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Special Report: Watches of BaselWorld 2012

Posted on 2013-01-07, By A-Best Staff


The 41 mm “Tutti Frutti Tourbillon Pave” from Hublot reflects many of the trends seen at Baselworld 2012. It is the brand’s first tourbillon for women, as well as being outfitted with an in-house movement that is visible through an aperture on the dial. And, the timepiece is available in a number of trendy colors, including the electric blue seen here.

It is perhaps fitting that Baselworld 2012 opened on March 8, a day celebrated globally as “International Women’s Day,” as watchmakers at this year’s show placed greater emphasis on expanding their collections for women, both in terms of selection and complications.

Patek Philippe debuted its first perpetual calendar for women, noting the “growing affinity of women with mechanical watches and complicated functions” as a trend in watchmaking.

Hermès introduced a women’s watch equipped with the brand’s first in-house movement alongside its new in-house men’s model, while TAG Heuer and Seiko welcomed new female ambassadors.

The trend, experts say, is a reaction to the increasing economic power and independence of women worldwide, both in the United States and in developing countries such as China.

“Unquestionably, you have to be aware of the growing independence of women making their own decisions and getting comfortable spending their own disposable income,” says Edward Faber, president and founder of Aaron Faber Gallery and author of American Wristwatches: Five Decades of Style and Design. “Women are becoming much more assertive with these luxury purchases. It’s an absolutely growing segment of the market.”


Ladies leading


On March 7, the eve of the show’s opening day, TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Christophe Babin took the stage at a packed event in Basel to introduce the brand’s newest ambassador, actress Cameron Diaz. She is the brand’s second female representative, joining tennis champion Maria Sharapova.



Cameron Diaz, pictured here with TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Christophe Babin in Basel, is the new face of TAG Heuer’s women’s watches and was the muse for its new “Link Lady” collection. Photo courtesy of Johann Sauty.

TAG Heuer says it emphasized enhancing its selection of women’s watches this year, including introducing the haute couture “Diamond Star” as part of its new “Link Lady” collection, a piece of which is pictured below.



Seiko welcomed its first female athlete brand ambassador, Hope Solo, the goalkeeper for the U.S. women’s national soccer team.

Solo will appear in advertisements for two different lines, the ladies’ “Sportura,” a collection the brand hasn’t had in a number of years, and the new “Coutura,” designed to be more elegant and fashion forward.

At the high end, Patek Philippe expanded its offerings for women with the introduction of its first perpetual calendar watch for women, the Ref. 7140 “Ladies First Perpetual Calendar” (below). It’s the latest complicated women’s watch from the Geneva-based brand, which released the “Ladies First Chronograph” in 2009 and two grand complications for women--an ultra-thin split-seconds chronograph and a minute repeater--in 2011.



The female-centric introductions come as no surprise to Faber, who says he regularly sees women self-purchasing collectible Patek Philippe and Rolex watches that were at one time considered pieces exclusively created for, and bought by, men.

“That’s a big trend,” he says. “They’ve watched on the sidelines for the last 20 years as men amassed these collections. Now they are starting to have the confidence to strike out on their own.”

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