By Rebecca Doulton in Madrid
The trend for white on white in haute couture - one of the most glamorous combinations - has had a lasting repercussion in the world of ladies' watches. From sleek sports models to high jewellery creations, all blanched to a frosty shade of white, the look is impeccably cool.
It seems as though Girard-Perregaux watches decided to see what would happen if it left one of its tourbillon complications out in the thick of a snow storm. The remarkable Cat's Eye Jewellery watch, with a flurry of over 1,000 snow-set diamonds, is proof positive that mechanical complications can be impressively seductive when dressed in white. The flattering oval-shaped case in white gold houses a unique mother-of-pearl dial with light-reflecting bubbles across its entire surface. No less impressive is the tourbillon show at 6 o'clock powered by an in-house manually-wound movement.
Audemars Piguet watches shocked the establishment when it introduced the legendary Royal Oak in 1972, a virile sports watch in stainless steel with an unorthodox octagonal bezel and exposed screws. No less audacious is its descendant, the Royal Oak Offshore watch, which appeared in 1993, beefed up and with unconventional combinations of materials. The 37mm Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ladies' watch retains its vigorous attributes and plays with textures, combining rose gold with diamonds and white rubber set against a white waffle-textured dial for an effect that is radically chic and assertive.
It might not look like the kind of watch you would want to go diving with, but Ulysse Nardin watches will accompany you to depths of 100m in pristine style with the Lady Diver. The lovely 40mm rose gold case features a white unidirectional rotating bezel, punctuated with diamonds, and a screw-down safety crown. A delicate pattern of waves whooshes across the dial, the bezel and the white rubber strap as a subtle reminder of the marine spirit of this dive watch, which sparkles with 54 white diamonds.
Richard Mille watches have forged a reputation for their use of high-tech materials, extremely complex movements and racy, avant-garde design. The sleek and curvaceous RM 07-01 ladies' watch is no exception and features a smooth white ceramic tonneau-shaped case - measuring a hearty 45.66 x 31.40mm - resilient to everyday wear, tear and scratches. The skeletonised automatic movement is partly shielded by a diamond-set centre but can be viewed in all its complexity through the sapphire crystal caseback. And in case you get wet, rest assured, this watch is water-resistant to 50m.
Returning to feminine classics with wafer-thin silhouettes, Piaget's Altiplano ladies' watch in white gold has a dainty 24mm diameter and is just 5.44mm thick. The iridescent white dial is sober in its appeal with delicate hour indices framed by 48 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel. The white satin strap completes the unpolluted and sophisticated look.
For a more poetically styled watch, swirling with ribbons of diamonds and graceful movement, Blancpain's Heure Décentrée is a lovely choice. Its 36.8mm rose gold case is exalted with 108 diamonds set in interwoven ribbons that embrace the contours of the case. The white mother-of-pearl dial displays the hours and minutes in the top section and is separated by an undulating wave of diamonds from the retrograde 30-second indication at 6 o'clock. This Blancpain watch won the prestigious GPHG award in the ladies' watch category this year and you can admire the self-winding movement made by Blancpain through the crystal caseback with its flower-shaped rotor.