Timepieces 101: 10 Watches Worth The Splurge

Emma Read

Fashion Stylist

It’s been said buying a luxury watch is like finding a husband you’re thinking a shelf life of forever when we’re talking this kind of price tag (that’s an expensive few dates if we’re on a seasonal timeline). Of all the accessory families, watches generally don’t fall into an impulse buy environment – doing your homework prior to purchase is key to guaranteeing a match made in horology heaven. We’ve broken down the key classics any wrist would say ‘I do!’ to before you hand over the Amex, plus a little pro-watch lingo to seal the deal. 

The Basics

First up: know the movements. You might be taken by a shiny exterior over the complicated interior, but this is probably the most pivotal question – the movement (also called a calibre) is the mechanism inside a watch (the “engine”, essentially). What you are looking for is the actual name of the movement – either quartz, which is powered by a battery and cheaper to produce, or automatic, which works by using the movements of the wearer’s wrist to wind the mainspring and in turn power the watch.

Secondly, the dial: the face of your watch. Highlighting a snippet of the tourbillon (the movements) is quite popular, but in the ladies realm it’s game on – diamonds, mother-of-pearl, onyx and other precious materials all play a part in the pricetag.

Finally, the casing: essentially the part that includes the crystal housing your watch, the bezel, the case body, and the back of the case. Women’s watches typically have a case width or diameter of less than 34 millimeters, but depending on your taste this can swing either way.

Top 10 All Stars:

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust 28

One of the most recognised and recognisable of watches, this style is a Rolex icon. Debuting in 1945, it’s spanned eras to still hold rank as a modern bestseller. Customise it with diamonds, mother-of-pearl, meteorite, you name it – Rolex caters on all fronts to morph this into your dream timepiece.


Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust 28 mm steel and yellow gold watch, AU$11,600, Rolex.com 

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 34

Dubbed ‘the watch of movie stars’, this guy is the original and the best. It’s fans read like the who’s-who of Hollywood for good reason – Halle Berry, Jen Aniston and Charlize Theron wear it on the regular. 

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 34 mm, steel, AU$6,400, Rolex.com

Audemars Piget Royal Oak

Luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet said it best: “You don’t buy a Swiss watch to tell the time.” Enter the Royal Oak, an icon celebrating 40th anniversary with a showcase of ancient Florentine gold hammering jewellery technique, featuring shimmering hammered 18-carat pink gold on its case, bezel and bracelet and a silvered “Grande Tapisserie” dial (why not?). 

Audemars Piget Royal Oak Frosted Gold, POA, Audemarspiaget.com

Omega Ladymatic

First appearing in 1955, the Ladymatic is currently Nicole Kidman’s watch of choice, along with Sofia Vergara. In this model, 18K Sedna™ gold has been used to create both the 34mm case and bracelet as well as 11 indexes, which are set with diamonds to boot. 


Omega De Ville Ladymatic Co-Axial 34mm Sedna Gold Watch, $46,625* Omegawatches.com. *Recommended sale price. 

Piaget Possession

Designed to appeal to “both the sense of sight and the sense of touch”, this ‘Possession’ timepiece has a diamond-set bezel totalling 0.72-carats that rotates freely in the 18-karat white gold case. No wonder Jessica Alba and Olivia Palermo are spotted in it 24/7. 


PIAGET Possession satin, 18-karat white gold diamond watch, $19,300, net-a-porter.com. 

Patek Phillipe Nautilus

Funnily enough, Patek Philippe was the first watch house to introduce wristwatches for women – a proper Coco Chanel move, steering away from the pendant watches attached to pretty bracelets or adornments so often designed for ladies. Known as the first luxury sports watch, the Nautilus first entered the market in 1976 and still reigns supreme as the watch for the woman on the go. 


Patek Phillipe Stainless Steel Ladies Nautilus, Bezel set with 50 diamonds, $POA, Patek.com

Tissot Belle

The pioneer of ‘watches-as-jewellery’ design, look to Tissot if an elegant evening timepiece is on your hit list. 


TISSOT Tissot Belle / New Lady with Mother Of Pearl dial, $450. Davidjones.com

Cartier Tank

One of the most long-lasting models of the production, the Cartier Tank is a classic among classics. Introduced in 1917, it has been presented in various editions and shapes but remained a timeless legend – much like it’s fans Angelina Jolie and Princess Mary of Denmark (and made a starring role itself in Cruel Intentions). 

Cartier Tank Anglaise in steel, AU$6,800, au.cartier.com

Tag Heuer Carrera

After disappearing for a decade after its release, Tag Heuer re-introduced it’s star ‘Carrera’ style. The ideal balance of masculine and feminine, those looking for an all-day every-day style won’t take it off – a la Cameron Diaz, who wears it both on the red carpet and off-duty. 


Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 9 Automatic Watch 28mm with Diamonds, AU$6,000, Tagheuer.com

Jaeger-Lecoutre Reverso 

With a selection like Jaeger-LeCoultre’s it’s downright difficult to select only one favourite, but the legendary Reverso model is a standout. Whilst retaining attributes of the predictable fine, classically styled watchmaking – with a nod to the past via its Art Deco stylings – it’s the ultimate in luxury, as epitomised by brand ambassador Diane Kruger.


Jaeger-LeCoultre Classic Small Stainless Steel Reverso watch, POA, Jaeger-lecoultre.com



Feature image via pinterest 

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