The annual Watches and Wonders expo returned to Geneva last week, and what a week it was. Watchmakers from Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe to Hublot and TAG Heuer bowled us over with their latest horological inventions that pushed the boundaries of both technical and aesthetic innovation.
When it came to ladies’ watches, there was no shortage of sophisticated stunners from brands like Cartier, Chanel, Piaget, Van Cleef & Arpels and more. Keep scrolling for 7 of our favourite women’s watch releases.
Cartier Tank Chinoise
While the Tank may be lauded as one of the most iconic watch designs in Cartier’s repertoire, the lesser known Tank Chinoise from 1922 demonstrated Louis Cartier’s long-held appreciation for the vast and rich arts of distant cultures, as well as their influence in the Maison’s jewellery and watchmaking. Incorporating overlapping horizontal bars and vertical bars on the case’s four sides, the Tank Chinoise unified the beloved Tank’s aesthetics with elements of Chinese architecture.
For its 100th anniversary, the Tank Chinoise is reintroduced in six variations as part of Cartier’s Privé collection. In addition to the elegant models housing the 430 MC movement in yellow gold, rose gold, and platinum cases, Cartier also unveils Tank Chinoise Skeleton pieces, which showcase the 9627 MC skeleton movement through an open-worked dial reminiscent of traditional Chinese windows and doors. W cartier.com
Chanel J12 Diamond Tourbillon Calibre 5
Designed by Arnaud Chastaingt, director of the Chanel Watch Creation Studio, the new J12 Diamond Tourbillon features the brand’s first Flying Tourbillon movement that’s exclusively manufactured in-house: the Calibre 5. The timepiece is set with a solitaire diamond, spinning in perfect time to the rhythm of each second in a hypnotic dance. At the back, the visible mechanism with a pristine finish is marked with a lion’s head symbol, a signature of all Chanel Watches and Jewellery creations. Available in a limited run of 55 pieces, the J12 Diamond Tourbillon is offered in two variations – one with a black ceramic and 18K white gold case with a diamond bezel, and another with a matte black ceramic and steel with black coating case. W chanel.com
Chopard IMPERIALE Flying Tourbillon
Inspired by the age of empires, Chopard’s IMPERIALE collection expresses all that is majestic, sophisticated, and eminently feminine through the rich intricacies of its details and designs. With the IMPERIALE Flying Tourbillon, the collection meets its first-ever flying tourbillon movement, the L.U.C Calibre 96.24-C. Fully developed and produced by Chopard, the movement has earned chronometer certification as well as the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark for its extreme precision. An ethical 18-carat white gold case set with diamonds surrounds the timepiece’s blue aventurine dial, on which a mother-of-pearl marquetry lotus blossom delicately cradles the tourbillon cage. W chopard.com
Hermès Arceau Les folies du ciel
Paying tribute to early explorations of flight, Hermès’ Arceau Les folies du ciel is a dreamy assemblage of painting, engraving and animation inspired by its ‘Les folies du ciel’ silk scarf motif designed by Loïc Dubigeon in 1984. Visually representing the optimistic spirit and progressive journey of humankind to reach the sky, the mother-of-pearl dial features green and pink neoralite hot-air balloons and a hand painted white gold gondola in the shape of a bird. An animated balloon at 12 o’clock serves as a balance, whimsically spinning on its axis with each move of the wrist. Powered by a Manufacture Hermès H1837 movement, the fanciful 24-piece limited edition timepiece endeavours to capture the hopeful first moments between dreams and reality within its 38 mm white gold case. W live.hermes-horloger.com
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept
In 2018, Piaget wowed at the Watches and Wonders fair with its unveiling of the Altiplano Ultimate Concept, the world’s thinnest mechanical watch at the time. Measuring a gossamer 2mm, the watch pushed the limits of horological microengineering and gained the ultimate recognition of winning the Aiguille d’Or prize from the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2020. This year, Piaget presents a new Altiplano Ultimate Concept that commemorates the moment of the original marvel’s birth.
A closer look at the minute ring on the new model’s dial reveals two larger circles among the dots, marking 7:47pm – the minute the first AUC started beating. The AUC’s birthday, 7th February 2017, is also inscribed in a window on the right. ‘La Côte-aux-Fées’, engraved on the ratchet wheel along with some coordinates, references the location of the manufacture in which the AUC was created. Finally, a twinkling host of Super-LumiNova® stars on the mainplate recreates the sky hanging over La Côte-aux-Fées on that momentous day in Piaget’s watchmaking history. W piaget.com
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin
Catering to the growing segment of women interested in more complex mechanical timepieces, Vacheron Constantin’s latest additions to the Traditionnelle line showcase remarkable technical intricacy in an unmistakably feminine package. Available in two variations, the new Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin entrances with a gleaming mother-of-pearl dial in blue-grey for the white gold model and white for the pink gold model.
Powered by the in-house Calibre 1120 Q, the 36.5 mm timepiece features a perpetual calendar that doesn’t require any adjustment until 2100. The moon phase at 6 o’clock sits in aesthetic harmony with the rest of the watch, its disc matching the colour of the dial and its moon and stars taking after the gold shade of the case. 77 round-cut diamonds adorn the bezel, lugs, and crown of the watch, reiterating Vacheron Constantin’s commitment to refined excellence and sophisticated elegance in every detail. W vacheron-constantin.com
Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Heures Florales
Celebrating the unending renewal of nature’s flora and fauna, Van Cleef & Arpels’ striking new creation draws poetic lines between the flow of time and the enduring cycle of seasons. The Lady Arpels Heures Florales, inspired by Carl Von Linné’s Linnaeus’ Flower Clock from 1751, narrates the passage of time through a spectacle of animated flowers, opening and closing throughout the course of a day. 12 flowers in soft blue shades sit on sculpted rose gold branches, blossoming against the delicate white mother-of-pearl dial.
Its self-winding mechanical Valfleurier movement, equipped with a flower-opening module for the hours and minutes display, tells the time through the number of opened blooms. Another version of the 38mm watch, the Lady Arpels Heures Florales Cerisier, comes in a rose gold case and incorporates the brand’s emblematic element of butterflies, which flutter amongst pink and red flowers on the dial. W vancleefarpels.com/