In today’s luxury watch market, a majority of the watches are designed to be worn by males. Men’s watches are significantly more expensive than women’s luxury watches and men are more likely to be seen wearing a wrist watch. However, this was not always the case. When the first wrist watch was created in 1868, it was created for a woman, not a man. According to the Guinness World Records, the first wrist watch was made in 1868 by Patek Philippe for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary. At this time men wore pocket watches and wrist watches, or wristlets as they were called, were seen as a feminine accessory. Even in 1904, when Louis Cartier created the first wrist watch for men, they were still seen something for a woman to wear.
It wasn’t until World War I that men began wearing wrist watches. Soldiers began wearing their pocket watches around their wrist because there was no other place to put their watch. In the 1950s, Rolex created a men’s wrist watch and advertised it as a tool watch, helping men with everyday tasks. The wrist watch for men continued to grow in popularity and was no longer seen as just a passing feminine fad.
Although the female market is no longer the largest market in the luxury watch industry, many brands still spend time studying and developing popular watch styles for women. The year 2013 saw a surge in the amount of luxury watches designed for women. At 2013’s SIHH, many brands introduced new watch designs for women. Vacheron Constantin introduced several new female collections, such as the Patrimony Contemporaine Lady Gold Bracelet, the Patrimony Traditionelle Manual-Winding, and Malte Lady. http://www.timezone.com/2013/01/23/vacheron-constantin-at-sihh-2013-by-paul-boutros/
Audemars Piguet also designed a lady’s watch in 2013. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Ladycat Chronograph is a limited edition model, inspired by the Ladycat catamaran team, which was all female until this past year. The watch is intended for athletic women that exude confidence. The watch is available in white gold and steel. It features a black mother of pearl dial and has 323 diamonds around the bezel and clasp. It has a strong and sturdy clasp and has a 40-hour power reserve. To add to the grandeur of the watch, it als has an 18kt gold oscillating weight along with the chronograph. With this watch, Audemars Piguet has captured perfectly the combination of femininity, elegance, and athleticism.
In the beginning of 2013, Cartier launched four new models to the Cartier Crash line of watches: two in rose gold and two in white gold, one in each color set with 417 brilliantly cut diamonds, totaling 4.27kt. These Dali-esque watches give a “twist” to the everyday, expected female watch. Most ladies watches have simple, straight lines, while the Cartier Crash gives the watch a little bit of excitement.
At Baselworld 2013, Chanel introduced a new twist to the already beautiful Chanel Premier line of watches. With a new bracelet of oversize links, this change revitalizes the model and reminds watch enthusiasts that Chanel makes more than just the J12 watch.
Chanel also introduced the new J12 Moonphase in 2013. As the name indicates, the largest distinction between this new J12 watch and the original is the placement of a moonphase indicator at 6 o’clock. It is indicated by a serpentine hand on a background of aventurine, which is a stone that resembles a night sky full of stars. Also, it has an inner seconds subdial with the seconds indicated by either batons or diamonds. Another change involves the bezel. Instead of the rotating bezel that is on the original J12, it has a stationary bezel set with diamonds. While the original J12 indicates the date with a date window, the J12 Moonphase has a long hand that points to the correct day of the month.
Luxury watch brands are continuing to realize that the women’s luxury watch market is growing and are responding by making new Ladies watch models. Last year, 2012, also saw an increase in women’s watches. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Cartier Masse Secrete Panther Décor
Introduced towards the end of 2011, this watch was a women’s favorite during 2012. Because Cartier experienced in crafting elegant and beautiful women’s jewelry, it comes as no surprise that the brand would also be capable of making beautiful timepieces for women. This watch was made with the finest materials. The case is 18kt white gold and is covered in some of the finest diamonds. In the center of the black dial is an 18kt white gold, diamond studded panther that walks around the outside of the dial. In all, 663 diamonds cover this Cartier watch.
Patek Philippe also used 2012 as the time to introduce several new ladies watches. The Patek Philippe Ladies Frist Chronograph is one of the ladies watch styles that the brand introduced in 2012. There are three styles of this watch, all in 18kt white gold, with either a blue, grey, or white dial and strap. The watch has a 65 hour power reserve, a chronograph function, a 30-minutes counter, and a seconds sub-dial. The outside of the dial is encrusted with 116 beautifully cut diamonds. Patek Philippe also introduced a Ladies Gondolo and Ladies Perpetual Calendar, both of which are exquisite watches.
At SIHH 2012, Vacheron Constantin added three more models to its Metiers d’Art collection. While not a line specifically for women, this line of watches appeals to the female watch enthusiasts for their use of color and attention to detail. These watches are hand crafted and are full of intricate details. Each diamond and precious stone that is placed on the dial is laid in by the steady hand of the watchmaker. This collection of watches show off the expertise and incredible craftsmanship of the Vacheron Constantin watchmakers.
While not the largest demographic of watch enthusiasts, women are still an important part of the watch community. With each passing year, more and more luxury watch brands are introducing new models for women. We are excited to see what the year 2014 brings for the ladies!