Haute Horlogerie: It’s Not Just for the Boys

Women appreciate the originality, quality and sartorial style provided by a fine piece of clothing. Why should we settle for anything less when adorning our wrists with a timepiece?

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The development of the quartz movement in the 1970’s nearly killed off the Swiss watch industry. In the 1980’s, however, fine mechanical timepieces rose like a Phoenix from the ashes. The brands blossomed with creativity, presenting the world with gorgeous mechanical marvels, kinetic sculpture that told time. Except they were primarily made for men.

Fine Watches for Women

Certainly, women were offered some pretty pieces, but these watches still contained quartz movements. No doubt the timepieces were eye-catching, but we value more than just a pretty face. Much of the value and beauty of luxury timepieces comes from the architecture and decoration of the mechanical movement.

Top Horology Houses

At the end of last year Patek Philippe, one of the top horology houses, designed and constructed their first in-house chronograph movement. Most significantly, they debuted it in a watch specifically for women. Obviously the company realizes that the modern woman wants a serious timepiece, and out of mannered deference we got to go first on this one.

Parmigiani Fleurier is a small, independent company that offers stylish timepieces for the discerning lady. What I like is that their women’s models are conceived specifically for us and aren’t just the men’s lines masquerading in drag. From time-only renditions to the exquisitely complicated and elegant perpetual calendar, and including the dazzle of the tourbillon, Parmigiani creates an array of stunning watches in different case shapes and colors.

With the svelte and sexy Cat’s Eye among their collection, Girard-Perregaux also caters to the sophisticated woman with an appreciation for mechanics. The allure of this piece is hard to resist.

Jaw Dropping Piaget

Piaget, though probably best recognized for their jaw-dropping jewelry, is also a true movement manufacturer and respected creator of haute horlogerie pieces. You can get the same sparkly effect on your wrist or a more subdued version when black-tied isn’t called for.

And not to be forgotten is complications master Audemars Piguet. They let us in on the iconic Royal Oak Offshore with a sporty version of our own. Dressed up in just enough diamonds to be classy and a host of colors to complement any outfit, the Lady ROO can sit pretty on my wrist any day.

There are so many more to discuss and I’m excited to share the dynamic offerings with you—along with my opinions about value and style. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts. I appreciate a stirring debate and have on more than one occasion been known to change my mind.

Which Style Suits You?

Whether classic and serious or avant-garde and playful, a range of options and styles await you. You just need to determine which one suits your particular occasion and lifestyle. And that is the hardest part—choosing just one.

by Meehna Goldsmith, Haute Timepiece Expert