Charlize Theron wears a 44mm Rolex Submariner like it’s nobody’s business. Lady Gaga is the new brand ambassador for Tudor. And just this month, Audemars Piguet dropped a full new collection that was entirely genderless. The lines between a ‘man’s watch’ and a ‘woman’s watch’ are beginning to beautifully blur, and the result is wildly intriguing – not just stylistically, but also socially.
After all, we have been fascinated by men’s watches for women since the early 1950s, when the first Rolex Datejusts, Daytonas, and Day-Dates started appearing not only on the wrists of men, but also of women. Well into the 90s and 00s, many celebrities – from Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon to Hillary Duff – started sporting men’s models too, particularly large sports models, received with much cool curiosity.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering that men’s watches are often larger, less bejewelled, and commonly boast a more complicated and interesting movement. They’re the highest markers of quality and durability, and to be completely fair, they aren’t really home to a particular gender, but rather to the wrist of anyone who can appreciate them.
Regardless, a ‘man’s watch’ on a woman has an appeal unlike many other style staples. It’s a statement, a power move, and a downright seductive juxtaposition between structures, colours, and most obviously, masculinity and femininity. In the words of Hodinkee editor Cara Barett, “Women aren’t staying home and hosting lots of cocktail parties anymore. That is reflected in the change of the style of watches that women wear. More women are in boardrooms, more women are working, more women are doing thousands of things.”
From dive watches to dress watches, read ahead for a few of our top choices for classic men’s watches that actually look really great on women too. Between steel bracelets and dramatic dials – oh, man, it’s a great time to be a woman who loves a good watch.