The holidays are quickly approaching and you may be starting your search for the perfect luxury watch as a gift. To make life easier for you, we’ve produced two short buying guides (one for men, one for women) to help your luxury watch purchase run smoothly. We’ve tried to be sympathetic to your bank balance, so these are vaguely realistic suggestions of what you should be spending on this holiday season (forgive us for the last entry on the list…).
In this entry, we’re going to focus on luxury watches for women (one of my favorite topics). We’ve tried to categorize the suggestions into character types. Hopefully you’ll know a female fan of high-end horology that fits into one of our groupings.
A watch for… An intellectual
Clean lines, superlative finishing, a time-only display… The Sjöö Sandström Royal Capital in rose gold is basically everything a woman with a lot going on in her head needs from a watch. It performs its function superbly, while retaining an elegance that is hard to match. If you want an example on how watchmaking is becoming ever more unisex, check out the follow-up article to this piece (spoiler alert!). Coming in at around $20,600, this Swedish superstar is not cheap, but it justifies its price tag by doing what it does as well as any mechanical watch I’ve yet encountered for the price.
A watch for… A professional
For a woman in a position of professional responsibility, power is key. So is the ability to smash conventions and do things your own way. If the woman you’re buying for fits this bill, the gloves are off. Why not go for a watch that might normally be considered for a man? The blue-dialed Rolex Milgauss speaks on solidity, power, and an eye for talent. A curveball selection, but I’ve seen it pulled off by women with aplomb. Retailing for around $7,900, the Milgauss is an investment as well as a joy.
A watch for… A minimalist
If you want a lot of bang for your buck, NOMOS Glashütte is one of watchmaking’s leading lights. Thanks to their smaller sizes, the whole range is suitable for a woman. Try the rose gold Lux Ermine: Pure class at $19,500. It might look cute and simple, but don’t underestimate this in-house movement’s oomph! The DUW 2001 crams an impressive 84-hour power reserve into the tonneau-shaped case.
A watch for… A trendsetter
Can you get more stylish than a Parmigiani? I think it’s pretty hard to knock those gorgeous teardrop lugs. It’s also difficult to criticize the movement that powers the Tonda range. It’s slim, efficient, and garnished with an eccentric, platinum oscillating weight. The Tonda collection is full of standout pieces, but I like the Parmigiani 1950 Tonda Abyss Meteorite for the way the light plays on the dial. At $19,500, it’s never been a better time to buy a galvanoplastized piece of space.
A watch for… The woman that has everything
This one is stratospherically expensive in comparison to the other suggestions on the list, but if the woman in your life truly does have everything, nothing but the best is going to cut it! Take a deep breath and dive into the world of Van Cleef & Arples. A master jeweler and watchmaker, their animated Pont des Amoureux is an exquisite example of the two crafts colliding in a moment of majesty. It will set you back $198,000, but the joy of its operation will last a lifetime.
Read on to part 2 – luxury watches for men
About the Author: Fell Jensen is a Swiss-trained watchmaker working as an industry analyst.