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Watch review: bracelet watches

The newest women's bracelet watches from Bulgari, Chanel and Ralph Lauren offer the perfect combination of style and substance.

10 April 2014

By Ase Anderson in London

Combining delicate beauty with technical function, bracelet watches offer the ultimate in both style and practicality.

Unveiled to great acclaim at Baselworld, Chanel's Premiere Triple Row bracelet watch features a steel triple row chain interwoven with black leather ribbons. It is the brand's latest interpretation of the Premiere, which first launched in 1987 and is inspired by the octagonal shape of the No 5 bottle-stopper.

As always, Chanel's offering is nothing short of sublime with a black lacquered dial and a crown set with an onyx cabochon. The inner workings of this stunning watch are pretty impressive too: 15.8mm x 23.6mm stainless steel case conceals a high-precision quartz movement.

Magnificently sculpted in rose gold, the Bulgari Catene bracelet watch is as much a jewel as a timepiece. A style favoured by screen legends such as Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly, the bracelet coils twice around the wrist of the wearer with a smooth elegance that betrays its complex construction. The gourmette chain motif has been a Bulgari icon since the mid 1960s and here it appears in 140g of gently curved rose gold links. The watch also comes in a semi-pave version, with the bracelet chain studded with 60 brilliant-cut diamonds.

The Catene features a white mother-of-pearl dial set with 12 brilliant-cut diamonds for the hour-markers and a 31mm case set with one pink rubellite. With a Calibre B046 Swiss quartz movement, created especially for the Italian jewellery house, the watch is water resistant up to 30 metres.

Following in its predecessor's footsteps, the scaled down Petite Stirrup from Ralph Lauren is quickly becoming a style staple for women all over the world. Measuring just 23.3mm it is proof that the best things really do come in small packages. A truly versatile piece, which will take the wearer with ease from day to night, the equestrian-inspired Petite Stirrup was recently launched in two new versions. The first one boosts a white mother-of-pearl dial offset by dark grey Roman numerals and hands, while the other dazzles with a snowfall-setting of 136 diamonds on the bezel and a further 12 on the dial itself.

Both new models feature the signature stainless steel stirrup-shaped cases and bracelets made up of intertwining links that mould to the contour of the wearer's wrist for maximum comfort.

And don't be fooled by its dainty appearance: with a state-of-the-art Swiss movement made by Richemont, the Petite Stirrup also packs a powerful punch in the technical performance stakes. 

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