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By Kristen Shirley | October 17 2018
This story originally appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of Elite Traveler.
No longer an afterthought, more brands are introducing ladies’ watches with dedicated mechanical movements, and some are even introducing new calibers in ladies’ timepieces, meaning men will be the ones waiting.
To celebrate its 100th anniversary of jewelry watches, Bulgari combines jewelry artistry with a world-record-setting movement, perfectly encapsulating its dueling areas of expertise. The thinnest minute repeater in production, the manual-winding Caliber BVL 362 made its debut in the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater in 2016. Now, 10 lucky ladies can have the same grand complication on their wrists, although it is now housed in a gorgeous and ultra-feminine diamond-set case. The dial is decorated in Japanese Urushi lacquer and shimmers with gold glitter. Activate the minute repeater by sliding the dangling diamond-set fan, then admire the gongs chiming the minutes and hours through the sapphire caseback.
$187,000, Bulgari in New York, +1 212 315 9000, bulgari.com
Richard Mille debuts its eighth in-house movement, and its first-ever automatic tourbillon, with the new RM 71-01. It’s rather astonishing that its first automatic tourbillon is, for now, women’s-only, which shows the importance placed on the desires of its female clients. Both Art Deco and African tribal influences shine through in the highly decorated watch, which comes in 10 different versions, each limited to five pieces. The dial shapes, diamond patterns and materials vary, but each shares the same visual identity focusing on geometry and contrast. The skeletonized movement allows watchmakers to decorate more components, including the diamond-set rotor.
$425,000, Richard Mille in Beverly Hills, +1 310 285 9898, richardmille.com
Nearly 10 years after its first ladies’ chronograph debuted with an exclusive caliber, Patek Philippe introduces a new ladies’ chronograph watch. With a new, round case and a vintage-inspired design, Ref 7150/250R takes a sporty complication and transforms it into something elegant. The silvery opaline dial has applied Breguet numerals and Breguet hour and minute hands. Its legible layout has an instantaneous 30-minute subdial, a subsidiary seconds subdial and a pulsometer scale so the wearer can count her heartbeats. The column-wheel chronograph movement is visible through the open caseback, where you can admire the finely finished manual caliber.
$83,920, Wempe in New York, +1 212 397 9000, patek.com