The women’s watch category has been growing for the past several years as more brands are seeing that the future is female. Trends trackers hail everything from high technology to diamonds important in this category, and nature a popular muse.
“Women’s watches are gaining momentum as the watch industry struggles with declining numbers,” cites Barbara Palumbo, watch and jewelry blogger at whatsonherwrist.com and adornamentality.com. “More brands are marketing to women than ever before and they’re doing so not just by using the ‘shrink and pink’ mentality of the past, but realizing that women might also be interested in mechanical movements if given the opportunity to learn about them.”
Roberta Naas, veteran watch and jewelry journalist and founder of atimelyperspective.com, says it no secret that women’s watches are on the rise. “In all price ranges, watch brands are unveiling more creativity for women’s wrists that at any other time, with most of them offering beauty, brawn and brains.”
Mechanical & Quartz
Mechanical watches are leading the charge, says Naas, sometimes with complications and add-on features that prove women love what’s under the hood as much as men do. Responding to demand, she says more watch brands are unveiling automatic and hand-wound watches with chronographs, calendars, moonphase, dual time functions and more.
Although there are more mechanical watches for ladies than ever before, there’s an emerging trend toward more accessibly priced quartz timepieces, particularly in smaller options, reports Carol Besler, veteran watch and jewelry journalist and founder of the blog watchdetail.com. She says the great thing about this new generation of quartz watches is that they’re made to higher quality standards than those from the quartz era of the 1980s.
Naas credits leading design brands like Dior, Channel and Fendi for inspiring more attention to the women’s watch category, as well as the growth of social watch collector groups and immediacy of products posted and shared so that women are seeing, learning and loving more about watches.
Trends in women’s watches are moving towards cleaner, contemporary, smaller and thinner styling, cites Samantha Barker, public relations and social media coordinator for Citizen in New York. “We’ve seen the trend go from a diamond decorated timepiece to a causal ‘athleisure’ styling. Watches that not only can be worn in a professional setting, but also on the weekends, to the gym, out with friends, and outdoors.”
Besler hails a welcome reversal from watches the size of hockey pucks. “Ladies’ timepieces are being scaled down to more feminine, comfortable proportions, a move away from the decade long trend for big and bold. “It follows a move in the men’s category toward more classic watches with slimmer profiles and narrow case widths.
Palumbo cites that there are more brands making gender-neutral watches in the 34mm to 38mm range now that can be worn by both men and women without looking awkward.
Making a refined ergonomic statement with curved movement and case that exactly follows the wrist and sparkles with diamonds, Bulova’s new 40MM Progressive CURV heralds the shape of things to come with applied design technology, describes Susan Chandler, senior vice president merchandising, design and development for Bulova in New York. “This edition is the first ladies’ product in our CURV series. Like the men’s, it features a high performance curved movement with all elements of the dial and case curved. Following the men’s progressive sport, we’ve added diamonds and subtle accents for the smaller scale; and also bold color versions to enhance the collection.”
Getting much fanfare from trends trackers is Bulova’s new ladies collection, Rubaiyat. The name is of poetic significance originally chosen by Bulova in 1917 when introducing it’s first female-focused watch designs. “Today, the collection celebrates a century past, fusing modern design with longstanding roots in the art of true craftsmanship and empowered femininity,” says Chandler. “The collection offers stunning, regal elements, adorned by diamond detailing and unique crown placement at the utmost point of the watch’s case.” A special detail seen in Bulova advertising in the same era the original Rubaiyat was introduced, the Goddess of Time, is featured on the case back in a high relief struck format.
Priscilla-Marie Ilarraza, public relations specialist for Seiko Corporation of America in New York reports the biggest trend in women’s watches this year will focus on diamonds, particularly on the markers and bezels. Other notable trends include two-tone styling and mother-of-pearl dial. Among the bestsellers is brand light powered Tressia Solar, jewelry inspired timepieces with Art Deco flare.
Besler cites classic and vintage among the top style trends, with re-introductions of or improvements on iconic lines. Moreover, Naas says brands are delivering diversity and versatility via a host of genres for women that include sport, daily-wear, and diamond adorned watches.