The chronograph, the ultimate sports watch, is becoming chicer by the year, with sleek lines and sober counters making it sophisticated enough for everyday city wear.
First the wristwatch, a big step forward in horology history as enabling us to know the time at a glance, replacing clock and pocket watch. Now the bracelet watch, an elegant high-design object worn every day like a beautiful fashion accessory, but with a discreet or hidden watch face. Chanel's supple quilted bracelet is named Code Coco and sports the famed clasp of the 2.55 bag, created by Mademoiselle Chanel in 1955. Open or closed (with a simple click) it hides or reveals a two-hand watch face. Equally graphic is Boucheron's Damier Cabochon in white gold pavé-set with diamonds and onyx, presenting as a rigid bracelet save for a delicate dial on one of its precious squares. The supple Sweet Alhambra by Van Cleef & Arpels, its four-leaf clover motif celebrating its 50th birthday this year, associates creased pink gold, white mother-of-pearl and diamonds. At Hermès, the bejewelled Hermès Klikti watch dresses the wrist gracefully in white or pink gold partially or entirely gem-set, looking stunning on its single- or double-turn alligator strap. Jaquet Droz's Lady 8 Petite, a smaller iteration of the Lady 8, is a stress-beater into the bargain with its matching stone at 12 o'clock that you can roll around under your finger.