Blessed with a unique charm, these watches intended for men are destined for women
Contrary to popular belief, women don’t only like dainty jewellery watches. While we will always be swooning over the ultra-feminine, bejewelled creations from Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston and Chopard, it’s not like we have an evening gala to attend every day
And of course we’re big fans of classic, cultural icons such as the Patek Philippe Twenty-4, the Rolex Datejust, the Omega Constellation, and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. But so is everyone else in your social circle.
So to grow our stash of watches more purposefully, maybe it’s a good idea to look across the pond at the men’s collections. The key here is to avoid the overtly masculine pieces and consider those that are a little more unisex.
With that in mind, we’ve curated a list of insider favourites – watches created for the man, but could very possibly look just as good, if not better, on feminine wrists.
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin with an aventurine dial
What is it: The Saxonia is an A. Lange & Söhne classic. It offers a more neutral and understated look than, say, the Lange 1. This 37-mm model, the Saxonia Thin, is A. Lange & Söhne’s slimmest watch. It does, however, carry a good amount of weight, if you happen to be bothered by extremely slim cases.
Why we want it: The dark blue aventurine dial sparkles with thousands of gold flecks, transforming what would have been an ordinary classic timepiece into a horological beauty. This is a watch you’ll have to meet in real life to fully appreciate.
Blancpain Villeret GMT Date on a chainmail bracelet
What is it: The quintessential Blancpain watch. Villeret is a timeless classic that represents the best of Blancpain and its name is a tribute to the manufacture’s original location. This version offers a very useful GMT function and a simple date display.
Why we want it: Delivered on a chainmail (also called mille maille) bracelet, this watch with its very refined dial hugs the wrist ever so perfectly. Sized at 40mm and fairly slim, women can carry it off very easily.
Breguet Classique 5177 with a white enamel dial
What is it: If there’s only room for one Breguet, it’s got to be a Classique, hands down. This ultra-refined watch distinguishes itself with a fluted case band and pomme hands (also referred to as ‘Breguet hands’). Modern pieces offer a silicon escapement.
Why we want it: When it comes to Breguet, gents tend to lean towards the guilloché dial, which is beautiful, no doubt. But we think that a white enamel dial like this 38mm piece is classic and understated, and would look real elegant on a woman’s wrist.
Cartier Tank Cintrée
What is it: The Cartier Tank Cintrée is the sleeker and curvier take on the classic Tank. It’s got a lovely 1960s vibe and one of the most unique case shapes in the business. Plus, Cartier managed to fit in a manual-winding movement in the 46.3mm x 23mm case, which you’ll have to try in person to fully appreciate.
Why we want it: Its elongated case is very flattering. Because it is cambered at an angle, the case follows the smooth curves of the wrist.
Grand Seiko Spring Drive, 20th Anniversary Limited Edition SBGZ001
What is it: Japanese watchmaking at its finest. Grand Seiko’s Spring Drive is accurate to plus-minus one second per day, and its finishing on its watches are flawless to say the least. For when you’re really thinking of venturing out of Swiss timepieces, you can never regret your first Grand Seiko.
Why we want it: Yes, Grand Seikos are amazing and all but the real reason we want the SBGZ001 is the gorgeous ‘snowflake’ dial and hand-engraved case, which was inspired by the snow-covered landscapes of the Shinshu region. Everything’s hand-carved in platinum and silver at the Seikosha Micro Artist Studio.
Hermès Slim d’Hermès
What is it: One of Hermès’ more contemporary collections, the Slim d’Hermès is a designer’s dream. It offers a wealth of details such as stirrup inspired lugs, facetted baton hands, and an Hermès exclusive typeface for the hour numerals.
Why we want it: The French maison always gets it right. At 39.5mm, this gentleman’s timepiece does not look a hair out of place on feminine wrists.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute with a Casa Fagliano strap
What is it: A must have in every watch collector’s stash. The Reverso started out on the polo field but is now a veritable icon of modern watchmaking. It’s over 80 years old now, but the look remains as relevant as ever. Jaeger-LeCoultre offers various interpretations, such as the Reverso Tribute that is steeped in heritage and craftsmanship.
Why we want it: That gorgeous burgundy dial. And the beautiful matching topstitched leather strap made by Argentinian leathersmith, Casa Fagliano.
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centred Meteorite
What is it: The Grande Seconde’s figure-eight dial can be recognised from a mile away. Although famous for its over-the-top complications with metiers d’arts and automata, Jaquet Droz does minimalism exceptionally well. This piece is a good example of that.
Why we want it: Very understated yet those who know Jaquet Droz would immediately appreciate the Zen aesthetic.
Longines Flagship Heritage
What is it: Longines is on a roll with tasteful remakes of its heritage pieces. This design goes back to 1957 but the size and additional date window updates it to modern requirements. Flagship Heritage is also the watch of choice for Oscar winning actress Kate Winslet.
Why we want it: While the Flagship Heritage isn’t the latest, we simply can’t forget how it sat so perfectly on our wrist. It’s a versatile piece, cool champagne dial. Measuring 38.5mm, the bi-colour steel case with yellow gold accents hits the spot for a nice vintage throwback.
Montblanc Heritage Automatic with a salmon dial
What is it: Montblanc went through a massive rebranding exercise and right now its design game is totally on fleek. Its Heritage collection is a nod to the past but the watches look anything but ancient. This 40-mm piece offers a wealth of details on the dial alone.
Why we want it: Two words: salmon dial. And we love how the dot indexes intersperse with hour numerals – very preppy.
Omega Railmaster on a blue denim strap
What is it: The Railmaster is one of three legendary Omega classics, in addition to the Speedmaster and Seamaster. Fairly under-the-radar, it is a favourite among Omega maniacs, but this denim version tends to appeal mostly to the fashionable crowd.
Why we want it: Off the beaten path, stylish. Plus, the denim NATO strap is real fun to wear.
Panerai Luminor Due with interchangeable straps
What is it: The classic Luminor has always been prohibitively oversized but now Panerai has given us the Luminor Due (Italian for two) which is slimmer and also easier to wear. Women can go for the 38mm or 40mm models.
Why we want it: Interchangeable straps. Choose from mint green calfskin to powder blue in saffiano leather and all the usual browns and blacks.
Patek Philippe Calatrava Weekly Calendar Ref. 5212A
What is it: Patek Philippe makes some of the best calendar watches in the business, and this is one of the very few weekly calendars – a first for Patek Philippe, which means the movement is completely new too. Most fascinating are the numerals and markers with a handwritten typeface.
Why we want it: Anything Patek Philippe makes that seems out of the norm, is a cue to put your name down for it.
Piaget Altiplano with a meteorite dial
What is it: Synonymous with ultra-thin, Altiplano makes all other watches look plus-sized. Apart from thinness, this model is also known for its penchant for hard stone dials, which do wonders in elevating it from a dress watch to an instant art piece.
Why we want it: The meteorite dial adds an air of mystery and even though it’s a 40mm watch, it feels perfectly comfortable on the wrist.
Tiffany & Co. Square Watch
What is it: Tiffany & Co.’s first watch with an in-house movement and a design that takes you back to the 1920s Art Deco era. Ornate hour numerals and cathedral style hands also give it an aristocratic air.
Why we want it: The watch may be ‘square’, but its vintage style can’t be more hip. Just think how stunning it’ll look when layered with wrist candy from Tiffany & Co.’s HardWear and T Jewellery collections.
Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921 in yellow gold
What is it: One of the most unforgettable Vacheron Constantin watches we’ve ever seen. This cushion-shaped timepiece has a diagonally set dial which harkens back to the 1920s trend of driver’s watches. Even though Vacheron Constantin has made a smaller size for women, we think the men’s pieces are equally suited for feminine wrists.
Why we want it: The case is beautiful, and so are the numerals. It’s classic with a twist. Go for the platinum if you can, but the yellow gold has an irrefutable charm to it.