Before it became appropriate for women to wear watches in the 1920s, rebellious trendsetters had to resort to disguising their timepieces as jewellery — either subtly working the dial into a bracelet, or hiding it in a locket. Today, jewellery watches remain a staple for the watchmakers who have chosen to create collections that cater to the ladies. For the most drool-worthy pieces, look to the brands that started out as jewellers — Cartier, Chopard and Harry Winston never disappoint. But even some 'serious' watch brands that are traditionally more male-centric have tried to entice new female fans with a generous use of sparkles.
Bulgari's famous Serpenti collection gets a makeover. Instead of merely coiling around the wrist, the latest watches from the range resemble a snake with its head over its tail. Measuring in at 26mm with six brilliant-cut diamonds on the case, the watch comes with a snow-set pave dial with 144 diamonds, and the bracelet is adorned with 168 brilliant-cut diamonds.
Dainty and thoroughly feminine, the vintage-inspired Art Deco watch by Harry Winston calls to mind the styles of watches popular among the ladies in the 1920s to 1940s. It features seven baguette-cut and 246 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bracelet and bezel complementing a white mother-of-pearl dial.
Les Eternelles de Chanel is a new collection of exceptional high-jewellery watches that aims to showcase the know-how of the maison. Some of Coco Chanel's favourite motifs, such as the comet and camellia, inspired the designs in this range. It features 2319 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 41.52 carats, 34 baguette-cut sapphires, five brilliant-cut sapphires, and two baguette-cut diamonds. A one-carat diamond occupies the centre of the comet.
At the centre of The Fascination is a spectacular 38.13-carat flawless pear-shaped diamond, which can be removed. Fit a dial into the space created, and it becomes a jewellery watch. Fascinating indeed. This high-jewellery timepiece comes with a bracelet of 152.96 carats of white diamonds framing the 38.13-carat centerstone.