Women's timepieces have traditionally been dainty and discreet. It was exciting, therefore, to see that the brands below not only challenged this dated idea at Watches and Wonders 2023 but did so while highlighting and incorporating their history and iconic brand motifs to reach new horological heights.
The New Baignoire Watch by Cartier
It's the watch you've seen plastered on every screen and ad poster. It is by far one of the most famous watches to come out of Watches and Wonders 2023. The Cartier New Baignoire watch continues to honour the traditional form of the Baignoire dial but with a welcome dose of freshness and youthfulness. This year, the following updates were made: the classic Roman numeral dial of the watch is crowned with a larger gold frame, which then seamlessly melds into a perfect gold bangle that sits close to the wrist. Available in yellow gold, rose gold and full diamond pavé, this updated Baignoire design is minimalist chic at its finest. Celebrating the purity of the line, it is delicate whilst making a bold fashion statement.
The Boyfriend Cyberdata Watch by Chanel
The new Chanel Boyfriend model is always a must-see watch at Watches and Wonders. This year it brought a particularly alluring design edge. Inspired by one of Gabrielle Chanel's greatest sources of inspiration, the cosmos, the watch has a futuristic aesthetic. The black-lacquered dial features a textured circuit board pattern reminiscent of a spacecraft set with 54 brilliant-cut diamonds. This play on black and white tones is further seen on the steel crown of the watch, which is set with a cabochon black spinel. The quilted patent leather bracelet with streaked silver colouring gives the pieces a clean, modern finish.
Happy Sport Watch – 25 mm by Chopard
This watch always brings a smile to our faces. The Happy Sports watch is one of Chopard's signature watch designs, with its five dancing diamonds moving playfully around the dial. This year Chopard has reimagined this timepiece with a new dial size. The model is now available in a 25 mm diameter case in Lucent Steel (Chopard's exclusive alloy made of 80% recycled materials) or ethical gold. This new size is available in various designs. Fresh colourways include a pearly silvery grey, blue, pink and green with a chromatic textured finish with a new double tour leather bracelet in dark blue now available. This model is smaller but packs an even larger dose of Joie de Vivre than its predecessors.
The Slim D’Hermès Cheval de Légende
The equestrian theme is one of the most prominent symbols throughout Hermes' creations. It was first seen in the eponymous scarf created in 2010 by artist Benoit Pierre Emery, which featured a celestial gallop in gold dots on silk. Five years later, the Hermes horological team used this emblem in their first Slim D'Hermès watch, which displayed the outline of a galloping horse on its dial. This year's remodel of the Slim D'Hermès Cheval de Légende also featured a horse as its focal point, however, in an immaterial silhouette. The new timepiece is available in two design colourways, gold and blue. The former was created using lasers to carve small cavities in a gold surface which was then polished by hand. Next, 1,687 rose gold beads were placed in each cavity before being heated in an oven to set the enamel. The blue colourway is made of dark blue enamel beads using the same process. Both dials are housed in a round white gold case measuring 39.5 mm in diameter on a Chantilly-coloured matt alligator or sapphire-blue polished alligator strap.
The Perlée Collection by Van Cleef & Arpels
Lastly, we fell in love with the Perlée watches by Van Cleef & Arpels. Here, the Maison highlights its signature Perlée aesthetic through five new timepiece variations. These contemporary dials are encapsulated by a circle of pearl-like rose gold beads that act as the border to each dial. Furthermore, they are available on a jewellery bracelet created from fully articulated golden beads, echoing the beaded case of each dial. Available in rose gold guilloché or mother-of-pearl, these watches take elements of the Van Cleef & Arpels signature Perlé jewellery pieces, showcasing the brand's savoir-faire in both jewellery-making as well as watchmaking.
These five ladies' timepieces perfectly reflect the design history and artistic savoir-faire of each Maison whilst delivering an updated modern interpretation. Fresh, different and intriguing, they are beautiful pieces that will continue the grand heritage of these impressive brands whilst bringing in a slew of youthful clients.