More often than not, women are pigeonholed into dainty, sparkly timepieces and quartz movements. Yes, they’re generally light, pretty, and reliable – and that’s great; but it’s the 21st century, and for some reason, we can’t get totally past these predictable, glitzy luxury women’s watches. And that’s a problem. Because for men and women alike, a timepiece is so much more than an accessory, it’s a reflection of your personality, it’s a cherished item, and it’s ritualistic.
Today, women want durability, modernity, and something that fits their lifestyle. What women want out of a watch isn’t complicated. But, it’s also not as simple as a diamond bezel, rose gold band, and shimmering pearl-finished face – not that there’s anything wrong with those types of women’s watches but we need more than just that.
Most importantly, women – like men – want variety when shopping for luxury watches. Beyond just dressy numbers or classic timepieces, women also buy divers, chronographs, pilot’s watches, 70’s-inspired sports watches, complicated watches, and so on. Thankfully, more watch brands are taking note and adding more size options across many collections. That way, women can choose if they want a smaller timepiece or a larger model. Choice is always a good thing, regardless of the gender of the buyer.
Let’s explore some top-tier timepieces built with the modern woman in mind.
Durability, Lifestyle Appropriate, Modernity
Obviously, a watch is an accessory that you can wear daily, but gemstone-clad timepieces forged out of soft precious metals may not necessarily withstand the daily wear and tear of work, life, gym, kids, walking the dog, and so on. While gold and diamond watches are certainly fantastic timepieces for women, a more durable timepiece – in steel or titanium for instance – may be a better fit for every day.
Even if every woman should be treated with the respect of a queen, that doesn’t mean she wants to dress like one all the time. So while diamonds, gemstones, and precious metals are always appreciated (particularly for fancier occasions,) they don’t necessarily always fit a woman’s lifestyle.
We all know what classic women’s watches look like. Chances are – she also already has one of these in her jewelry box. Today, women want something as modern as they are. For this reason, we’re all about the unisex trend – watches that walk the line of handsome masculinity and elegant femininity with great style and a substantial size.
Brands That Do Women’s Watches Right
In the luxury watch space, several brands get women’s watches right. This is to say, these brands offer plenty of variety in their women’s watch catalogs, remembering that the “female clientele” is not a monolith but a large group of diverse customers with different tastes, wrist sizes, expectations, and budgets.
Rolex is a great example of a luxury watchmaker that makes an impressive array of watches suited for women. There’s the Oyster Perpetual, Datejust, Pearlmaster, Yacht-Master, Explorer 36, Day-Date 36, not to mention ladies’ President watches. Furthermore, Rolex fits all these models with mechanical movements (only select Rolex Cellini women’s watches previously ran on quartz movements).
For too long, watch brands typically relied exclusively on quartz movements to power women’s watches. Again, though there’s nothing inherently wrong with quartz calibers (some people prefer them for their unbeatable accuracy and practicality), where’s the choice for women who want a mechanical movement? Rolex, that’s where.
Other Famous Luxury Watch Brands for Women
Cartier watches are also very popular among women, and for good reason too. Most of Cartier’s most famous watches, such as the Tank, Pasha, Santos, and Ballon Bleu aren’t classified as men’s or women’s watches. Rather, these are simply chic watches for anyone, available in a range of sizes, materials, features, and movements. From Jacqueline Kennedy and Princess Diana to Willow Smith and Sofia Coppola, some of the world’s most famous women have sported elegant Cartier watches.
Finally, we can’t forget Omega with its vast assortment of women’s watches, which can be found in the Speedmaster, Seamaster, Constellation, and De Ville collections. Yet again, variety wins out here with so many models to choose from, whether large or small, quartz or mechanical, sturdy steel or precious gold.
Rolex, Omega, and Cartier are the top three brands for women’s watches because these brands understand that one size (or style) does not fit all. And diamonds, while an option for sure, isn’t a requirement on their offerings for women. Cartier, Omega, and Rolex ladies’ timepieces come in all sorts of shapes, colors, sizes, and styles – just like the women who choose to wear them!
Watch Models for Women
From daily drivers to sporty watches to dressy numbers, here are some of our favorite watch models for women right now.
Daily Watches for Women
For women’s daily watches, we look to versatile steel or two-tone pieces that not only withstand the rigors of day-to-day but also look fantastic while doing it. Some examples include:
- Rolex Datejust
- Rolex Oyster Perpetual
- Omega Aqua Terra
- Omega Constellation
- Cartier Tank
- Cartier Ballon Bleu
- Tudor Black Bay 36/32
- Tudor Claire de Rose
- Breitling Chronomat 36
- Patek Philippe Twenty-4
- Longines Dolce Vita
- Oris Big Crown Pointer Date 36
The watches we’ve listed above are generally offered in a wide variety of metals and colors, which means potential buyers have a big list of styles to choose from to suit personal tastes.
Sporty Watches for Women
Sporty watches can of course be worn on a daily basis; however, some prefer to wear classics during the week and reserve casual and robust models for the weekends or vacation time. Some fantastic sporty watches for women include:
- Rolex Yacht-Master
- Rolex Explorer
- Omega Speedmaster 38
- Omega Planet Ocean 37.5
- Cartier Pasha
- Breitling Colt
- Breitling Superocean
- Tudor Royal
- Panerai Luminor Due
- Patek Philippe Nautilus
- Patek Philippe Aquanaut
- Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
- Audemars Piguet Royal Offshore
- Chanel J.12
- Oris Divers Sixty-Five 36
- Longines Spirit 37
- Longines Legend Diver 36
Dress Watches for Women
Women’s dress watches have never been in short supply – this is the area where many traditional watch houses seem to focus on the most. These are typically crafted from gold, often embellished with diamonds, and more often than not, are on the smaller side. Here are some of the most beloved ones:
- Rolex Ladies President
- Rolex Day-Date 36
- Rolex Pearlmaster
- Rolex Cellini
- Omega De Ville Tresor
- Omega Ladymatic
- Cartier Panthere
- Cartier Santos-Dumont
- Tudor Glamour
- Patek Philippe Calatrava
- Vacheron Constantin Patrimony 36
- Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso
- Grand Seiko Elegance
- Bulgari Serpenti
- Piaget Limelight
- Longines Flagsh
Women Want Variety (Naturally)
Even if brands like to sort their watches into men’s and women’s categories, that has never stopped female shoppers from looking at both sections to find their ideal watch. Yes, some women are perfectly happy buying men’s watches for themselves while others typically prefer the compact sizes of the women’s lineup.
In short, rather than telling buyers which watch models are for women and which are for men, watch brands that simply offer more variety across all their collections will likely gain the attention of today’s female watch buyers. After all, a woman’s watch is simply any watch worn by a woman.