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The Rising Popularity of the Larger Case Size for Women

By Amanda Evans    |   4 minute read

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In recent years we have noticed a heightened demand for larger case sizes in women’s timepieces. What was once a style associated with men’s watches alone has now filtered across the board. Brands have responded to this growing demand by launching new collections and pieces to suit the requirements of a larger case size for women’s watches. The historical standard size for women’s timepieces has become far less important to our clients who are now opting for upper case sizes in the 30mm range.

Historically, the typical case size sat within the 26 to 28mm range. Dress and formal watches were noticeably more elegant and graceful in their dainty appearance and would sit alongside the jewellery counter as an accessory, with functionality perhaps taking a backseat. Anecdotal evidence once suggested that women would opt for watches traditionally seen as men’s watches to allow for a bigger case size, however this is no longer the case.

Brands have recognised the gap in the market and launched collections aimed at women who seek the larger case size. Sports, casual and fashion watches have all seen a rise in popularity suggesting that functionality also now plays its part. Although sports watches are less popular amongst women than they are amongst men, 2020 saw women’s sports watches at the peak of their popularity over the previous four years. Characteristically this sort of watch tends to be a slightly larger case size. Cartier’s introduction of the 35mm Pasha de Cartier and Breitling’s 36mm Superocean are shining examples of how luxury brands have responded to the demand with a larger case size, yet still retaining feminine appeal.

We believe that this is all part of a wider emerging movement aligning with the rise in casual wear. Brands are recognising the more casual or weekend watch client, without compromising on beauty and feminine aesthetics – the difference simply being the larger case size. We expect to see more case size increases for women and we’re excited to see what our brands will be revealing over the coming seasons.

Our Senior Buyers, Faye Soteri and Lisa Broun, share some key pieces that illustrate the larger women’s case size that we have seen from some of our luxury brands.

Hublot Big Bang Steel White Diamonds 38mm

Breaking the mould of the typically conventional ladies watch case is the Hublot Big Bang collection. Sporty, yet elegant, the collection presents exceptional comfort, design aesthetics and of course precision.

The Big Bang Steel White Diamonds features one of the largest case sizes seen amongst ladies watches. The 38mm polished and satin-finished stainless-steel case has a white dial with rhodium plated hands and luminescent coating for ultimate visibility in low light conditions. Set with 126 sparkling diamonds beneath a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass, and presented on a white rubber strap, this sporty watch still exudes femininity.

Breitling Chronomat 36mm

This stunning timepiece is designed to suit all occasions. Water resistant to 100m, it harnesses both function as well as style with its sophisticated aesthetics. The 36mm stainless-steel case glistens with diamonds around the outer edge which complement the diamonds that feature on the minimalist watch markers. The dial is silver and uncluttered with a modest date window at 6 o’clock. Presented on a rouleaux strap with a butterfly clasp, this stunning Chronomat illustrates that the larger case size can still strike an elegant pose on the female wrist.

Pasha De Cartier 35mm

This cult watch, initially created in 1985, was reinvented in 2020. It harnesses all the signature codes that we know and love, whilst enhancing key features that made us fall in love with it all over again.

The striking 35mm round stainless-steel case that makes it so unique and recognisable has a fluted crown cap and crown set with synthetic spinels. The silver flinqué dial features striking blue-steel diamond shaped hands and Arabic numerals, and the open case back reveals the impressive 1847 MC automatic movement. Water resistant to 100m, it straddles both the casual and occasions market. Cartier have also implemented the “Quickswitch” interchangeability system allowing the wearer to swap from the stainless-steel bracelet to a navy alligator-leather strap. This classic yet contemporary timepiece respects the Cartier watchmaking tradition whilst moving with the times.

TAG Heuer Carrera 36mm

Part of the TAG Heuer Carrera collection, first created in 1963, the collection pays tribute to motor racing, reflecting a fashionable need for speed with a reliable and robust performance.

Housed in a 36mm stainless-steel case, this timepiece is beautifully framed by its eye-catching fixed polished steel bezel adorned with 54 sparkling diamonds. The white mother-of-pearl dial is enhanced with a date display and slender silver-tone hands and hour markers. Presented on a stainless-steel bracelet and water resistant to 100m, this beautiful timepiece radiates a subtle elegance whilst delivering a powerful performance.

Longines Conquest Classic

The Longines Conquest collection reflects the brand’s sporting elegance. Harnessing performance with sophistication, the collection is a modern marriage of style and functionality so frequently sought after.

The Conquest Classic features a 34mm stainless-steel case with timeless appeal. The silver dial is highlighted by striking rose gold indexes and hands and a date window features at 3 o’clock. Water resistant to 50m and presented on a polished stainless-steel bracelet, this classic timepiece is both stylish and accessible to today’s modern woman.

Panerai Luminor Due Ladies Watch

The Luminor range from Panerai is an iconic range with an unmistakable design. Whilst it has been reinvented over the years, it has remained true to its original key design features such as the crown-protecting bridge and cushion shaped case.

The Luminor Due 38mm ladies watch sits at the higher end of the larger case sizes that we have been seeing for women. Its stainless-steel cushion shaped case is instantly recognisable with its elegant and sleek lines that, despite its size, give it a minimalist look. The case frames a white dial with simplistic Arabic numerals and batons which give it a somewhat retro appearance. Presented on a calf skin leather strap with deployment clasp and water resistant to 30m, this iconic timepiece embraces all the latest timekeeping innovations without compromising on style.

Vacheron Constantin Égérie

The Égérie collection embraces the unity of Haute Couture and Haute Horlogerie. Inspired by women, each timepiece echoes the values of passion, beauty, and excellence.

The Égérie self-winding watch has a stunning 35mm 18ct 5N pink gold case illuminated by a bezel set with 58 round-cut diamonds. The dial features a pleated motif similar to that created by the tapestry technique of Haute Couture fabric. A date dial adorned with 34 round-cut diamonds complements the sparkling bezel and the crown is set with a moonstone. Presented on one of 3 coloured alligator-leather straps, there is nothing ordinary about this luxury timepiece, which is crafted so exquisitely, and with the utmost attention to detail that celebrates absolute femininity.

Patek Philippe Twenty-4

The Twenty-4 collection was created in 1999, showcasing the epitome of timeless elegance and created as a stylish companion to today’s active modern woman. 2018 marked the launch of the Twenty-4 Automatic, the first model of the collection to sport a round case.

The Twenty-4 Automatic has a 36mm steel case enhanced with a bezel set with 160 sparkling diamonds across 2 rows. The elegant and refined olive green dial has a sunburst finish and features gold applied numerals with a luminescent coating and a date aperture at 6 o’clock. The case houses the calibre 324 S C, the stunning architecture of which can be viewed through the clear sapphire crystal case back. Presented on a hand polished stainless-steel bracelet with patented fold over clasp secured with four independent catches, this timepiece exudes contemporary sophistication.

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