The 14 best new watches for women, according to an expert

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  • Watch offerings for women are colorful this year, including hues like mint green and bright yellow.
  • The dive watch category — including models dusted with diamonds — is especially popular.
  • For watches with a more masculine look, check out our guide to the best men’s watches. 

In 2001, I attended my first watch fair in Switzerland. I’ve made a living writing about timepieces ever since. Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of “ladies’ watches” come and go, most of them small, decorated in feminine motifs (think floral designs and mother-of-pearl dials), and powered by quartz battery movements.

Recently, however, the conversation about women’s watches has taken on new resonance, as more brands embrace the notion that a woman’s watch is — wait for it — any watch worn by a woman. In the spirit of genderless style, we highlight 15 of the best watches for women on the market today, including ultra-feminine gem-set timepieces, complicated mechanical wonders, and no-frills sport models designed to take a beating. 

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These are the best watches for women in 2021:

Armitron Ridgemont

Inspired by the 80’s teen classic Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the Armitron Ridgemont features a dual analog/digital display guaranteed to appeal to vintage lovers on a budget. Bonus: It’s water resistant to 165 feet.

Sizing options: The stainless steel case measures 5 mm x 42 mm.

Color options: The Ridgemont also comes in a glitzy gold-plated case.

Skagen Aaren Naturals

Perfect for eco-conscious shoppers, the timepieces in Skagen’s Aaren Naturals collection have been designed using stainless steel with recycled content and come on straps made with leather alternatives such as mulberry bark, cork and apple. 

Sizing options: The case measures 36 mm.

Color options: Available in a raft of dial colors — including green, blue, and cognac — the watches come on matching eco-friendly straps.

Shinola Pee-Wee Detrola

Lovers of Americana will flip for the new Pee-Wee Detrola watch from Detroit-based Shinola, which offers a big look in a pint-sized package.

Sizing options: The TR90 resin case measures 25 mm.

Color options: The Pee-Wee comes in four brightly hued dial-strap combinations, including black on black, teal and pink, blue and light blue, and white and yellow.

Seiko Prospex

Introduced in 1959, the Seiko Prospex is a cult favorite among watch lovers. This modern “re-imagining” of the Japanese watchmaker’s first sport watch has a rotating inner compass bezel and is water resistant to 660 feet.

Sizing options: The Prospex comes in a 39.5 mm stainless steel case.

Color options: Shown in a stainless steel case with a champagne dial on a green leather strap, the model also comes in a steel case with a gold finish and green dial on a brown leather strap as well as in steel with a brown dial on a black leather strap.

Nomos Tangente 38 – 50 Years Doctors Without Borders

A classic of unisex styling, the new Tangente 38 from German watchmaker Nomos Glashütte benefits the nonprofit Doctors Without Borders. (The red 12 on the dial is a nod to the organization’s 50th anniversary.) The watch is available in a limited edition of 2,021 pieces, with 100 euros from each sale going directly to emergency aid services.

Sizing options: The Tangente 38’s stainless steel case measures — you guessed it — 38 mm.

Color options: The watch comes on a dark grey textile strap.

Rado True Thinline Les Couleurs Le Corbusier

Rado pioneered the use of high-tech ceramic in watchmaking. That legacy is evident in the sleek new True Thinline Les Couleurs Le Corbusier collection, named for the Swiss-French architect, designer and painter known as the “Father of Modernism.” 

Sizing options: The minimalistic high-tech ceramic case is 39 mm in size.

Color options: The True Thinline Les Couleurs Le Corbusier comes in a palette of nine colors, including pale sienna, luminous pink, slightly greyed English green (shown), grey brown, iron grey, sunshine yellow and powerful orange.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300

The newly redesigned Aquaracer Professional 300 from TAG Heuer is a no-nonsense dive watch that works equally well for armchair explorers. The model’s signature 12-sided unidirectional rotating bezel hasn’t changed since the model was introduced in 1983, but virtually everything else has been updated, including a new scratch-resistant ceramic insert, an upgraded sapphire crystal and a slimmer case and bezel.

Sizing options: The case of the Aquaracer Professional 300 is 36 mm.

Color options: It’s also available in a black dial version as well as a blue lacquer dial and blue ceramic bezel version with eight diamond hour markers.

Click here to shop other styles of TAG Heuer

Longines DolceVita

A tribute to both the Art Deco era (the design is based on a 1920s model from Longines’ archives) and the Italian notion of the “good life,” the rectangular DolceVita with a diamond-set bezel is the perfect, and perfectly elegant, timepiece for the Roaring 2020s.

Sizing options: The stainless steel case measures 23.30 x 37 mm.

Color options: The DolceVita comes with scores of bracelet options, from blue, red and black leather straps to two-tone steel and 18k pink gold bracelets.

Click here to shop other styles of Longines

Breitling Chronomat Automatic 36 South Sea Capsule Collection

Breitling’s Chronomat South Sea Capsule Collection — including this 36 mm model with the fetching midnight blue lacquered dial — channels the exotic vacation vibe we’ve all been craving, thanks to its striking hue, golden indexes and hands, diamond-set hour markers and cocktail-hued gem-set bezel.

Sizing options: The gem-set stainless steel case is 36 mm in size.

Color options: The South Sea Capsule is comprised of three gem-set models with special lacquered dials in beige, midnight blue, and mint green, on matching alligator straps with folding clasps.

Click here to shop other styles of Breitling

Rolex Datejust 36

Considered the classic starter Rolex, the Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 now comes in a sophisticated yet sporty Oystersteel and yellow gold combination bearing a golden dial with a pretty fluted motif. Take the model’s signature Jubilee bracelet as an invitation to celebrate.

Sizing options: The watch comes in a 36 mm case.

Color options: The Datejust turned 75 years old in 2020, and comes in at least that many dial, case and bracelet combinations.

Click here to shop other styles of Rolex

Girard-Perregaux 1966 Infinity

With its sleek black onyx dial framed by 60 brilliant-cut diamonds, the 1966 Infinity from Swiss watchmaker Girard-Perregaux is the quintessential cocktail watch. But the mechanical timepiece has plenty of substance, too: Its in-house manufactured movement is faithful to the famed Calibre 3000, the origin of the 1966 collection.

Sizing options: The stainless steel case is 30 mm in size.

Color options: The model comes in numerous variations, including a stainless steel version with a silver flinqué dial and a rose gold version with a mother-of-pearl dial.

Click here to shop other styles of Girard-Perregaux

Chopard Happy Ocean 40

Chopard’s Happy Diamonds watches, with their trademark floating diamonds, have been a house staple since 1976. The latest iteration of the collection (whose new face is happiness incarnate Julia Roberts), includes this Happy Ocean model, ideal for snorkeling, sunbathing or dancing on the beach.

Sizing options: The automatic watch comes in a 40 mm stainless steel and rose gold case.

Color options: The Happy Ocean watch also comes in vibrant blue and fuschia color ways.

Click here to shop other styles of Chopard

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duetto Medium

Introduced in 1931, the Reverso by Jaeger-LeCoultre has a unique swiveling mechanism that effectively gives you two watches for the price of one (the same movement powers both sets of hands). In the new 18k pink gold Reverso Duetto Medium, the reverse side features a glossy black lacquer dial that accentuates the model’s day/night possibilities.

Sizing options: The Reverso Duetto Medium case measures 40 mm x 24 mm.

Color options: The diamond-set piece also comes in a steel model on a blue alligator strap with a blue reverse dial.

Click here to shop other styles of Jaeger-LeCoultre

Bulgari Serpenti Spiga

Imagine yourself cruising around the Eternal City on a Vespa wearing the new Serpenti Spiga double spiral bracelet watch by the Roman jeweler and watchmaker Bulgari. The coiling 18k rose gold case and bracelet, set with diamonds and complemented by a black dial, is the ultimate in chic accessories.

Sizing options: The Serpenti Spiga’s 18k rose gold and diamond-set case measures 35 mm.

Color options: The Serpenti collection is one of Bulgari’s pillars; the selection includes models in steel, rose gold, and white and black ceramic, with myriad options (with or without diamonds) from which to choose.

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