Times Have Changed: How Women’s Wrist Watches Have Evolved

Wrist watches have always been designed with the fairer sex in mind. Historically the first wrist watch was predominantly worn by women having found a pocket watch impractical. In fact it wasn’t until 1904 that the first wrist watch was designed by Louis Cartier for men, with attitudes still widely considering the watch as a timepiece solely for women.

Changing lifestyles and ever evolving fashion trends have shaped women’s watch making to dramatically evolve since the first models were widely available. Join us as we look how ladies’ watches have journeyed through the decades to today’s modern trends.

The Birth of the Wristwatch

Wrist watches grew in popularity from the 1850s, especially amongst the ladies of the French elite. These watches were limited in functionality and would be considered distinctively primitive to the intuitive models available today. The watches of this time period were often inaccurate, but their main draw was their impressive bright and glittering design. Women paid great attention to the design of a watch which is why there are many antique bejewelled masterpieces of the era.

British women took a more practical approach, wanting a simple, reliable time piece to use when hunting on horseback. These models were presented on simple leather straps, which were ideal for their required purpose. A bracelet style was the watch of choice for more formal occasions.

Modern Day

Luna visual

Where earlier watches designed for the lady were considered more of an adornment than a practical way to keep track of time, today accuracy and functionality are some of the most important features of a women’s watch. Where a market for a diamond encrusted, dress style watch still exists especially on the back of expensive, jewel heavy styles highly coveted amongst popular culture, women are looking for more active styles.

Trends are leading to an increased demand for mechanical models. Although they have long had a strong history as a preferred choice with women, the trend for a quartz model in the 1980s stuck around until recently- automatics are the watch of the moment.

This demand has given watch makers the opportunity to showcase their skills, where interior movements need to be carefully considered within smaller limitations of the casing along with showcasing their artistic crafts in jewel setting.

Redesigned Men’s Watches

Taking design constraints into consideration, watch manufacturers are adapting iconic men’s styles for women. These tried and tested styles loved by men offer good precision designed with an elegant and feminine twist and being slightly bigger in size than a traditional watch are easier to produce.





2013 Trends

So far 2013 has seen a number of trends emerge in ladies watches. Here are four that have particularly caught our eye:

  1. Ceramic- Romantic, cute and girly ceramic watches are available in a number of different colours. Perfect for a casual look.
  2. Rose Gold- Elegant for formal occasions rose gold watches are a welcome change from silver and gold plated pieces.
  3. Bracelet/ bangle- Going to a special event and can’t decide between a watch and a bracelet? These solve the problem, stylishly combining the two.
  4. Material straps- Satin straps have been a popular choice allowing colours to be on trend with the seasons.

The main aim of watch manufacturers is the quest for excellence. Whatever trends may occur in the future, one thing will remain the same- watch makers will continue to produce the finest time pieces to the high standards watch lovers have come to expect.

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