Diamonds are not every girl’s best friend. Some prefer watches. On this day, International Women’s Day, we asked our good friend, independent watchmaker Fiona Kruger, to tackle one of the most sensitive subjects in the watchmaking industry: ladies’ watches.
An independent watchmaker with a fierce sense of design – her Skull and Petit Skull watches address the oldest theme in watchmaking in a totally innovative way – Kruger picks out four very different watches and tells us why they appeal to her, as a woman, and more importantly, as a watchmaker.
Hamilton American Classic Flintridge Lady Auto – $1,600
A limited edition of 999 pieces, the Hamilton Flintridge Lady Auto offers exclusivity and serious watchmaking chops at an affordable price. Presented in 2014, this hunter-style wristwatch houses a self-winding movement, and borrows traditional motifs such as the sunray for decorative purposes.
Fiona’s Verdict: What’s not to love of a historically-inspired case in stainless steel. I wish it was a little more practical – the mens’ version has a visible date indication that makes it so – but the size of the ladies’ one is much better suited to my wrist. It looks like it has vintage roots, and they’ve held back on the diamonds, with seven small stones set in a singular cluster above the 6 hour marker, which adds a bit of sparkle but doesn’t make it too girlie! And considering everything else is pretty classic (steel case, minimal decor) I think it works really well, plus it has a mechanical movement so it’s a go!
Slim d’Hermès (Grand Model) – $8,500
Hermès continued making serious inroads into horologically inclined conversations last year following the unveiling of the Slim collection. A new line, featuring a slim in-house movement, and Philippe Apeloig’s inimitable typography on the dial, the Slim d’Hermès found a public with both men – including one of our own – and women.
Fiona’s Verdict: My favorite in the collection is the Grand Model (gm), a stainless-steel, 39.5 mm watch with an ultra-thin movement. It’s one of the few watches on the market where the graphic design of the numerals really plays a big part in the design of the watch, and I love that! Because it has a steel case, you can focus on the design of the piece.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Openworked Extra-Thin – $85,800
Presented in 2012, the Openworked Extra-Thin was one of several Royal Oak watches made specifically for the collection’s 40th anniversary – which should already tell you how special that watch is. We’ve covered it before, going hands-on with a piece back in 2014, but here are Fiona’s thoughts:
Fiona’s Verdict: I love how it looks but I wish they’d done it in steel. It’s just such a classic watch, and for a woman I think this looks so smart. The size of the case (39 mm and extra-thin) is perfect for a woman, but still looks masculine, so it brings a bit of edge, and it showcases their beautiful movement. My only bugbear is I wish it was in stainless steel and not in platinum, as I think their steel watches really highlight their savoir-faire in terms of finishing (i.e: you don’t need to use a precious metal to make a watch special, the know how in terms of finishing is what really adds value to the steel pieces).
MB&F HM3 Megawind – $92,000
Presented in 2013, the HM3 Megawind is a special take on one of MB&F’s oddest machines. It drops the date window of the original HM3 to make more room for Stepan Sarpaneva’s ridiculously cool battle-axe-shaped winding rotor. Here’s what we thought of the watch when it first came out.
Fiona’s Verdict: The design of this watch is completely unconventional and that’s why I like it. I don’t get geeky about mechanics, but Max’s watches are like little sculptures, and that’s something I really love. They make you think differently about what a watch can and should look like, and so I would have to have one of their pieces. The HM3 Megawind is my favorite, and it would have to be the white gold with the sky-blue rotor for me. Easy to tell the time, no crazy complications, but a design that highlights how crazy and cool mechanical watches can be if you think a little out of the box – perfect for any woman who likes design and beautiful objects!