Precious Time Featured

Diamond-studded ladies quartz watches successfully reconcile contemporary trends with functionality
by 29 September 2010

In the 1970’s, watch makers succeeded in improving the technology, precision and value of the quartz watch. In a short time, quartz watches have taken over the market, surpassing all other mechanical watches at least in terms of quantity. For 30 long years, in women’s watches the emphasis had been on the design of the dial, and diamond-setting technique. Comparatively little progress was made on the soul of the ladies’ watch – the movement. Nowadays, watch manufacturers have taken a new approach to women’s watches, and they are ready to respond to female customers’ new expectations. In the past, women always stayed away from complicated movement watches. But with increased purchasing power, their taste is changing. To cater to these interested watch lovers, some of the biggest watch makers are going back to more traditional designs, albeit with a dash of creativity. Women’s watches not only have to look good, but must also have excellent functions. We have chosen this year’s highlights targeted purely for the ladies.

Presented by Cartier at this year’s Salon International de Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, the Captive de Cartier redefines ladies’ quartz movement timepieces. The perfectly circular Captive is characterized by a jewelled clasp, with a diamond-studded bezel and dial. Large references measure at a whopping 50mm in diameter, while smaller ones are at a more demure 27mm. Monica Bellucci, the collection’s testimonial, carries off the extravagant watch with effortless style. Captive is ideal for modern women who like options. The elegant watch comes in white, pink and yellow gold, as well as a selection of beautiful straps in light grey, deep mauve and blushed beige.

CHANEL – J12 29mm
The fashionable J12 29mm watch needs no introduction. The brand introduced their non-scratch ceramic watches back in 2000, and since then have proudly maintained their position amongst the leaders in the luxury watch market. The highlight of the 2010 J12 collection is a true gem, made of high-tech white ceramic and steel, available with a bezel that is set with 40 diamonds. The dial is inlaid with eight diamond indexes, and white mother-of pearl. A glittering black version is also available. With the iconic J12, which is also now available in a marine version, Chanel has proved once again that it faultlessly and apparently effortlessly blends the world of high fashion and fine watchmaking.

You don’t have to choose when you can have the best of both worlds. Piaget combines its expertise in fine watchmaking and jewellery craftsmanship in the Limelight Twice collection. One watch, two dials, two Piaget-manufactured quartz movements – the daring concept is essentially two watches in one. All three references in this collection are reversible, offering a dual personality for your mood of the day. One side of the watch has the sunburst guilloché for everyday use; another side comes with large Roman numerals and beautiful diamonds for special occasions. The magic of this watch is that it is perfectly moulded to your wrist on both sides. Limelight Twice is made for energetic and sophisticated women who appreciate both discretion and glamour.

The theme colours of Audemars Piguet’s iconic collection are black and white, two opposites as inextricably entwined as day and night. The diamond-set reference replaces steel with 18-carat white gold, and the black chronograph in particular is adorned with hundreds of diamonds. David von Gunten, CEO of Audemars Piguet, told us, “People who truly love Audemars Piguet watches share the same vision as our company: they appreciate tradition. At the same time they are always looking for products with exceptional quality, and of course, dare to accept revolutionary ideas.” The Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph has mother-of pearl dial counters, in contrast with the signature black “méga tapisserie” motif. This watch is as tough as it is beautiful.

Subtly curvaceous, very elegant, and lots of diamonds – the Gemea watch by Tiffany & Co. would surely have caught Holly Golightly’s attention in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” The white gold barrel-shaped case is set with top Wesselton diamonds, and its smooth silhouette fits perfectly on the wrist. Since Tiffany is all about choice, the 22mm reference comes with a single row of diamonds, a double row or a fully-paved version. A choice of straps and dials is offered for the stainless steel version in the same size. A smaller 18mm reference is also available. Equipped with a quartz movement, this watch is easy to fall in love with.

Spain FW 2010