12/29/2022
 6 minutes

Women’s Business Watches: From Classics to Little-Known Gems

By Barbara Korp
Cartier-Tank-Businessuhren-fuer-Frauen-2-1

There are countless elegant women’s watches on the market today. You are spoiled for choice when it comes to diamond-set bezels and mother-of-pearl dials; however, many of these are only really appropriate for special occasions. The watch you wear every day to the office, on the other hand, needs to be easy to read, comfortable, and not too flashy. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice an elegant aesthetic. We’ve put together our top choices for women’s business watches. There is something for everyone here, from iconic classics to little-known insider tips.  

Rolex Datejust 36 mm 

The Rolex Datejust 36 mm stands for timeless elegance like no other timepiece. Since its initial launch in 1945, this simple model has enchanted watch enthusiasts the world over. Its proportions are beautifully balanced, and thanks to the various configurations available, you can easily find the ideal watch for you. The Datejust is highly legible anytime, anywhere, and no matter the lighting conditions. The date is also easy to see at a glance thanks to the date magnifier. Of course, it also meets the high standards that Rolex is known for when it comes to technical specs, i.e., chronometer certification and high levels of water and shock resistance. 

Wearing a Rolex Datejust 36 on your wrist is also a sign of success, confidence, and style. It’s a discreet piece of luxury that doesn’t boast, but still communicates one’s appreciation of the finer things in life and the art of watchmaking. This model isn’t just the perfect watch for every occasion, I’d go so far as to say it’s the perfect watch for every woman. Don’t believe me? Try one on. You’ll be floored by how comfortable and balanced it is, and I promise you’ll be reluctant to take it off again.  

Rolex Datejust 36 mm – an elegant choice with a white gold bezel and Roman numerals.
Rolex Datejust 36 mm – an elegant choice with a white gold bezel and Roman numerals.

Cartier Tank Must 

The design of the Cartier Tank is, as you might have gathered from its name, inspired by military tanks, but it has also come to symbolize peace. In 1917, famed jeweler Louis Cartier gifted American general John Pershing a wristwatch, thanking him for the part he played in restoring peace to Europe. Its angular case made it stand out from the round pocket watches that were common at the time. Moreover, the two longer case sides, which are reminiscent of tank tracks, allowed for a fully integrated band. 

In 2021, Cartier released a reinterpretation of this classic timepiece with the Tank Must. While the newer watch comes very close to the original, including a crown with a cabochon, the dial proportions were tweaked and the long case sides were given a slightly rounder shape. The overall watch retains its streamlined look, but the changes afford it a more feminine appearance. Thanks to its quartz movement, this timepiece can easily be left for a few days without having to be wound or adjusted. Plus, you’ll be in good company if you opt for this model. The Tank has found its way onto the wrists of countless famous individuals, including former first ladies Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Michelle Obama. Join their ranks with the Tank Must!  

Cartier Tank Must
Cartier Tank Must

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Duetto 

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso was originally designed with polo players in mind. The reversible case protected the watch glass from getting broken on the field. However, the watch’s popularity quickly extended beyond the world of sports. Engravings and customized enamel artwork found their way onto the smooth metal case back. From there, it didn’t take long for the manufacturer to recognize the enormous potential of the extra case back real estate. The subsequent Reverso Duoface models capitalized on this by displaying the time in a second time zone on the reverse side, while the Reverso Classic Duetto displays the same time, but in two different styles: While the front is more traditional, the back features a darker dial and diamonds. The two sides are linked by their balanced, Art Deco aesthetics. For me, this timepiece represents pure perfection, because no matter the attire or occasion, one of the sides will always fit the bill.   

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Duetto
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Duetto

Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921  

If you’re after more than just a luxury watch, but one of the finest examples of craftsmanship out there, look no further than Vacheron Constantin. The brand is considered one of the “big three” Swiss watchmakers, alongside Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe. While many VC watches would look great in the office, I’d personally recommend the Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921. Similar to the other watches on our list, this is a relaunch of a classic timepiece. Inspired by the Roaring Twenties, it blends class and elegance and pushes the boundaries of contemporary watch design. 

The dial is rotated 45 degrees to the right on this watch, making it easy to tell the time at a glance when working on the computer or driving. The cushion-shaped case features a crown on its upper right-hand side, and the small seconds – which isn’t rotated – adds a nice touch. The Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921 is an eye-catching conversation starter, but more than that, wearing one shows that you’re committed to enjoying the finer things in life.  

Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921
Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921

Vintage Omega Seamaster De Ville 

Whether you like the vintage Omega Seamaster De Ville or not, there is no denying that many vintage timepieces make great work companions. There are a number of reasons why vintage is so appealing, not least of all due to the investment potential of many models. Vintage watches often have a classic look and smaller case diameter – perfect for business settings. The Omega Seamaster De Ville from the 1960s, for example, is the epitome of a classic watch. While it may look pretty simple at first glance, the exquisite attention to detail is readily apparent upon closer inspection. Buying a pre-owned vintage watch is also a more sustainable choice, if you’re eco-minded. 

Plus, every vintage timepiece carries a little slice of history with it. Last but not least, collectors are drawn to the vintage market thanks to the models’ limited numbers and exclusivity. So, if you want to exude timeless elegance and make a stylish statement at the same time, a vintage pick like the Omega Seamaster De Ville is a great option. 

Omega Seamaster De Ville
Omega Seamaster De Ville

IWC Portofino Chronograph 

Fresh yet still timeless, the entire Portofino collection by IWC is on point. The series includes many young classics like the IWC Portofino Chronograph 39. While the 39-mm case definitely has some serious wrist presence, it still looks refined thanks to its delicate lines. The dial is also kept clean and simple, with Roman numerals and line indices. This timepiece works with any attire, from sportswear to business causal. Plus, the easy band changing system makes it even more versatile; wear it on a burgundy leather strap in fall and switch it out for a tan one in summer – ideal! The only downside is that it may be hard to keep this timepiece to yourself. Don’t be surprised if your partner, son, or daughter borrows it on a regular basis; it really does work for any age, gender, or style. After all, you really can’t go wrong with a fresh take on classic minimalism.  

IWC Portofino Chronograph 39
IWC Portofino Chronograph 39

Tissot T-Classic Chemin des Tourelles Powermatic 80 

Tissot still flies under the radar of many watch enthusiasts, and I can’t really understand why that is. The Powermatic 80 is a groundbreaking, standard-setting caliber offering a power reserve of a whopping 80 hours, which easily covers you from Friday evening to Monday morning when it’s time to go back to work. The movement can be found in the Tissot T-Classic Chemin des Tourelles Powermatic 80, among other timepieces. This particular watch, however, pays homage to Tissot’s rich history. It’s named after the street in Le Locle, Switzerland, where Tissot was founded in 1907. This historical significance makes it unsurprising that the watch boasts a timeless, elegant design. Whether you are a watch novice or avid collector, the Tissot T-Classic Chemin des Tourelles would make an excellent addition to your workwear. It not only offers great value for money, but is also an extraordinarily reliable and comfortable watch that suits any situation. 

Tissot T-Classic Chemin des Tourelles Powermatic 80
Tissot T-Classic Chemin des Tourelles Powermatic 80

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About the Author

Barbara Korp

The moment I learned that watches were a lot more than just simple jewelry, I was hooked; I become enamored with the elegance of timekeeping. But there was one small hitch: most models were just too big for me to wear! That didn't discourage me, however. In fact, I developed quite a niche interest.

Read more

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