Photographer: Sarah Anne Ward/Bloomberg Business
Photographer: Sarah Anne Ward/Bloomberg Business

Eight Women's Watches That Don't Suck

Why are so many women's watches sparkly, delicate, and fashiony? Invest in one of these classics, and you'll retire before it does. By Stephen Pulvirent | Photographs by Sarah Anne Ward/Bloomberg Business
Uniform Wares C35
Uniform Wares C35
The rose-gold coating has a softer color than polished 18-karat gold, and it pairs nicely with the matte gray dial. Uniform Wares also makes the watch with dozens of straps—in cordovan, rubber, or even stingray—to personalize. $610
Photographer: Sarah Anne Ward/Bloomberg Business
Tudor Glamour
Tudor Glamour
With a sporty black dial balanced out by lightweight hands, it doesn't look like anything offered by Rolex, Tudor’s sister brand. The automatic movement inside is just as robust, though, making this a great choice for daily wear. $2,250
Photographer: Sarah Anne Ward/Bloomberg Business
IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic
IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic
A departure from the brand’s usual "man's man" aesthetic—no carbon fiber or fighter jet references here—the Portofino Midsize is only 9mm thick. The red-gold case adds some heft, and the 12 tiny diamonds marking each hour lend a bit of sparkle without going overboard. $14,800
Photographer: Sarah Anne Ward/Bloomberg Business
Montblanc Star Classique Automatic
Montblanc Star Classique Automatic
Two-tone watches—mixing different metals in one piece—were last popular in the late '80s, but the best new versions don’t look like they belong in Working Girl. This steel-and-yellow-gold combination is nice for daytime, when the star on the face keeps it from being too stuffy. $5,900
Photographer: Sarah Anne Ward/Bloomberg Business
Cartier Tank Américaine
Cartier Tank Américaine
There are dozens of variations on the rectangular Tank watch. The Américaine is longer and slimmer than most, with a slightly curved back. Introduced in 1989, it was named for the New England prep look—as imagined from Paris—and, in white gold, it still looks fresh. $11,300
Photographer: Sarah Anne Ward/Bloomberg Business
Zenith Captain Ultra Thin Moonphase
Zenith Captain Ultra Thin Moonphase
The patterned dial, slim Roman numerals, and inky blue moon-phase indicator give it a romantic look, inspired by vintage dress watches. The case back is made from clear sapphire crystal, so you can admire the beveled edges and circular grain of the -automatic movement inside as it runs. $5,300
Photographer: Sarah Anne Ward/Bloomberg Business
Shinola Runwell
Shinola Runwell
A 36mm version of a workman’s style, it has basic numbers and luminous hands that make it easy to read at this smaller size. Like all Shinolas, it’s assembled by hand in Detroit, where the triple-wrap leather strap is hand-cut from American leather. $575
Photographer: Sarah Anne Ward/Bloomberg Business
Nomos Glashütte Tetra
Nomos Glashütte Tetra
The Tetra features the same clean lines, Bauhaus-inspired numerals, and simple layout found on other Nomos watches, but it comes in blue, rose, mint, and other playful colors. Nomos, founded in 1990 in Germany, is the rare small company that develops its -technology in-house; it’s serious watchmakingthat doesn’t take itself too seriously. $2,320
Photographer: Sarah Anne Ward/Bloomberg Business
What size should I buy?
What size should I buy?
Any face smaller than 33mm veers into dainty territory, and if you go over 40mm, it’ll look like you borrowed it from your husband. Women—and men, too—can’t go wrong with something in the 36mm to 38mm range.
Photographer: Sarah Anne Ward/Bloomberg Business