Updated: Dec 6, 2018
“Hold every hour in your grasp. Lay hold of today’s task, and you will not need to depend so much upon tomorrows.
While we are postponing, life speeds by. Nothing is ours, except time”
- Seneca -
“Elegance is sobriety” and in a business environment a lady needs a wristwatch that can make her appear classy and professional at the same time.
Nowadays a business-lady does not want to renounce her femininity or personality in her work environment. The watch market responds to this need providing many design and luxury options.
The purpose of this guide is to provide a list of watch options for business ladies that can be worn everyday - excluding the luxury jewellery watches - focusing on the “business day” models and respecting the following principle well expressed by the stylist Giorgio Armani:
“A watch is one of the most important things you buy. It says a lot about the person”
SIZE OF THE WATCH
The watch dimensions are measured with a calliperand they refer to the external case measurement excluding the setting crown. Thickness of the case, which can have a range from few millimetres up to around 20 millimetres, should also be considered.
Be aware boundary measurements do not exist between the genres but the dimension of your wrist can affect your watch choice. In general, a women’s wrist measurement is around 5cm so your watch choice should take this into consideration.
Please find below a little guide:
SHAPE OF THE WATCH
The most popular watch shape is round: classic and classy it is perfect for every business ladies’ wrist.
A thin or elongated case softens the decisive features while a square case is perfect for highlighting.
A rectangular case is elegant and perfect for a formal outfit.
Both etiquette and contemporary literature agrees that there is no preference in the placement of the wristwatch.
Once you have decided where to place it, the watch case will go just after the ulna, which is the bone that sticks out on the outside of the wrist. Please be aware the ladies can wear the watches wider and in a more comfortable way than men.
1. If you are wearing some other items of jewellery, wear the watch on a different wrist to avoid an overload of accessories and be sure to wear bracelets made from the same material as your watch.
2. The choice to buy a leather strap instead of a metal one needs to take in consideration your usual style of wearing. Even if both materials are perfect for all occasions, a woman who wears a lot of jewellery should prioritise the choice of a metal strap, being showier than a leather one. Concerning business, the leather strap is more discreet and always perfect for formal business environments and worn with minimal jewellery to match.
3. Remember that elegance is sobriety. Even if the watch market provides infinite models and types with large cases and colourful versions, we recommend wearing them only in your free time rather than at work unless it is a creative environment that encourages the extravagance.
LUXURY BRANDS & MODELS for BUSINESS LADIES
BULGARI( https://www.bulgari.com/en-us/watches) – This luxury Italian manufacturer, born in 1884, traditionally focused on creating the highest quality jewellery and watches and only later expanded into the production of perfumes, silk scarves, and eyewear.
- SERPENTI- In 1940, Bulgari introduced the snake-watch, inspired by the Art Deco (period 1920) dedicated to all ladies who are looking for a particular, a little bit extravagant and unmistakable watch (https://www.bulgari.com/en-us/products.html?root_level=317&sign=106). For business, we recommend the Serpenti version with 18Kt rose gold case, white mother-of-pearl dial and interchangeable double spiral bracelet in several colours karung leather (fig.1) or the TUBOGAS version in stainless steel case and flexible elastic bracelet with several colours choice opaline dial (fig.2)
The Bulgari straps assortment includes the most prestigious leathers. Up to 90 work phases are require in order to produce one of them and the ladies can choose the fabrics, the leather and the colours that most match their taste (https://www.bulgari.com/en-us/customer_watches_leatherstaps)
If you are looking for a unique sophisiticated business watch we recommend the last model promoted at the Salon International de la Haute Orologerie Gèneve 2018:
- DIVAS’DREAM (https://www.bulgari.com/en-us/products/102839-e.html) - Limited Edition this watch has the world’s thinnest minute repeater movement in a ladies’watch. Dial embellished by gold-spangled Urushi lacquer, 18K rose gold case with brilliant-cut diamonds, 64 hours power reserve, 37 mm, black alligator strap (fig.3)
- BULGARI B-01 (black and white version) (https://www.bulgari.com/en-us/products/102087-e.html) - It is a minimalist, design watch for business ladies who are looking for an elegant femininity that reflects their strong personalities. Case size 23 mm steel, 18Kt rose gold case, black ceramic ring, water resistant, black or white lacquered dial set with diamond indexes (fig.4)
- BVLGARI BVLGARI (https://www.bulgari.com/en-us/products/101975-e.html) - Timeless for any business woman, this watch was introduced in 1977. With its 37mm stainless steel case and bracelet, white mother-of-pearl dial and diamond indexes it can be perfectly match with any business and casual outfit. Suggested to bring in your business luggage for short travels (fig.5)
VAN CLEEF AND ARPELS – (https://www.vancleefarpels.com/ww/en/collections/watches.html) – Founded in 1906, this French Maison shows a new vision of watch making. The poetic interpretation of the Time makes every single model an exquisite true signature of creativity, delicacy and original design.
- CHARMS WATCH COLLECTION - https://www.vancleefarpels.com/ww/en/collections/watches/charms/vcarm95000-charms-watch-32-mm.html) - Charms quartz watch available in 2 measures: 32 or 38 mm, pink or white gold case 32 or 38 mm, pink or white gold bezel, 2 or 3 rows of diamonds, rotating pink or white gold charm, two interchangeable bracelets black or white satin. Charm watch collection is one of the Van Cleef & Arpels signature for classy business women you love refined details (fig.6 version in pink gold, 2 rows of diamonds. Fig.7 version in white gold 3 rows of diamonds) and for travelling and cocktails evenings.
- ALHAMBRA WATCH (https://www.vancleefarpels.com/ww/en/search/search.html?srchTags=COL_ALHAMBRA_WATCHES) - onix dial, black satin bracelet, quartz movement is available in small (26mm ) medium (30mm) or big (40mm) and in several colours. For business women who loves to wear vintagethis watch firstly created in 1968 is distinguished by its unique and timeless elegance. It perfectly matches with different business outfits such as suits (fig.8)
- POETIC COMPLICATIONS WATCHES – (https://www.vancleefarpels.com/ww/en/collections/watches/poetic-complication.html) – Dedicated to all creative Business women who don’t want to lose the poetry in their lives. Poetic Complications collection is for them and in particular the last creation presented at the SIHH 2018:
Lady Arpels Planétarium (https://www.vancleefarpels.com/ww/en/collections/watches/poetic-complication/vcaro8r500-lady-arpels-planetarium-watch.html) : 38 mm, white gold case, round diamonds. Aventurine dial, pink gold sun and white gold shooting star, pink mother-of-pearl Mercury, green enamel Venus, turquoise Earth, diamond Moon. White gold crown, round diamond. Sapphire case back. Glitter blue alligator strap with white gold pin buckle and round diamonds (fig.9)
CARTIER –(https://www.en.cartier.com/collections/watches/womens-watches.viewall.html) - One of the most renowned luxury French brand worldwide with its 359 watches for women, Cartier offers a wide and elegant choice for all kind of businesswomen and all kinds of events.
- PANTHERE DE CARTIER – (https://www.en.cartier.com/collections/watches/womens-watches/panthere-de-cartier.html) - 31 quartz models to wear, available in 3 cases size: mini triple loop bracelet (20 X 25 mm), small (22mm X 30mm, double or single bracelet) and medium (27mm X 37 mm), all water resistant and several combination of materials.
Considered the Cartier signature, this timeless piece has the rare ability to stand the test of time and will always be contemporary and adapt to any event a woman needs to face in her business (fig.10 and fig.11)
- TANK Collection - (https://www.en.cartier.com/collections/watches/womens-watches/tank.viewall.html) - 78 models available, in several colours and materials. All water resistant. Available in mini, small, medium, large and extra-large case dimensions (fig.12 and fig.13)
- BAIGNOIRE & RONDE Collections– (https://www.en.cartier.com/collections/watches/womens-watches/baignoire.html) - 22 water resistant models for bagnoire collection and 25 models for the ronde one. All of them available in several materials and case sizes. This collection is for the businesswomen who prefer round, oval and more feminine watches shapes (fig. 14 and fig.15)
PIAGET (https://www.piaget.com/watches/women-watches) - Swiss luxury horlogerie maison, Piaget was the first one to launch the thinnest automatic movement in the world, the 12P. 109 models available for business women in several styles and in beautiful colourful options.
Please be aware that colourful watches versions are not indicated for formal business outfits and meetings but can be worn in your free time or business weekends.
- POSSESSION (https://www.piaget.com/watches/possession) -14 quartz models perfect for business in the versions black and brown. Possession is suggested for all business ladies who want to play with the colours and be elegant during their free-time (fig.16 and fig.17)
- ALTIPIANO ULTIMATE MANUAL WATCH (https://www.piaget.com/watches/white-gold-diamond-ultra-thin-mechanical-watch-g0a40013 ) - Considered “the ultimate elegance” this model for business lady is distinguished by the visible internal mechanism. Only 3.65mm thick, Altipiano 38 mm 900P watch is conceived so that its movement and case merge into a single whole, thus enabling to attain a world record for thinness (website quote). Rose gold case set with 78 diamonds. Its exceptional mechanism offers a generous power reserve of approx. 48 hours. Alligator strap (fig.18)
Also available without diamonds or in a more classic version with case in 18K rose gold, ultra-thin hand wound mechanical movement (fig.19 and fig.20)
ROLEX (https://www.rolex.com/watches/find-rolex/woman.html) - Unquestionably one of the most high end watch retailer’s in the world, Rolex remain a secure choice for all business ladies who wants to wear a timeless piece that can match with all business outfits as well as informal occasions.
- LADY DATE JUST ( https://www.rolex.com/watches/datejust.html) - it is one of the prominent pillars of the Oyster collection and a Rolex signature since the early 1930s. Steel material, silver dial, oyster bracelet allows the wearer to increase the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm, superlative level of chronometric performance and temperature variations, cyclops lens. Available in several dial colours and sizes (fig. 21) and also with diamonds and mother-of-pearl with the jubilee bracelet version (https://www.rolex.com/watches/datejust/m279381rbr-0013.html) (fig.22)
PATEK-PHILIPPE (https://www.patek.com/en/home) - It is a standard of excellence and elegance in the luxury watch world since 1839. It is an independent manufacturer focused on detail and perfection which allows this brand to create unique pieces of incredible beauty and design and absolutely perfect for the business environment.
- TWENTY ~4® (https://www.patek.com/en/collection/twenty4) - Created in 1999, this model epitomizes timeless feminine elegance. Dedicated to young, active modern ladies it conceives for any business or casual wear (website quote) – 8 models available in different dial colours and bracelet materials, quartz movement (fig.23)
- COMPLICATION- 7130R World Time (https://www.patek.com/en/collection/complications/7130R-011) - An interesting Patek model we want to suggest for women that travel for business around the world or need to deal with international client could be the mechanical self-winding complication model 7130R . Case diameter 36 mm, world time, 24-hours and day/night indication for the 24 times zones. Bezel set with 62 diamonds, prong buckle set with 27 diamonds and dial in ivory opaline (fig.24)
It is worth mentioning for completeness the following set of brands which also deserve a place for quality and style and are perfect for business ladies:
- CHANEL (https://www.chanel.com/us/watches/)
- CHOPARD (https://www.chopard.com/intl/watches)
- GIRARD – PERREGAUX(https://www.girard-perregaux.com/en)
- BOVET (http://www.bovet.com)
UNMISSABLE WORLDWIDE WATCH EXHIBITIONS
Collecting watches is a passion that involves more and more women that love details and want to create more original and sophisticated outfits based on details.
For these ladies we suggest monitoring the following annual exhibitions where they can admire the latest trends, designs and luxury watches.
1. Baselworld– (https://www.baselworld.com/en-US.aspx) - A “must” to go if you wish to be updated about the latest watch news. Check-out the website for information on the next exhibition 2019 in Switzerland.
2. Salon Internationale de la Haute Orologerie Genève– (https://www.sihh.org) – Another unmissable annual event for all collectors.
3. Watches & Wonders – (https://www.watchesandwonders.com) – Taking place at the heart of the Miami Design District, this annual event is an opportunity to discover watches and jewellery from the most prestigious worldwide brands. (20,000 visitors in the last event held in February 2018)
4. Dubai watch week – (https://www.dubaiwatchweek.com) - This bi-annual exhibition is becoming more and more another unmissable appointment for collectors. From 20 exhibitors in 2015 to 40 in 2017, this exhibition has experienced an impressive growth in visitor numbers: from 846 in 2015 to 6.500 at its last event.
5. Siar–(http://salonaltarelojeria.com/2017/) -It is the most important horlogerie event in Latin America where all prestigious worldwide brands gather to present their last releases, unveil new watches trends and interact with all visitors.
6. Always keep an eye on the Foundation High Horology (https://www.hautehorlogerie.org/en/) who’s purpose it is to promote Fine Watchmaking in Switzerland and worldwide.