The 21 Best Watches for Women in 2022

The real MVP of your outfit.

Bella Hadi is seen arriving at an hotel while wearing a watch on February 28, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)
(Image credit: Pierre Suu/GC Images)

At Marie Claire, we believe that watches are essential. But it can feel like some watches are doing too much—tracking your steps, your texts, and your heart rate. What if you want a watch that does less in the logistics department, and more in the style realm? Consider the watches on this list our gift to you. We've gathered the very best in luxury and budget, in every material out there, from watches of silicone and rubber to stainless steel and solid gold. We even turned to Brynn Wallner, (opens in new tab) founder of the mega-popular Instagram account and website Dimepiece, for her advice on all things watches. Keep reading to check out her (affordable!) picks, discover which of the best watch brands are trending, and see the best watches for women on the market this year. 

Watches have been an iconic status symbol for decades, but they’ve seen a resurgence in pop culture of late. The reason, at least according to Wallner, is thanks to “spikes in sales, record-breaking auctions, exciting collaborations—like Tiffany & Co. x Patek Philippe—and an overall increase in coverage via social media.” Celebrities like Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajowski, for instance, have recently been spotted wearing timepieces from brands like Cartier and BREDA, respectively, with even the most casual of summer outfits, proving that watches are one of 2022's trendiest accessories.

“When something gets so much attention, it becomes difficult for people to ignore. Soon, you start seeing watches everywhere and realize how impacted by the news/social cycle you are,” says Wallner. “Once you dig deeper, past the hype, you realize how special watches can be.” She notes that smaller watches like Zendaya’s and Hadid’s are actually a major trend in the watch world right now. “Small watches are becoming more coveted for men and women alike,” she notes. (If you’re not a watch aficionado, a small watch is generally anything measuring under 36 millimeters.)

PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 28: Bella Hadi is seen arriving at an hotel on February 28, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)

(Image credit: Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05: Emily Ratajkowski is seen on September 5, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Team GT/GC Images)

(Image credit: Team GT/GC Images)

Yes, watches can come in at a higher price point than many accessories, but purchasing a watch is more than a single expensive purchase. “They're often an investment from a financial standpoint, yes, but above all, they're a sentimental investment,” Wallner says. “The relationship one forms with a watch is more intimate than with any other luxury item, like a handbag or shoes. A watch, when worn regularly, becomes a part of you, something you wear for life and then pass down to future generations.”

This shift in perspective has been felt on the retail side: luxury re-commerce website FASHIONPHILE has noticed an increase in ultra-luxury watch brands, including Audemars Piguet (opens in new tab)and Patek Philippe (opens in new tab). Jorge Ramirez, (opens in new tab)Timepiece Manager at Fashionphile, says that the site sold “three times” the amount of both brands since August 2021, noting a 175 percent increase for the former and a 191 percent increase for the latter. ”I believe people started realizing the value in the pre owned and secondary watch market," he says over email. “Not only for brands and models you can only find in the secondary market—primarily Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe—but also for brands like Cartier, Omega, Hublot and the rest of the brands we sell, which you can find way below retail value in excellent condition and in some cases even in new condition.” 

The Best Watches for Women

Small Watches

Big Watches

Brynn Wallner's Favorite Watches

When asked about her favorite affordable watch brands to shop, Wallner had one answer: “I love BREDA, a smaller watch brand with a sharp focus on design and affordability. My favorite watch of theirs is the Jane (Tethered) for a chic look or their Play for a sporty moment."

The Watches Trending for 2022

Sure, you’re buying a pricey item, but you can still incorporate a few trends into your purchase. Ramirez says: “Stainless steel still continues to be the more popular style among different metals used by watch manufactures,” so you’ll have no trouble finding one if that’s what you’re after. 

As for specific trends to look out for? Color! “The trend that we are still seeing is colored dials, with many different brands using greens and blues, which we should continue to see for this season,” he says. 

How to Style Watches in 2022

Gone are the days of wearing only your watch and nothing else. Mixing metals and stacking your watch with the rest of your jewelry is not only trendy, but Wallner actually encourages it. “! I love a two-tone moment,” she says. “I wear my steel Cartier Tank Française with my gold rings and it looks very chic.” 

Meet The Experts