Ladies First: Five Picks From BaselWorld 2016 For The GirlsWritten by Melissa Kong
Who says only the boys get to play?
If you think the watch is as dainty as its name, you’re absolutely right. When it was launched in 1956, the Ladybird had the distinction of having the smallest round movement in the market. This year, Blancpain celebrates 60 years of the Ladybird with a limited-edition collection featuring variations of the model in 60 pieces each. The first version sees a delicate dial with a foliage motif, framed by a diamond-encrusted bezel in a 21.5mm white gold case housing a self-winding movement. Finished with a crocodile leather strap in a luxurious shade of plum, this timepiece oozes elegance.
HARRY WINSTON PRECIOUS WEAVING AUTOMATIC 36MM
Fancy some East-meets-West wrist candy? You’ll love Harry Winston’s Precious Weaving collection of four magnificent timepieces depicting the Japanese symbols of chrysanthemum and koi. The variations come in rose or white gold, and the dials are brilliantly set with iridescent mother-of-pearl slivers interwoven with silk and gold or silver leaf to offer a shimmering effect that mimics the sheen of a glamorous evening gown. The case is sprinkled with 57 brilliant-cut diamonds with 17 more on its buckle. But these tickers are just as impressive inside and out, and come powered with a top-of-the-line mechanical automatic movement, which can be viewed through the sapphire crystal caseback. A flat silicon balance spring ensures the watch’s accuracy.
CHOPARD HAPPY DIAMONDS
Conceived by designer Ronald Kurowski during a stroll in the Black Forest 40 years ago, Chopard’s iconic Happy Diamonds timepieces have come a long way since Chopard matriarch Karin Scheufele first declared, “Diamonds are happier when they’re free.” For 2016, the latest reinterpretation pays tribute to the original Happy Diamonds watch, which bore a cushion-shaped case. Inside, 15 free-spirited diamonds (more than ever) are set in prongs for additional sparkle. A sub-dial within is also ringed with bling and encases the petite watch hands. Also comes in a round case.
ZENITH ELITE LADY MOON PHASE
While ultra-thin models may be getting flak on the runways, ultra-thin watches are certainly beloved by women all over. Not only is the Zenith Elite Lady Moon Phase super svelte, it is the picture of feminine sophistication. A clean, unfussy mother-of-pearl dial bears long, slender gold-plated hour markers while a moon phase indication sits serenely at the six o’clock position. Powered by the Movement Elite 692 Automatic Calibre with a thickness of just 3.97mm and a case thickness of 9.10mm, this ticker is slim in all the right places.
Bulgari Serpenti Incantati
We’re used to the Serpenti watches that literally coil around your wrist like a snake and they’re probably as iconic to Bulgari as the Colosseum is to Rome. But in a refreshing twist, the Serpenti Incantati series winds the serpent gracefully around the dial in a burst of diamonds, drawing your attention to a beautiful skeleton face or one that’s entirely paved in diamonds and rimmed with rubellites or more diamonds. For all the glitter and glamour, the watches are surprisingly kept to a modest 30mm so you don’t look like you have precious stones pouring out of your wrist. Satin straps or jewellery bracelets complete the look.
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".