×

This search is sponsored by Graham

Search in :
SIHH
SIHH 2018 - Unisex beauties

SIHH 2018 Unisex beauties

Are you in the market for a his-or-hers watch, one that both of you can wear? These days, there are many brands that offer watches that are aimed not at men or women, but at both sexes. The SIHH 2018 had a few examples.

There’s been a quiet (r)evolution: many brands are no longer differentiating between men’s and women’s watches. So, what do they call them? Just – watches. These days, it seems to be practically a given that, under certain conditions, a watch is a unisex object.

There, I’ve said it. As yet, virtually none of the brands have uttered the term “unisex”, but that’s what we’re talking about: the timepiece as a beautiful, sexless object. For him or for her? That’s a question that the brands themselves no longer attempt to answer. For once, they leave that up to the client. It’s for the client to decide whether their purchase would better suit a masculine or a feminine wrist, or both. If May 1968 was about sexual liberation, perhaps January 2018 will mark the start of a unisexual revolution?

Finding the right balance

Let’s take a look at Vacheron Constantin. The new Overseas watches, for instance, may well showcase the manufacture’s rather masculine sports chic vision, but the collection’s new perpetual calendar is an ultra-thin watch, just 4 mm deep. In the past, its 41 mm case diameter would have clearly signalled a male client base, but its slender profile and gold livery mean it looks equally good on a woman’s wrist.

Unisex beauties

Overseas ultra-thin perpetual calendar © Vacheron Constantin

The weight-loss regime has had a similar effect on Cartier. In the new Drive extra-flat, the manufacture has found the perfect profile. With no complications and no superfluous thickness, the new Drive gives full expression to its design aesthetic, in a new, subtle and sophisticated unisex size. It’s a perfect piece – balanced and just right. This new version demonstrates in an intelligent way that beautiful need be neither masculine nor feminine. It’s just beautiful.

Unisex beauties

Drive ultra-thin © Cartier

Even Panerai, that champion of aquatic virility, is placing its hopes in the Due line this year. Depending on your point of view, it’s either the most urban, or the least nautical collection. What no one will dispute is that it’s a slimmed-down collection and, in red gold, like the Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic (PAM00756) in 38 mm, it looks fabulous on any wrist. Men, women – it really doesn’t matter.

Unisex beauties

Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic (PAM00756) © Panerai

Squaring the circle

Unisex styling is most commonly found in round watches. It’s the shape most easily shared by men and women. Nevertheless, in the collective unconscious some shapes are more masculine, and others are more feminine. The square, for example, is traditionally a masculine shape. Bell & Ross are the textbook example, with their macho BR-01 references that cemented the brand’s reputation.

At SIHH 2018, Hermès went completely in the opposite direction. The Carré H, created in 2010, is back in centre stage. Now larger in size, it has a polished, microblasted finish, and the dial features a square guilloché motif. At the same time, perhaps to offset all this angularity, the brand has softened the corners of the square, the curved profile of the case and the convex crystal. The end result (which measures no more than 38 mm on a side) is balanced and... unisex.

Unisex beauties

Carré H © Hermès

Vintage for one, vintage for all!

The ascent of the unisex watch may also have something to do with the vintage vogue. Vintage watches are, by their very nature, unisex: they are moderately sized (38 to 41 mm), they have few complications, and a restrained, classic design. Vintage works well for both sexes, because it’s all about the era, not about the gender.

Unisex beauties

Reverso Tribute Duoface © Jaeger-LeCoultre

Jaeger-LeCoultre has taken this on board, refocusing on the Reverso Tribute Duoface, a re-issue of the original model. The manufacture has updated it with a strap made by renowned bootmaker Casa Fagliano. There’s a similar story at Piaget, where the iconic Altiplano, born in 1957, still graces the wrists of both men and women six decades later, and continues to break records. The same goes for the two-handed model known as the “Andy Warhol”, created in 1973, which remains in the current catalogue. Thanks to its stone dial, it remains a uniquely powerful unisex classic. Looking ahead, it remains to be seen how the new watches revealed at Baselworld will tackle the unisex market.

Unisex beauties

Brands

For Bell & Ross, each detail has a specific meaning and function: functionality is key, and minimalism – dispensing with superfluous ornamental details in favour of essential aspects – is vital.

Find out more

Characterised by audacity and inventiveness, Cartier’s watchmaking history reflects a unique state of mind: “jeweller of kings and king of jewellers”. Its renown is bound up in the tradition of...

Find out more

“La Montre Hermès” has adopted an epicurean philosophy that values the creation of sober, contemporary timepieces.

Find out more

Ever since the brand was established in 1833, Jaeger-LeCoultre has been enchanting lovers of beautiful objects. Its craftsmen and craftswomen, the guardians of the inventive spirit of company...

Find out more

Representing a blend of Italian design with Swiss watchmaking technology, Officine Panerai follows the inspiration of its home city of Florence, which was the cradle of the Renaissance movement and...

Find out more

One hundred and forty years’ worth of uninterrupted history have allowed Piaget to forge its unique jewellery and watchmaking expertise. The Brand is a genuine Fine Watchmaking manufacture that...

Find out more

An exploration of the history of Vacheron Constantin is a voyage of discovery, revealing the excellence of age-old watchmaking. Each timepiece is the result of the creative inspiration of the...

Find out more

Recommended reading