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Slimming Down: Women’s Watches Get Smaller

If you ask us, size does matter. But maybe not in the way you’d expect.

Sometimes, breaking up with your boyfriend isn’t as painful as breaking up with his watch—you know, the oversized Panerai you’ve worn on your wrist since he left it at your place? But everyone needs to move on and it’s time you got into a new relationship. With your very own timepiece, in your own size.

The folks at this year’s Baselworld certainly think so, judging by the number of smaller watches we’ve seen from the fair. Here are three reasons you should go small on your next timepiece.

1. They go well with stackable bracelets. 

This year, both Harry Winston and Baume & Mercier introduced double tour straps with their Emerald watch (above) and Petite Promesse (below), respectively. We love Harry Winston’s emerald-cut case with a rich midnight blue dial and satin strap. It’s clearly a watch that would shine on special occasions but is just as likely to brighten up a casual ensemble. Baume & Mercier’s Petite Promesse (above), on the other hand, is very much an everyday watch with just enough bling to make it suitable for slightly more formal events. The watch comes in a double tour steel bracelet or leather strap, perfect for pairing with a collection of bracelets.

2. They double up as a fashion statement.

You don’t get much more fashion cred than with an Hermès accessory and this Foubourg Machette Joaillerie leather cuff is bang on trend. While the Foubourg debuted in 2014 as a watch with a leather strap, it was reinvented as a cuff in 2015. This year’s version, though, combines the French luxury house’s saddle-making heritage with a hint of bling thanks to the addition of baguette-cut precious stones complementing a similarly-hued dial and upping the glam factor.

3. One word: Elegance.

The great thing about women’s watches is that you can go as big or as small as you want—something the boys don’t get to do (let’s face it, a 19mm ticker isn’t going to work on a masculine wrist). While big watches exude a sense of power, smaller cases ooze elegance. Plus, diamonds on a large case run the risk of looking ostentatious but stones set around a smaller bezel come off understated and classy. 

Bulgari’s Piccola Lucea (top) and Omega’s Constellation Small Seconds (above) play it right with mother-of-pearl dials, diamond indices and bezels around small cases. The former is just 23mm while the latter measures 27mm. Diamonds along the links keep the Piccola Lucea refined while the Constellation Small Seconds has the power of Omega’s signature record-breaking anti-magnetic Master Co-Axial movement behind it, proving that small doesn’t mean less.

Ex Managing Editor

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".

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