The wristwatch is now considered an essential part of a man’s wardrobe, but without women it may never have come into existence at all. In the early evolution of portable horology, a refined gentleman would never be seen without his pocket watch, as watchmakers raced to create ever-more complex and precise timekeeping. For the sophisticated woman, however, both attire and etiquette required an even more innovative solution.
Leading the way was Patek Philippe, who created the first Swiss wristwatch at the request of the Countess Koscowicz in 1868. This stunningly intricate piece allowed the time to be viewed discreetly on the wrist in a showcase not only of the company’s fine watchmaking but its savoir faire in jewellery, the ultimate expression of form and function coming together as one.
This spirit continues to weave through its collections today, with feminine designs that place Patek Philippe’s world-class in-house watchmaking at the fore. Perhaps the epitome of this ethos was the Ladies First Chronograph Ref. 7071 released in 2009, a chronograph conceived exclusively for women.
Its latest chapter brings an elegant new take on this complication with the Ref. 7150/250R-001 Ladies’ Chronograph. Here the cushion-shaped case has been replaced with a classic round silhouette, in a 38mm diameter that is both imminently wearable while making a statement on the wrist. Meanwhile, every element has been carefully thought out with comfort and style in mind, its timeless aesthetic enhanced by the delicately curved lugs and round chronograph pushers.
Vintage and contemporary influences come together in perfect harmony on the silvery opaline dial, with a balanced display of the chronograph counters. In a traditional touch, a pulsometer scale runs around the outer edge, a feature that is both practical and personal, should the watch set pulses racing. And it might do just that, with its exquisite combination of rose gold with just the right smattering of sparkle, in the form of 72 diamonds set around the bezel and a further 27 on the rose-gold prong on the alligator leather strap.
At its heart is the manual-wound calibre CH 29-535 PS movement, featuring six patented innovations. Turn the watch over and its impeccable finishing is admirable through the sapphire-crystal caseback, a testament to the incredible attention to detail put into every Patek Philippe watch.
Patek Philippe Salon, 16 New Bond Street, London, W1S 3SU; patek.com