For most brides, her wedding day ensemble is considered from the moment of engagement (and, if we’re honest, sometimes before). Looming large in her mind is the dress, or rather, The Dress – a once-in-a-lifetime purchase that should make its wearer feel her very best and one which will feature – prominently – in every wedding photo. No pressure.
Also on the to-buy list: shoes, earrings and accessories. Increasingly, a watch is a much-desired choice, and a wise one too. Traditionally gifted to grooms and best men, bridal watches can easily be worn and loved every day after the wedding, providing a lasting, and very lovely, reminder of the momentous occasion. (Not as likely to wear that spectacular tiara or chandelier diamond earrings to work, are we?!)
While often it’s the fiancé/e who buys a watch for their partner to wear on the big day, increasingly brides are themselves making the choice, and purchase. At Piaget, men often choose a Gala watch for their fiancée, the brand explains – elegant, feminine, diamonds: done – but “there is no doubt that the situation is changing; we are seeing more women shopping for their own gifts”. Here are some of our favourite wedding-worthy watches for brides-to-be, which we think you’ll be delighted to wear for many years to come.
Diamonds are forever
When it comes to watches adorned with gemstones, diamonds are the frontrunner, beautifully complementing but not overshadowing a dress that is most likely to be white, cream or ivory. The white gold and diamond Torsade de Chaumet watch is an exquisite example of a watch that at a distance looks like a delicate bracelet, with a slim, spiralling strap and dial paved with diamonds. Piaget’s Limelight Gala High Jewellery watch is less subtle. In fact, it’s quite frankly spectacular, with a dizzying and dazzling 782 diamonds across its case, dial and bracelet.
If you gravitate towards a round dial and classic styles with enduring appeal, it has to be the Pasha de Cartier 30mm rhodium-plated diamond watch. And, of course, the king of diamonds himself, Mr Harry Winston, has enviable horological offerings both slim and statement. For the former, the gorgeous Mini Twist (for curves) or Tête-à-Tête (for straight lines) and, for the latter, the Precious Emerald watch, with its enchanting dial.
Break with tradition
For those who love an element of surprise or simply want a scene-stealing statement watch, consider the following. Cartier brings in its loyal panther to create a striking rose gold watch with blush dial in bangle form, with the head of the great cat complete with lacquered black markings and green tsavorites for eyes. Hermès’ rose gold Nantucket bracelet watch, meanwhile, features a strap inspired by an anchor chain and is perfect for those who favour an asymmetric design – 90 diamonds are scattered unevenly and prettily across the case and white dial.
Chaumet’s Joséphine Aigrette jewellery watch boasts a pear shape that was cherished by the eponymous Empress Joséphine, with a V-shape aigrette and trompe l’oeil diamond-set index. For something a little sportier, Gucci’s Dive watch could be worn straight from wedding to underwater exploration on honeymoon. It features a steel and bio-based plastic case that turns green after dark, with a transparent dial and white transparent strap.
After a multi-tasker whose shelflife far exceeds that of your big day? Piaget’s beautiful limited edition Altiplano Rose tourbillon watch has a white strap that’s perfect for a wedding day but also comes with a complimentary rose-hued strap too, if you prefer a flash of pink to match the 12 pink diamonds on the dial.
Dial it up
Adding vibrancy to your watch – to match the wedding theme, your engagement ring stone or simply your favourite hue – without taking too much attention from the rest of your wedding look is where the dial comes in. Many watch brands have created classic and timeless styles, perfect for a wedding accessory, with a strikingly coloured dial for impact. We love Chopard’s L’Heure Du Diamant with its minimalist dark-green malachite dial and diamond halo: emerald in hue and spectacular in construction. For a more purse-friendly option, Bathing Ape’s Type 1 Bapex watch showcases a cobalt-blue dial that would complement sapphire jewellery beautifully.
For the true horologists among you, the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle watch is quite the treat. Its shimmering mother-of-pearl dial may be subtle it’s also pur elegance elegantly. In addition to the time and a moon-phase indication, subdials offer the day, date, month and years on a four-year cycle, including a leap year indication, without any need for correction before 2100. So, should your marriage be blessed and last for the next 77 years, so too will your watch. Housed within the pink gold case is an ultra-thin in-house Calibre 1120 QP movement which gives life to the technically complex mechanical complication.
Sentimentalists are also very well served by Jaeger-LeCoultre and its beautiful Reverso model. A house icon, as you may or may not know, its clean and classic dial can in fact be reversed and a few words or an important date inscribed on the other side.
What’s better than an exquisite wedding watch? An exquisite wedding watch that matches the one your partner is wearing, or that shares the same design as your ring, earrings, necklace or bracelet. Or tiara, if you’re that way inclined.
When it comes to matching your husband or wife-to-be, Christian Selmoni, Style & Heritage Director at Vacheron Constantin, explains, “In some regions around the world, pair watches are appreciated. As an example, our Patrimony collection offers such possibilities with timepieces with a similar design and case material/dial colour which are available in different sizes, adapted to both men and ladies.”
Matching your watch to your jewellery? Chaumet has a whole collection of Josephine fine jewellery to match its watch detailed above, with every piece featuring its distinctive pear shape. Piaget’s Blazing Swing Solstice watch, with its two gleaming red rubies, is actually featured within the house’s High Jewellery collection and is the perfect pairing for the Exalting Dance earrings and ring too. After, all there’s no such thing as too many diamonds…
Last but not least: two styles that will last you well beyond the wedding and honeymoon. This elegant, minimalist style by Isabel Marant has an oval, gold-tone face and an interchangeable strap. Wear the mesh gold-tone on your wedding day and swap in the smart black leather strap whenever you fancy.
La Californienne’s Daybreak model is fun and playful, perfect for a beach or sunshine wedding, featuring the American brand’s signature face and colourful Arabic dial. It comes complete with an interchangeable hand-painted leather strap, and it’s also made from at least 50 per cent recycled or upcycled materials.