December 23, 2017
by Zen Love
If you consider yourself to be something of a watch snob and have a female significant other that does not fully understand the nuances of watches or why you spend so much time looking at them… you’re not alone. While trying to avoid generalizations or stereotypes, around 90% of the aBlogtoWatch audience is male, and I think many will share the experience of wanting to put a nice watch on the wrist of a woman that is close to them. So, this listicle puts together some examples meant as a starting point to stimulate ideas for gifts or maybe advice to female watch shoppers with a range of styles and genres under or around $1,000. And there are a lot of good reasons to consider this subject.
As a watch lover, presumably having given the subject significantly more thought than the average person, your knowledge and perspective are unusually advantageous in evaluating quality and value. Maybe it offends your sensibilities in some small way to see your wife/girlfriend/etc. wearing a cheap fashion watch as a “mere accessory.” Moreover, if you spend a lot of time together, you will be noticing and appreciating the watch on her wrist – so it’s almost as if you are equally buying something for your own enjoyment at the same time! Most of all, what better way is there to show appreciation for her patience, effort, and understanding of your nerdy and expensive hobby? Maybe, she has even learned about watches and made an effort to appreciate them more because of you. Isn’t that sweet?
There are some considerations when buying a ladies’ watch that may differ from men’s watches, as you are surely aware. First is that there will be many more quartz options than mechanical, and this list will include both. Stereotypically but also statistically, women may not tend to be as drawn to mechanical movements as men but many can definitely appreciate the intricate mechanics, and are likely even more sensitive to design aesthetics and the poetic ideas watches can represent. So don’t write off mechanical watches as an option.
Since watches can get so damn expensive, however, one of course needs to weigh the value of different elements and try to determine what she will appreciate the most – and what you can afford. For example, a quartz watch with precious materials might have the same price as (or less than) a steel mechanical watch. As cliché as it may be, women often (not always) do appreciate some bling and watch companies tend to provide for those stereotypes, along with things like flowers, butterflies, and the color pink. Also note that while women, of course, tend to have smaller wrists, the dime-sized ladies’ watches of the past are giving way to the popularity of larger options even up to 40mm and more.
Of course, I can only approach ladies’ watches from a guy’s perspective, but many of us will presumably be in the same boat. While it’s easy to overthink a gift, I’d say play it safe with easy to accessorize colors and with her style of dress as well as specific activities in mind. Try to balance aesthetics she will like with what makes a good watch: sapphire crystals are a bonus; legibility is still important; nice details are appreciated; etc.
The most important aspect of the watch will be that it is from you. Some of the watches that I cherish most are those that I wouldn’t have chosen for myself but are special precisely because someone chose it with me in mind or gave it to me for some other reason. Watches function particularly well for this purpose, and that’s one reason they have always been so popular as gifts.
In the end, finding a watch that will make her happy is your job, but hopefully this listicle will provide some inspiration. By all means, please share experiences, tips, and thoughts on buying watches for women in the comments – from the perspective of those buying as well as those receiving the gifts.
I wanted to put the Tissot Ballade Powermatic 80 COSC Lady right at the top because I think it represents a great value. While there are a lot of three-hand ladies’ watches (quartz and mechanical) available in the generally “elegant” style, the 32mm-wide and 9.44mm-thick Tissot Ballade stands out for several reasons, not least its sub-$1,000 price, COSC-certified chronometer movement, and 80-hour power reserve. That long power reserve will help make it more digestible if the recipient isn’t used to mechanical watches that need to be kept wound. The silicon hairspring offers a lot of benefits including anti-magnetic properties that will keep the movement healthier longer, and is a feature previously associated with much higher-end watches.
Though without fancy decoration, a display caseback shows the movement to help spread mechanical watch appreciation. Besides, the design is solid, and the construction will be as well, with a sapphire crystal and 50m of water resistance. On a leather strap, the Tissot Ballade Powermatic 80 COSC Lady starts at $925 and with a steel bracelet is still only $975 and the same for the two-tone on a strap, with prices topping out at $1,075 for the two-tone with gold plating on a bracelet. Can’t go wrong with a mother-of-pearl dial, right?
Maybe this isn’t the year for a statement/investment piece with diamonds from a luxury brand. Casio G-Shock’s more petite line for women offers a youthful, playful, sporty, casual option often at near stocking-stuffer prices. Guys that appreciate G-Shock (I am one) may enjoy giving a Baby G and maybe can even find a G-Shock to match for himself to help take some fatigue out of holiday shopping. Unfortunately, Casio seems to have left some of the great features such as Tough Solar found in men’s G-Shock watches largely out of their Baby G lineup. On the other hand, women can also be seen wearing large G-Shock men’s watches, and with more than enough color and shape options out there (and depending on what she can pull off in terms of style and wrist size) a G-Shock itself might also be an option. Casio G-Shock Baby G watches start at under $100 and you can click here to browse.