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    Women's Watches

    From far left: Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin Duetto, JAEGER-LECOULTRE; The Britain, BURBERRY; Aquaracer Lady, TAG HEUER; VIII Grand Bal ‘Resille’, DIOR; Ultraplate, BLANCPAIN; Reine de naples, BREGUET. Selection of silk and silk/satin scarves, from £130, HERMÈS, PAUL SMITH and WESTON

     

    Watches — 11 October 2013

    Face Facts:
    Women's Watches

    Gone are the days when 'ladies' were only offered watches that were small, round and boring. Brands old and new are creating ever more interesting timepieces for women

    Photography: Andy Barter

    Words: Simon de Burton

    Jaeger-LeCoultre

    Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin Duetto

    The story of how the Reverso was invented during the Thirties for British polo players in India has been oft told: the watch was given a flip-over case which protected the glass during vigorous chukkas. Numerous Reverso models have been made in the intervening decades, but the Duetto is one of the best. It features a dial on either side of the case, both powered by the same mechanical movement. That not only means you can have two different dial designs on the same watch, but you can display two different time zones, too. Genius.

    £12,600; jaeger-lecoultre.com

    Burberry

    Burberry The Britain

    Burberry has upped the ante with its watch range by combining British design with Swiss craftsmanship to create a range which includes a series of covetable, limited editions and a core collection of nine men’s models and 11 women’s, including The Britain. The version pictured has a convincing-looking steel case plated with 18ct rose gold and a ‘nude’ sunray dial with contrasting alligator strap. The movement is merely a quartz job, so won’t excite serious female horophiles, but you do get a sapphire crystal glass and hands treated with glow-in-the-dark Super-LumiNova.

    £1,650; burberry.com

    TAG Heuer

    TAG Heuer Aquaracer Lady

    TAG Heuer has promoted women’s versions of its ultra-popular Aquaracer sports watch with a famous 1979 image of a naked Bo Derek wearing a pre-cursor to the model – given to her on her 22nd birthday by her film director husband John. Which might inspire men to buy it as a gift. More persuasive for women doing their own buying, the latest Aquaracer Lady is a genuine sports watch with TAG’s Calibre 5 self-winding mechanical movement. It is available in a choice of small, 27mm case with a quartz movement or as a 34mm model. The face and matching bracelet combine rose gold with steel.

    From £2,550; tagheuer.com

    Dior

    Dior VIII Grand Bal ‘Resille’

    Inspired by the haute couture creations of Christian Dior, this version of the Grand Bal ‘Resille’ features a small, 33mm ceramic case containing a self-winding, mechanical movement with the unusual feature of having its oscillating weight (which winds the mechanism automatically as the wearer moves) on the dial side. Decorated with intricate diamond setting, the weight is designed to emulate the look of a swirling ball gown. Black or white ceramic cases are available, each with matching bracelet. Ceramic is ideal for watch use, being highly scratch-resistant, hypo-allergenic and non-corrosive.

    £17,600; dior.com

    Blancpain

    Blancpain Ultraplate

    The Blancpain name is a mighty one in the world of horology – it is, in fact, the oldest-surviving watch brand in the world. Dating back to 1735, it was revived in 1982, after a 20-year slumber, by the marketing genius Jean-Claude Biver (who later breathed new life into Hublot). Blancpain’s ethos is to make only high-quality, mechanical watches and the Ultraplate contains its Reference 953 calibre – a remarkably thin and beautifully finished automatic movement. For versatility, it is supplied with a standard alligator strap, plus five more that are easily interchangeable. This version has a diamond-set case and dial.

    £9,330; blancpain.com

    Breguet

    Breguet Reine de Naples

    Ever wondered who made the first wristwatch? Probably the great Abraham-Louis Breguet – and he did it for a woman. He delivered the watch to Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister, Caroline Murat, in 1812 (while her brother was busy invading Russia). It had a strap made from gold thread and an egg-shaped case. It was reprised by the modernday Breguet company in 2002 as the Reine de Naples, after Caroline. The version shown here is 18ct white gold and has a Breguet self-winding, mechanical movement behind its mother-of-pearl dial and a suitably regal bezel set with 117 diamonds.

    £25,800; breguet.com