SIHH 2018: Best Ladies' WatchesWritten by Melissa Kong
Five of our favourites.
They may not all be obvious picks but each watch here struck a chord with us in one way or another. Whether it’s a métiers d’art or bejewelled creation, us ladies have a great selection to choose from this year.
A. Lange & Söhne Little Lange 1
Apart from the gorgeous hues this year (more on that later), what really stood out for us was the stunning guilloché dials on these beauties. Executed to perfection, the scalloped sunburst pattern lends a distinctive look to an already iconic timepiece.
An interesting selection of colours is offered—burgundy, brown and grey—with our favourite being the first. Although a bold, berry-tinted creation seems very uncharacteristic of the brand, which is associated more with austere facades rather than flamboyant shades, the colour certainly pops on the wrist. Yes, it’s hard to match with most wardrobes but when you’ve got such a spectacular timepiece, why have it blend in with your outfit?
Cartier Recontre de Panthères
You can always count on Cartier to create amazing feminine timepieces that both intrigue and fascinate, like the Révélation d’une Panthère with its gold beads flowing down a glass maze in the shape of the maison’s mascot. While much attention has been cast on that timepiece, we thought the Recontre de Panthères is just as delightful.
‘Recontre’, which is French for ‘meet’, describes the watch perfectly. The oscillating weight, placed over the dial, comprises two bejewelled panthers face to face, a diamond ring linking their jaws. As the rotor turns from the slightest wrist movements, the two panthers move accordingly, but always face each other. Brilliant-cut diamonds adorn the case, lugs and panthers while four emeralds make up the eyes of the majestic felines.
Hermès Arceau Mythiques Phœnix Coloriages
The mythical phoenix has long been associated with the French maison, having graced many of its famous silk scarves over the years. This time, it takes the limelight on the Arceau as a miniature painting on a white mother-of-pearl dial. Associated both with fertility and longevity, the phoenix is delicately and painstakingly brought to life by master artisans.
Limited to 12 pieces each in red or blue, the watch features the in-house self-winding Calibre H1837 with a power reserve of 50 hours. Just as beautiful as the dial itself, the movement is meticulously decorated with circular graining, snailed finishing and, on the rotor, Hermès’ ‘sprinkling of Hs’ motif.
Piaget High Jewellery Altiplano Lapis Lazuli Marquetry Tourbillon
In collaboration since 2015, Piaget and Maître d’Art Hervé Obligi have created some of the brand’s most striking dials. Obligi reveals that “one of the hardest challenges is to make the colour of the stone truly vibrant by creating graphic effects on such a small surface.”
With this lapis lazuli creation, a spectrum of blues comes together with inclusions of white and gold flecks to create a brilliant and utterly unique backdrop reminiscent of a starry night sky. To ascertain the precise colour and tone, the lapis lazuli is cut into paper-thin slices less than a millimetre thick, then polished, making each timepiece a one-of-a-kind creation. Paired with a flying tourbillon and 48 baguette-cut diamonds around the bezel, this watch gets our nod for technical and artistic mastery.
Van Cleef & Arpels Dandelion Secret Watch
When it comes to jewellery watches, Van Cleef & Arpels is among the best in the business, and this Dandelion secret watch is proves that. As part of the Le Jardin Van Cleef & Arpels collection, the Dandelion watch is a unique piece fashioned as a torque bracelet concealing a timekeeper.
On one end, the yellow corolla features a diamond-studded heart that swings out to reveal a 10mm yellow gold dial underneath. At the other end, the wildflower is depicted with a diamond sphere using the en trembleuse mechanism that makes the dandelion appear to be shimmering in the wind. As far as secret watches go, this one is both charming and breathtaking—the star (we think) in Van Cleef & Arpel’s gorgeous garden.
Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".