2 October 2023


By In Breguet, Bulgari, Cartier, F.P. Journe, Hype Market, Patek Philippe

Although the world of watchmaking is often directly linked to models specifically designed for men, plenty of extremely significant watches have been created for women. Far from being simpler or less complex and interesting than their men’s counterparts, these watches, which are strongly linked to the world of high jewellery, hold vital importance in the history of watchmaking and for this exact reason should be known by every young woman who’s interested in this world. Here below there is a list of five watches every woman should know.

Breguet Reine de Naples

When writing a list of the most significative watches that have been ever created for women, or rather a list of the most important watches in the history of watchmaking, one of the first names that comes to mind will, likely, be the Reine de Naples. The latter, in fact, has been created drawing inspiration from the first recorded wristwatch, which was commissioned from Abraham Louis Breguet in 1810 by Caroline Murat, then Queen of Naples, and which, despite extensive research by historians and collectors, has not been seen since 1855. The original Reine de Naples, an ‘oblong-shaped repeating watch’, was worn on a ‘wristlet’ and featured a minute repeater, a moon phase and a thermometer on a silver dial with guillochage and Arabic numerals. In 2002, almost two centuries after its birth, Breguet launched a broad range of ladies’ watchesinspired by this iconic piece. Still in production and available in several configurations, this model can feature a number of major complications including moon phases with a day and night indication or a striking mechanism which chimes three times every hour. The gold egg shaped watch, often with diamonds, is undoubtedly also an exquisite piece of jewelry and can present several carats of diamonds, or other precious stones, on the bracelet, bezel and chapter ring.

Breduet Reine de Naples day and nitght from 2014
Breguet Reine e Naples Day & Night – Photo courtesy of Breguet
Panthere de Cartier

Defined by the Maison itself ‘a quintessential jewellery watch’, the Panthere is one of the most iconic women’s watches both for its bracelet, characterized by clean lines and a flexible structure that fits the wrist like a glove, and its name itself, that echoes the emblem of Cartier, the panther. Launched in 1983, this watch immediately became one of the most popular and gained broad popularity, being worn by celebrities, royals, and style icons such as Princess Diana, Madonna, Tina Turner and, surprisingly, former 007 Pierce Brosnan. Still one of the best-selling items of the Maison, it is now available in thirty configurations, all featuring a quartz movement. Dimensions may vary, with mini, small, medium and cuff models, as well as several available dials. Diamonds may be added to the bracelet and the case and plenty of choice is possible in terms of materials, with steel, white, yellow and rose gold configurations, as well as the iconic two tones. More extravagant versions have as well been released, such as the ones with double or triple-wrap version, with the bracelet really mirroring the movements of the Maison’s emblematic animal.

Cartier Panthere de Cartier in yellow gold
Cartier Panthere de Cartier – Photo courtesy of Cartier
Bulgari Serpenti

Another famous and iconic jewellery watch is the Bulgari Serpenti that was launched by the Italian brand in 1948 with a model still available today, the Tubogas, inspired by a flexible gas pipe and consisting in long bands of gold wrapped around a steel core and interlocked to completely conceal the inner structure. In the ‘50s, experiments were made with more complex and rich designs with an extensive use of precious stones and more realistic representation of the scales and the snake’s head, which sometimes hid the watch movement, under a hinged cover, thus creating a “secret watch”. More geometric and abstract designs have then been preferred, with a limited use of precious stones and a shift towards two, three or five wrap bracelets, until 2009, when a new interpretation of the iconic model led to exquisite examples of jewellery pieces for the High Jewellery collection with bangles encrusted with diamonds, rubies or emeralds and more complex styles, such as the head over the tail, previously reserved for jewels, and precious dials. After countless variations and with a never fading charm, in 2023 Bulgari launched a 75-anniversary collection, the Serpenti 75, which features an extensive use of diamonds and other stones on precious metal, namely gold, artistically crafted scales and a never closer link to high jewellery.

Bulgari Serpenti Tubogas with 3 turns
Bulgari Serpenti Tubogas – Photo courtesy of Bulgari
Patek Philippe Twenty – 4

This elegant watch was launched by the Swiss Maison in 1999 and represents the first exclusive feminine collection ever created by Patek Philippe. As suggested by its own name, it was meant to be a modern, yet classic, model that could be worn by every woman in her everyday activities, at any time of day or night. The original quartz movement Twenty – 4 model, which is still produced today – albeit slightly modified – and immensely popular, features an art-deco-inspired cuff design, a black or brown dial, often adorned with diamonds, a cambered rectangular case in steel or rose gold with two rows of diamonds and roman numerals. The Twenty – 4 Automatic, launched in 2018 and available in rose gold or stainless steel, presents a self-winding mechanical movement, a round case with date aperture and sweep seconds and a dial with Arabic numerals. Strongly linked with high jewellery, some of the configurations of the watch have been set with diamonds on the crown, the lugs, and the outer links of the bracelet or, even, a full random set pavè. New configurations of the original Twenty 4 have been introduced as well, with new blue and greens dials and Arabic numerals instead of roman ones. Since its launch 24 years ago the Twenty 4 has been one of Patek’s best-selling collections and a symbol of classic elegance in its own right.

Patek Philippe Twenty-4 collection
Patek Philippe Twnty-4 collection – Photo courtesy of Patek Philippe
F.P. Journe Elegante

In January 2014 F.P. Journe took the watch enthusiasts community by surprise when introducing its first exclusive ladies’ collection: the Elégante. The watch, which is now one of the most sought after, is based on a revolutionary concept invented by the Master. This watch, indeed, features a tortue case with angled corners and, most significantly, a unique quartz movement that can last up to 10 years of use when worn and up to 18 years in standby mode. What makes the Elegant unique is that the time stops after 35 minutes when the watch is not worn to save energy and immediately starts again when put back on, always “remembering” the exact time thanks to a microprocessor and thus being able to set it right automatically when worn again. As recalled by Monsierur Journe himself, the Elégante was inspired by requests presented by the collectors’ wives, who asked him why he had not yet designed a collection specifically for women. Thus, albeit initially designed for women and women only, a remarkable circumstance in independent watchmaking, and primarily because of the outstanding movement created by the Master, many male collectors asked for a larger version – 48 mm – of the Elegante, which finally debuted, with a titanium case and a rubber strap, in 2016.

F.P. Journe Elegante with rose rubber strap
F.P. Journe Elegante – Photo courtesy of F.P. Journe

Written by Aurora Patti

Born in 1997, working in corporate but with a neverending love for the world of watchmaking.