Beyond glitzy diamond-clad facades and fancy typography, there’s hardly anything left of ladies’ watches worth speaking of.
Many are simply downsized versions of the men’s, only with a quartz movement that sorely lacked the mechanical finesse many of its larger compatriots had. Perhaps the most obvious problem was that these ladies’ watches were designed by men, and while they’ve done a decent job thus far we knew deep down that the women would do even better. Vacheron Constantin’s latest ladies-only dedicated watch collection, Égérie, proves that theory right.
The fresh line of automatic watches — which means “muse” in French — walks the fine line between haute horlogerie and haute couture, two complex worlds which still very much resonate amongst women today. And if the first impression already blew you away, it’s probably because a female-led design team was responsible for the collection.
In creating these ultra-feminine and sleekly sophisticated watches, the venerable Swiss manufacturer drew design impetus from pleats, and hence the fan-textured centre dial and outer chapter ring. Just as uniformed pleats require a deft hand in couture, this element required master craftsmen from the brand’s in-house guilloche workshops to resurrect historical tapestry techniques with a hand-worked machine from 1904.
An off-centre subsidiary dial between 12 and three o’clock embraces Vacheron Constantin’s penchant for asymmetry, especially with the off-centre crown that’s capped with a cabochon moonstone or rose-cut diamond. The sub-dial boasts a small complication within — either a moonphase or date indicator — and adds functionality to the watch.
Two sizes are available here and thankfully, they both steer clear of the minuscule 20-plus millimetre range; the Égérie Self-Winding (with the date window) is an easy-wearing 35mm, while the moonphase versions are a larger 37mm. Both sizes are available in 18K 5N pink gold or stainless steel and are all set with diamonds, although those seeking true luxury will enjoy the 18K white gold moonphase version with pavé diamonds and mother-of-pearl details.
The movements are Vacheron Constantin’s self-winding 1088 and 1088L for the moonphase, both equally sophisticated movements which can be viewed from the sapphire crystal caseback.
As an accessory, the watch’s interchangeable straps make it that much easier to deal with outfits for any occasion. The pink gold models get three interchangeable alligator leather options, while the pave diamond model gets two. The steel versions come delivered with a polished five-row bracelet with asymmetric links, in keeping with the theme of being non-conforming and unapologetically bold.