Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent: A Preview Of SIHH 2019’s Most Luxurious Ladies’ Watches
In 2019, watchmakers are making bold new design moves with imaginative new timepieces for women.
Watchmakers know that female collectors are just as into complicated watches as men. But there is a difference in the kind of complications women want. For example, moon phases are very popular among women, partially because they are poetic as well as useful.
Which is to say that while guys buy for the gears and springs, girls are also attracted to the beauty of the movement. And as women become a bigger market for luxury watch brands, we can expect to see watchmakers paying more attention to both the mechanics and the aesthetics of their offerings.
Bright Side Of The Moon
For 2019, Jaeger-LeCoultre is upgrading its Rendez-Vous Moon watch, making it even more feminine by applying the expertise of the Grande Maison’s Rare Handcrafts “Métiers Rares.”
In a disc at 6 o'clock, a hand-polished moon cycles through a sea of clouds set in a starry, lacquered blue sky. The full moon also recalls the round Rendez-Vous case, which is set with 60 sparkling diamonds.
The silvered dial is a marvel of both the watchmaker’s and jeweler’s arts. Collectors will pay a premium for in-house movements, but it should be noted that JLC also makes their own guilloche dials. The face of the Rendez-Vous Moon features one of the most delicate examples of engine turning you will ever see. To top it off, the watch’s inner dial is also studded with 47 more diamonds.
Everything about the Rendez-Vous is fluid and feminine. The design also highlights the collection’s signature floral numerals and curvy leaf hands. And it has quick change bracelets which allow the wearer to mix up the look of the watch depending on the mood.
At its heart, however, it's a practical piece (because women have to get things done), powered by the Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 925A automatic movement with a 40-hour power reserve. This engine is still pretty though, with elegant touches like gold chatons.
Women's watches are also becoming more playful when it comes to experimenting with materials and textures. This year, for example, Girard Perregaux is using sparkling Aventurine glass to decorate the dials of its high-end Cat's Eye collection with incredible depth and presence.
GP is debuting three new models for 2019: the Cat’s Eye Majestic Aventurine, Cat’s Eye Celestial Aventurine, and the Cat’s Eye Tourbillon Aventurine.
The Majestic reimagines the classic Cat’s Eye oval shape by vertically realigning the case and the lengthening the lugs for a more feminine flow. The pink gold case is set with 60 brilliant-cut diamonds, and the deep blue dial features a further 24 drop-shaped stones to mark the hours.
Pretty on the inside, the sapphire crystal case-back lets the Majestic’s owner admire the in-house automatic movement with its gold oscillating weight engraved with the signature “GP tapestry” motif.
We’re just as star struck by the Cat’s Eye Celestial Aventurine moon phase watch. This complication features the traditional Cat’s Eye horizontal oval case but with a more generous proportion that allows for an intriguing mix of aventurine with mother-of-pearl. Both materials are notoriously delicate to work with, it’s rare to see them together, and the effect is simple but spectacular.
For a happy marriage of haute horology and haute couture, the Cat’s Eye Aventurine Tourbillon is a heavenly timepiece.
While this watch is studded with 6.20 carats worth of diamonds, the real jewel is the lyre-shaped rotating carriage of the tourbillon. All of the parts of this hand wound mechanism have been hand finished. And the baguette cut stones have been hand-picked and arranged to resemble comets against a deep blue aventurine sky.
Cartier has been killing it at SIHH with its innovative designs over the last few years, and their 2019 Libre novelties may be its best collection yet.
Using its classic shapes as a stepping stone, the new Tank Chinoise Red, Diagnole, and Baignoire Allongée Céladon and Black watches are wildly imaginative and amazingly beautiful.
The best way to describe these time only pieces is to say that they bring joy to the wrist. The use of colorful gemstones such as rubies, Paraiba tourmalines, and black spinels and enamel is a celebration of Cartier's jewelry making heritage. At the same time the stretched out, and angular shapes disrupt the Cartier codes.
And okay, the Libre Collection is more high jewelry than haute horology (only the Baignoire Allongée Céladon has a mechanical movement, the Tank Chinoise and the Diagonale are quartz-driven), these limited edition watches are sure to endure in the hearts of collectors.