Valentine's Day can be a brutal shopping experience and sometimes us guys even forget about it until the last minute. If you totally forgot about Valentine's Day or need to repair a botched attempt, we'd like to discuss a few interesting women's watches of various prices that should help clear things up. Be warned however, women know a soulless gift when they see one. You need to be charming as well!
Ariel Adams says:
Van Cleef & Arpels
There are few watch brands that have the power to absolutely impress her while at the same time dispelling the ramifications of any argument like something from Paris-based Van Cleef & Arpels. Lovely incarnate, the high-end maker of mostly women's watches, jewelry, and expensive versions of young girls' fantasies is the perfect option when wishing to spend a hefty sum of income on a timepiece for your lady. She will absolutely love it given our educated guess. Go with something from the Alhambra collection if it is her first piece from the brand. This is their most iconic design with the clover-style case. You'll be lucky to get out of the store for around $20,000 - $30,000. vancleefarpels.com
The above picture of the Ulysse Nardin Lady's Diver amused me because it is a professional recreation of a picture I took myself when the collection in these colors was first revealed to me in 2011 (see that article here). I did get a chuckle out of that. While the Lady Diver incorporates a baroque design, it is one that I like and feel that with its colors, diamonds, and mother-of-pearl dial, many ladies will like it as well. The movement is an automatic, and this is a piece you can call a "real watch." There is also an impressive amount of texture decoration and diamonds on the piece for the price. In steel with diamonds, the Ulysse Nardin Lady's Diver is available at under $10,000 (more in 18k rose gold of course). ulysse-nardin.ch
James Lamdin says:
Not every woman desires a dainty wristwatch purely designed for fashionable adornment purposes. If your date leads an active lifestyle but also cleans up well, consider gifting her a luxury branded sports watch. Although there are a number of brands to consider in this category, a perennial favorite is the all-around classy and functional Tag Heuer Aquaracer line.
The Aquaracer offers real usability for active wearers in the form of 300m water resistance, sapphire crystal, luminous hands, unidirectional bezel, and a date window. A high-end quartz movement ensures daily reliability (likely to be more accurate than your own mechanical piece). All of these components shout serious tool watch, while its good looks are derived from a petite steel case and brushed/polished bracelet which dress it up nicely.
With about fifteen pieces to choose from in the current ladies’ collection, my recommendation would be to skip the larger models and diamond dial/bezel variants and stick with the 27mm base version pictured here, available with either a silver or black dial and a great price point. If your lady is more Lara Croft than Paris Hilton, this is the watch for her. Priced from $1,700. tagheuer.com
If the woman in your life has an appreciation for fine and iconic design and prefers her adornment simple and elegant – consider a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. The ladies Reverso line are sized at 20.5mm x 33mm and are offered in quartz and mechanical (manual winding) variants with any number of case materials, strap options, and dial designs. For the best of all worlds, the one to consider is the Duetto, featuring a steel case with two back-to-back dials both powered by the manual winding Calibre 844 movement.
On one side, a silver satin/guilloche dial with black markers and blue steel hands marks the passage of time in streamlined, simple elegance. A simple flip of the case reveals the other, a Deco style dial with mother of pearl inlay and two diamond bands prepare her for a night of sophisticated luxury. This is an impressive timepiece designed for an impressive lady. She will love it. Make it happen. Priced from $8,900. jaeger-lecoultre.com
Paul Hubbard says:
If you've got that IPO in your pocket, I have the perfect gift for you - the Chopard Happy Diamonds. An iconic design from a famed jeweler, the Happy Diamonds introduced the idea of having gold-set diamonds moving freely in between two layers of sapphire crystal. In addition to of course, diamonds in the bezels. 18 carat gold, quartz movement, mother of pearl dial, also available in white gold. The play of light over moving diamonds makes for the ultimate display of luxury goods. Yours for a mere $14,780 or $14,520 at chopard.com here.
For those of us on an average budget, check out Bianci. We've reviewed them before and been impressed with the value. This model, the H262MOP_WHT, is a white ceramic with mother of pearl dial, Swiss ISA quartz movement and sapphire crystal, list price $499 (cheaper in reality). They have a wide variety of styles, including some with cubic zirconia jeweling for a bit of affordable bling that should last quite well.
Chanel is known for super-sophisticated classy and dressy women's work clothes as well as Haute Couture that you will frequently see on Hollywood starlets parading the red carpet. However, Chanel also has a fantastic timepiece collection that is anchored by the iconic J12 model that looks great on both women and men.
The Chanel J12 is a stylish and serious sport watch with a unique design language that helps it stand out from an otherwise crowded diving watch market segment. First, most of the models use a high-tech ceramic case and links for the bracelet, that is practically scratch-proof. The dial is super-legible with Arabic numbers all around and simple black hands with a strip of Super-Luminova. Completing the dial is an inner black round minutes track with Chanel marked on the inner top. The rotating unidirectional bezel is also ceramic but includes a fluted steel outer edge. The markings on the bezel correspond to what you would normally see on a dive watch. Completing it's sporting character, the J12 is 200m water resistant with a screwed down crown that is protected by the ceramic case. The caseback is steel but the whole thing is very light, making it an easy daily wear.
The Chanel J12 pictured is the classic white ceramic model (ref. H0968) with 33mm diameter case, which includes a quartz movement, and retails for $5,250. Chanel makes a slew of variations of the J12 in black, white, and other colors with mechanical or quartz movements as well as diamond settings for the bezel and some with gold instead of steel. chanel.com
Cartier is chock-full of gifts that can easily break the bank while guaranteeing joys and smiles and forgiveness. However, one of Cartier's most recent offerings, is somewhat affordable, and can make for a versatile present for any lady: the Ballon Bleu line of timepieces. The modern design of the Ballon Bleu is already iconic and striking. Essentially a round case with a domed sapphire crystal and a solid caseback that is also domed-shaped. The whole thing gives the impression of a perfectly flatten ball, matching the French name. The blue part of the name comes from the protected crown that includes a blue sapphire cabochon.
The crown's location physically cuts out the dial which allows the case to remain almost perfectly round. The dial also includes the classic Cartier roman numeral numbers swiped by blued steel sword-shaped hands. For the ladies, the Ballon Bleu line has a variety of options. Some of the nicest are the mother of pearl dial layout and a variety of possible diamond settings on the bezel. The Ballon Bleu comes in steel, steel with gold inner links, all gold, and some on an alligator strap. The pictured steel and gold with mother of pearl dial (ref. W6920034) measures 28mm, includes a quartz movement, and retails for $7,050. cartier.com
The proceeding brands and pieces are by no means the only good options, these are just a few. It is true that these are higher-end choices, but perhaps they can inspire your purchase direction for a post Valentine's Day gift, or anything else. Happy loving...