My Fair Ladies: At Baselworld, Brands are Focussing on What Women Want

My Fair Ladies: At Baselworld, Brands Are Focusing On What Women Want

From minimalist to maximalist, Here are six ladies timepieces that are blowing our minds.

By Rhonda Riche

Answering the question “what do women want” is simple. Like male watch aficionados, we want everything! Some of us like super complications, some of us want modernist time only watches. Some of us like girly, gemstone studded timepieces, and some of us want a vintage style like dad used to wear. And some of us want all of the above. Brands recognize that women buyers represent a huge part of the market and have been asking the what women want question for ages, but this year they seem to be listening. It’s only day one of Baselworld, and we're already impressed by the diversity of women’s watch offerings.

Here are six of the most beguiling women’s watches and watch collections at the fair.

Citizen Ceci

The Citizen Ceci collection takes a simple approach to elegance. This all new group mixes a minimalist features “C” shaped, three-part case with an enhanced large crown married with an opulent 32mm mother of pearl dial studded with either 4 or 12 diamond indicators.

The Ceci is available in six different variations with either a mesh bracelet in gold, pink-gold or silver tones or with a leather strap in either white or blue. We welcome the Ceci series because it’s refreshing when a mid-priced brand can offer up a new and distinct design that‘s more than just a fashion watch.

NOMOS Glashütte Duo

A sparse and simple line of two-hand models based on the German watchmaker’s four core models, Tangente, Orion, Ludwig, and Tetra.

For watches that embody the Bauhaus ethos, we’re not surprised that NOMOS has somehow managed to reduce these classics to their essential elements even further. And while the company has always taken a gender-neutral position, these Duos are definitely developed with more delicate wrists in mind (the round models measure 33 mm in diameter while the Tetra‘s side to side length is 27 mm).

These hand wound watches are also an adaptation of a classic Glashütte caliber. Called the Alpha.2 this mechanism is smaller but still very precise.


There’s a lot to love from Patek Philippe for 2019. Not only can ladies wear any of the men’s collection pieces, but ladies also have their pick of many revamped versions of classic models.

This year, Patek has expanded the ladies' Nautilus reference 7118/1R line. Previously available in steel or rose gold with diamonds. But this year the brand has introduced five new versions: one in rose gold with a rose gold or opaline dial and stainless steel models with blue, white and gradient grey dials framed with a diamond-set bezel. The dials have a more fluid stripe than the 'garage door' white dials on the ref. 5711 Nautilus.

The 7118/1Rs also have a slightly less chunky case, measuring in with a 8.62mm thick, 35.2mm case. The watch itself is powered by the automatic caliber 324 SC movement.

Chopard L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony

Embellished but not quite over the top, the L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony presents a combination of Chopard’s high jewelry-making skills with an in-house movement. It is pretty on the inside as well as on the outside.

Here are a few of the skills this nature-themed required: mother of pearl cutting, open back diamond setting (to really bring out the fire of the stones), transfer printing, and the rarely seen outside of Chopard’s workshops, Fleurisanne engraving.

This delicate limited to eight pieces watch is comes to life with a powerful by an automatic L.U.C. 96.23-L movement with a 65-hour power reserve.


Last year, Grand Seiko introduced a new automatic caliber designed to power women’s watches — the Caliber 9S Automatic for women anniversary limited edition.

This year, Grand Seiko offers even more options for luxurious ladies watches within the women’s collection. These refined timepieces take the tropes of women’s watches — precious metals, diamonds and mother of pearl dials — but gives them the reverence for function and finish that all Grand Seikos possess.

This year, that means a high precision movement that beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour, with a 50-hour power reserve and is accurate to -3/+8 per day.

But the Grand Seiko women’s design series also impresses because it’s more than just a line of scaled down, diamond studded men’s watch. The self-winding caliber has been adjusted to maximize thinness to allow for a slightly curved, Zaratsu (mirror finished) polished case designed to sit super comfortably on a smaller wrist.


The J-12 has undergone a bit of a metamorphosis for Baselworld 2019. Originally designed by Jacques Helleu in 2000, the white or black ceramic coated timepiece was an immediate and much-copied sensation.

This year, Chanel has given the J-12 a movement to match the iconic design of the Watch — a new in-house (technically from Kenissi, a Geneva-based manufacturer that Chanel bought a 20 percent stake in back in January) 12.1 automatic, COSC-certified caliber with a 70 power reserve.

Inspired by Coco Chanel’s love of the yacht life, the J12 is Chanel's version of a dive watch and has water resistance up to 200 meters.

The refreshed J12s also has a slightly bolder typography a wider dial opening for a more graphic aesthetic. It’s a woman’s watch that many gentleman could also wear!

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