It’s crazy to me that the watch industry continues to make this distinction at a time where more and more brands – and more and more humans – are ignoring traditional gender boundaries. The category of “women’s watches”‘ seems especially pointless. Before I get into why, I want to clarify that I’m not referring to jewelry watches (i.e. the Bulgari Serpentis, the Piaget cuffs, and the Van Cleef & Arpels Cadenas of the world). I’m referring to the category of so-called men’s watches that are simply shrunken, bedazzled, and quartzified for the ladies. I also want to be clear that I have nothing against women’s watches as objects. In fact, I love a lot of them, as I have written many times on this very site. This isn’t about the watches; this is about the approach to selling them and how outdated it is… More here.
Brilliant article. I always think it is such a shame to see watches separated by gender in jewellers because I see so many watches that could work for both, especially men’s watches that many women would love to wear.
Above is an example from Breitling which has the following description-
Stylish yet elegant, the modern-retro inspired Chronomat Automatic 36 is the versatile sporty and chic watch for any occasion. It is available in an array of metal cases, from cool stainless steel, to goes-with-everything bicolor, or even luxurious 18k red gold. Women craving extra sparkle will also be able to opt for diamond-set bezels, indices, and colorful dials. Featuring Breitling’s iconic and comfortable “Rouleaux” bracelet with a butterfly clasp, the Chronomat Automatic 36 is powered by the Breitling Caliber 10, a COSC-certified chronometer.
I would wear that any day of the week and the sizing would work as well, but it is firmly aimed at women.
The problem with this is that most men will not buy a ‘women’s’ watch and vice versa because they feel physiologically off limits. Look at Apple, the Apple Watch is unisex in every way and likely part of the reason for its success.
Jo owns a variety of men’s vintage watches from the 1950s and 60s and she loves them. They are admittedly smaller than men’s watches of today, but she would happily wear many modern day men’s watches as well. Show here diamonds, a quartz movement and lots of sparkle on a watch and she will not touch it, ever. Show her a classy understated watch, for men or women, and she will wear it.
Hey watch industry, it’s 2021!