Raymond Weil Lady Maestro
Starts at $2,250
I feel for the ladies when it comes to scoring a better watch. Because -- let's be honest -- time is a sexist business. Watches for woman usually err on the trophy-wife side of things, bedazzled in a way that drives up the price and ugly. Smart women usually wind up cribbing a unit from men's lines, which is a bore. So I have to hand it to Raymond Weil for treating women right with its new Lady Maestro series. Rolled out for the holidays, these watches are the more feminine riff of the popular Maestro line, which features a decent automatic movement, a reasonably delicate 9.13-mm watch and, most importantly, a full range of colored leather bands. (You will definitely want to buy this watch from a living person in a store, because choosing the right colored band is the whole point and will be hard online.) Weil has added in a nice ring of 74 itty-bitty diamonds that add a surprisingly subtle and attractive bling factor.
I liked the mechanical movement discreetly visible in the main face, and even tired eyes can still read the thing. Overall, the Lady Maestro is a rare thing in women's watches: reasonably priced for a luxury mechanical watch and step-for-step as good as any man's.