To many couples, the idea of a “his-and-hers” watch duo is appealing. The idea is to have sets of watches from the same brand and collection which are offered in equally appealing men’s and women’s variants. Thus, there is typically a larger and more masculinized “his” version, as well as typically a smaller and possibly more decorative “hers” version of the same model watch. His-and-hers watch sets are common enough, but finding ones that look just as good on both people is a bit more challenging. Below, we round up many of the most classic and appealing his and hers watches for couples that further demonstrate the importance and power of truly versatile watch designs.
A quick note on same-sex couples who may be similarly interested in matching, yet distinct timepieces. The situation for these couples is actually less challenging, as in many instances the choice will be not a watch model that has good-looking versions in various sizes, but rather watches which are mostly the same but with material, color, or other cosmetic differences. Same-sex couples looking for matching watches thus may have an easier time, though specific such recommendations are outside the scope of this article.
It is, perhaps, little surprise that classic-looking, conservative watches tend to look the best in both smaller and larger sizes. More distinctive or artistic timepiece designs tend to look best in a more narrow set of design considerations. With that said, you’ll notice that some watch models from the same brand are quite different in “his form” versus “her form.” The real challenge really comes down to selecting a duo of watches that both members of the couple enjoy equally.
If you want to add other good “his and hers” watches to the list, be sure to mention them in the comments below so that people looking for great options can be aware of them.
For me, a success in a his-and-hers watch combo is each piece being the only watch you really need, and the Rolex Datejust and Lady-Datejust absolutely fit that bill. It is even easy to imagine a couple unintentionally ending up with matching Rolex Datejust watches. The quintessential everyday men’s Rolex gifted at birthdays, weddings, and, yes, retirements, the Rolex Datejust is an enduring men’s icon. However, just as ubiquitous is the Rolex Lady-Datejust which successfully feminizes the “grandpa” image that the Datejust can be saddled with. No, it’s not the most youthful piece, so it might not appeal to younger couples, and the price matches the Rolex reputation. The updated Rolex Datejust 41 introduced last year ranges from €9,150 to €11,200. The Rolex the Lady-Datejust 31 in two tone retails for $9,700.
Cartier Santos Galbee for her; Cartier Santos 100 for him. The Cartier Santos comes with a great history as the first pilot watch ever created and one of the earliest wrist watches for men ever. Though it began as a men’s watch, it later developed a strong feminine appeal as well. The smaller, 34.8mm-by-26.2mm Cartier Santos Galbee is a good size for women and comes in a “two-tone” steel and gold case with a quartz movement, for a price of $17,300. For guys, the 41mm-wide Cartier Santos 100 with the automatic Cartier 1847 MC movement comes in all steel ($7,000), a two-tone model we reviewed here ($9,650) that would match best with the Galbee, and a black carbon model ($7,600) as the most macho and sporty option.
Hublot Big Bang
Hublot will always offer a bold choice for a man or a woman. The Hublot Big Bang Unico 45, as its name suggests, is 45mm wide and requires some degree of bravado from the wearer – or will perhaps supply you with some. Shown above is the Big Bang Unico 45 Black Magic version that is in a ceramic case, with a skeletonized dial, and Hublot’s HUB1242 UNICO Manufacture movement, all for a price of $19,900. Available in a range of pastel color options, Hublot’s Big Bang Linen is 41mm wide and includes the HUB4300 automatic chronograph movement, precious stones on the bezel, and commands a price of $15,700.
Let’s start with the collector. The collector buys Audemars Piguet Expensive Watches because of its own history in great complicated pocketwatches. The collector buys AP since when Patek Philippe needed some help on the complex repeater of this Henry Graves Jr.. Supercomplication, it turned to AP. The collector buys AP due to watches like this, this, and this. They buy AP because the Le Brassus manufacture has long been at the very forefront of materials and engineering, showing off amazing watches like the very first moment repeating wristwatch way back in 1892, the first jump-hour wristwatch in 1921, the first skeletonized pocket watch in 1934, the introduction of an entire class in 1972, the first ultra slim perpetual calendar wristwatch with central rotor at 1978, the very first self-winding ultra thin tourbillon in 1986, the first grande and petite sonnerie wristwatch in 1994, the very first self-winding grand complication in 1996, the first wristwatch equation of period with perpetual calendar in 2000, the high frequency chronometer with double-balance AP Escapement at 2009, also, a ton of additional things.Today, watches such as the Royal Oak perpetual calendar warrior (a standard in AP’s collection and among the finest perpetuals available on the current market, in my own estimation), the Royal Oak Equation of Time, the innovative Chron-AP, and this Millenary Minute Repeater prove that AP is certainly a top-tier manufacture. AP’s in-house self-winding caliber 3120, found inside the basic Royal Oak 15400, is also among the best base moves in the world. These are the things which keep AP pertinent to “real” watch lovers that sometimes get lost in the buzz across the other types of AP buyers.
Patek Philippe Nautilus
The quintessential steel sports watch by Patek Philippe, the Nautilus is a contender for top power-couple watch. Recently celebrating its 40th birthday, the Nautilus (along with the Audemars Piguet Watches Ladies Royal Oak) takes the self-assured luxury of a steel sports watch that costs as much as one made in precious metals and offers an everyday wear with, love it or hate it, top-tier brand recognition and quality. In recent times, Patek has doubled down on its classic designs that veer to the traditional side, but the Gerald Genta-designed Nautilus has remained a perennially popular watch with broad appeal. The 40mm-wide men’s model ref. 5711/1A-010 and the 35mm-wide ladies ref. 7118/1A-001 are both priced the same at about $24,000.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
The Patek Philippe Nautilus vs. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak debate has been litigated and relitigated for years because, like all great timeless debates, there really isn’t a clear winner and both are legends in the world of steel luxury sport watches. The Royal Oak really has emerged as a more mainstream timepiece that you’ll see worn by celebrities, in pop-culture, and on the wrists of uber-wealthy teenage scions on Instagram. Still, the Gerald Genta-designed Royal Oak is an icon that comes in at 37mm (ref. 15450ST.OO.1256ST.01) or 41mm (ref. 15400ST.OO.1220ST.04) options that share an automatic caliber 3120 movement with a solid 60-hour power reserve. It’s far from being an original choice at this point, but it is the original non-round steel luxury sports watch that is nothing short of refined and cool as a his-and-hers option. The 37mm model is priced at $16,500 and the 41mm is $17,800, significantly less than the Patek Nautilus.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph 25th Anniversary and Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph are 3 new, pre-SIHH 2018 references which we’ll see in stores next year, when AP is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its Royal Oak Offshore line.When Audemars Piguet unveiled the very first Royal Oak Offshore some 25 years before, I do not think they anticipated it to be the success that it’s today, even though it mostly built on the original Royal Oak recipe: go really large, very daring, and pricey. Now, all this was to be taken to another level with all the Royal Oak Offshore.It was big and brash, and purists who saw it at Basel back in 1993 cried that the Royal Oak had been desecrated — likely the same men and women who jumped out to about the first Royal Oak desecrating luxury watches generally. Truth be told, the Offshore has been a bold move by Audemars Piguet, but now we all know how well it’s repaid.
The Tonneau-shaped Longines Evidenza is an affordable Swiss watch that should appeal to a couple that appreciates a mechanical watch that stands out, has brand heritage, but costs less than competitors. There’s something inimitably charming about the idea of a couple wearing matching his and hers Tonneau-case watches since it’s a way to stand out from the crowd, but do it together. The men’s model is 33.1mm X 38.75mm and has the caliber L615, based off an ETA-2895-2 movement which operates at 28,800vph and has a 42-hour power reserve. The ladies model shrinks down to 26mm X 30.6mm and has the L595 caliber, based off the ETA 2000/1 which operates at 28,800vph and has a 40-hour power reserve. It also comes in a 19mm X 23mm quartz version. The men’s version on steel bracelet is priced at $2,225, the 26mm ladies version on an alligator strap is $2,000, and the 19mm quartz model is $1,450.
The usage of titanium also suggests that regardless of the watch’s sizable measurements, at 44mm wide and 16.5mm thick, so it stays light and comfortable to wear. And thanks to its unique aesthetic, the case design immediately identifies the opinion as a Royal Oak Concept and nothing else.It goes without saying that the case is completed to an impeccably high standard with contrasting finishing. The bezel has mirror polished borders and includes a satin-brushed complete on the top, which complements the exposed polished 18k white gold screw heads. The situation was sandblasted and features a matte finish that juxtaposes quite well with the more slender bezel. The huge crown and chronograph pushers are made from ceramic.The black satin-brushed dial is partially skeletonized to reveal the inner workings of this watch. The hour and minute hands are made of 18K white gold and are partially skeletonized as well. But as they are fairly chunky, telling the timing isn’t overly difficult, but legibility isn’t ideal. That being said, this isn’t actually a bit where the palms are the focus. The running moments hand for the chronograph is glowing yellow to give contrast against the black dial.Finally, the respective minute markers and the markers to the 30-minute chronograph at 3 o’clock are rendered in yellow and white to provide maximum contrast and legibility. The 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock can be unique because it shows the elapsed minutes using a retrograde indicator. And finally, at six o’clock is that the tourbillon.The motion is where the magic all happens. It’s obviously in-house, also it’s the calibre 2937. Manually wound, it features a shocking 478 components, beats at 3Hz, and supplies a power reserve of 42 hours. And like all high-end chronograph movements, it has a column-wheel and lateral clutch.
A more youthful take on the classic Movado museum dial, the Movado Bold was the natural choice when it came to the brand’s connected device offerings. They still offer a ton of traditional non-connected Bold options ranging from the mid to high 3-figure prices that allow for a lot of fun mixing and matching for a his-and-hers combination that is unified by the classically minimalist museum dial. The entire Bold line only comes in quartz, so we are talking about an option that focuses on style, accessibility, and general ease of use. Ladies models range from 25mm all the way up to 42.5mm, and the men’s selections go from there to 44mm. The non-connected Movado Bold watches for men and women start at $390 and go up to about $995 (and a $1,495 ladies model with diamonds on the bezel). The Movado Bold Motion connected watches start at $490 for the 39mm and range from $695 to $895 for the 44mm models.
What’s left of the “dial” is basically a satin-brushed, ruthenium-toned ring around the edge and the two anthracite sub-dials. There’s a rehaut printed with a second chapter ring as well. In my experience, legibility is not the strongest suit for a skeletonized watch, but that’s less of an issue in the case of this watch. The use of pink gold applied hour markers and pink gold baton-shaped palms, both filled with lume, should provide adequate legibility in most lighting conditions. The “Audemars Piguet” logo is printed onto the surface of the sapphire crystal on the front, and this gives it a nice floating effect.The sub-dials are easy with white printed text and white baton-shaped hands. The sub-dial in 3:00 indicates chronograph minutes and also the one at 9:00 shows continuous moments. One possible issue with legibility has to do with the chronograph seconds hand, which is black with a lumed white hint. Between just how thin the seconds hand is and also the color, studying the chronograph elapsed time might be more cumbersome than people may like. It’s not easy to say for sure until we get our hands on a physical case of this watch.I’ve abandoned the situation and bracelet description to the last because these are a few of the most recognizable aspects of the watch. This is the exact same Gerald Genta design that is so popular among many collectors however with 44mm by 13.2millimeter case dimensions. This is a somewhat large watch with a wide bezel on both the front and rear. All the straight lines and sharp angles also give it a bigger look. There will be the obvious visual differences in the two substances but what I find more intriguing is that titanium is generally a light material with high tensile strength, while gold is a dense but soft substance. This signifies is that the experience of wearing each variant should be significantly different, and that I personally find this interesting.
Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross’s square shaped watches based on the look of airplane cockpit instruments are a modern classic and come in a slew of variations including different materials and sizes. At 42mm wide, the BR 03 is probably the most wearable for men while still providing a lot of wrist presence. The BR S, while probably still a good fit for many men at 39mm, will also appeal to many women wanting a bold and fashionable piece. The version seen above in black ceramic with diamonds and running on a quartz movement, however, is distinctly feminine and has a price of $8,600. The basic steel model Bell & Ross BR 03-92 in steel with a Swiss automatic Sellita SW200-1 movement and on a rubber strap is $3,400.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver is probably the Audemars Piguet I would want to next own. Ever since that time, Audemars Piguet has released a number of models in various case materials ranging from steel to forged carbon, and ceramic (view them all within our Royal Oak Offshore topic page or search “Audemars Diver” on aBlogtoWatch). For 2017, the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver watches are all in steel, but celebrate a host of daring visual styles which echo other products already produced by the brand, as well as a colour theme that you may find in other new-for-2017 Audemars Piguet watches like the much more expensive Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph Selfwinding Limited Edition pieces.Not that any of these watches are inexpensive, but if you are going to opt for a sporty timepiece in mostly electric green, my mind is that spending circa $20,000 (that the Royal Oak Offshore Diver) feels a little more suitable for something which isn’t going to be a daily wear as compared to circa $300,000 to get a pristine collector’s piece (that the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph Selfwinding Limited Edition). The majority of people will likely err on the more conservative side and opt for the very same watches in much more “classic” colors provided by Audemars Piguet. Then again, if you live a lifestyle where you can pull-off one of these brilliant Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Divers as your everyday wear, then more power to you.Last year in SIHH 2016, Audemars Piguet toyed with the notion of dressing the Royal Oak Offshore Diver in gaudy colors when they introduced the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph. What I found to be fascinating is that they debuted the Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph (hands-on here) exclusively in wild colors like orange, yellow, blue, and green… without a version that would be regarded as a little more conservative.
A couple that’s into the modernist aesthetic isn’t going to have the easiest time finding a his-and-hers piece that matches their style, but the Rado Ceramica presents a sleek and (you guessed it) ceramic option. Recently redesigned by industrial designer Konstantin Grcic, the Rado Ceramica only comes in Quartz in order to maintain a slimmer wrist profile. The practical benefit of not having to deal with making sure a watch is wound is important to a lot of people, but it doesn’t mean design and materials are compromised. The men’s Ceramica is 30mm X 41.7mm, while the ladies model is 22.9mm X 31.7mm. I love the look of the matte-black ceramic on these watches, but the ladies model available in white looks very, very cool also. Price for the men’s and ladies Rado Ceramica is $2,100 and the ladies models with 4 diamonds on the dial are priced at $2,250.
IWC Pilot’s Watch
It’s common for women to wear men’s style sport watches as opposed to more feminine formal wear. For a lot of women, the perfect combination is a traditionally men’s style design but sized for her smaller wrist. So is the case with IWC’s Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36, which comes in a few dial and strap styles in a 36mm-wide steel case that will look good on ladies who like a more “instrumental look” on their wrist. For him, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII is the more masculine counterpart which continues a long tradition of pilot watch design by the brand. The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII is in steel on a strap or bracelet in a 40mm-wide case. Both watches contain base Swiss automatic movements. The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII for men is $3,950 strap or $4,950 bracelet and the IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36 for women is priced the same.
When I think about the major Swiss watch brands, Breitling is one that I almost never associate with ladies watches. The Breitling Galactic, however, comes in 29mm, 32mm, and 36mm in addition to the 41mm version. I think there’s definitely a market for the bold, aggressive Breitling aesthetic but in a smaller case size. I honestly can’t say I know a couple that really fits into what I imagine the customers for a his and hers Breitling Galactic to be but I can imagine that they share similar sporty hobbies and lifestyles. For the smaller 29mm and 32mm models, Breitling decided to use their Superquartz movements, while there is the option of the Breitling caliber 37 automatic movement for the 36mm, which operates at 28,800vph and has a 42-hour power reserve. The 29mm only comes in one version with diamonds on the dial and bezel, with a price of $8,330. The 32mm is $5,420 in steel and $7,210 with diamonds on a leather strap. The quartz 36mm on a leather strap is $4,515, and the diamonds and steel bracelet model is $10,950. The automatic 36mm in gold and steel two-tone is $9,255 and steel bracelet with diamonds is $10,735. And finally, we get to the men’s 41mm models which are $5,325 on leather strap and $5,985 on steel bracelet.