- No products in the basket.
Not every ladies’ watch has to have gemstones, but if it does then Baselworld is the right place for it – after all, it is a trade show for watches and jewellery. Here are some of the stunning feminine pieces seen at Baselworld 2019.
1. Bulgari Serpenti Seduttori
“The obsession of Bulgari is to be a sensual brand, not just a beautiful brand," says Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari. The Serpenti collection has always lived up to that, and it remains very much intact in the new Serpenti Seduttori. The distinctive snakehead case is back, in its usual low-key daring way, now paired with a new, deliciously supple bracelet with a hexagonal scale-like pattern. If the Serpenti Tubogas and its iconic coils ever seemed a bit over-the-top, then the Seduttori will please; though Bulgari’s sensuous design codes are present, it is a slim and practical everyday timepiece. The case is a delicate 33mm across, and, like the bracelet, is fashioned from white, yellow or rose gold (with options for diamonds).
“This watch has been designed to be a pleasure to wear, not only because it’s a beautiful object, but because it will caress your skin," Babin explains. “And if it’s a daily watch, that’s important, because it’s very intimate—we have very few objects touching our skin day and night."
2. Graff Emerald and Diamond Secret Watch
There are secret watches, and then there are really secret watches, like the Graff Emerald and Diamond Secret Watch. When closed, the hidden compartment of this high jewellery timepiece disappears beneath the 42 carats of emeralds and 28 carats of white diamonds, with every seam vanishing into the brilliant sparkle of each exquisite gemstone. In fact, so dazzling is this piece that it is difficult to catch a glimpse of any exposed metal—even the dial of the uncovered watch is fully set with diamonds. The plume-shaped layout was carefully thought-out to make best use of the large oval emeralds and diamonds, each selected to ensure optimum brilliance and vibrancy. Like all jewellery watches from the Graff, this dazzling timepiece represents the best of two worlds: the maison’s London atelier in Mayfair, and its Swiss-based watchmakers at Graff Luxury Watches.
3. MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT
MB&F had never made a ladies’ watch per se, but the previous releases could largely be said to be unisex. The brand’s signature organic and highly technical pieces tend to transcend matters of style and are more demonstrations of mechanical artistry. The new Legacy Machine FlyingT is the first, however, that was deliberately designed for women from the ground up.
The result reflects a concerted effort towards elegance. The FlyingT’s mechanical heart is a slightly more restrained (but no less impressive) take the brand’s typical kinetic sculptures; this one is a vertically constructed movement capped with a flying tourbillon that extends a significant way above the base. To that end, it is displayed under a deeply domed sapphire crystal that makes the timepiece 20mm in height. It is automatically wound, with a sun-shaped rotor; and has a rather remarkable power reserve of 100 hours.
The dial is a classic implementation of lacquer, roman numerals and blued gold hands, but quirky in its positioning: slanted at 50 degrees and positioned at 7 o’clock, where it is most visible as long as it is worn on the left wrist. The case is smaller at 38mm, and a sensual curvaceousness pervades—particularly in the long, downward-sweeping lugs and undulating hands. It is definitely more feminine than most of the MB&F portfolio, though not screamingly so. That is, of course, before the diamonds are taken into account—the FlyingT comes in three options of various sparkle, including one that features 294 baguette diamonds (SFr298,000) on the case and dial, totalling about 8.2 carats.
4. Chopard L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony
The peony is a flower with a rich history and plenty of symbolism, but probably its most significant trait is that it looks amazing on a watch—at least, when Chopard does it. The L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony (SFr93,000) is another fine example from the maison’s ‘mains d’art,’ or ‘artistic hands.’ Encased in a diamond-set 35mm rose gold case, this eight-piece limited edition features a vibrant dial hand-painted with purples and pinks, with hand-cut mother-of-pearl applique to highlight the peony motifs. A rose gold butterfly, set at the 2 o’clock position, savours the scene.
The back of the watch is not to be outdone; exposed by the display caseback is the lavishly decorated self-winding movement with a solid gold micro-rotor. Its gold movement plates feature an exquisite floral representation presented in two-tone bas-relief. Meanwhile the Fleurisanne engraving technique used to produce the artwork was recently revived at Chopard, where a single dedicated craftswoman has trained herself to replicate that traditional art. The background of the design is chased in a dot pattern and plated with rhodium, while the raised foreground is polished, resulting in a contrast of both colour and texture.
5. Chanel J12
As far as 20th anniversaries go, the one for the Chanel J12 must be one of the most understated ever. The new J12 looks, at first glance, exactly the same as its predecessor, but it sports a number of subtle refinements that maintain the core qualities of the watch while making it subtly more appealing. After all, there is no need to change what works—and the J12, amazingly, does not look dated in the slightest.
As before, the J12 is a 38mm steel-and-ceramic watch with all the traits of a classic diver—steel bracelet, unidirectional bezel, screw-down crown with guards—and yet somehow has an understated style of its own, quietly modern and inexplicably feminine. Individually, the updates are small: for instance, the bezel is finer to look at and touch with 40 notches instead of 30, the crown width is decreased by about a third, and minute markers were added to the minute track. Overall, the changes speak to a sense of attention to minute details and streamlining. It also sports a new movement, one with 70 hours of power reserve and distinctive rotor featuring a circle motif with a cut out, all visible through the display caseback. And of course, let one forgets this is a true sports watch, it is water resistant up to 200 metres.
6. Patek Philippe Calatrava Haute Joaillerie Ref.4899
From a watchmaking perspective, it does not get simpler and classier than this: a two-hander Calatrava, with a white gold case a delicate 36mm in diameter and 7.8mm thick, and powered by a self-winding ultra-thin movement that includes a solid gold off-centre mini rotor—visible through the display caseback, thankfully.
And then there is the jewellery aspect. This new Calatrava Haute Joaillerie (SFr90,000) has a gold dial plate that features a mother-of-pearl upper section; this is exquisitely hand-engraved with a feather pattern and tinted a serene light blue. In typical Patek detailing, even the white gold hands are finely engraved. The lower part is set with diamonds and sapphires in an irregular pattern; these spill out to cover the case as well.
The overall effect is somewhat abstract, with the random stone placement suggesting an organic quality. The soft blue colour theme is icy, serene, unmistakably feminine, and contributes to the achingly beautiful quality of this watch.