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Inequality for Women in Watches

by J.Peter

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The world of mechanical watches has exploded in the last 10 years. Quartz was supposed to kill the mechanical watch, but as it turns out, people love fine craftsmanship, and as it turns out, it is easier to showcase that craftsmanship when it isn’t hiding underneath a circuit board. But who buys these watches?

It seems that the main interest in mechanical watches comes from men. The industry seems to recognize this because most new mechanical watches (especially those with complications) are for men. Sure, there are some staples. Rolex makes lovely mechanical watches for ladies, but honestly do these women care that it is mechanical. When it comes to a Rolex, do the men?

There are many people out there who would like us to believe that a lady wants a pretty watch and she doesn’t “care what is under the hood.” Sometimes this is true, but I’m sure there are some ladies out there interested in watch complications.

Let’s see what’s out there for women:

  • Rolex offers an automatic with or without a date for women, although they now offer more feminine looks in larger models. I mean really, the “Safari Daytona” is not for a man, unless he’s dressed in women’s clothes.
  • Zenith has several of their “Open” Collection for women with hearts & stars & cutesie frills.
  • Cartier’s women’s models are about 80% quartz.
  • Patek Philippe’s highest selling line, the “Twenty~4”, is available mostly in quartz with a couple manual wind models. They do have a new ladies Calatrava dual time zone with a display back.

Honestly, as much as I follow the watch market, I don’t really know what is available for women in mechanical complicated wristwatches. They have a very small share of the market.

Is it fair, or justified, or simply a business decision? Let me know.

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  1. Ceridwen
    Posted March 23, 2008 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I’ve been looking for a ladies’ mechanical and/or automatic watch for ages. I don’t like battery watches. They have not performed well for me over the years. There are far fewer women’s mechanical watches than there are men’s mechanical watches, and the women’s watches are usually silly looking or too expensive. There are a few Russian or Belarus manufacturers that have some nice women’s watches, but with fixed bracelets rather than the stretch bracelets that used to be so common. Being slightly larger than a lot of women, I can’t get a fixed 7″ bracelet. It’s frustrating to look for a decent mechanical watch, whether automatic or not. I think there is definitely a bias against women in these watches.

  2. Pike
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if anyone will see this comment seeing as I am commenting on a post made over two years ago– however I have to agree with Ceridwen, it’s difficult to find a ladies’ mechanical watch that isn’t overly flashy or otherwise just not-my-style.

    I have heard some people say on watch forums that women simply are not interested in the inner workings of a watch, to which I say, well, that can’t be entirely true, since I am a woman who is very much fascinated by the mechanics of it all… and I know I cannot be the only one.

    As it stands I usually find myself drawn more toward unisex style watches because so few of the ladies’ watches meet my criteria. That’s how my current one is; it means it’s very large on me but I love it regardless.

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  1. […] Published February 29, 2008 watches Tags: chanel, watches, women Not too long ago I wrote about how women just don’t get the attention that men do from the watch industry. Well here’s a little […]

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