Compare women's watches

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Not ready to buy? Why not read our style notes for all you need to know before choose a mens trench coat

Your online style guide to 2012's chicest watches

The appeal of watches is as much in their fashion stakes as in their practicality (style and substance – we like!) and you can learn a lot about a woman by the timepiece that adorns her wrist. We love the huge variety available to suit every mood possible and we’re not ashamed to admit we have multiple watches to match our many, many, many clothes!

With such a huge range of material, functions and strap style to choose from, let alone the choice of the latest designers and cheap high street brands, it’s no wonder the prospect of choosing a watch can be daunting, so let us guide you through our online treasure chest of the chicest watches in the UK to find your perfect new timepiece, then make your way over to our comparison tables to shop ‘til you drop!

A brief history of designer watches

From the humble hourglass to sundials and clocks, we’ve always looked for ways to measure the passing of time. The earliest clocks are said to have been created by Italian monks as a means of telling when to pray. Next came the pocket watch, invented in 16th century Tudor, UK, and worn around the neck due to their size and weight. By the 17th century these had been honed to be more accurate and reliable.

As technology progressed, the mechanisms used in watches for women have been replaced by quartz vibrations or electromagnetic pulses. In the 1900s a Wristlet, a clock worn on the wrist, was developed and worn only by women (it was considered far too womanly for men, who said they’d ‘rather wear a skirt than a wristwatch’). 1969 saw the introduction of the quartz watch, a revolutionary development in the history of timepiece.

In 2012 a watch is a staple accessory adorning the wrist of many a stylish lady in the UK. Watches can take centre stage in an outfit as the focal point of a look; there’s nothing quite like a big chunky watch on your wrist to command attention. Worn with a gorgeous dress it can toughen up a girlie look or smarten up any office-appropriate attire.

Comparing functions

Water resistant A common feature on sports watches, water resistance protects a watch from water damage. The amount of protection varies from watch to watch so be aware of this if you’re looking for a watch you can use in water – when you’re shopping for watches online, a good option is to look for one that’s waterproof to 100 metres.

Chronograph A chronograph watch has both a stopwatch and a display watch. The dial has several sub-dials with a scale and a second hand can be stopped and started without affecting the displayed time.

Tachymeter A tachymeter is a scale on the outside rim of an analog watch. It is used with a chronograph to compute speed, distance or units based on a certain distance or factor, e.g. miles per hour.

Perpetual calendar A watch with a perpetual calendar will display both time and a calendar. Calendars on watches can vary from simply display the date to displaying the date, month, year and even century. A watch with a perpetual calendar will need to be adjusted manually at certain intervals. For example, a semi-perpetual calendar will need adjusting on leap years.

Style guide for buying your new watch online

  • A watch with a classic design in silver or gold will never date and will always look expensive (even if it was a cheap designer watch!)
  • White, black, silver or gold faces are the most wearable.
  • A luxury or dress watch looks brilliant paired with a more formal dress and can make a real statement without being OTT when paired with your work attire. 
  • If you’re looking for the latest trend-led or fashion watches then feel free to experiment with your style. Colour and patterned bands can add a pop of colour and fun to a casual look and can bring an outfit together if it picks up on accents in shoes or accessories.
  • Don’t be afraid of small crystals or diamonds on a watch – there’s nothing like when they catch the sun!
  • Opt for a sports watch if you’re active. Look out for functions that allow you to time yourself if you are running or exercising. 
  • To pack a fashion punch look for unique shapes and styles of band and face. 

Looking after your new watch

Looking after and maintaining your watch is really important to protect its appearance and functionality. This is especially important for those who’ve splashed out on investment ladies designer watches. Here are some pointers to prolong the life of your new watch and keep it ticking over – literally.

  • Avoid water damage and always check your watch’s water resistance.
  • Avoid contact with high temperatures or chemicals.
  • Don’t wear perfume or moisturisers near your watch as this can erode the material on the strap and avoid leaving it in direct sunlight as this can fade leather straps. 
  • Clean metal straps with a soft toothbrush and soap and water
  • Leather straps should be loosened in the summer to avoid absorbing sweat. 

Delivery and returns

It is always best when you compare men’s watches to check online independent retailers’ delivery and returns policy before watches for sale online. UK policy states that any purchase made online comes with a seven day ‘cooling off’ period where you’re able, by law, to return any online goods. Many retailers extend this to 28 or 30 days so it’s always best to check before you buy.