When it comes to ladies watches diamonds seem to be an almost mandatory ingredient. Many ladies watches come standard with these precious stones incorporated into the design, while nearly all of them offer them as an option. Even when a audemars piguet tourbillon chronograph is made for environments where diamonds are more a liability than an addition, such as diving watches, diamonds can often be found standard on the ladies models.
Of course, there is quite some history there. Many ladies own at least a ring set with a diamond, which a audemars piguet offshore with diamonds compliments nicely. This is also a key element where ladies watches go into a different direction than men’s watches. For a man, a watch is often an item that stands by itself, either mixed with some sparsely other jewelry, or not even that. For many women the watch is part of their overall look, combining earrings, necklaces, rings, and bracelets, preferably into a somewhat uniform look.
Rather than becoming more and more affordable, almost the opposite trend can be seen in repeaters – they are becoming, increasingly, places where manufacturers showcase their highest expertise, and at correspondingly high prices too. Certainly one of the most recent watches to fall into this category is Audemars Piguet’s “Supersonnerie” – a minute repeater eight many years within the making, intended to give a slew of technical improvements that AP thinks will make it nothing less than the best-sounding repeater in the world. (The term “sonnerie” is most often seen in reference to grande sonnerie watches, which strike the time in passing rather than on demand; however, the term taken alone may also refer to a repeater, which strikes on demand. The use of “sonnerie” here might be confusing, so we should clarify that the Supersonnerie is really a minute repeater, rather than a grande sonnerie.)
Diamonds added to a watch, any watch for that matter, really change the whole look of it. One of the most traditional ways to add diamonds to a watch is by setting the bezel with them. Compared to the same watch without diamonds, this can already give a dramatic effect. Hour markers are also often set with diamonds, and when that is all they have done, it can give a nice, luxurious accent to the watch without going overboard. The best diamond set watches are of course those where they are set in such a way that they reach a synergy with the rest of the design.
So how popular are diamond set ladies watches? Quite popular. In fact, where many brands only used to offer full gold watches set with diamonds, many now have steel/gold and even full steel watches with diamonds in their collection. This works several ways. Watches set with diamonds can be retailed at a higher price than it cost for the diamonds themselves and the labor needed to put them on the watch, increasing the brand’s revenue. At the same time, it allows clients to get a more dazzling look at a much lower price then if they would have opted for the full gold model of the same watch. By setting in steel and steel/gold, the brands also appeal to a younger crowd, and not to mention to ladies who have a more active lifestyle, enjoy wearing diamonds, but find gold too fragile for this. So it seems that diamonds are indeed forever when it comes to ladies watches!