Functional and decorative all at once, and long-lasting, a quality watch always makes for a great present. By extension, it is unsurprising that his-and-hers timepieces are also a popular way for couples to subtly display their bond (and infinitely preferable to, say, wearing identical polo tees). In the past, “couple watches” might have translated to a pair of largely similar watches in two different sizes. Today, however, it feels more modern to make less-obvious horological matches: Think shared design details (such as case structure, or dial accents) or complications. Here are our top eight pairs to consider this Valentine’s Day.
01: Glashutte Original
Just as not all men like large watches, women do not always prefer smaller timepieces. This pair of lunar-themed timepieces affirms this: At 39.4mm, the diamond-studded women’s PanoMaticLuna is almost as large as its men’s counterpart, the 40mm PanoMaticLunar. While they are united by their off-centre time displays and moon-phase indicators, the two watches feature distinctively different blue dials – one in midnight blue, and the other in shimmering, light blue mother-of-pearl.
02: Audemars Piguet
Recently launched at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore comes in a 44mm titanium case that has presence without the weight. Featuring a black ceramic bezel and a slate-grey dial with the distinctive Mega Tapisserie pattern, the watch finds its cool match in the Ladies’ Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph. The latter is a gem-set 37mm steel timepiece with a black dial featuring the new “Lady Tapisserie” pattern, which is distinguished by the circular-grained ring on its periphery.
We like how each of these timepieces highlights a different way of looking at the world, and how each boasts interesting functions of their own. Housed in a 41.6mm steel (as shown here) or pink gold case, the Geophysic Universal Time in steel allows for the simultaneous readings of the time in 24 time zones. The Rendez-Vous Moon, which comes in a 36mm white gold case further brightened up with diamonds, features a large blue disc highlighting the constellations. At the bottom of this sky disc lies a mother-of-pearl lunar indicator; although our favourite feature is the bright little star that the wearer can set as a reminder of an important rendezvous.
In the year of the 60th anniversary of Piaget’s ultra-thin Altiplano watch family, we are happy to bend our own “avoid similar-looking models for his-and-hers watches” rule. The reason is simple: These watches look darn good. While the 43mm model is self-winding, the 38mm version is manually wound. Otherwise, they largely share the same design DNA, inspired by Piaget’s earliest ultra-thin timepieces: A historical logo, applied gold hour markers and a central cross, and a sunburst dial in a gorgeous midnight blue.
05: A. Lange & Sohne
Nobody ever said that couple watches had to be of the same metal. Fresh from A. Lange & Sohne for 2017, the charmingly named Little Lange 1 Moon Phase features a beautiful dial with stunning guilloche detailing. Its manually wound movement is based on the calibre of the updated Lange 1, which was introduced in 2015. Speaking of which, the masculine counterpart we are recommending to match is the 38.5mm Lange 1 in white gold, which features refined details such as an instantaneously jumping outsize-date display.
United by classic styling and a three-hand design with an understated date display, this pair of Portofino watches are both powered by automatic movements. While the 37mm model features 66 diamonds, we like how the slate-grey dial adds a cool contrast to the femininity of the piece. The men’s model clocks in at a very-versatile 40mm, and complements its women’s counterpart with its handsome black dial.
07: Patek Philippe
The well-known Patek Philippe Calatrava is characterised by a minimalist design that takes its inspiration from Bauhaus philosophy, which asserts that form must follow function. It certainly has, as these two timeless models prove. Perfect for a couple who like their watches on the smaller side, the men’s and women’s watches measures 37mm and 33mm respectively. While they are both housed in rose gold cases, the men’s model features a classic opaline-white dial, while the women’s version is more eye-catching, thanks to its stark white dial and hobnail motif-inspired hour markers.
When you’re shopping around for couple timepieces at Cartier, you could opt for two square-shaped Santos models, or perhaps a pair of Tanks. But here’s a less cliché suggestion: The cushion-shaped timepieces from the brand’s latest masculine Drive de Cartier collection make for a striking and surprising complement to the ovoid-shaped Cle de Cartier models. Look closer and you’ll see that it’s the design details that harmoniously link the two: The blued sword-shaped hands, bold roman numerals and the guilloche accents at the centre of their dials.