Mention the words “sports” and “watches” in the same sentence and garish images of chunky digital watches in exaggerated proportions may immediately come to mind. As luxury watchmakers today recognise a market for sports watches that are highly functional — but stylishly so — there’s been an influx of high-end models that boast both versatility and character, with performance that rivals mens’ watches.
Of course, if you’re looking for a watch for the leading lady in your life, you’d want to make sure it can withstand her busy schedule. Far from the basic “shrink it and pink it” design ethos that once ruled the drawing board for ladies’ timepieces, these sports watches have mechanical movements that are just as capable as the men’s, despite their pretty façades of precious materials such as diamonds, rose gold, and mother-of-pearl.
With Mother’s Day around the corner, you’ll want to make sure you get her something that not only sits pretty on her wrist, but is also functional enough to become a mainstay in her daily routine. These timepieces below take top spots in our hearts for nailing both athleticism and elegance.
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The Rolex Yacht-Master is an emblematic nautical watch that embodies the privileged ties between Rolex and the world of sailing since the 1950s. This model gets the patented 18ct Everose gold finish that complements a diamond-paved dial with hour markers fashioned from 18ct gold to prevent tarnishing. The self-winding mechanical movement with date display is entirely manufactured by Rolex, and — as the icing on the cake — the bidirectional rotating bezel sees raised polished numerals against a matte black Cerachrom insert that’s carefully sandblasted.
With aesthetics clearly anchored in the depths of the aquatic world, Tag Heuer’s Aquaracer Lady takes on sporty chic with a diamond and mother-of-pearl iteration. Instead of the traditional white, the smooth iridescent nacre coating on the dial is a vibrant indigo, and punctuated with 11 diamonds as the hour indexes. Despite the precious materials, its functional steel case is durable enough to take a beating (or two), and the rotating blue ceramic bezel is a tribute to the functionality of Tag’s beloved Aquaracer.
If the high-octane energy of summer could be encompassed within a watch, Audemars Piguet’s new Royal Oak Offshore would be it. The self-winding chronograph comes in five new colours for its most spirited customers, including outrageous ones such as orange, pink and acid green, or more timeless options like white and plum (pictured). The 37mm watch sees an equally vividly hued strap to match the “Lady Tapisserie” dial, and the sportiness is accentuated by the contrasting blue counters and a bezel encrusted with 32 brilliant-cut diamonds.
First launched in 2004, the Aquanaut Luce was launched as a sporty chic alternative to the dainty run-of-the-mill offerings that saturated the women’s watch market. The new variation is a unique blue-grey iteration that’s accompanied by the sparkle of 46 diamonds set on the bezel. Applied numerals, hour markers and broad baton-styled hands are in gold and provide high legibility no matter the occasion.
Accentuated by the brand’s proprietary Ceragold, the athletic lines of Omega’s famous Seamaster is testament of the brand’s dedication to its dive watch heritage. The white ceramic dial is complemented by a matching unidirectional bezel, and then mounted atop a 39.5mm stainless steel and 18k Sedna gold case. Like the rest of the series, this chronometer watch is capable of water resistance to a depth of 600m, and comes equipped with a helium escape valve to withstand that pressure — perfect if your mum also happens to be an avid underwater explorer.