There is no doubt about it, the horology industry is booming. Generally in marketing, wherever men go, women follow and this seems to be the case in the watch industry also. According to LGI Network, which tracks luxury spending, the demand for women’s watches has increased by 35 per cent in the past two years, and shows no sign of slowing down. Therefore what are the latest women’s watch trends for 2012.
There are a number of key emerging trends for the women’s horology industry. To really drill down into what these are, it’s necessary to look at the following categories:
- Designer market
- High Street
- New trends
More often than not, fashion observers just need to look at celebrities to see what they are wearing and how they are wearing it to identify key trends. The ultimate style icon at present is undoubtedly the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton. She however has not yet been pictured wearing a timepiece, but as soon as she is, you can guarantee this will spark a new trend as aspiring females rush out to try and emulate her style.
Therefore the next best thing is A-list celebrities. Jennifer Anniston, the Olsen twins and Victoria Beckham have all been pictured wearing a ‘mens’ watch, sparking the trend for designer men’s watches worn by females. Brad Pitt also purchased a Patek Philippe Minute Repeater for Angelina Jolie as an engagement gift. This is a more demure, sophisticated timepiece with a brown leather strap, another emerging trend.
For the female designer horology market, the emerging trend is similar to their males counterparts, women prefer a timepiece which combines style with technology i.e. lots of complications. Cartier’s Richard Mille and Roger Dubuis, describe this as “combining high technology with high jewellery”.
The idea is for women opting for technically sophisticated watches with more and more ways to indicate the time, including tourbillons and perpetual calendars, to enjoy these pieces as luxury jewelry. Because these pieces are also key jewelry pieces, watchmakers sometimes decorate them intricately with precious gemstones.
For the mens watch trend, the gold Rolex Daytona Everose Gold is extremely popular and is also the preferred make and model of Victoria Beckham.
Cartier has long been synonymous with the Royal family, particularly because they are official sponsors at Guards Polo club for one of their events, the Cartier Queens Cup. Indeed the late Princess Diana was pictured many times wearing her Cartier Tank Series watch. Consequently, this is the preferred brand of the upper echelons of society.
Cartier’s watch designs tend to be more understated designs and if not gold or silver, have a brown or black leather strap. They are not showy pieces, but exude class and sophistication.
The high street watch market emulates what is happening in the designer market sector. Therefore there are lots of designs similar to the Rolex’s and Cartier’s described. Amazon and Asos, two huge online retailers both note that their highest sales are from the Michael Kors watch brand. Both of these sites are dominated by these timepieces which feature in gold, silver, white and gold and silver. Designs also include rose gold and tortoiseshell which are both notable key trends in the female watch market.
Another significant trend on the high street is for Casio digital watches. These watches come with either a large or small face and the biggest demand is for gold and silver designs.
There is a nod to Cartier designs in high street retailers such as Oasis, Next and even Miss Selfridge who sell some simple, demure leather (or leather-look) designs.
One surprising horology trend is for women to have a ‘charm watch’ on their charm bracelet instead of an actual wristwatch. This is obviously a product of the increasing popularity of charm bracelets which are sold by brands from Burberry to Argos.
The renaissance of the horology industry means that women’s watches are here to stay for the long term. Future trends are likely to include male watches like Rolex’s or designs similar to this. In addition to this, there is a huge demand for all things-vintage currently therefore perhaps vintage-inspired designs will start to emerge.
About The Author: Laura Susstance is a freelance content writer from The UK, her specialities include financial and fashion orientated content though she has recently been contributing to Watch Harbour due to her love of watches.