This year’s ladies’ watches offered a lot more than just sparkle and shine.
From complications that nod to the vast and beautiful universe to numerous feminine interpretations of the tourbillon, here is a round-up of our favourite ladies’ timepieces of 2018.
Richard Mille RM 71-01
Richard Mille charmed the ladies this year when it launched its first automatic tourbillon in its women’s timepiece, the RM 71-01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman.
There are 10 different variations of the watch, including white-gold or red-gold cases, and dials with mother-of-pearl, onyx and diamonds.
Designed by Cecile Guenat, the ladies’ collection director at Richard Mille, the pieces are heavily inspired by art deco and elements of tribal art.
The timepiece is meant to be seen and worn like a modern talisman for today’s modern woman.
It is driven by the brand’s eighth in-house movement, the calibre CRMT1, which offers 50 hours of power reserve.
Patek Philippe Twenty~4 Automatic Ref. 7300
The esteemed Swiss watchmaker breathed new life into its signature Twenty~4 collection this year with a new novelty that featured two firsts: a mechanical calibre for the line and a new case shape.
Its Twenty~4 Automatic Ref. 7300 features a circular 36-millimetre (1.4-inch) case, and is driven by the self-winding mechanical movement 324 S C.
Previously, timepieces from the collection featured rectangular cases and were driven by a quartz movement.
Five versions of the newly launched novelty are available in a combination of blue, grey, chocolate and silvery dials.
The silvery dial is perhaps the most interesting choice as it features a horizontal and vertical satin finish evocative of Shantung silk.
Montblanc Boheme Exo Tourbillon Slim Limited Editions 28
This new 38-millimetre timepiece from Montblanc comes in two versions: a red-gold version with a beige mother-of-pearl dial, and a white-gold version with a slate-grey mother-of-pearl dial.
The dials come studded with 146 diamonds, while the bezel is set with 58 Top Wesselton diamonds and the crown is topped with the patented Montblanc diamond.
At six o’clock is the maison’s patented in-house Exo Tourbillon mechanism, which is the result of three years of research and development.
The timepiece runs on the manufacturer’s automatic calibre MB 29.24, which offers 48 hours of power reserve.
Only 28 of each of the timepieces have been created.
Harry Winston Ocean 20th Anniversary Biretrograde Automatic 36mm
The house of Harry Winston celebrates the 20th anniversary of its Ocean collection with a feminine watch that looks to the seas for inspiration.
The timepiece features diamonds and 97 stunning blue Paraiba tourmalines that evokes the colours of the Caribbean waters.
The 36-millimetre limited-edition timepiece comes equipped with the calibre HW3302, which provides 65 hours of power reserve.
Only 20 of the limited-edition timepieces have been created.
Breguet Reine de Naples 8908
This year the maison presented a new interpretation of its Reine de Naples 8908 model, which now comes in a red-gold case set with 128 diamonds.
A Tahitian mother-of-pearl partially decorates the dial.
The watch still honours the original design codes first used in the world’s first wristwatch, created by A.L. Breguet for the queen of Naples in the early 1800s.
A moon phase and a power reserve indicator can be found at 12 o’clock on the dial, while the offset hours and small seconds are located at 6 o’clock and 7 o’clock, respectively.
The timepiece runs on the calibre 357 and comes with 45 hours of power reserve.
Arpels’ Lady Planetarium
The original Midnight Planetarium combined the intricacies of watchmaking, with a fine jewel setting, which at 44 millimetres in size, was simultaneously an exciting discovery – and an immediate letdown – for women who enjoy both those things in a timepiece.
Perhaps this collective sigh of disappointment made their way into the ears of Van Cleef & Arpels’ design team, who this year, launched a ladies’ – and dare we say better – version of the Planetarium watch.
The timepiece features that same fascinating complication where discs set with gems, representing the different planets, move in unison with the actual rotation of the planets themselves.
Why better, we say? The Arpels Lady Planétarium’s case measures 38 millimetres and is paved entirely in diamonds.
Van Cleef & Arpels always goes the extra mile when it comes to creating that whimsy and romance, and here a shooting star is found across the 24-hour dial, which tells the time in place of hands.
When we think of Graff, we often think of huge diamonds and scintillating clusters of precious stones that come together to form necklaces, bracelets and even watches.
While Graff is undoubtedly one of the best when it comes to extraordinary, and blindingly bright designs (think the Hallucination watch), the house is also a master of subtle, yet creative lustre.
The house expanded its Spiral collection to include a series of timepieces that are feminine, dainty, yet unmissable.
The new 30 millimetre dials are dressed in everything from sleek satin straps to a full-pavé white and pink diamond bracelet in the Ribbon rendition.
If large stones are still your calling, then the Spiral Bangle watch, anchored with a solitaire white diamond, will satisfy with its fiery sparkle.
Panthere de Cartier
We often see enamel on dials, but Cartier thinks outside the box – that is the Panthere square dial – to create a piece that brings the deep, saturated hues of black enamel beyond the face of the watch.
The panther’s spots are found painted on the bracelets of the new Panthere de Cartier bracelet in pink or white gold, or with diamonds sparkling alongside the bracelet.
This abstract take on the house’s eternal feline muse, the panther, has got is purring with approval.
Jaquet Droz has taken a realist approach to its interpretation of the big cat – painting a lively portrait of a tiger in transparent enamel.
Tapping into a plique-à-jour gold wiring technique to create a frame for the transparent enamel, the Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara Tiger dial is then set between a sapphire face and case back, giving the timepiece complete transparency.
A self-winding movement with 38 hours of power reserve brings motion to the hands set on a mother-of-pearl subdial.
Chaumet Josephine Aigrette watch
Personalisation is the defining quality of ultimate luxury; Chaumet has opted to bring customisation to its timepieces this year with the new Josephine Aigrette watch.
One can put their personal spin on the teardrop-shaped timepiece by custom selecting from a rainbow of gems to set as the centre stone at the 12 o’clock position.
In all, 12 pear-shaped gemstones can be applied to this bespoke design, ranging from yellow diamonds, red or blue sapphires to different shades of green by way of tsavorites and emeralds.
Chaumet’s new Lee Garden boutique in Hong Kong is the only salon to provide this made-to-order service.