“Men’s watches for women” are sure to make some feathers shudder and invite strong opinions; the former is something we don’t mind doing here at Quill & Pad, and the latter is really welcome in our comments section below.
Here, I want to explore if there are any ladies’ watches that a man could wear, and by “wearing” I mean wearing with intact self-esteem and looking great while doing it!
The reverse is quite common: Women wearing Rolex Submariners or Panerais are considered fashionable, and men wearing the same watch don’t seem to feel threatened in their manhood by it.
Reverse it and you get a completely different reaction, mostly from men.
The power of unisex
Smartwatch makers sidestep this topic entirely by not stating whether they created a watch as part of a men’s or women’s collection.
This technically makes every watch unisex as it should be: Manufacturers can let customers decide what’s best for them instead of trying to think for them. And that way, they don’t voluntarily limit their own sales.
In the world of exclusive scents, almost all scents are unisex. Still, there aren’t many men who prefer heavy floral notes – nor women who want a deep musk scent – so the choices are very natural; again, they come from the consumer and not from the manufacturer.
This allows customers to get a product that is right for them without having to cross social boundaries set by the product’s manufacturers – such as “intended” sex rather than a clear male / female binary.
A question of size and diamonds
Often the difference between a men’s watch and a women’s watch is the size.
There seems to be a social rule that ladies’ watches should be smaller than men’s watches. The further you go to the extreme on either side of the size spectrum, the more likely people are to agree with you – with a whole gray area in the middle.
However, it also depends on the type of watch: a 34mm dress watch is considered a stylish choice for a man, while a new 34mm diver’s watch would look comically tiny (and useless underwater. ).
Cultural perspective also plays an important role: where in one market the setting of diamonds instantly and unmistakably makes a timepiece for a woman (or a faux pas for a man), in another market it may indicate that a man is very successful at what he does for a living (see How, When, and Why Diamond-Set Mens Watches Were Commonly Accepted and the Importance America Placed).
Women’s watches that a man can wear
Are there watches that are marketed specifically for women, but which could also be suitable for men?
Yes there is.
Of course, we are not talking here about the smaller size of a model that simply caters to the female population while the larger models reside in the men’s collection. No, here we are talking about a line or an entire collection marketed to women, but which contains models that are also suitable for men.
A Chopard sales manager once told me while I was admiring one of the brand’s latest Imperiale watches that some models in this line are split almost 50/50 between the men and women who buy them for them. – even when they are marketed under the mark. women’s collection.
Another fact that emerged from this discussion was that not all references to the rare ladies’ watches that make the transition to a man’s wrist can go. It often has to do with color: the Imperial comes in a version with pink sapphires and a purple strap in a 29mm case, and it’s these watches that obviously have a lot more trouble making the transition to the opposite sex than stainless steel chronographs or even diamond-set versions.
In the latter case, the cultural background of the client plays a big role as diamonds are not as accepted by men in all markets.
When FP Journe presented the Élégante, it caused a sensation: not only was it the brand’s first collection aimed at women, but it was also powered by a quartz movement!
It was quite shocking for a master watchmaker who is considered one of the best of his generation. The same goes for the battery-powered Elegante he created with its Vagabondage-style case and hibernating quartz movement with a solid rose gold bridge; it’s a day after all!
It has quite a few features that should appeal to men, but the 40mm case set with diamonds and available with cloisonne inserts and a rubber strap in colors like dusty pink and baby blue was probably enough to scare most. of them.
François-Paul Journe must have realized this and the 48mm Oversized Elegant ticks all the boxes that most men like to have ticked. The only thing they need to overcome might be the name.
The same can be said for Chanel boyfriend.
That name alone would normally be enough to put most men off, even though the watch features a very strong design and its angular lines have a masculine quality, especially in the larger version.
I would consider this the haute couture version of the Tank de Cartier, which is quite a compliment as the latter is one of the most important dress watches in history.
The larger version of the Boyfriend measures 37 x 28.6 x 7.7 mm. It’s still not a very large watch, but since it’s rectangular it has a fairly large presence on the wrist. It is even equipped with a mechanical movement with manual winding and the dial features a subtle guilloche pattern with small seconds in a sub-dial.
It’s actually a perfect watch for men who like their dress watches a bit more modern and with a touch of Parisian flair.
Chanel herself claims that the Boyfriend blurs the lines between masculine and feminine style. What it does well – except in the name.
These are just three examples of watches aimed specifically at women that men could also wear, although FP Journe has now given men their own version.
But the question remains: would men wear them?
It mainly depends on the man’s ability to “man up” because, as women already do, nothing prevents us from claiming as our own a watch intended by the manufacturer for the opposite sex! And, interestingly, almost all men’s watches look good on women. . .
Quick Facts FP Journe Élégante 48mm
Case: 40 x 48 mm, titanium
Movement: FP Journe quartz Caliber 1210
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds.
Price: 11,500 Swiss francs
* This article first appeared on November 25, 2017 on Can Men Wear Women’s Watches? And if so: what, where and when?
You can also enjoy:
The Bling and I: Collecting Ornate and Decorated Watches
6 women’s watches that any man could wear – and that man would definitely wear
5 dazzling men’s watches set with precious stones from 2018 ranging from relatively discreet (Chopard) to obvious (Antoine Preziuso, Jaquet Droz) and glaring (Hublot) before ending in full bling (Rolex)