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Girl power made quite a show at Baselworld 2017, the world’s biggest luxury watch and jewelry show—which I was personally delighted to see. Pardon the pun, but it’s about time the industry started giving female luxury watch buyers what they want—timepieces every bit as as iconic and functional as those big-statement models the guys strap on their wrists. In other words, many women today are looking for luxury watches that are more than just a pretty face. In fact, we have it on good authority that more and more men’s Rolex’s have been seen on the wrists of female fashion editors of some the most elite women’s magazines. That tells me that while appearances count, women also appreciate what’s under the hood powering those minute and hour markers. If that’s you, please read on because I want to share some of my favorite women’s watches that made their debuts at Baselworld. To me, each and every one is the perfect combo of style and substance. Isn’t that what we all aspire to be?—Sue Perry

 

Rolex Yacht-Master 40

bf9d0bc0-0f7a-11e7-9af0-a8525e4e6af4_972xThe name conjures up images of teak decks and luxury high jinx on the high seas, but we love the ultra-feminine update Rolex gave its Yacht-master, embellishing it with a gorgeous gemstone bezel. But don’t let the candy-colors deceive you. This watch is all about function, featuring an automatic caliber 3135 movement and boasting 330 feet of water resistance. It’s also finished with a no-nonsense black Oysterflex rubber strap and an 18k Everose Oysterlock clasp.

 

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust 28 mm

 

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I’ve always coveted the Datejust’s iconic design and wanted to be part of the men’s club it was fashioned for. So I was  delighted Rolex introduced a stainless steel version perfectly sized to a woman’s wrist. It’s powered by a new generation mechanical movement, calibre 2236, and the pink face makes it feel super special.

 

Tag Heuer Aquaracer Lady

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Mixing sporty chic with a touch of diamonds, you don’t have to be into scuba diving to love this watch. I think the deep blue mother-of-pearl dial makes a great summertime look and the diamond hour markers add just the right amount of sparkle. But first and foremost, this is a dive watch—water resistant up to an impressive 1,000 feet. And the rhodium-plated  hands are filled with white SuperLuminova for optimum readability underwater. The watch is powered by a Tag quartz movement.

 

Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec

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The Patravi Scuba Tec is another dive watch that is so everyday wearable you won’t even feel guilty if you don’t take up the sport!  We love the clean, no-nonsense combo of the steely bracelet and bright-white dial, and the mix of arrowhead and baton hour markers are surprisingly easy to read. The rotating bezel and hands are coated with  SuperLuminova for underwater readability. It’s also water resistant to 200 m (656 feet) and powered by an automatic CFB 1950 movement.

 

Chopard Happy Ocean dive watch

 

 

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Ladies dive watches are certainly having a moment, including this new entry into the category from Chopard. Like it’s Happy Sport cousins, the Happy Ocean features five floating diamonds which really pop against the navy dial. For optimum underwater readability the hands and indices are coated with SuperLuminova in two different luminescent colors: green for dive time and blue for the rest. I love the cool, military-style navy strap and the discreet date window that nestles between 4 and 5 o’clock. It’s also water-resistant to 1,000 feet and powered by an in-house automatic movement.

 

Audemars Piquet Royal Oak Frosted White Gold

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And last, but not least, we fell hard for the shimmering finish that covers this absolutely stunning watch, which gives it the illusion of being covered all over in teeny, sparkly pave diamonds. The effect, called the Florentine Technique, is ancient and is created by hammering the metal until it takes on that evenly faceted texture. I also love the way the long, slender indices add to the watch’s elegance. It also comes in yellow and rose gold versions (shown above).