Her Time: 5 Ladies’ Watch Collections from 5 Luxury Brands

Cartier Les Heures Fabuleuses - PHOENIXWe’ve covered dozens of new watch releases from the watch fairs here at WatchTime.com, as well as in our print edition. The vast majority of these have been targeted squarely at the male consumer. But in the past years several brands have also launched entirely new collections aimed at the ladies market, some with in-house movements, high jewelry, or both. Here are five of them.

Cartier, which wowed the haute horlogerie aficionados at SIHH a while ago with its Heures Mystérieuses watch for men, also had a treat for haute joallerie fans, with the Les Heures Fabuleuses collection for ladies, a set of 41 jeweled timepieces (including 23 unique pieces), many with animal themes, that are designed to double as both watches and as something else — pendant, brooch, tiara, pocketwatch, et cetera. They are still available at Cartier stores and surely make for an attractive gift.

Cartier Les Heures Fabuleuses  - FROG
The Frog watch (limited to 40 pieces) combines gold, diamonds, sapphires, moonstones and emeralds to convey an image of a hanging garden of lotus flowers with a frog perched atop it; the relief scene detaches as a brooch, revealing a miniature painted dial underneath.
Cartier Les Heures Fabuleuses - PANTHER
The Panthère divine de Cartier watch features a panther — Cartier’s iconic animal — in white gold with brilliant-cut diamonds and black enamel “spots.”
Cartier Les Heures Fabuleuses - PHOENIX
The winged figure on the dial of the Envoi d’Un Phoenix watch, coated with brilliant-cut diamonds, is also the rotor, winding the movement as it swings around the mother-of-pearl dial.

From German watch brand Glashuette Original comes the Pavonina collection, with cushion-shaped cases inspired by those of 1920s-era watches and equipped with patent-pending flexible lugs for a snug fit against the wrist. Pavonina watches have 31 x 31-mm cases in either stainless steel, 18k rose gold or bi-color steel and rose gold, all with shiny, mirrored finishes. The dials, including several in motther-of-pearl, are all crafted at Glashütte Original’s manufacture in the German state of Saxony and feature guilloché finishing in the center, filligreed hands in steel or gold, and a date window at 6 o’clock. The movements are quartz (the brand’s own Calibre 03-01) and offer three times the standard protection against magnetism as well as decorations like classical Glashütte striping.

Glashuette Original Pavonina green satin strap
A two-tone Pavonina with petrol green satin strap
Glashuette Original Pavonina diamonds rose gold
The collection’s highlight is a model with rose-gold case and a stylized “peacock’s tail” of 98 hand-set diamonds on the dial, along with an open circle of 114 diamonds along the case flanks.

When Jaquet Droz introduced its new Lady 8 collection at Baselworld, many female collectors were pleased: the collection is a feminine version of the brand’s popular Grande Seconde men’s watch that incorporates that model’s omnipresent “figure eight” aesthetic. Here the “8” motif is not only evident in the arrangement of elements on the dial but in the shape of the case itself. The bezel is intertwined with a gem-set “ribbon” that curls around a pearl or precious stone at the summit of the “8.” The strap — in satin or alligator leather — attaches neatly to the case, which is available in gem-set white or red gold or stainless steel. The folding clasps are also designed in a figure eight motif. The watches all have Jaquet Droz automatic mechanical movements.

Jaquet Droz Lady 8 - black
Jaquet Droz Lady 8 with stainless steel case, 50 diamonds, and aventurine dial and cabochon
Jaquet Droz Lady 8 - brown
Jaquet Droz Lady 8 with rose-gold case, set with brown garnets, with brown pearl and brown garnet cabochon

Ulysee Nardin’s Jade watch — which feature UN’s first in-house caliber designed specially for women’s watches — came about as the result of a personal request. Chai Schnyder, current chairwoman of Ulysse Nardin and widow of the company’s late CEO and president Rolf Schnyder, had asked her husband 11 years ago to create a wristwatch that she could operate without damaging her manicure — i.e., one that did not require pushing and pulling of a crown to set and adjust the time. The result was UN Caliber 310, which uses a pusher at 4 o’clock to change the function of the crown without the need to pull it out: position 1 to wind the watch, position 2 to set the date forward and backward, and position 3 to set the time on the hands. The watch is designed as the flagship for a new ladies’ line and features a rose-gold or white-gold case with an ornate bezel bedecked with emeralds and diamonds in a snow setting. Flanking the bezel are lugs made of the model’s namesake jade. The dial is mother-of-pearl; the new movement is self-winding and has a power reserve around 48 hours.

Ulysse Nardin Jade ladies watch
Ulysse Nardin Jade (above) and its movement, manufacture Caliber UN-310 (below)

Ulysse Nardin Jade Caliber

On the sportier side of the spectrum, Zenith a while ago launched a ladies’ extension of one of its most decidedly masculine families, the Type 20 Aeronef Pilot watch. The Montre D’Aeronef Type 20 “40 MM Lady,” like its predecessors, is inspired by a vintage aviator watch made by Zenith in the 1930s and ’40s and used by the French air force. The 40-mm case has a ratcheted crown typical of early pilots’ watches and an engraved “Zenith Flying Instruments” logo on the caseback. The watch is available in either full-set versions, in white or rose gold, with dial, bezel and lugs all adorned with diamonds (491 in all); or in a more discreet version, in rose gold or steel, in which only the bezel is diamond-set. Both watches have big, Arabic numerals inspired by the historical timepiece and are powered by Zenith’s automatic Elite 681 caliber.

Zenith Pilot Lady - steel
Zenith Pilot Montre D’Aeronef Type 20 40 mm Lady” with diamond-set bezel and silvered dial (above) and with full-set dial, bezel and lugs (below).
Zenith Pilot Lady Full-Set Pair


What are your watch gift ideas for the ladies in your lives? What is the best gift watch for a lady? Let us know in the comments section below! We look forward to reading your feedback.

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