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Vintage-Inspired Watches for Women: Buying Guide

Vintage Inspired Watches for Women: Buying Guide

Everyone has a favourite decade. Feeling close to the era makes it feel so much more special. Whether you’d like to incorporate certain vintage elements into your wardrobe or you want to completely re-do your look the right accessories can really tie an outfit together. The right timepiece can be the thing to breathe air into your look. To make your search for the perfect piece just a little bit easier below we have compiled a guide for buying vintage-inspired watches for women.

The 1890’s

The 1890s was the dawn of women’s watches. Up until the 1880s, not many common women wore timepieces. Occasionally a royal would wear or commission one, however, watches were still mostly a man’s accessory. Wristwatches at the time were also a rarity, especially amongst everyday people. Instead of a pocket, women would usually wear their watches on a chain around their neck or pinned to their shirt, similarly to a modern-day nurse’s fob watch.

Woodford Stainless Steel Half hunter Flower-Design Pocket Watch 1052

Unfortunately for fans of the late Victorian period, the necklace watches have not come back into fashion, so we cannot recommend you one. Instead, we suggest taking the easier route and opting for a pocket watch. This is still historically accurate and with a bit of ingenuity can be worn around the neck.

Vintage-Inspired Watches for Women: Buying Guide
pocket watch cover

This beautiful Woodford pocket watch features an elegant feminine design. The case and half-hunter cover and made of polished stainless steel. On the cover is featured a stunning flower cutout allowing a peek inside. The white dial is contrasted by black Roman numeral and black Breguet hands. In the centre of the dial is featured an aperture into the movement. The crown is positioned at the 12 o’clock position.

The 1910’s

longines presence

The 1910’s was an era where watches took a more familiar form. Wristwatches as a whole become increasingly widespread due to the use of field wristwatches in WW1. This trend was so popular that wristwatches became popular for everyone. Women’s wristwatches were no longer reserved for high-society.

Longines Présence | 18ct Yellow Gold | Women’s 23.5mm L42776110

For a watch to breathe some 1910s charm into your wardrobe, we suggest the Longines Presance. The models from the collection are inspired by classic vintage aesthetics and would fit perfectly with both recreation and modern clothing. The 23.5 mm case is plated in 18 karat yellow gold. The black strap of the watch is made of genuine alligator leather. In addition to the gorgeous classic silhouette, the dial adds a more vintage appeal. Roman-numerals have been painted on the dial as hour-markers. Though the timepiece is vintage-inspired, Longines have not abandoned modern conveniences. Features on the model include a date aperture as well as an EOL function. A quartz movement powers the watch.

The 1920’s

Vintage-Inspired Watches for Women: Buying Guide

The Roaring 20s were a decade of decadence, excess and prosperity. The post war fashion saw skirts become shorter and more shapeless. The long dresses of the Victorian and Edwardian period were left behind. In this era of progress jewellery and accessories also saw a transformation. They become more extravagant. Due to the rise of the Art Deco movement preferred were clean geometric silhouettes. In addition to polished metals, colourful gemstones and the eastern world were great influences for jewellers and watchmakers alike.

Michel Herbelin Art Déco | Women’s Stainless Steel Bracelet | White Dial 17438/08B

Michel Herbelin have design this timepiece as a nod to the Art Deco era, so what better watch to wear than one directly inspired by your favourite decade. This Michel Herbelin model is has a rectangular stainless steel case and bracelet. Both the case and bracelet have a polished finish. The centre of the dial is textured. Features on the watch include minutes and hours. The watch is water resistant up to 50 meters or 5 bars.

The 1930’s

bulova watch

The Art Deco movement was developing throughout the 30s as well. It was, however, taking on a slightly different aesthetic. The movement of the time consisted of cleaner geometric lines, polished surfaces and less decadent pieces.

Bulova Womens Brown Leather Strap Rectangle Dial 97L153

Back then, as it is now, Bulova was at the forefront of watch fashion. This timepiece, both in shape and design, is directly inspired by Bulova pieces of the time. The watch has a yellow gold plated tonneau case with a rectangular dial. A thin brown leather strap secures the watch. Yellow-gold hour-markers and hands contrast the silver sunray dial.

The 1940’s

Vintage-Inspired Watches for Women: Buying Guide

During the 1940s, fashion became a lot more minimalist due to the lack of materials and the struggles of WW2. Though fashion wasn’t at the forefront, it still progressed and was still a way for millions of people to not only express themselves personally but politically. Watches of the time also took this paired-back approach and be

Tissot Womens Everytime Black Strap Silver Dial Arabic Numerals T1092101603200

This Tissot Everytime watch features a 30 mm case made of stainless steel. Securing it is a black leather strap. The minimalist design of the watch is highlighted by its simple dial. Painted black Arabic-numerals contrast the white dial. The watch also powered by a quartz movement.

The 1950’s

boss gold watch

The 1950s saw a resurgance of fashion. In the post-WW2 era, people wanted to showcase prosperity once again. Clothes became more colourful and complicated and so did accessories. We see the re-entrance of gloves and hats, especially in western societies. Watches were still used as simple accessories and were still viewed either entirely practically or more as a bracelet.

BOSS Womens | New Chain | Gold Dial | Gold PVD Steel Bracelet 1502591

A good example of a modern interpretation of the style at the time is this Boss women’s watch. Thought its dial design is minimalist and modern as it has no indices, the bracelet is in line with jewellery trends at the time. The decorative chain-style bracelet highlights the fashionable dainty silhoeutte of the watch. It’s monochrome colour-scheme makes it appear highclass.

The 1960’s

flower dial

Represented best by women like Twiggy or Audrey Hepburn the 1960’s were a time of contradiction. On one side stood the younger rebellious generation with their colourful short clothes while on the the other stood those dressed in classic prim skirt suits.

Orla Kiely Poppy | Black Leather Strap | White Dial OK2168

In order to represent the 60s we’ve chosen this watch by Orla Kiely. Its unconventional bright yellow plastic case is a nod to the colourful neon fashion trends emerging at the time which end up having a hold on the world for almost the next 3 decades. The delicate small size of the watch and the gold dial, alongside the black leather strap, however, point towards the much more conservative side of society and fashion at the time.

The 1970’s

Vintage-Inspired Watches for Women: Buying Guide

The 1970’s fashion was the peak of hippie fashion and the emergence of Studio 54. Jumpsuits, flare pants and tons of sequins. There was no such thing as too much colour. With the resergence of 70s style in the late 2010s its not surprise that many fashion houses, shops, jewellery and watchmakers took this as an opportunity to have fun with their designs.

Orla Kiely Women’s Bobby | Multi-Coloured Stem Print Plastic Strap | White Dial OK2338

The Bobby watch by Orla Kiely perfectly embodies the decade. Colourful earthy colours, nature prints and acrylic were in at the time and so this watch makes a point of combining all of the top 70s trends into one. The playful result is this colourful watch with a plastic tortoiseshell case and a cream strap decorated with a multicoloured stem print. The cream dial is contrasted by fun hour-markers in a vintage font.

What do you think of the vintage-inspired watches for women we suggested? Let us know in the comments.

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