Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Women’s watches are the next big thing in men’s watches (yes, really)

If you love men's watches, consider trying one made for women instead

Tissot watch laying on floor
Bruno van der Kraan/Unsplash / Unsplash

There has always been a divide men typically haven’t dared cross in the fashion world—the line between genders. Women wearing traditionally masculine clothing — or trends that society has perceived to be more masculine than feminine — has been more or less accepted, but the opposite hasn’t really been true. You can see the evidence simply in colors, where women have never shied away from wearing the color blue, but men didn’t even think about wearing the color pink until we as a society progressed enough to make it acceptable. (And let’s be clear here: Everyone can — and should — wear both pink and blue.) The newest fashion fad that shows how those gender lines are blurring? Watches.

Men (even some famous ones) are moving beyond wearing only men’s watches and have also begun to wear women’s watches. We’ve seen it recently with celebrities ranging from the Weeknd to Succession actor Jeremy Strong sporting watches that are technically designated as women’s watches. But there are some excellent reasons for this, both in a social sense and a practical one.

Watch on a wrist in front of coat
Nordgreen / Unsplash

There is a practical reason for the switch

This trend is one watch experts have seen coming for the past few years.

“The idea of gender today is less relevant than it ever has been in the history of mankind,” Alan Bedwell, a vintage watch expert, curator, and founder of the luxury label Foundwell, told The Journal last year. “This is very much translating into the world of watches. Saying, ‘This is a women’s watch,’ is a terribly outdated mindset. Anyone can wear anything if they like the look of it, and it feels good on the wrist. Ellen [DeGeneres] wearing a Patek 5711, or Tyler, the Creator, wearing a Cartier Obus. Both look amazing. Just look at Miles Davis in his gold curb link bracelet with a watch. I was lucky enough to find an early Boucheron version recently. If it’s good enough for the king of cool, it is good enough for me. This is not a new trend, but, in the past three years or so, there is less desire for the 36mm-plus requirements.”

Sure, celebrities can get away with wearing virtually whatever they want, right? Lady Gaga wore meat, literal meat, to a red carpet. So can we, as men, really get away with wearing a woman’s watch? The answer to that question is yes. You can. To understand how you need to realize the two main differences between men’s and women’s watches.

The first is the size. Men’s watches tend to range between 38mm and 46mm, while women’s usually come in much smaller sizes ranging from 26mm to 36mm. Second, women’s watches more often carry diamonds and precious jewels that men’s watches don’t. Men’s watches tend to focus more on vocation and function, such as pilot, dive, drive, and field. Women’s watches typically focus more on luxury.

Sometimes, a sleek and simple design and size make the understated watch look much better than the large, flashy watch. Sleekness goes a long way toward subtlety. If you think about how and why men are wearing more jewelry, we are beginning to explore wearing more in a subtle way. Men wearing subtle watches tracks with the movement to wear more subtle bracelets and necklaces. As far as the diamonds go, have fun with it. Most men’s watches, if they are adorned with gems, are huge and borderline obnoxious. Picking up a ladies’ watch is a good way to find that balance.

The world is changing, and along with it, our views on what is for men, what is for women, and whether or not that conversation even needs to be a thing anymore. With watches, it very honestly never needed to be.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark McKee
Mark is a full-time freelance writer and men's coach. He spent time as a style consultant and bespoke suit salesman before…
Doxa’s Sub 200T watch is a new, smaller version of the Classic 300 design
Doxa introduces smaller version of Sub 300
Doxa Sub 200T series

Doxa watches aren't exactly the word on the tip of anyone's tongue when they think of their favorite brands; however, they have developed their own community, and some might dub them a cult following. The brand recently unveiled its latest Doxa watch, the Sub 200T which has sent a lightning strike through the hearts of fans, as it's unmistakably more compact than the iconic 300T and 600T models. The lack of smaller options has always been a common complaint among fans of the brand, and with consumer behavior veering more and more in this direction, it's no surprise that the latest iteration is just 39mm. The iconic design of the Classic 300 has been shrunk down to something more compact, sleek, and contemporary.
The new Doxa Sub 200T has a color for every taste

On top of that, the kaleidoscope of color options available from Doxa watches will surely satisfy every taste, from those who like bright and sporty models to those who prefer something a little more classic and subdued. The dial features a sunray-finished design with a luminous sunburst effect, and it comes with two strap options: a stainless steel bracelet with a "beads of rice" design and an FKM rubber strap that comes with folding clasps and ratcheting wetsuit extensions.

Read more
These are the most high-end G-SHOCK watches…yes, you read that right
G-Shock offers high-end watches
G-SHOCK MRG-BF1000R-1A 'Frogman' In Titanium on model

Two things can certainly co-exist together without there being any friction: toughness and luxury, ruggedness and refinement. While G-Shock has never been thought of as a brand that dominates the highest echelons of haute horlogerie, especially with Rolex and Tudor out there, that doesn't mean they don't have their own high-end watches.

G-Shock began as Casio's vision for a durable watch after engineer Kikuo Ibe developed the first G-Shock in 1983. Apparently, he felt like traditional watches were too fragile, and he had a point, considering what the brand has come up with thus far. Over the years, G-Shock watches evolved and started incorporating advanced features like shock resistance, water resistance, and an array of sensors.
The top 5 high-end G-Shock watches

Read more
These are 5 of our favorite $10K-plus watches that debuted this week
Our favorite investments from Geneva
Chopard L.U.C XPS Forest Green

It is that time of year again when the best of the best watchmakers from around the world show up in Geneva to show out. The biggest and brightest of the industry get an opportunity to unveil their newest creations as each luxury watch name does its best to outdo the competition. Of course, when you have the names of some of the biggest luxury brands in the business, some of these watches will outshine the rest and become some of the best watch investments on the planet. Here are some of our favorite watches unveiled at Watches and Wonders that cost $10,000 or more.
Zenith Defy Skyline Chronograph

Robust at 41mm, the Defy Skyline collection sees its newest iteration keep the same look it always has with its octagonal bezel. The minimalist look, masculine shape, and lines make this the most rugged on our list. But while it looks to be ready for play, that doesn't mean you should bang it around, as it will cost you a cool $13,400.
Hublot Big Bang Integrated Time Only

Read more