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Women’s power pieces
Watchmakers are turning to look more at women as the market softens. Even IWC, which prides itself for making watches “engineered for men”, has made way for women with a 36mm-case watch for women in its new Pilot collections – the brand’s focus this year. The Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36 Ref 3240 is the smallest in IWC’s current production and comes in five models with three different dials housing an automatic movement in an anti-magnetic soft iron cage.
Roger Dubuis, which makes timepieces for both women and men, has declared 2016 its “Year of the Velvet Diva”. It unveiled five new models under the brand’s Velvet women line at the start of the year. The models include the Velvet Ribbon, a watch dazzling with 631 diamonds totalling around 53 carats.
Not to be outshone, Audemars Piguet, which is famous for the Royal Oak, presented the Diamond Fury – a dazzling quartz-driven timepiece decked with 4,635 diamonds.
For Jaeger-LeCoultre, this year is all about the brand’s iconic Reverso line, which is celebrating its 85th anniversary. This bestselling line has both men and women models, but it is still more popular with the fairer sex. Jaeger-LeCoultre has redesigned the Reverso case for greater comfort on the wrist – and it has introduced three collections, among them the Reverso One. This is a series of dainty ladies watches deemed to be the most interesting and attractive.
The Atelier Reverso offers the option to personalise the Duo or Duetto models with custom combinations of straps, dials and case-back engravings. Star shoe-designer Christian Louboutin has been engaged to design the straps.
Cartier, also a high-jewellery house, continued to turn out sparkling timepieces. Among them is the exclusive Tourbillon Mysterieux Azure, a gem-set pendant double tourbillon watch.
Another one-of-a-kind creation unveiled this year is Van Cleef & Arpels’ Rubis Secret Bracelet Watch, which is set with 115 high-quality Mozambique rubies weighing a total of 151.25 carats. This bracelet timepiece is a work of unparalled precision and intricacy as well as constant technical inventiveness. It has taken more than a year to finish.
Fitted with a quartz movement, the watch is hidden in a white gold plate on the inside of the bracelet.
Piaget, another jewellery and watch name, has introduced the Limelight Gala. You can tell the model by its round case with two dainty elongated lugs. First launched in the 1970s, the Limelight Gala now appears in gold with a Milanese mesh strap.
Bulgari, a close rival of Cartier and Piaget, has breathed new life into its Serpenti collection with the Serpenti Incantati Skeleton Tourbillon and Serpenti Incantati (enchanting snake). Instead of coiling around the wrist, the famous snake symbol is now reinvented by wrapping itself for the very first time around the case of the watch.
In the Serpenti Incantati Skeleton Tourbillon, the reptile twines around the watch dial, framing an entirely skeleton- worked tourbillon movement.
The Serpenti Incantati, a two-hand jewellery timepiece, has four variations: a rubellite-set version with a pink gold case and satin strap, or a matching jewellery bracelet; or in a diamond-set white gold variation with a satin strap, or matching jewellery bracelet – all in a 30mm size.
Chopard, also a watch brand strong in jewellery, celebrates the 40th anniversary of its popular Happy Diamonds collection by recreating the very first Happy Diamonds timepiece – this time for the ladies. Many may be surprised that this women’s watch line made its debut with a man’s watch. The new version, in a limited edition of 150 pieces, retains the cushion-shaped white gold case of the original but is smaller, and its dial is in white mother-of-pearl instead of black.
The signature moving diamonds sparkle even brighter in the revived model because they are set in prongs. And there are more diamonds – and in varying sizes – on the dial than before.
Vacheron Constantin, probably the oldest luxury watch brand, presented four lady models in its two-year-old Metiers d’Art Fabuleux Ornements line. These showcase the application of Vacheron’s artistic skills in reinterpreting Ottoman architecture, Chinese embroidery, Indian manuscripts and French lacework.
Longines added even more refinement to its La Grande Classique de Longines collection, which is a symbol of the brand’s classical elegance. The new models have a different dial and bracelet colour variations – shades of pink, blue and white. But the charm of these new variations remains largely in their very slim steel case – barely 4.2 and 4.45 mm for these quartz-driven timepieces. The watches come with cases in two sizes – 24 and 29 mm – and mother-of-pearl dials decorated with a star background in pink, blue or white.
Ulysse Nardin has offered a new Lady Marine Chronometer that pairs in-house precision with fresh design. At the heart of this sporty timepiece, resting in a 39 mm stainless steel or rose gold case, is Ulysse Nardin’s UN-118 automatic movement which is known for its silicium technology and date corrector. The latter allows for forward and backward adjustments.