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A Collector’s Guide to Antique Diamond Watches

What is better than blending beauty with functionality? Diamond watches are the perfect example of this, as they sparkle and delight when their wearer glances down to check the time. Blurring the line between a beautiful piece of jewelry and a handy time-teller has proved to be a brilliant innovation. This fusion of fine jewelry with fine watch-making has been welcomed by many manufacturers, creating a market for collection and enjoyment of the antiques.


Investments for women’s watches is at an all-time high. With so many possible designs and styles, women can create a collection that fit and inspire their individual taste. Antique watches have become not only an accessory, but also a way for a woman to connect with the past. Just like any personal collection, each item offers a story and holds meaning in the eyes of the beholder. This antique watch guide will highlight some of our favorite timepieces and provide a brief history of these accessory pieces. Whether you are a watch collector or not, read on to discover the fascinating world of vintage mechanical watch pieces.


Art Deco-Era Diamond and Iridium Platinum Wristwatch

31-0328 Art Deco-Era Diamond and Iridium Platinum Wristwatch

This dazzling Art Deco ladies' wristwatch is a beautiful demonstration of antique diamond watches. Made by Hamilton, the classic setting and hardware are composed of iridium platinum. This precious metal was a favorite of jewelry and watch makers in the early 20th century. The makers brand name is featured on the watch face as well as Arabic numerals and diminutive hour and minute hands. This elegant and sparkling wrist watch would be a show stopper at any cocktail hour, worn on the arm of graceful and fashionable lady.


Pocket watches are also an innovative way to show off a vintage timepiece. Originally crafted for men, gentleman watches sported on a chain or in one's sport coat have become a widely sought after and collected accessory. Before men's wrist-watches became popular, antique pocket watch styles were all the rage.


Art Deco Onyx Pocket Watch by Cartier

30-8895 Art Deco Onyx Pocket Watch by Cartier

This sleek onyx antique pocket watch was crafted by the famed firm Cartier. The firm's of watchmaking extends An air of luxury exudes from the time piece


Modern wrist-watches have become a wardrobe staple for men, however it was actually women who first made the statement of wearing a timepiece around their wrist. Adding a clock-face to a dazzling bracelet proved to be a genius idea, and evolved to include many shapes and styles. Dating all the way back to the 16th century, wrist watches were seen as a feminine accessory. While men sported pocket watches, women were adding clocks to various bracelets. By the 19th century, most renowned manufacturers were making jeweled bracelets for women that also included a time-piece.


The desire for diamond wrist watches was met by many firms, but why stop there? The merging of beauty and functionality did not have to only be placing a time piece in a bracelet. Makers such as Cartier explored options for other luxurious forms of time-telling. Fashioning diamonds on to pocket or clip-on watches proved to be just as successful as bejeweled wrist-watches.



Cartier Art Deco Diamond & Onyx Clip Watch

29-8577 Cartier Art Deco Diamond & Onyx Clip Watch

Who could resist Cartier? This charming clip watch would be a magnificent addition to any attire. Cartier has been making time-pieces for almost as long as the company has been open, ensuring perfection, beauty, and originality. This specific watch made by Cartier features a dial and clip of onyx, and a bezel comprised of shimmering round-cut diamonds that also mark the hours. Elegant and chic, this vintage timepiece is certainly one of a kind.


Historically, most watches that were made for women featured an elegant or even delicate design. Time pieces were typically set in diamonds or attached to a feminine bracelet or necklace. Recently, there has been a shift in trends. As the times evolve, women's taste for timepieces have begun to include larger and more complicated watches.


14K Rose Gold, Ruby and Diamond Watch Bangle

31-0329 14K Rose Gold, Ruby and Diamond Watch Bangle

Now, here is a truly unique time-piece. In the form of a cuff bracelet, this uncommonly beautiful wrist-watch takes the form of a stylish cuff bangle bracelet. Crafted in 14K rose gold, the bangle features a delicate rectangular watch dial ornamented with Arabic numerals. The watch face itself is surrounded by a halo of dazzling white diamonds and the bracelet is accented with radiant red rubies. This statement piece is unlike any other, and is sure to start conversation.


Sapphire and Diamond Watch by Bulgari

30-6058 Sapphire and Diamond Watch by Bulgari

Another Art Deco design, this astonishing creation by high-end Italian jeweler Bulgari is truly a representation of mixing beauty with functionality. The clock face, nestled within dazzling gemstones, denotes the time with twelve Arabic numerals surrounded by a stylish border. An array of old European-cut white diamonds and emerald-cut sapphires create the image of a bird in flight against a deep blue sky, giving this time piece a truly unique composition. Giving the watch even more versatility, it can be worn as both a brooch or a wristwatch with a stunning blue silk band that accompanies it.


Time pieces for women have truly seen an evolution. After the first blending of beauty and functionality by including a time piece in jewelry, renowned firms and designers have run wild with endless possibilities. Whether a woman prefers a traditional, elegant and dazzling time piece for her attire or something more considerable and complex, the breadth of diamond and jewel-encrusted watches for women is endless. M.S. Rau offers a specially curated selection of estate diamond jewelry and watches. Explore our collections now!




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