The appreciation for mechanical watches is no longer male-dominated; there are many women becoming interested in mechanical watches nowadays, or even pursuing the models with complicated functions. Therefore, in recent years, many professional watch brands have taken women as the main target and launched complicated lady watches for women.
In the world of mechanical watches, besides hour, minute, and second displays, any watches with a complication that exists in addition to telling time are labeled as functional watches. Due to being driven by pure mechanical movements, mechanical watches with any complication is the upgrading threshold from the entry level. The commonly seen basic watch complications enable special functions, such as calendar information displaying day, date, and month by the gears. The complications can be divided into the advanced version and very complicated version varying by the difficulty and complexity of the mechanical structure. As the market of mechanical watches becomes mature, more and more women are interested in mechanical watches, many of the women with great taste are pursuing the watches with not only a beautiful look but also an excellent caliber and additional complications. In recent years, many brands have actively launched women’s mechanical watch collections, which include fun, romantic, practical complications, or even more complicated functions in the traditional sense.
Poetic Tracks of Star and Moon
When many women choose mechanical watches with complications, the moonphase is usually the best choice. The reason is very simple; regardless of its function, the mysterious and romantic moonphase on the watch dial is a beautiful and eye-catching presence, extremely glamorous. In fact, women have the same character, sensitive and romantic; that’s the simple way to touch women’s hearts.
The moonphase display is a relatively common complication, the simpler ones are usually driven by 59 gear teeth that advance one notch every day, accurate but imprecise; an adjustment needs to be made about every 2 and an half years. BLANCPAIN is the representative brand in the revival of mechanical watchmaking. And the mechanical moonphase display launched by BLANCPAIN at the time of the Quartz Crisis successfully rewrote the historical positioning of mechanical watches. As a result, the moonphase display is not only the heritage of BLANCPAIN’s brand spirit but also carries historical significance. The look of BLANCPAIN’s moonphase varies between collections with common features on the dial including a familiar spot on specific watch models. Among all BLANCPAIN’s moonphase watches, Quantième Rétrograde watch is a combination of a romantic moonphase window and a interesting complication, the retrograde calendar; its eccentric orbit is distinct from the traditional watches, featuring high value in collection and craftsmanship.
A decade ago, the traditional brands of Swiss watchmakers still frequently launched men’s watches but with appearance of women’s watch; however, with the market of women’s watch getting mature, the mechanical watches made exclusively for women are getting better aware of women’s preferences and thinking. The traditional watchmaker JAEGER-LECOULTRE has launched Rendez-Vous collection, which features romantic day & night or moonphase complication, and created a good sales performance with such additional romantic elements. JAEGER-LECOULTRE Dazzling Rendez-Vous Moon has an elegant design and diamond decoration; the case has two rows of diamond decorations with bright-cuts and artistic prong setting; it mainly carries the day & night display with a starry night and hanging moon design, which highlights women’s gentle and lovely character no matter day or night.
Although many brands have launched the moonphase watches, VACHERON CONSTANTIN’s Traditionnelle Moon Phase has the most credit after the comparison of elegance, uniqueness, and brand positioning. It is with the off-centered moonphase window between 8 and 9 o’clock position, and power reserve between 10 and 11 o’clock position; the small second display is located at 6 o’clock position. In the overall design, it’s a unique layout. Decorated with a single row of diamond that makes itself particularly distinguished among all women’s moonphase watches.
愛情是所有女性都難以抵擋的人生課題，把愛情主題放入錶款中，更教人難以招架其浪漫魅力。在結合詩意浪漫與複雜功能的領域裡，梵克雅寶已推出多年的詩意複雜功能可說是箇中翹楚。問世9年的Lady Arpels Pont des Amoureux 腕錶，自當年一推出，面盤上一男一女的時分指針每到12點整點時，便會走近彼此並在橋中相遇，還會柔情相吻數秒才分開的橋段，不知融化了多少女人心。Lady Arpels Pont des Amoureux 腕錶這一複雜逆跳機制出自巨匠級獨立製錶大師Jean-Marc Wiederrecht之手，Jean-Marc Wiederrecht是業內知名的逆跳大師，也是出色的機芯建構師，長期與許多錶廠有深度的合作，業內許多出色的逆跳與複雜功能其實都由他操刀，當初他為梵克雅寶量身設計這浪漫親吻功能的機械結構時，還別具巧思地在機芯結構內暗藏了與指針相同的一男一女圖案，讓這款腕錶從裡到外都帶有濃濃的愛情浪漫，問世多年，這一款腕錶仍然充滿難以抵擋的吸引力。今年梵克雅寶以相同結構為基礎，推出了改以白晝為背景的新品，以及四款融合四季景緻的高級珠寶錶款式，讓喜愛這一功能的女性有了更多元的選擇。
CHAUMET在複雜功能的思維上另闢蹊徑，將擅長的天空主題融入錶款設計，推出了創意十足的複雜功能腕錶，將時、分指針以流星造型呈現，走時的方式也一反圓周運作路徑，小時流星位於錶盤中央，分鐘流星則圍繞在外圈以橢圓形軌跡移動指時，盤面上鑲飾了大大小小象徵星群的鑽石與紅寶石，雖不是真正意義上的複雜功能，但在創意與閱讀性上仍教人印象深刻。如果無法喜歡浪漫詩意的純女性形象，而追求特立獨行卻不失趣味性的高級鐘錶，要價不斐的RICHARD MILLE或許是另類的好選擇。今年RICHARD MILLE推出了一系列以糖果為主題並結合高技巧裝飾工藝的女性腕錶，其中RM 37-01 Cerise錶款既維持RICHARD MILLE以輕量異材質打造錶殼的特點，各式糖果造型的裝飾搭配粉嫩色橡膠錶帶，展現出另一番甜蜜趣味。這款腕錶12點鐘位置的日期窗並非傳統單一數字盤的日期顯示方式，而是結構較複雜的大日曆功能，大日期機制是將日期顯示分為十位數與個位數，個位數盤每十日才連動十位數顯示盤切換數字，因為採雙盤連動，因此可以將數字以較大的視窗面積顯示，也大大提升了閱讀性，可以說是個相當實用的小複雜功能。
A Romantic and Interesting Character
Love is a life issue that all women can’t resist; the theme of love gives the watches the irresistible charm of romance. In the field of combining poetic romance with complication, the poetic complication launched by VAN CLEEF & ARPELS can be the best of the best. Since 9 years ago when the Lady Arpels Pont des Amoureux was launched, it has melted a woman’s heart at midnight and noon by two sculpted lovers symbolized by hour and minute hands come together for a kiss for few seconds. The Lady Arpels Pont des Amoureux is a jumping retrograde hour scale created by the master watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, who was the master of retrograde invention and extinguishing gear structure; he had deep collaboration with many watch factories; many remarkable retrograde and complicated functions are his creation. At the time when he designed the romantic kissing gear structure for VAN CLEEF & ARPELS, he made the same lovers’ pattern inside the caliber to fill the watch with tremendous romance from inside out. Even though it has been launched so many years, it’s still hard to resist its irresistible attraction. This year, VAN CLEEF & ARPELS uses the same structure as the base in the launch of a new model featuring a daytime background as well as four jewelry watches blended with the landscapes of four seasons as alternative options for women who are in love with the complication.
CHAUMET has created its own complication style by incorporating their signature sky theme into watch design; it launched a watch with a creative complication, the hour and minute hands are the shooting stars, with different gear system from the normal circular operating path, the hour shooting star is at the center of the dial, and the minute hand moves in an oval path, surrounding the hour display. There’re big and small diamonds and rubies decorated on the dial symbolize the stars; regardless of the real meaning of complication, it’s a very impressive and creative way of telling time. For those women who don’t like the romantic and poetic female images, the luxurious and expensive RICHARD MILLE can satisfy the pursuit of a high-class watch that features uniqueness as well as fun and creativity. This year, RICHARD MILLE launched all new women’s watches with candy theme. Among which, the RM 37-01 Cerise remains RICHARD MILLE’s signature of building the watch case with lightweight and special materials. The candy style decorating the pink rubber strap shows different style with sweet and fun. At the 12 o’clock position, the day display is not the authentic style that appears by a single-disc but replaced by an big-date calendar mechanism. The big date display has the tens digit and the units digit. When the unit digit moves 10 days, the tens digit moves once due to the two-disc composition, which makes it possible to enlarge the display windows of number and increase the visibility at the same time. It can count for a practical watch complication.
並非所有錶廠都有打造超複雜功能的扎實製錶功力，也因此在選擇超複雜功能時，不免目標多鎖定幾個傳統製錶大廠，值得信賴的品牌包括百達翡麗、愛彼、江詩丹頓、積家等，這些品牌既有百年傳承的文化與技術，也有規模完整的錶廠，由於複雜錶款相對較脆弱，容易因操作不當造成結構損毀，傳統大廠在維修與後續服務有更完善的規模，慎選品牌就顯得至關重要。有錶王之稱的百達翡麗不僅製錶實力深厚，在全球售後服務與維修的經營更是扎實值得信賴，百達翡麗毫無疑問擁有所有複雜功能的製作實力，複雜功能在女錶系列中也始終沒有少過。以代表性的小複雜功能計時碼錶為例，百達翡麗2009年首度推出CH 29-535 PS自製碼錶機芯時，便搭載在一款以女性為訴求的Lady First 7071腕錶之中。這幾年百達翡麗則推出了7150/250R，這款也成為了目前百達翡麗主力的女用計時碼錶。7150/250R採用雙眼計時的佈局，細膩的金質指針與立體時標再加上錶盤外圈標注的脈搏計刻度，整款腕錶充滿了濃厚的古典氛圍，錶圈外鑲嵌72顆頂級無瑕Wesselton白鑽，使錶款呈現出柔和貴氣。
來自義大利的寶格麗在珠寶設計上擁有至高的地位，事實上其專業實力上也絲毫不輸給傳統專業製錶品牌。寶格麗自從併購了DIANEL ROTH與GERALD GENTA兩個高端品牌後，在幾年之間逐步收購了錶殼廠、機芯廠、外部零件廠等，匯聚了雄厚的製錶實力，甚至是當今少數可自行打造超級複雜報時功能的品牌，即便許多大廠都不見得能製作的大小自鳴功能都難不倒寶格麗。寶格麗將自家傲人的報時功能結合旗下Divas Dream女性錶款系列所推出的Divas’ Dream Finissima超薄三問腕錶，啟動三問報時的功能以鑲滿鑽石的扇形Divas’ Dream吊飾垂掛於7點鐘位置，錶圈、扇形錶耳與時標亦鑲嵌美鑽，融合了珠寶的精美工藝與高級複雜製錶工藝的精髓，寶格麗複雜功能女錶的強勢絕對不容小覷。
The Grande Complication
Not every watch brand has the capability to create a grande complication watches; therefore, when choosing the authentic complicated complications, buyers can target several traditional and reliable watch factories, such as PATEK PHILLIPPE, AUDEMARS PIGUET, VACHERON CONSTANTIN, JAEGER-LECOULTRE, etc. These brands have not only a hundred years of heritage, culture, and techniques but a factory with a complete scale. Due to the complicated watches are relatively fragile, their structure may be damaged easily by improper action. The big traditional factory provides better maintenance and after-sale service, so it’s very important to make a careful decision on choosing a brand. PATEK PHILLIPPE, the king of watches, has great strength in making watches, it also has reliable after-sale service and maintenance management worldwide; without a doubt, PATEK PHILLIPPE has all techniques of making grand complications; the complication is always incorporated into the women’s watch collection. Taking the chronograph as an example, in 2009, PATEK PHILLIPPE launched the chronograph caliber CH 29-535 PS carried by the Lady First 7071 watch exclusive for ladies. In recent years, PATEK PHILLIPPE’s special promotion of 7150/250R, which is a women’s watch with the chronograph. The 7150/250R with two small display, the exquisite gold hands, and 3-dimensional index, and the pulse scale outlaying around the dial are used to fill the watch with a strong classic atmosphere. Set with 72 Wesselton’s white diamonds on the bezel, it brings a gentle luxurious quality.
Perpetual calendar, tourbillon, and minute repeater are the most complicated function in mechanical watches. Among them, tourbillon is the most popular in the market because of its spinning structure in place that gives an attractive scene. Since the tourbillion is getting popular, it has tended to more advanced design with aesthetics elements. For example, CHANEL’s Première Flying Tourbillon Watch that is incorporated with the brand’s iconic symble Camellia Japonica has enriched the beauty of the tourbillon, by which the brand signature has successfully made complications more welcoming than ever to women.
BVLGARI has a prestigious position in jewelry design. And its professional strength in watchmaking is competitive with traditional watchmaking brands. After BVLGARI merged the two high-end brands, DIANEL ROTH and GERALD GENTA, it has also acquired a watch case factory, caliber factory, and factory that manufactures components for watch for accumulating its watchmaking capability, including making the sonnerie and Grande sonnerie, which is something never easy. BVLGARI launched the Divas’ Dream Finissima Minute Repeater this year. The activation of the minute repeater is decorated with the diamond fan-shaped hanging decoration of Divas’ Dream at seven o’clock position. From the push-button and the single row of diamond on bezel, the model draws more attention than other women’s complication watches.