with mother of pearl in lavender colors, and the Roman numerals are in white natural mother of pearl marquetry. The hands are open tipped in blue steel. It has a leather strap and 38 hours of reserve power. Price is available upon application.
De Grisogono: The Lady Retro
It is inspired by the past trends in the company, though completely elegant and contemporary. It has a choice of jewels in different colors. Emeralds for green, rubies for red, and diamonds for white are some of the color choices. The listed price is £109,100.
Chopard: A Fabulous Lady’s Diamond Tourbillon Watch
This watch features a baguette cut diamond dial in a tapered shape. It is set inside a case set with diamonds. It has a pink leather strap, and a tourbillon movement which is wound manually. This watch is a limited edition from the company’s Green Carpet collection, which features materials which are sustainable and naturally sourced. Pricing is upon application
Audemars Piguet: Millenary Zebra
This watch features onyx and diamonds set into stripes inspired by zebra patters. The abstract flowing stripes sparkle with 140 brilliant cut diamonds. The case is made of 18-carat white gold, which is set with 438 diamonds, and glare-proofed sapphire crystal for the case. Onyx cabochons, and yellow gold hands complement the white and black theme of the dial. There are two straps, one in alligator and one in shiny black, and the pin buckle is set with diamonds and is 18-carat white gold. The mechanism is hand wound. The watch is water resistant to 20m. Price is available upon application.
Bulgari: Serpenti Incantati
Bulgari’s series of iconic Serpenti watches has a new contemporary addition. The latest Serpenti Incantati was inspired by a 1930s brooch from Bulgari’s haute joaillerie ateliers. This is the first time that the serpent coils around the dial. There are 79 white diamonds with brilliant cut, and 30 pink rubellites baguette cut, on the snake coils. The dial is a snow set pave’ of 166 brilliant cut diamonds. It is tourbillon, skeletonized, and powered by a quartz movement. The listed price is £30,700.
Patek Philippe: Ladies Calatrava 2016
The Calatrava is the flagship line of the company. This first was created in 1932, and its design was inspired by the German Bauhaus art and architecture school which maintains that form must follow function. Each watch made since that time echoes this spirit of minimalist design, whether it culminates in the most elegant or basic watch. The 2016 Ladies Calatrava is made with white gold and a 48 diamond set bezel. It has a striking midnight blue dial. The hour markers are brushed gold. The strap is brushed satin in midnight blue, with a prong buckle set with 6 diamonds. The case back is sapphire crystal in 33mm diameter. The price is listed at £28,340
A. Lange and Sohne: Saxonia Mother of Pearl and Diamond
This watch is an exquisite women’s watch from the precision craftsmanship of A. Lange and Sohne. The face is mother of pearl and there are diamonds fixed and set in the bezel. The case is 18-carat white gold and the strap is white alligator. The movement is automatic with an analog dial, and functions for seconds, minutes, and hours. The case diameter is 37mm, with a thickness of 8.7mm. The watch is made in Germany. It is priced at $34,425.00.
Cartier: Ballon Bleu De Cartier Serti Vibrant
Cartier has taken a 19th century jeweler’s technique for setting diamonds so they will sparkle and applied it to this watch. The en tremblant setting is used for diamonds set on the watch face in rings. With a tiny bit of motion, they subtly move as if in a unison chorus. The black dial face serves as a backdrop for this visual chorus of sparkle. The watch case is 18-carat white gold. The white diamonds are in a pave’ setting. Each diamond is placed on a concealed spring. The movement is hand woven. The watch is offered in a limited edition of 20 pieces, each numbered. The price is available upon request.
Breitling: Colt Lady
This high end watch is made to be sporty and elegant. The bezel may be set with diamonds, if desired. The overall appearance of the polished steel case lends itself to precision and performance. The bezel is satin brushed as is the bracelet. The dial may be blue, black or silver, and includes a circular, geometric motive around the face. The movement is ten times more accurate than that of a standard quartz design. The watch is waterproof to 200m. The approximate base price is $3,100 USD.
While it’s fascinating to discover which brands and models of watches set the bar for all, it’s also interesting to note that the current fashion trends are represented in their creations. Here are some of things that fashionable women are spotting as the top trend setting inspirations:
Black and White
It’s a simple idea, which can cost little or thousands. Watches made in black and white, whether they are white diamonds and black onyx or white and black leather alone, are stylish.
Materials such as chrome, stainless steel, polished steel, aluminum, glass, leather and vinyl are all used to incorporate the sleek lines and materials of classic race cars in watches of many styles.
Bling is in. Small, discrete touches of sparkle are fine, but some of the more popular versions feature some sort of diamonds in patterns either on the watch face, or around the bezel or case. This feature depends on the depth of the pocket book
Some of the newest styles take their themes from the instrumentation found in the cockpits of the earliest airplanes. If it looks antique, but runs with modern precision and mechanism, then its in
Earth, Moons, Planets, Stars
These watches feature tiny globes inside the watch face, and many times overlapping as part of the moving mechanism inside. What’s important is to be able to see the celestial bodies moving in concert with the gears and levers which comprise traditional superior quality watchmaking.
Some watch faces may be completely clear so that inner structures echoing the designs of skyscrapers or bridges may be seen hidden within the watch case. These are all part of the movement toward hand winding and precision time keeping. The architecture may be historic, completely modern, or even futuristic.
In horology, or in other words the study of time, tourbillon escapements are additional mechanisms added to the watch parts to help negate the effects of gravity on the precision of the watch function. When the watch components become stuck in a position, the tourbillon rotates the balance wheels inside the watch to average out any positional errors which may cause imbalance problems. The Swiss-French watchmaker, Abraham-Louis Brequet developed one of the best devices first in 1795. Devotees of traditional wound watches look for high quality versions of tourbillon escapements in their modern watch designs.
While the Baselworld watch show never ceases to amaze, there are many high quality brands which are popular and trending for 2016 in many fashion reports. These include watches by Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Armand Nicolette, Movado, Akribos, Burberry, Nixon, DKNY, Fossil, Versace, and Guess.