There’s no better way to add instant style to an outfit than with the addition of a statement watch, and the 2021’s collections have offered up some truly eye-catching timepieces. Whether it’s the rainbow-hued styles showcased at Chanel, Hublot and Piaget, the whimsical flora and fauna on display in Hermès and Van Cleef & Arpels’ intricate designs or the full-on Roaring Twenties glamour offered up by Graff, Chaumet and Chopard, these watchmakers have pulled out all the stops. Here, we’ve selected the most dazzling watches for women across the key trends to buy now.
The Finest Watches for Women
Semaphore of hope, joy and just instantly feel-good, rainbows first started trending during lockdown and it seems these technicolour bursts are officially here to stay. Watches are a brilliant canvas for rainbows, with brands putting their own spin on the theme. There are the multicoloured bezels that offset transparent dials – another big trend – on the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked, and Chanel’s ultra-cool J12 X-Ray Electro. Rolex’s Day-Date 36 adds extra oomph to the look, its vivid indexes really popping when set against a full diamond pavé dial. Finally, Hublot pairs a tourbillon with maximalist, full-on colour saturation, courtesy of no less than 484 coloured sapphires, in a fully integrated gem-encrusted bracelet that wraps an entire rainbow around your wrist. Mood-boosting indeed.
First there was blue, then a vintage-like salmon; now green has emerged as watchmaking’s colour du jour. Driving this trend, no doubt, is a post-pandemic eco-consciousness and focus on sustainability, and currently on the market are greens to suit every wrist. Breitling and Blancpain serve up delectable pastel shades, Longines and Gucci’s are more the way of intense sea-greens, while Rolex’s jungle-themed Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 will transport you to exotic lush locales. Some models come with truly green credentials, too: Cartier’s new Tank Must is equipped with a solar-powered movement that won’t need changing for 16 years, while its mint-green strap is made from 40% plant matter hailing from apples discarded by the food industry.
FAUNA & FLORA
This season, watchmakers have been channelling their love of nature into their timepieces, celebrating Mother Earth’s power and beauty via exquisite craftsmanship – the more fantastical the better. At Chaumet, spellbinding ranunculuses were the main muse, and came to life via striking green lacquer inlaid over white mother-of-pearl dials. On Hermès’s Arceau The Three Graces, wood marquetry from American walnut and maple sits alongside European sycamore and tulip to painstakingly depict a giraffe’s uniquely mottled coat. But most dreamy of all is Van Cleef & Arpels’ Lady Arpels Day and Night Fée Ondine, an automated beauty that depicts an enchanting fairy in a lotus pond on a summer’s day, the sun rising and setting below the horizon.
It’s full-on glamour when it comes to this year’s Roaring Twenties reboot, and these splendid new cocktail watches will have you looking right on trend. History buffs will appreciate that Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso One Cordonnet actually takes after a model first launched in the original Jazz Age – in 1933, to be precise – the initial leather cord today replaced with a supple gem-set braid of gold, the whole timepiece set with 1,104 diamonds. Graff’s sensual ribbon-topped Tilda Bow is a masterclass in taking monochrome styling to ultra-feminine levels, while Chopard’s fabulous and fierce Happy Diamonds Haute Joaillerie number not only reflects our times with 18ct ethical white gold, but five brilliant loose diamonds also dance across the dial – an echo of the kind of moves we’ll all be making for nights to come.
With their mystical, earthy tones and refined air of romance, mother-of-pearl conveys a certain kind of subtle glamour. Formed over time from layers of nacre lining the inside of molluscs, no two mother-of-pearls are alike and the prettiest come in an array of tones, from opalescent greys and shimmering silvers to milky whites. They shine all the brighter when set in the dials of some of this season’s most covetable new watches. The yellow-gold finish and diamond-set bezel on Rolex’s dazzling Datejust 31 highlights the mother-of-pearl’s intensity, while Omega and TAG Heuer have paired iridescent dials with two-tone, bi-metal finishes to achieve a look of understated sporting elegance.