The best and most popular vintage watches among women

The watch world is often described as a playground for men. At AWCo, we see this is absolutely false. In fact, a significant percentage of our clientele is female. In this article, we will explore some great vintage watches for women, but we will also bust some watch-world-gender-myths.

By Amsterdam Watch Company on 26 July, 2022

Beyond gender

In fact, let’s start right there. It is no secret that in society at large, we are moving towards a post-gender age. People are regarding gender less and less as a binary divide, and more as a spectrum. A spectrum, in fact, on which you do not have to take a fixed position. 

We are seeing this cultural development echo in the watch world, albeit slowly. Brands are starting to let go of the gender divide and just offer great watches for anyone interested instead. Why should a large watch be labeled as ‘for men’, and the same watch in a smaller size as ‘for women’? How about those women who like a large watch? What about those guys with a taste for smaller watches? Why would you say: “this is not for you!”?

Patek Philippe


Appreciating differences

Still, we cannot deny that there are differences between male and female watch buyers if we generalize. It is true that at the time of writing, on average, men ask us more about technology and mechanics, while women tend to value aesthetics more. It is true that men tend to look for all sorts of rational-sounding arguments for a watch, whereas women consider how a watch makes them feel. Of course, every single client is unique and deviates from the stereotypes in their own way, but we have to appreciate the differences we see when we squint our eyes as well. 

Quartz watches are a great example. For many male watch aficionados, a quartz caliber is a less attractive alternative to a mechanical movement. But to many female watch lovers, a quartz caliber is the most convenient way to enjoy your watch. A subtle difference we have to appreciate and cater to. Again, a difference with its exceptions on all sides of the equation. 

"The Rolex Datejust is easily the fastest selling vintage watch among all sexes."

You guessed it, we will not be talking about ‘women’s watches’ then. We will discuss a number of watches that have proven very popular among female watch lovers. So, guys, you are not excluded. You are just not the primary focus this time around. 

Rolex, Datejust 36 mm
Rolex Datejust, 31 mm

Rolex Datejust Midsize

The Rolex Datejust is easily the fastest-selling vintage watch among all sexes. And rightfully so. It has got all the quality and beauty one could desire, plus historical significance and brand power. It is also on the relatively more attainable side of the vintage Rolex catalog, and possibly the most versatile watch you could buy. 

The most popular version among our female clientele is the Midsize Datejust. Measuring 31mm, it wears more subtly than the full-size 36mm version. At the same time, it does have a more contemporary wrist presence than the 26mm Lady Datejust. While also extremely popular, some women consider the Lady Datejust just a bit too dainty for their liking. 

This preference does come at a price though. The Midsize Datejust was produced in far smaller numbers than either the full-size or the Lady Datejust, making it harder to find and more expensive. But once you have got your hands on your dream configuration, you can rest assured you have an extremely capable watch that is completely timeless and will never go out of fashion.

The cool thing about vintage Datejusts is that they come in tonnes of variations. You can opt for a smooth-bezel steel example with a black dial, for a rugged, sporty look. Or you can hunt down a two-tone, fluted bezel specimen with a diamond-set dial for a more preppy aesthetic. There is always a variant that will suit your unique taste and style perfectly. 

Rolex Datejust, 26 mm
Any Cartier

While the iconic Cartier Tank is certainly the most requested watch among our female followers, the many variants on the house’s theme of a white dial, Roman numerals, heat-blued hands, and a sapphire cabochon crown are all extremely popular. And rightfully so!

Cartier’s design language is over a century old. And it has retained its classical elegance, never trying too hard to go along with fleeting fashion cycles and trends. The result? A style that has been in vogue for over a century and that probably will be for the next century too! 

You can opt for the classical case shapes, such as the Tank or the Santos. But you can stray off the beaten tracks as far as you like, with interesting variations such as the Ceinture, Baignoire, or Calandre. All are instantly recognizable as Cartier watches, but they approach the familiar design elements from entirely different angles.

Oh, and if you want a worry-free experience, most of these come with the option of a battery-powered Quartz caliber. No winding, no setting the time every other day, and low maintenance. 

Cartier Biagnoire
Cartier Ceinture

Piaget as a brand might not have the stopping power of Rolex or Cartier, but a world of exotic designs opens up once you dive in. 

Particularly the Polo and Protocole watches come in absolutely stunning dial variants, including a number of unique stone dials, such as Tiger Eye and Lapis Lazuli. Furthermore, you will find the same high-end, manually-wound, ultra-thin calibers that you will see in watches costing several times more

A good Piaget watch from the 1970s or 1980s is a piece of jewelry that has all the horological weight you could desire. It is a creative choice. The watch you choose to impress yourself over anyone else. 

Piaget Polo

Over-sized watches

The above are all watches that were originally intended and specially designed for women. But as we have expressed before, there is absolutely no reason to let that limit your options. 

Just like a good pair of boyfriend jeans, an oversized watch can be absolute perfection. But what is an oversized watch? Well, in our view that would be a watch case that approaches or exceeds the width of your wrist in its lug-to-lug length. For some women, a 36mm Datejust or Day-Date will do that, for others, it is an Omega Speedmaster Professional or a Squale 50 Atmos. Whatever it is, it can provide an extremely elegant look. 

Just have a look around on Youtube to get our point. Watch channels are no longer a male-dominated universe. YouTubers such as Jenni Elle or Watch Gringa put out great content and they do not let any sort of gender divide stop them. You will spot them wearing 40mm Rolex Daytonas or 39mm Tudor Black Bays any day of the week. And you know what? It is super cool. We repeat Super. Cool. 

Jenny Elle wearing a Tudor BlackBay 58
Watch Gringa wearing a Rolex Daytona

What’s next?

It seems that (vintage) watches are getting hotter by the day. And it seems that more and more women are joining the fun, which is great news! We also see the male and female audiences merging. As smaller sizes are making a major comeback among male watch aficionados, and the boyfriend-watch is hot among women, we really seem to be just about ready to let go of any sort of gender divide in our beautiful hobby. In fact, let’s not call it a boyfriend watch, but rather an oversized watch. 

Not entirely convinced just yet? Come and visit us. We will let you try on all sorts of styles and sizes. You will see…There is a world of unexpected watch joy to be had!

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