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Ladies Cocktail Watch

Antique and Vintage Ladies Cocktail Watches for Sale

Originating just after the turn of the 20th Century, ladies’ cocktail watches have seen a rich and glamorous history. From their secretive beginnings - in-fitting with the mysterious and stylish jazz era - to the 21st Century, cocktail watches have held a well-deserved place in jewellery boxes everywhere.

As well as being beautifully designed, antique and vintage cocktail watches can tell us a bit about women’s role in high-class society and how it has evolved over the decades.

Browse our fine collection of vintage and antique diamond cocktail watches.

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Ladies Cocktail Watch Frequently Asked Questions

First created by Tiffany & Co just after the turn of the 20th Century, cocktail watches were initially designed as a subtle and secretive way for women to check the time. In this period, time-checking was deemed unladylike, and casting one’s eyes away to check a wristwatch in the middle of a conversation was considered a serious faux pas for women in civilised society. In short, it wasn’t thought necessary or relevant for women to be concerning themselves with time, schedules, and appointments at all - it was more acceptable for them to be considered exclusively as ladies of leisure.

In response to this, cocktail watches were first designed to be cleverly disguised as bracelets - the perfect way for women to keep tabs on the time while looking glamorous. To achieve this, early cocktail watches were sleek and elegant, usually crafted in white gold or platinum and ornamented with sparkling diamonds.

The all-important dial within these designs would either be so small it wasn’t immediately noticeable or hidden away behind a diamond-encrusted lid or secret panel. Their purpose - aside from telling the time - was to signify pure grandeur and luxury. Unlike inconspicuous wristwatches, cocktail watches were designed to be status symbols and talking points at parties - hence the lavishness and ornateness of antique and vintage watches.

Later, after World War II, cocktail watches and wristwatches both became more readily available as the world of luxury watches moved away from conservativism, making products more accessible to the mass market. It was during this time that cocktail watch designs started to vary more, with bright gemstones becoming a more common feature.

Thanks to this era, there is now a plethora of stunning antique and vintage cocktail watches on the market and designs to suit every style.

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