Last year, the annual global market for women’s luxury watches was projected to reach $10.3 billion, a 60 per cent increase from 2005, according to Euromonitor, with women’s watches representing approximately 38% of the total global projected sales. Much of this increase has come in the past five years, as manufactures and brands have begun to focus on producing unisex models, (such as the Portofino 37, or Tudor Black Bay 36), as well as more interesting, far more complicated pieces specifically for women. Jaeger LeCoultre, for example, said that it had seen a remarkable increase during the same period – a doubling of sales on the back of their existing Reverso line, and new, entirely mechanical Rendez-Vous collection.
Not only have sales increased, but the value of the average watch sale has also grown: in an FT piece earlier in the year, the Aurum Group reported that the average price of men’s watches sold by the group in 2015 had remained flat at £4,750, but that the average expenditure on women’s pieces increased eight per cent to £3,836, which they largely attributed to a rise in demand for more expensive mechanical models.
I had been largely oblivious to this. However, looking at the Eve’s Watch Women’s Watch Awards Shortlist (published here), it immediately become obvious that there is a rich and vibrant range of women’s watches that demand further attention.
Last night (20th October) I attended the Awards; it was an incredibly inspiring night in many ways, and one which culminated in friend, watchmaker and fellow #watchnerd Rebecca Struthers winning the Woman of the Year award. The winners of each category were as follows:
Best Jewellery Watch Dior: Grand Soir Kaleidiorscope
Best Fashion Watch: Swarovski Crystalline Hours
Best Design: Nomos Metro Neomatik Champagner
Best Smart Watch: Samsung Gear S2 by De Grisogono
Best Complication: Piaget Limelight Stella
Collector’s Choice: Patek Philippe Calatrava 4897/300
Best Innovation: Richard Mille
Buyer’s Choice: Olivia Burton
Best Unisex Watch: Hermès Slim d’Hermès
Brand of the Year: Bvlgari
Watch of the Year: Chanel Boy.Friend
Popular Choice: Rolex
A few things strike me about this list: it’s incredible democratic, ranging from newcomer Olivia Burton, a brand which is barely four years old, and has already produced a number of cool, innovative and fun watch designs, to the grand old names of Rolex and Patek Philippe.
It also contains watches that are innovative (like Samsung’s Gear S2 smart watch), complicated or mechanical (Swarovski Crystalline Hours, is £849 for a Swiss made, automatic watch with display back). Congratulations to the judges, who assembled a wonderful shortlist of watches, highlighting the breadth and depth of the current state of women’s watches.
Founders Larissa and Jane Trew, together with Editor Laura McCreddie have started something rather special. I’m sorry I haven’t spent as much time supporting them as I should; they deserve every success.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Eve’s Watch. Excellent canapés (from Baraka) and champagne were served. My wife declared that the “goody bag” was the best she’d ever seen.