My earliest memory as an editor taking her first steps into the horological world many years ago was how bewildering everything was: tourbillons, minute repeaters, perpetual calendars, escapements, balance wheels, power reserves … it was almost like learning a new foreign language! Until then, my first considerations of what a good watch should be was that it should tell the time, ideally accurately, whether it looked “nice”, and its price point. Many workshops and press viewings later, I’ve learned to appreciate the intricate craftsmanship and the huge amount of science that goes into each timepiece – and, yes, also some of the prices being asked for them! Navigating the different watch functions, especially when you’re deciding on a first investment, can be quite daunting. My own baseline is not to consider quartz movements unless it is a fun, playful watch or it is fully paved with precious gems and will double up as a jewellery piece where time will not be of the essence. On Her Watch: the 6 biggest decisions when choosing a new timepiece So, quartz aside, what should you consider when investing in a timepiece? Would a simple day date mechanical watch (which shows time, day and date with an automatic winding movement) suffice or do you need to make a sophisticated point with a flying tourbillon or a minute repeater? How complicated should your complicated watch be? The apex of traditional watchmaking is arguably the minute repeater, but unless you have a few million dollars lying around and also need chiming bells to remind you of the passing of time, a minute repeater is probably only for diehard watch aficionados. We’ve picked five of the more popular complications that a stylish woman can consider. 1. Tourbillon For something stylish and that declares to the world that this woman knows her timepieces, the tourbillon would be my first choice. Without going into the technicalities of bridges , escapements and balance wheels, the tourbillon is a mechanism first invented by Abraham Louis Breguet in the late 1700s to minimise fluctuations in timekeeping for pocket watches caused by gravity when the watches remained in similar positions constantly – in this case, vertically all the time in the pocket. It will always be a thrill to see the beating heart of your timepiece on the dial of your watch While that need has diminished with wristwatches, it hasn’t stopped watchmakers from elevating the tourbillon into double, triple or flying tourbillons. Will you tell time markedly better with a tourbillon? Perhaps not, but it is still a sign of horological mastery and it will always be a thrill to see the beating heart of your timepiece on the dial of your watch. Generally, most tourbillons are aimed at the male market, being a little bigger in size because of the complicated movement. Franck Muller’s latest Vanguard Lady Tourbillon Gravity is one of the smallest tourbillons on the market and the tonneau shape is great for slimmer ladies’ wrists. Vacheron Constantin’s Overseas Skeleton Tourbillon is a little more masculine in design, but makes up for it with the lightness of the titanium casing and parts. But this year’s Chanel J12 Diamond Tourbillon Calibre 5 is one that offers the best of both worlds. At only 38mm, it is small enough for smaller wrists and yet big enough to offer a sporty feel; the diamond-set bezel and hands, as well as a 0.15 carat brilliant cut diamond on the tourbillon cage, gives it a subtle feminine touch. Chanel’s J12 collection has become quite a cult favourite for its understated ceramic timepieces, but it’s not just the aesthetics – the Calibre 5 is also the first flying tourbillon produced in house by Chanel. Inside Chanel’s Scotland-inspired finale for Paris Fashion Week 2022 2. World time World time watches will no doubt be enjoying a revival as travel starts to take off again after two years of pandemic lockdowns. World time is a practical complication to have if you’re a frequent traveller, with timepieces offering everything from the basic dual time zones to all 24 time zones. If you need to keep tabs on different businesses around the world, you might want to take a look at the latest Patek Philippe Ref 7150, a beautiful reinterpretation of its 2011 groundbreaking ladies timepiece, this time in olive green and with a gem-set bezel. However, for the leisure traveller, just a simple dual time zone such as Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso Duetto Medium might suffice. The great thing about the Reverso is that the second time zone is hidden on the reverse face and doesn’t clutter up the main dial. 3. Perpetual calendar Another popular watch complication is the perpetual calendar, which takes away the need for you to adjust the date on your watch manually at the end of each month, or for leap years – until the year 2100 at least. It’s not a major effort to adjust the date once a month for just one watch, of course, but if you’re thinking of building up a collection, it might get a bit tedious. A correctly set perpetual calendar will continue to tell the correct time and date as long as the movement keeps running. IWC’s Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 3750 is a nice mid-sized elegant option. Vacheron Constantin’s new Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin is another worthy consideration in this category: feminine and elegant, with easy to read calendar indications. STYLE Edit: Chanel celebrates Bijoux de Diamants with the Allure Céleste 4. Moonphase Many perpetual calendars usually include a moonphase indicator, given the correlation between the moon and calendars. A moonphase watch essentially tracks the waxing and waning of the moon, by displaying the sunlit portion of the moon as observed from Earth during each 29.5-day lunar month. On its own, the moonphase probably is the least practical of complications, but it touches on the romantic and offers a bit of whimsy, and hence remains a popular choice. There have been some stunning timepieces such as A. Lange & Sohne’s Little Lange 1 that comes with a stunning aventurine dial and Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Rendez-Vous Dazzling Moon Lazura. 5. Chronograph If the moonphase is the least practical, the chronograph is probably the opposite. Besides simply telling time, you can use the timepiece as a stopwatch, or to measure time, speed and distance. You can easily recognise a chronograph with its two additional push buttons, one above and the other below the crown, and also the three sub-dials on the watch face. Rolex and Omega probably are the most commonly known chronograph watchmakers with the Daytona and the Speedmaster, respectively. However, more fashionable and chic options have come from brands such as Chanel, with the J12 Chronograph in white ceramic. At 41mm, the ceramic and steel timepiece is a great choice for the active woman. Chanel unveils the spring/summer 2022 couture show by Virginie Viard To conclude … At the end of the day, your choice of complications will be largely influenced by your appreciation of the horological virtuosity, the aesthetics and, not least, how much money you are willing to invest in a timepiece. The most complicated pieces may not be the most practical, but your pleasure will be in knowing that you are wearing something of infinite workmanship and artistry. Want more stories like this? Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .