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The Idol, the new HBO show starring The Weeknd, debuted to, erm, uneven reviews at Cannes yesterday. Still, that didn’t prevent the cast from putting on a killer display on the red carpet, where the singer continued one of the most sensible horological trends of 2023. The Weeknd’s stunning gem-set Piaget, the Limelight Gala High Jewelry Watch, was technically designed for—and marketed to—women. “More than a women’s luxury watch…” reads a bit of copy on Piaget’s site. You can say that again.
There’s a reason brands and watch boutiques alike are shunning gendered categorization more and more these days. For starters, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to put a label on something that is worn on the wrist. Watches are divided by gender simply because of their size—typically women’s watches are smaller—or because they’re covered in diamonds, like The Weeknd’s Piaget. But men are embracing smaller watches en masse—and they’re cozying up to diamonds, too. (The biggest seller at last weekend’s Geneva auctions was a Rolex Daytona 6270, covered in gems, which moved for 3,690,000 Swiss francs).
Considering what we’ve seen on men’s wrists the past couple of years, it’s funny to see the Piaget Limelight cast as a watch just for ladies. The watch hits all the marks a modern super-collector wants from a piece in their collection: Set with sapphires and diamonds, it downright roars with bling, not unlike your favorite celebrities’ Jacob & Co. stunners or bust-down Rolexes. Also, there are only eight of them in the world, and there’s nothing a watch collector likes more than bragging rights.
Across the celebrity universe, stars are plucking “ladies” watches from past and present to round out their collections. No one has differentiated themselves as a collector quite like Bad Bunny, who uses these pieces to express his elevated taste. He brought his own women’s Patek Philippe Ellipse to his 2022 GQ shoot, and has been spotted both at the Grammys and courtside at an NBA game wearing vintage pieces from Audemars Piguet’s ladies collection. Because he’s not afraid of watches with these outdated labels, his wrist has looked more exciting and diverse than anyone else’s in Hollywood.