SIHH 2016: Five Fabulous Women’s WatchesWritten by Alvin Wong
We were not kidding when we said in our SIHH overview that it’s going be a great year for ladies who are in the hunt for new watches.
Van Cleef & Arpels – Lady Nuit des Papillon
Can we be so bold as to suggest that Van Cleef & Arpels change its tagline from ‘Jewels That Tell Time’ to ‘Jewels That Tell Stories’? It doesn’t take a gemology expert to ‘get’ the stupendous spread of stones on this timepiece, lavished with round and rose-cut diamonds and sapphires on its white gold case and buckle. More fascinating, though, is the narrative it evokes, as most Van Cleef & Arpels watches are known to do. The dial here depicts a butterfly in flight, set against a two-part dial, with a rotating 12-hour disc underneath to suggest the passage of time.
Piaget – Altiplano 38mm
The Yves Piaget rose, a mauve-pink bloom with huge, sassy petals, named after the chairman of the famed Swiss marque, serves as muse to yet another high-art creation. Here, it is rendered on a hand-engraved gold dial; the intricate dips and folds of the rose carefully sculpted on a plate only millimeters thick, yet displaying such texture and depth that the flower appears beautifully three-dimensional. Renowned artisan Dick Steenman was enlisted to craft the dial, each taking almost 30 hours to complete. Available in a 38mm pink gold case set with brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel.
IWC - Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36
If watches like this one from IWC is anything to go buy, we may soon be waving goodbye to the trend of women wearing chunky men’s tickers. Not that we have anything against that, but we do believe that daintier timepieces just look better on svelte, feminine wrists. This 36mm cased Pilot’s Watch grants women a sporty option that is at the same time pretty and proportionate. And this beauty isn’t skint on performance, either. Equipped with a rugged automatic movement, the Calibre 35111 boasts 42-hour power reserve, rapid-advance date adjustment as well as a soft-iron inner case to ward of magnetic interference that may affect timekeeping precision.
Baume & Mercier – Petite Promesse
Away from high-wattage jewellery watches and complications that will make you think twice about your bank account, the Petite Promesse collection rates favourably for its reasonable price tags and casual-chic proposition. These watches may not first choice picks for a glamorous soiree (then again, why not?), but they sure make versatile pair-ups with their fashion-leaning twist, courtesy of their colourful double-twirl straps and pretty diamond-set elliptical cases. Check out the bracelet version, which channels the iconic Serpenti watch. Prices start from 2,200 Swiss francs.
Cartier – Hypnose
This is the one for Cartier this year; the collection that the French maison is pining its hopes to be the next big thing. And the Hypnose may well deliver. At first glance, the watch’s elliptical profile appears underwhelming. But the watch’s steeped case design is actually rather nuanced, comprising overlapping ovals that lend it tactility and artisanal potential, evinced from the intricate gem-setting and black lacquer inlay. An all-quartz collection, the Hypnose is a veritable gem-feast, featuring a variety of options from diamond-festooned bezels to full-pave versions. Our vote goes to this lovely piece in 18K pink gold, carpeted entirely with diamonds and complemented by an alligator strap.
Alvin promises not to be a douche when talking about watches. He may have scoured the Basel and Geneva watch fairs for the past 15 years, and played an instrumental role to the growth of Singapore's pioneering horological and men's lifestyle publications, but the intrepid scribe seeks to learn something new with each story he writes.