Even Omega’s advanced stopwatches did not remove Olympic controversy. In five different races, both the winner and runner-up were recorded as having the same time. The most famous controversy involved the 100-meter dash and the duel involving Ralph Metcalfe and Thomas Edward “Eddie” Tolan. To the spectators, it appeared that Metcalfe won the race, and the timekeepers’ hand-held stopwatches recorded three times of 10.3 seconds for Metcalfe and two times of 10.3 and one of 10.4 minutes for Tolan. Nevertheless Tolan was declared the winner, in an ancient Olympic “photo finish.” A “Chronocinema” camera filmed the end of each race, and it had been used to document times to the nearest 1/100th of a second. The rules at the time said that the winner was the first runner whose torso fully crossed the finish line, not the one whose torso reached the line. After reviewing the film, the judges ruled the Tolan had won, entirely crossing the line 5/100ths of a second before Metcalfe.This controversy presaged the demand for more precise timers, and methods of determining winners. Omega says that today, timing an Olympics requires a few hundred specialist timekeepers and data handlers, supported by up to a thousand specially trained local volunteers, all using some 400 tons of equipment, including scoreboards, miles of wires and optical fiber, and state-of-the-art timekeeping and data-handling technologies, developed by Omega and accommodated to the requirements of every sport.Over years, James Bond has worn out a few watch brands, but now, none is more closely associated with the storied franchise than Omega. Since That Time, 007 has worn Omega in Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale, ” Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and SPECTRE (in which Bond donned a fresh Omega Seamaster 300).
To many couples, the idea of a “his-and-hers” watch duo is appealing. The idea is to have sets of watches from the same brand and collection which are offered in equally appealing men’s and women’s variants. Thus, there is typically a larger and more masculinized “his” version, as well as typically a smaller and possibly more decorative “hers” version of the same model watch. His-and-hers watch sets are common enough, but finding ones that look just as good on both people is a bit more challenging. Below, we round up many of the most classic and appealing his and hers watches for couples that further demonstrate the importance and power of truly versatile watch designs.
A quick note on same-sex couples who may be similarly interested in matching, yet distinct timepieces. The situation for these couples is actually less challenging, as in many instances the choice will be not a watch model that has good-looking versions in various sizes, but rather watches which are mostly the same but with material, color, or other cosmetic differences. Same-sex couples looking for matching watches thus may have an easier time, though specific such recommendations are outside the scope of this article.
It is, perhaps, little surprise that classic-looking, conservative watches tend to look the best in both smaller and larger sizes. More distinctive or artistic timepiece designs tend to look best in a more narrow set of design considerations. With that said, you’ll notice that some watch models from the same brand are quite different in “his form” versus “her form.” The real challenge really comes down to selecting a duo of watches that both members of the couple enjoy equally.
If you want to add other good “his and hers” watches to the list, be sure to mention them in the comments below so that people looking for great options can be aware of them.
For me, a success in a his-and-hers watch combo is each piece being the only watch you really need, and the Rolex Datejust and Lady-Datejust absolutely fit that bill. It is even easy to imagine a couple unintentionally ending up with matching Rolex Datejust watches. The quintessential everyday men’s Rolex gifted at birthdays, weddings, and, yes, retirements, the Rolex Datejust is an enduring men’s icon. However, just as ubiquitous is the Rolex Lady-Datejust which successfully feminizes the “grandpa” image that the Datejust can be saddled with. No, it’s not the most youthful piece, so it might not appeal to younger couples, and the price matches the Rolex reputation. The updated Rolex Datejust 41 introduced last year ranges from €9,150 to €11,200. The Rolex the Lady-Datejust 31 in two tone retails for $9,700.
Cartier Santos Galbee for her; Cartier Santos 100 for him. The Cartier Santos comes with a great history as the first pilot watch ever created and one of the earliest wrist watches for men ever. Though it began as a men’s watch, it later developed a strong feminine appeal as well. The smaller, 34.8mm-by-26.2mm Cartier Santos Galbee is a good size for women and comes in a “two-tone” steel and gold case with a quartz movement, for a price of $17,300. For guys, the 41mm-wide Cartier Santos 100 with the automatic Cartier 1847 MC movement comes in all steel ($7,000), a two-tone model we reviewed here ($9,650) that would match best with the Galbee, and a black carbon model ($7,600) as the most macho and sporty option.
Hublot Big Bang
Hublot will always offer a bold choice for a man or a woman. The Hublot Big Bang Unico 45, as its name suggests, is 45mm wide and requires some degree of bravado from the wearer – or will perhaps supply you with some. Shown above is the Big Bang Unico 45 Black Magic version that is in a ceramic case, with a skeletonized dial, and Hublot’s HUB1242 UNICO Manufacture movement, all for a price of $19,900. Available in a range of pastel color options, Hublot’s Big Bang Linen is 41mm wide and includes the HUB4300 automatic chronograph movement, precious stones on the bezel, and commands a price of $15,700.
Patek Philippe Nautilus
The quintessential steel sports watch by Patek Philippe, the Nautilus is a contender for top power-couple watch. Recently celebrating its 40th birthday, the Nautilus (along with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak) takes the self-assured luxury of a steel sports watch that costs as much as one made in precious metals and offers an everyday wear with, love it or hate it, top-tier brand recognition and quality. In recent times, Patek has doubled down on its classic designs that veer to the traditional side, but the Gerald Genta-designed Nautilus has remained a perennially popular watch with broad appeal. The 40mm-wide men’s model ref. 5711/1A-010 and the 35mm-wide ladies ref. 7118/1A-001 are both priced the same at about $24,000.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
The Patek Philippe Nautilus vs. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak debate has been litigated and relitigated for years because, like all great timeless debates, there really isn’t a clear winner and both are legends in the world of steel luxury sport watches. The Royal Oak really has emerged as a more mainstream timepiece that you’ll see worn by celebrities, in pop-culture, and on the wrists of uber-wealthy teenage scions on Instagram. Still, the Gerald Genta-designed Royal Oak is an icon that comes in at 37mm (ref. 15450ST.OO.1256ST.01) or 41mm (ref. 15400ST.OO.1220ST.04) options that share an automatic caliber 3120 movement with a solid 60-hour power reserve. It’s far from being an original choice at this point, but it is the original non-round steel luxury sports watch that is nothing short of refined and cool as a his-and-hers option. The 37mm model is priced at $16,500 and the 41mm is $17,800, significantly less than the Patek Nautilus.
The Tonneau-shaped Longines Evidenza is an affordable Swiss watch that should appeal to a couple that appreciates a mechanical watch that stands out, has brand heritage, but costs less than competitors. There’s something inimitably charming about the idea of a couple wearing matching his and hers Tonneau-case watches since it’s a way to stand out from the crowd, but do it together. The men’s model is 33.1mm X 38.75mm and has the caliber L615, based off an ETA-2895-2 movement which operates at 28,800vph and has a 42-hour power reserve. The ladies model shrinks down to 26mm X 30.6mm and has the L595 caliber, based off the ETA 2000/1 which operates at 28,800vph and has a 40-hour power reserve. It also comes in a 19mm X 23mm quartz version. The men’s version on steel bracelet is priced at $2,225, the 26mm ladies version on an alligator strap is $2,000, and the 19mm quartz model is $1,450.
A more youthful take on the classic Movado museum dial, the Movado Bold was the natural choice when it came to the brand’s connected device offerings. They still offer a ton of traditional non-connected Bold options ranging from the mid to high 3-figure prices that allow for a lot of fun mixing and matching for a his-and-hers combination that is unified by the classically minimalist museum dial. The entire Bold line only comes in quartz, so we are talking about an option that focuses on style, accessibility, and general ease of use. Ladies models range from 25mm all the way up to 42.5mm, and the men’s selections go from there to 44mm. The non-connected Movado Bold watches for men and women start at $390 and go up to about $995 (and a $1,495 ladies model with diamonds on the bezel). The Movado Bold Motion connected watches start at $490 for the 39mm and range from $695 to $895 for the 44mm models.
Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross’s square shaped watches based on the look of airplane cockpit instruments are a modern classic and come in a slew of variations including different materials and sizes. At 42mm wide, the BR 03 is probably the most wearable for men while still providing a lot of wrist presence. The BR S, while probably still a good fit for many men at 39mm, will also appeal to many women wanting a bold and fashionable piece. The version seen above in black ceramic with diamonds and running on a quartz movement, however, is distinctly feminine and has a price of $8,600. The basic steel model Bell & Ross BR 03-92 in steel with a Swiss automatic Sellita SW200-1 movement and on a rubber strap is $3,400.
A couple that’s into the modernist aesthetic isn’t going to have the easiest time finding a his-and-hers piece that matches their style, but the Rado Ceramica presents a sleek and (you guessed it) ceramic option. Recently redesigned by industrial designer Konstantin Grcic, the Rado Ceramica only comes in Quartz in order to maintain a slimmer wrist profile. The practical benefit of not having to deal with making sure a watch is wound is important to a lot of people, but it doesn’t mean design and materials are compromised. The men’s Ceramica is 30mm X 41.7mm, while the ladies model is 22.9mm X 31.7mm. I love the look of the matte-black ceramic on these watches, but the ladies model available in white looks very, very cool also. Price for the men’s and ladies Rado Ceramica is $2,100 and the ladies models with 4 diamonds on the dial are priced at $2,250.
IWC Pilot’s Watch
It’s common for women to wear men’s style sport watches as opposed to more feminine formal wear. For a lot of women, the perfect combination is a traditionally men’s style design but sized for her smaller wrist. So is the case with IWC’s Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36, which comes in a few dial and strap styles in a 36mm-wide steel case that will look good on ladies who like a more “instrumental look” on their wrist. For him, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII is the more masculine counterpart which continues a long tradition of pilot watch design by the brand. The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII is in steel on a strap or bracelet in a 40mm-wide case. Both watches contain base Swiss automatic movements. The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII for men is $3,950 strap or $4,950 bracelet and the IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36 for women is priced the same.
When I think about the major Swiss watch brands, Breitling is one that I almost never associate with ladies watches. The Breitling Galactic, however, comes in 29mm, 32mm, and 36mm in addition to the 41mm version. I think there’s definitely a market for the bold, aggressive Breitling aesthetic but in a smaller case size. I honestly can’t say I know a couple that really fits into what I imagine the customers for a his and hers Breitling Galactic to be but I can imagine that they share similar sporty hobbies and lifestyles. For the smaller 29mm and 32mm models, Breitling decided to use their Superquartz movements, while there is the option of the Breitling caliber 37 automatic movement for the 36mm, which operates at 28,800vph and has a 42-hour power reserve. The 29mm only comes in one version with diamonds on the dial and bezel, with a price of $8,330. The 32mm is $5,420 in steel and $7,210 with diamonds on a leather strap. The quartz 36mm on a leather strap is $4,515, and the diamonds and steel bracelet model is $10,950. The automatic 36mm in gold and steel two-tone is $9,255 and steel bracelet with diamonds is $10,735. And finally, we get to the men’s 41mm models which are $5,325 on leather strap and $5,985 on steel bracelet.