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8 Unisex Grail Watches Chosen by Women in the Industry

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Monoface Small Seconds

There are a lot of very pretty women’s watches in the world. From artworks covered with precious stones to downsized interpretations of classic designs perfect for the most feminine of wrists. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, but at the same time women shouldn’t be limited by labels and there are plenty of women just as comfortable rocking an oversized men’s watch as anything gender-specific.

Don’t take my word for it either; I’m not about to tell you what women want. Instead, I’ve asked four women from across of the watch industry what are the non-women’s’ watches they are interested in? What are the top grail watches for women? So, if you’re looking to add a watch to your collection under the guise of a present for your partner, pay attention. If you opt for one of these, it might get more wear than you bargained for.

Scarlett Baker: Watch Editor for Wonderland and Man About Town

Bremont Terra Nova 38

Bremont Terra Nova 38

When it comes to men’s watches that have stolen my heart, my wallet, and found a concrete place on my grail list, there are two that come to mind, and they couldn’t be more different. Debuting at this year’s Watches and Wonders, I welcomed a soft spot for Bremont’s daring new chapter, and particularly for the Terra Nova 38, for its low profile.

I’ve recently got into learning about all things pocket watches, and Bremont’s newest offering jibes at these handheld tools from centuries gone by with geometric cushion cases and attractive oversized numerals in full-block Super- LumiNova. It’s neat, it’s clean and a solid juxtaposition of bringing tropes from yesteryear into the modern day.

Vacheron Constantin Saltarello

Vacheron Constantin Saltarello
Vacheron Constantin Saltarello

Quite the contrarian watch to the Bremont Terra Nova, Vacheron Constantin’s Saltarello from 1997 – my birth year – also sits high in my sights for a future acquisition. Created during the revival of mechanical watches, its arresting dial and use of jumping hours and retrograde minutes feels unique in the typical Vacheron catalogue. There’s just something deeply mesmerising about watching time move in a manner that isn’t circular.

Julia Pasaron: Editor-in-Chief of Intelligent Magazine

Vertex MP-45 M

Vertex MP45 Monopusher

I am a very sporty person, so over the years, several lovely watches have perished while in pursuit of my next adrenaline fix. The solution, a Vertex MP-45 M, a sturdy, highly legible timepiece that fits as comfortably in a cockpit as it does 50 metres under water. The steel 40mm case comes with a screw-in crown and a double domed box crystal glass, waterproof to 100m.

The dial pays homage to the Vertex mono-pusher from 1945 featuring a chronograph with a centre second hand and minute counter on the right. The left sub display shows natural seconds. All indices are made from moulded X1 grade Super-Luminova and it’s powered by a Sellita SW520 MP hand-wound movement – all ticking the boxes for rugged practicality.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas GMT

Vacheron Constantin Overseas GMT

In a previous life, I worked as a correspondent, so I travelled the length and breadth of the planet moving across time zones as if they were London tube stops. As such, it wasn’t always that easy to work out the time back at the office and at my destination. I would have loved to have a watch on my wrist to assist me with this little problem. Vacheron Constantin have just added a new green sunburst dial to its Overseas collection, which includes a dual time model in 41mm. That would have been my pick.

The Overseas GMT is an excellent example of a clear and highly legible dial, thanks to the contrast between the gold hour-markers and hands highlighted with Super-LumiNova and the dark dial colour. The second hour hand runs on a 12 or a 24-hour clock to improve ease of use. The main time runs on a 12-hour frame, with the indicator at nine showing if it’s morning or afternoon.

Kim Parker: Freelance Luxury Editor

Chopard Luc 1860 in Lucent Steel with Salmon Dial

Chopard Luc 1860 In Lucent Steel With Salmon Dial

As soon as you say I can’t have something, I immediately want it. That was the case with Chopard’s elegant LUC 1860, unveiled at last year’s Watches & Wonders – immediately, there were whispers that it had sold out. Even if it hadn’t, I still would have fallen for it. A sleeker take on the 1990s original, it has a slim (8.2mm), 36.5mm case with curved lugs that comfortably hugs my dinky wrist, and its guilloche gold dial is mesmerising – the ideal, not-too-coppery shade of salmon that looks refined, not ‘trendy’. A glowing, glorious dress watch I’d steal from my man in an instant.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Monoface Small Seconds

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Monoface Small Seconds

I always think this watch is a beautiful example of how to do simplicity well. It’s streamlined, yet supremely stylish – with a slender, 7.56mm thick case that belies a wealth of complex design within. The silvery dial is classically handsome and pleasingly uncluttered, a nod to the 1930s iteration developed for polo players (another bonus for me), and it can be flipped over in a second, revealing a case back that can be personalised with whatever your heart desires. I don’t much care for the fabric strap that you can swap in for the leather version, though – why mess with perfection?

Tracey Llewellyn: Editor of Telegraph Time

Rexhep Rexhepi Chronomètre Contemporain II

Rexhep Rexhepi Chronomètre Contemporain II

Before I met Rexhepi, I already appreciated the faultless finishing of his watches and his almost unparalleled drive to bring entirely new movements to the world of horology, but after spending a day at his Akrivia atelier, my appreciation for his work has turned to near obsession.

Not only is this watch stunningly beautiful with a flawless grand feu enamel dial, it is also complex and intelligent, featuring twin barrels to feed the balance wheel and jumping seconds mechanism independently. Finally, the RRCCII combines a passion that I share with my friend Justin Hast: a Jean-Pierre Hagmann case, the master craftsman having been coaxed out of retirement by the master watchmaker.

Movado Times/5

Movado Times 5

I have chosen my second watch because of its connections to my youth and an era when I developed a love of both Andy Warhol and New York City. The Movado Times/5, designed in the 1980s as a limited edition of 250 pieces has a blackened steel bracelet with five independent timepieces.

Each signed, numbered and dated dial displays a black and white photograph of a Manhattan landmark selected by Warhol. Although Warhol died in 1987, before the watch’s completion, his studio director Vincent Fremont and printmaker Theresa Morello finished the project, which launched Movado’s celebrated Artist Series watches. In all likelihood I will never own an original Warhol, but maybe one day I will be able to wear five limited edition Warhols on my wrist.

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About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.