For many couples, paired watches are an apt symbol of togetherness, a subtle acknowledgment of that unique him and her bond. While not necessarily the most ostentatious of displays, it makes clear to those in the know that, not only are the two of you an item, but that you also plan to keep it that way for rather a long time to come. You don’t invest in matching horological accessories for someone you see as rapidly approaching their “best by” date do you?
While the idea of “his and hers” watches is certainly not a particularly novel notion, it’s a timekeeping niche that has proved unusually fluid. There is that added element that requires the twin timepieces to suitably grace the wrists of both sexes, an added frisson to the design requirements and a continuing challenge to be neither too brutalist macho in approach, or too effete for the men’s locker room when seen solo.
Despite the difficulties in negotiating so complex a design brief, it’s fair to say that his and her timepieces have come a long way since their somewhat rudimentary beginnings. Indeed, there was a time when you could reverse engineer the initial brief with a few dainty tweaks for the Mrs. Inevitably, the woman’s watch was a more slender and slightly gamine take on the man’s watch, while the man’s watch, was simply the standard model, with few – if any – couply enhancements. Things are now more sophisticated.
Contemporary complementary watches are now far more concerned with the subtle interplay of intricate differentiating details, while simultaneously maintaining a degree of overall harmonious design symmetry. In fact, in a sign of the political correctness it is no longer the done thing to refer to matching watches as “his and her” timepieces. More prosaically, they are typically catalogued as paired watches that complement each other perfectly, albeit with notable differences.
A prime example here is the Piaget Altiplano Gold Bracelet range – ultra-thin watches boasting a clean look, a minimalist aesthetic and an understated dial, along with extremely slim hour-markers and beguilingly slender hour and minute hands – no additional functions here. This is a watch for the purist.
Powered by the Manufacture Piaget 534P mechanical self-winding movement, the watches come blessed with a 42-hour power reserve. There is also the option – on the 34mm model – for the bezel to be set with 68 brilliant cut diamonds (about 0.6 carat).
Available in pink or white gold – and in a 34 or 38-mm size – these watches are equally suited to men or women. While not sold as gender-specific, it would seem politic to gift the diamond-set 34mm model to the lady in your life. Any brownie points accrued from buying this matching pair would surely be dissipated if you opted to keep the sparklier of the two for yourself.
From the same collection – but lacking the gold bracelet style strap, is Piaget’s original Altiplano line. In contrast to the Altiplano Gold Bracelet, these pieces keep time courtesy of the Manufacture Piaget Calibre 838P, an ultra-thin hand-wound movement that clocks in with a thickness of a mere 2.5mm.
Other subtle differences include a small seconds dial at 10 o’clock and the Piaget logo at 3 o’clock. Available in diameters of 34 or 40mm, the simply elegant Altiplano comes with a brown alligator leather strap and an 18-carat white gold case, optionally available with 72 brilliant cut diamonds (or about one carat). Again, these classic watches are not gender specific but it is not difficult to discern that the more diminutive model with its ornate diamond bezel might be the more popular lady’s choice.
In terms of the offerings from Vacheron Constantin, these are led by the marque’s Overseas watch collection. Available in two distinct sizes with optional trimmings it is down to the connubial consumers to match a pair as they see fit. Powered by Vacheron Constantin’s new 5100 calibre, complete with 172 intricate components, it beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour, while boasting a power reserve of 60 hours (in the 41 mm model).
Water-resistant to 150 metres and resistant to magnetism the watch is suitable for varied occasions and can be customised by interchanging straps – leather and rubber – or the stainless steel bracelet.
The paired watch in this case is the 37 mm Overseas model. While both appear superficially similar, aside from size, there are a number of other more subtle differences. The 37-mm model is powered by the calibre 5300, an automatic movement that comprises 128 parts and an impressive two-day power reserve.
A blue dial and luminescent hands – with matching hour markers – complete this classic look, while the translucent back reveals a 22 karat gold oscillating weight adorned with a compass rose. Clearly the choice for the woman in your life, this model is adorned with 84 round diamonds (over a carat) set on a six-sided bezel.
As with the larger model, this also comes with interchangeable straps and a bracelet, ensuring that you are always in tune with every occasion. The Geneva Seal is a clear testament to the craftsmanship that characterises Vacheron Constantin watches. This is an accolade reserved for only the very best in timepieces and is rewarded in accordance with the long-standing traditions of the watch making school of Geneva.
A name long synonymous with quality luxury time pieces and a certain secret agent is, of course, Omega. Couples aiming to emulate the man with a license to kill need look no further than the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m Master Chronometer.
These distinctive watches strike a perfect balance of form and function and are rated as Master Chronometers – the industry’s highest standard of certification for chronometers. In addition, they are resistant to magnetic fields of up to 15,000 gauss – considerably raising the bar and setting a new standard in anti-magnetism that has already been recognised by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS).
Available in black or white these trusty chronographs have that matching yin and yang chessboard look. This timeless classic features a bezel crafted from black ceramic, neatly complemented by a stainless-steel case with Omega’s trademarked Liquidmetal numbers.
Completing the mysterious look is a black leather strap with a rubber underside. The antithesis of this is the angelic white model, with its bezel and dial both crafted from creamy ceramic and its case fashioned from stainless steel. The bezel is adorned with 18K Sedna gold, as are the watch’s hands and indexes. Numbers on the bezel are made using Ceragold technology, a system that helps the diving scale numbers sparkle and shine.
At 39.2-mm wide, these watches are not for shrinking violets, but actually make something of a bold statement. Worn as a matching pair, they are the perfect complimentary set for couples who enjoy flaunting their eye for the finer things in life.
Known for its long heritage in the world of haute horologie, as well as its championing of traditional craftsmanship is Girard-Perregaux, based in La Chaux-de-Fonds. As part of its iconic 1966 collection, it has issued a select range of haute couture watches, all said to be perfect for style-conscious, star-crossed lovers.
Tailored geometric lines and meticulous finishing define these refined timepieces, as does a distinct modernist flair. The silver dial features bevelled indicators and houses leaf-shaped hands, all unique to the 1966 collection.
A sapphire crystal back reveals the inner workings of the GP03300 mechanical movement, complete with automatic winding and a 46-hour power reserve. Wound by an oscillating weight, the male version features a Cote de Geneve motif, while the female version comes adorned with a Girard-Perregaux tapestry.
With the now famous tagline “don’t crack under pressure,” Tag Heuer positions itself at the sportier end of the luxury watch scale. While these watches are built to withstand the rigours of all manner of extreme activities, they are also magnificently well designed and a worthy addition to the elite of the his and hers watch range. With a range of matching time pieces for the sporty, fashion aware couple, you can choose between simpler straight forward designs and the more meticulously accurate chronographs born from the company’s sport’s time-keeping heritage.
Stand out models here include the Tag Heuer Carrera, a clean design with a modern flavour and a somewhat utilitarian appeal. The testosterone fuelled model has a 39-mm case, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with double antireflective treatment and is powered by the calibre 5 automatic movement.
Available with a classic brown leather strap or a steel bracelet, the Carrera is a great example of a watch that boasts functionality while maintaining a dazzling aesthetic. The fabulous female version of the Carrera comes in a 28-mm size with glittering diamonds adorning both the dial and the bezel.
Despite the addition of 56 Top Wesselton diamonds, the timepiece maintains a demure and understated appeal. Featuring a calibre 8 automatic movement, the ladies’ version boasts a 40-hour power reserve and comes with a steel bracelet-style strap.