Stroll around Causeway Bay these days and you will witness how the watch industry is struggling. With so many stores closing or offering deep discounts, the heavy reliance on mainland Chinese tourists doesn’t seem like such a smart idea now. Smarter companies, however, are sorting themselves out and looking to attract a segment of the population they’ve largely ignored: women. This week we’ll look at three women’s watches that cut the mustard.
Rolex sits at the more masculine end when it comes to women’s watches, despite its annoying and patronising tendency to use “lady” as a prefix when naming its timepieces. Having said that, the Lady-Datejust 28 is a wonderful watch in both design and construction. This is another iteration of an existing design but Rolex has never been one to veer wildly outside its core collection, and anyway, if it ain’t broke and all that. The big thing with the Lady-Datejust 28 is the 2mm increase in case size to 28mm, which gives the timepiece more room for the all-new 2236 movement (with silicon parts!) and also fits with the trend towards slightly larger women’s watches. The movement is high performance and cutting edge but the vast majority will be more interested in the looks and, with its diamond-encrusted bezel and hour markers, this watch is indeed a looker. The case is steel with red gold featuring on the bezel and bracelet links, and the dial is mother of pearl. Prices for the Lady-Datejust 28 are available upon request.
Omega’s iconic women’s watch collection is the Constellation and even after all these years it’s still one of the best in the game. The Constellation Small Seconds may look similar to Rolex’s Lady-Datejust 28 but this beast will mean so much more to people who care about movements. This Constellation, which will be released in October, features Omega’s master co-axial 8704 movement, which is all kind of whiz-bang fancy and features anti-magnetic properties, a chronometer and unerring accuracy. Design wise, Omega has placed the small seconds at the nine o’clock position and the date window at the rather unusual position of six o’clock, to lend further character to the mother-of-pearl dial. The steel and red-gold case is sized at 27mm. Prices for the watch will be announced upon its release.
Lastly, we have yet another watch with a mother-of-pearl face, the Kalpa Donna Anniversaire from Parmigiani. Celebrating 20 years of the Swiss brand’s existence, this is a classy dress watch with a wonderfully rendered, engraved grey mother-of-pearl dial. Parmigiani is not for everyone, indeed the brand has made some woeful pieces, but, when it gets it right, like it does here, you have to give it credit. There’s nothing too fancy inside – it’s a quartz movement but that keeps the price down to HK$81,800. The watch is a limited edition of 96 pieces.