Please suggest an elegant, simple watch for a professional woman?
October 22, 2010 2:00 PM   Subscribe

Can you suggest an elegant yet simple watch for a professional woman?

I'm trying to find a watch for a friend that is elegant but simple (so no diamond-encrusted cases). She is a professional woman with classic, simple fashion style looking for something to wear to work. Her one stated dislike is two-tone watches, like the ones that pair stainless steel and gold. A bunch of us are planning to chip in and her husband is planning to subsidize this purchase, so money isn't a big deal - he suggested something roughly between $500 and $3000. I don't know anything about watches - I'm still wearing the Timex I got fifteen years ago, so I don't even know where we should be looking!

Right now we're considering the Ebel Classic Wave. Can you suggest any other watches? Related question: the Ebel website says not to buy Ebel from any merchant online in no uncertain terms. Does anyone have any opinions on the advisability of purchasing nice watches online?
posted by arnicae to Shopping (18 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I fell in love with the climbing flowery watch by Swatch, and it's not nearly that expensive. The thin profile is fantastic, doesn't catch on anything, and it looks elegant. I get tons of compliments on it.
posted by lizbunny at 2:18 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Does she like leather straps at all? If so, a classic Movado may do, and the simple silver or gold versions would be within your budget. (Here's a stainless steel one that's also within the price range you mentioned.)

If you want to purchase online, I'd buy directly from the manufacturer if possible, or from reputable department stores or Overstock.
posted by Anima Mundi at 2:18 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

I like Movados too. They aren't ALL that black numberless type (which I don't like). I have one that's more like this one, but with a black leather band.
posted by small_ruminant at 2:33 PM on October 22, 2010

If he's serious about that $3000 budget, a Cartier Tank watch?
posted by oinopaponton at 2:44 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Hey, how about that. I had my own watch thread earlier today, and based on it and my own research, I'm leaning towards a Skagen. That's my own aesthetic, though.

They're well below your price range, but there you go.
posted by supercres at 2:49 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

i own an ebel myself, tho it's a two-tone 1911 with diamonds. it was the first really nice thing i bought myself after i graduated from college 17 years ago so the design was just slightly different (no numbers on the face). my point being that i love this watch. the profile is low and and the links are rounded, so it makes fit very comfortable and unobtrusive on one's wrist. it's a beautiful watch, beautifully made, and not ridiculously priced.
posted by violetk at 3:35 PM on October 22, 2010

I spent about 3 years looking for the perfect simple, light, elegant watch I could wear with jeans as well as business clothes, and I finally found this Citizen Eco Drive Watch which is exactly perfect for me. It's a bit slimmer than it looks in the picture, which I like. There is also an all-stainless version, and they have both bands with round faces. These are all under your stated price range, but might be a good place to start looking.
posted by rhiannonstone at 3:42 PM on October 22, 2010

$3000? I'd second the Cartier Tank or women's Rolex Datejust.

However, I'd personally recommend Oris. Beautiful, understated, affordable watches.
posted by fire&wings at 3:54 PM on October 22, 2010

Tag Heuer Lady Link. Best watch ever (well, if you like simple, sleek, two-toned for all your jewellry matching needs, and very tough and waterproof). I adore mine, and I tend to be pretty rough on my watches.
posted by Go Banana at 4:10 PM on October 22, 2010

Cartier Santos Watch

That link had the best photo.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:00 PM on October 22, 2010

I love my two tone Tag Heuer. Little diamonds on the face but not too girly. Practical for work and dressy enough for an event after.
posted by mozhet at 7:40 PM on October 22, 2010

I have this watch. It's a richer brown than the picture (think milk chocolate), and it's never failed to get me compliments. I got it in a store for a higher price than shown, but it's still a really, really nice watch for its affordability. It does have the crystals embedded around it as well as the sun/moon design on the face, but as they're all brown-coloured it's (in my opinion) not as out-and-out shiny as most.

(Of course, I'm working on a student budget; $500-3000 is far beyond my means and other MeFites may suggest better options!)
posted by Hakaisha at 11:00 PM on October 22, 2010

Any of the Longines watches fit your criteria..... I must add, that if you're spending serious money on a watch, please spend it on a proper watchmaker's watch... not an expensive label watch.
posted by taff at 3:36 AM on October 23, 2010

I have an Omega DeVille which I love (although mine is two-tone with diamonds around the face). The Presige quartz small model is available in 21 models, in steel, rose or yellow gold with metal or leather straps.
posted by essexjan at 4:53 AM on October 23, 2010

For a less typical, more contemporary look, you might consider Rado.

I have one similar to their Centrix model (slight differences as mine is 16 years old) and I receive many compliments on it. Most people are struck by its unusual look.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:50 AM on October 23, 2010

If you have the budget and you're looking for a classic, high-end women's watch, I have to say that the money makes a difference. The Cartier Tank or Taffany Grand are both in your price range. For style, class, durability, heirloom quality and yes, that instant flash of recognition, there is no comparison with even the nicest Citzen, Fossil, or Tag. One is a mass-market consumer good and the other is not so much, so you need to decide where you want to be on that spectrum before you start looking at specific brands.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:39 AM on October 23, 2010

I have a Citizen EW3050-52E which is well under the suggested top price, but is a really gorgeous watch. Very simple to wear, and because it's made of titanium is super light.
posted by car01 at 11:42 AM on October 23, 2010

Cartier Tank or Ronde Solo on the higher end of the budget, or a Tissot Le Loque on the other end.
posted by hellopanda at 8:38 PM on October 23, 2010

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