Five Everyday Ladies’ Watches From Luxury Brands

Ladies’ watches are an obvious showcase for spectacular diamond setting and decorative enameling, but watches receiving such special treatment often overshadow the more everyday models in brands’ collections, models that also deserve our attention. Not long ago, women looking for robust, well-designed (i.e. subtle) classic timepieces had to settle for men’s dress watches – most of which were not designed for smaller wrists. That’s all changed now. These five luxury watches are purpose-built for everyday wear – classic in design, and made to last.

IWC Portofino

The Portofino has been around since 1984, but it was completely revamped in 2014 with a slew of diamond pieces, which positioned it solidly on the ladies’ spectrum. This year’s tweak is a slight redesign of the wearable 34mm size, with the model’s signature clean dial, Roman numerals, slim feuille hands and discreet diamond hour markers. It now comes on a calfskin rather than an alligator strap, or a new five-link stainless steel bracelet. It’s available in rose gold or steel, from $5,450 to $13,500.

Van Cleef & Arpels Perlee

Van Cleef & Arpels watches are known for their high level of embellishment and often elaborate mechanisms, and it’s not surprising it is often overlooked as a maker of everyday watches. The new Perlée collection just might change that. As on the jewelry collection of the same name, the main design element is gold beading, applied here to the outer bezel. The dials are guilloched in a sunburst pattern onto gold, mother-of-pearl or onyx. Bracelets are woven grosgrain fabric or full gold, with rows of beading that match the case. Priced from $8,000 to $45,000.

Breguet Classique 8068

The Classique 8068 helps fill a niche that has been widely unfilled until recently: the ladies’ day watch that is high-end without being over the top. The multiple strap choices add a contemporary flair to what is otherwise a very traditional, minimalist design, with classic open-tipped Breguet hands, guilloched dial and coin-edge case. It comes with three interchangeable straps: black satin fabric strap and two alligator leather straps, one in teal blue and the other in “Byzantium” purple for the white gold version; and peacock blue and raspberry pink for the rose gold version. It is priced at $25,800.

Chopard Alpine Eagle 33

Chopard is also enriching this newish sports watch collection with a 33mm model, just right for a woman’s wrist size. (It joins the existing 36, 41 and 44-mm sizes). There are six references made of Chopard’s proprietary Lucent Steel A223 and/or ethical 18k rose gold, including bi-color options. There are several dial colors and some are set with diamonds on the bezel and bracelet links. Dial color options include blue, gray or pink. All contain the Chopard caliber 09.01-C automatic mechanical movement.

Zenith Chronomaster Original Pink

Proceeds from the sales of this pink version of Zenith’s most iconic El Primero model will benefit the Susan G. Komen center for breast cancer research and awareness. It has a 38mm steel case and pink sunray-patterned dial, and contains the most up-to-date version of Zenith’s legendary high frequency movement, the El Primero caliber 3600, a chronograph that times to 1/10th of a second. Priced at $10,000.

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