Source: Vacheron
Watches

14 New Watches for Women that Will Be Worth the Splurge

The oversized watch trend is dying fast, and the traditional petite ladies timepiece is rapidly becoming the new game in horology for 2016.

Between Baselworld and SIHH in 2016 there weren’t a ton of surprises to speak of. There were new colors of dials and bezels, and the usual much-hyped tweaks on existing models from brands like Zenith, Omega, and Rolex. Not many watches wowed (though there were some).

But in the background, behind these flashy novelties, a clear trend emerged: After years of having revolved around oversized “boyfriend watches,” the women’s watch market witnessed a resurgence of a proper ladies’ watch—tasteful, smaller timepieces with a sense of maturity.

2016 saw additions to the segment from all over the spectrum, including brands that seldom if ever dabble in women's horology. Here are some of our favorites.

(Corrects manufacturer of Bremont watch movement.)

(Corrects manufacturer of Bremont watch movement.)
  1. Parmigiani Tonda Metropolitaine Selene ($12,300)
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    Parmigiani Tonda Metropolitaine Selene ($12,300)

    Parmigiani’s watches are always impressive, so there was little surprise this year when they knocked this one out of the park. An in-house moonphase complication, rose gold applied indices, and a lovely blue mother-of-pearl lace detail laid over a textured blue dial give this elegant steel watch plenty of detail without being loud or obnoxious. It’s a little pricey for steel, but with Parmigiani it’s all about the details.

    Source: Parmigiani

  2. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Quartz ($37,800)
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    Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Quartz ($37,800)

    The Royal Oak is one of the most iconic watches in the market, right alongside the Rolex Submariner and IWC Big Pilot. Smaller versions have existed in the past, but this 33mm is the most dainty yet. The brand has gone back to traditional yellow gold, and the bezel is set with 40 brilliant-cut diamonds, giving this Royal Oak an extra-feminine feel.

    Source: Audemars Piguet

  3. Piaget Limelight Stella, ($20,500)
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    Piaget Limelight Stella, ($20,500)

    Piaget has never been one to shy away from ladies’ watches, but in 2016 the brand seriously upped their game. This beautifully executed moonphase complication on the new Limelight Stella makes the watch the most complicated one with an in-house movement that Piaget has ever specifically made for women.

    Source: Piaget

  4. Bremont Solo 32 ($4,095)
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    Bremont Solo 32 ($4,095)

    Prior to the launch of the Solo 32 at Basel this year there was no such thing as a ladies Bremont, and for a freshman effort they hit the nail square on the head. Though scaled down by a significant amount, all of the key Bremont details are there, like their trademark triptik case. The automatic movement, although not manufactured in-house, is heavily modified, rigorously tested, and chronometer-certified.

    Source: Bremont

  5. Breitling Galactic 29 ($5,210)
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    Breitling Galactic 29 ($5,210)

    The Galactic came as a bit of a surprise from Breitling, especially considering that the brand loves to build large mens watches—typically in excess of 45mm in diameter. This lovely, simple ladies' timepieces competes in the same bracket as the Bremont mentioned above; it’s a clean and well executed (and chronometer certified) timepiece that’s devoid of diamonds or other frilly adornment.

     

    Source: Breitling

  6. Chopard Happy Diamonds
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    Chopard Happy Diamonds

    It’s been 40 years since Chopard’s Happy Diamonds watch first launched, and with all the vintage reissue love floating around the industry this one just made sense. It won’t be for everyone, but the ladies that live by the line "diamonds are a girl’s best friend" are sure to be impressed.

    Source: Chopard

  7. Hamilton Jazzmaster Open Heart Lady ($1,145)
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    Hamilton Jazzmaster Open Heart Lady ($1,145)

    While most of these selections will put a healthy dent in your bank account, this budget-friendly offering from Hamilton is still worthy of a spot on this list. Not only is its lotus flower dial a joy to look at, but the watch also uses Hamilton’s great new H-10 automatic movement with an 80-hour power reserve.

    Source: Hamilton

  8. Hublot Classic Fusion King Gold 38 Bracelet ($31,100)
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    Hublot Classic Fusion King Gold 38 Bracelet ($31,100)

    Some would argue that the big hit from Hublot in the ladies department was the Big Bang Tutti Frutti Linen collection, however those big and bold colors remain an acquired taste for some. Thankfully Hublot knows that not all watches need to scream for attention, and the new King Gold Bracelet model is arguably one of the most tasteful and well-executed ladies’ timepieces we’ve seen to date.

    Source: Hublot

  9. Zenith Elite Lady Moonphase ($13,000)
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    Zenith Elite Lady Moonphase ($13,000)

    The Elite Lady Moonphase isn’t entirely new, though in recent years it was styled in a bit of a unisex fashion. 2016’s release comes with a lovely subtle grey mother-of-pearl dial, and is available in either stainless steel (from $7,780) or a diamond-set 18k rose gold 36mm case.

    Source: Zenith

  10. Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Louboutin
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    Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Louboutin

    As a part of the launch of Atelier Reverso—Jaeger LeCoultre’s impressive new program that allows buyers to customize their Reverso with different dials, strap combinations, and engravings—the brand brought in cobbler Christian Louboutin to design a selection of straps and dials that are as bold and impressive as one would expect from the legendary icon of beautiful access

    Source: Jaeger-LeCoultre

  11. Ralph Lauren RL888 Collection ($19,600)
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    Ralph Lauren RL888 Collection ($19,600)

    Much like the RL867 was named after Ralph Lauren’s flagship boutique on Madison Avenue, their recently-launched RL888 pays tribute to their ladies’ flagship store at 888 Madison. The elegant round case, white lacquered dial and Roman numerals give the piece a bit of a Cartier-esque vibe, as does the rose-cut amethyst in the crown of the top-tier 18k rose gold version.

    Source: Ralph Lauren

  12. Mondaine Evo Petite ($250)
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    Mondaine Evo Petite ($250)

    Scaling way down in size, Mondaine’s shot at the ladies segment comes in at a mere 26mm case diameter, yet the traditional railway clock dial works well even when scaled down. Powered by a simple and reliable Swiss quartz Ronda movement, this is the most affordable option on this list, making it the perfect “gateway watch” for that special someone in your life.

    Source: Mondaine

  13. Vacheron Constantin Overseas Small Model ($24,900)
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    Vacheron Constantin Overseas Small Model ($24,900)

    The entire Vacheron Constantin Overseas line got a proper overhaul this year, including the compact ladies variant. Much like its bigger brother, the ladies models also include Vacheron’s new and very clever quick-change strap system—allowing owners to swap between leather, rubber, and metal bracelets in a snap—as well as their new in-house 5300 caliber automatic movement.

    Source: Vacheron Constantin

  14. Girard Perregaux Cats-Eye Retrograde
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    Girard Perregaux Cats-Eye Retrograde

    Girard Perregaux launched a number of ladies models in 2016, including this slightly peculiar Cats-Eye Retrograde model. While its diamond-set case and mother-of-pearl dial are fairly similar to a number of the other watches that made the cut, it’s the use of a retrograde minute and hour indication that makes this GP stand out from the pack.

    Source: Girard-Perregaux