It seems good things really do come in small packages. Brands are continuing to tap into the smaller dials trend this year with several new launches allowing ladies to show off the classic elegance of a petite timepiece.
While these quartz timepieces may be snubbed by watch aficionados, who prefer to let the craftsmanship of their mechanical movements speak for their timepiece, there is a growing market for cocktail-sized smaller watches which are embraced for their visual appeal as a beautiful accessory.
One brand which has not shied away from smaller watches in recent years is luxury maison Dior. The coveted La D de Dior collection was updated with a new addition this year, the La D de Dior Satine. Drawing inspiration from fabric ribbons, creative director of the brand’s fine jewellery collection Victoire de Castellane chose to incorporate a Milanese mesh strap as the bracelet.
The new collection comes in two sizes: the 19mm La Mini D de Dior Satine or the 25mm D de Dior Satine. The petite versions are in steel, featuring grey, pink or white mother-of-pearl dials.
While the Satine collection celebrates classic elegance and timeless beauty, the La D de Dior Granville, unveiled in spring 2016, offers a 19mm timepiece for those who appreciate a kaleidoscope of colours. Named after the birthplace and childhood home of Christian Dior, the collection is inspired by the colourful gardens surrounding Dior’s mansion. The vibrant environment is translated into the timepieces through use of colourful stones and a striking match-up of colours. For example, in one variation, a white gold case meets an emerald bedazzled bezel, a crown set with brilliant-cut diamonds and a turquoise dial. The petite editions have bigger sisters ranging up to 38mm.
Another brand to tap into the trend is Chanel, which launched its latest rendition of its infamous J12 collection this year with the J12.XS. “XS” refers to its size – at 19mm, it measures half the diameter of the original J12 launched in 2000 – and is a play on the word “excess”.
Other characteristics remain largely the same, including the use of ceramic and the white and black hues.
As a luxury masion which understands customer needs, it should come as no surprise that the brand appreciates versatility. The watch can be worn alone with its patent leather strap, or can be paired with a calfskin cuff which gives the petite watch a somewhat excessively large accessory, but overall a new slice of life.
Other variations and accessories to the timepiece include it being attached to a wrist of sleek lambskin glove – no doubt a nod to Karl Lagerfeld who is rarely seen without gloves – or hiding in the face of an unassuming ring.
Italian maison Bulgari launched the Piccola Catene collection. Inspired by jewellery, the 22mm timepieces feature a one-twirl gold gourmette bracelet, which adds layers of fluidity and femininity thanks to its plaited design. The bracelet is a nod to the brand’s goldsmithing expertise, which is further highlighted by the partially or fully diamond-set links and clasps on the bracelet.
There are four variations: two crafted in 18ct pink gold and two crafted in 18ct white gold. Dials are either crafted from black lacquer, mother of pearl or are fully pavéd.