This year we saw a lot of ladies’ watches at SIHH. There was a major focus on finishes as well as complications, which was a welcome change after years of small diamond quartz cocktail watches. To close out on our top picks for SIHH this year, here are our favorite ladies’ pieces.
Cara Barrett – Cartier Triple Wrap Panthère
The most exciting thing for me this year was the number of ladies’ watches to choose from! But if I had to choose one watch as my favorite, it would be the triple wrap Panthère. Last year Cartier re-introduced the Panthère collection with great success. This year it’s back with a triple (or double) wrap bracelet. This is no easy feat as you have to get the construction juuuust right so that the watch lays flat on your wrist. It is available in two sizes, and in white, pink or yellow gold, with or without diamonds, and would make for an elegant day-to-night watch in any combination.
$33,200 to $47,000; cartier.com
Jack Forster – Audemars Piguet Concept Flying Tourbillon
The whole idea of a so-called ladies’ watch is rather elastic these days, although there are still very many examples of watches intended for woman clients and made with a traditional notion of femininity in mind. The Audemars Piguet Ladies’ Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon was introduced by AP with the statement, “Women’s watches shouldn’t be limited to shrinking, pinking, and adding a few diamonds.” True to their word, this watch is complicated (the first AP flying tourbillon) very boldly – even aggressively – styled, and adds a lot of diamonds (460 of them). I’ve never seen a ladies’ watch that simultaneously embodies and subverts the idea of a traditionally feminine watch so well.
Baguette cut CHF 395,000 or brilliant cut CHF 190,000; audemarspiguet.com
Jon Bues – Cartier Révélation d’Une Panthère
Everyone at the Cartier SIHH product presentation had to have their moment playing with this watch. It features the transient visage of panther, created by 900 shimmering gold balls suspended in liquid. Cartier says that this watch took five years to develop, and they earned two patents along the way. The first is for the viscous liquid in which the gold balls flow, and the other for the glass through which the mixture of balls and liquid flows. They’re only making 100, and at $106,000, owning one will not be cheap, but this watch is just so much fun. It’s going to tempt a lot of Cartier customers, I think.
Stephen Pulvirent – Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Planétarium
Is it weird to say that I would totally wear this watch? I was a fan of the original Midnight Planetarium when it first debuted in 2014, with its Christiaan Van Der Klaauw movement and overtly laissez faire take on day-to-day timekeeping (you get an accurate rendition of Mars’s orbit, but knowing the precise hour and minute of each day is slightly more nebulous). The Lady Arpels Planétarium is essentially a simplified version of the Midnight Planetarium, with fewer heavenly bodies accounted for and a 12-hour dial instead of a 24-hour dial. Does that make it more practical? Maybe, I guess. There’s also a healthy smattering of diamonds, especially if you opt for the full pavé bracelet (which you should). If you’re looking at watches a little works of art, it would be hard to do much better than this.
$245,000 on a strap, $330,000 on a diamond bracelet; vancleefsarpels.com