The Luxury List is a monthly column on all things luxury, exploring cult items from heritage brands, tapping the experts in the fashion space, and doing deep dives into the investment pieces that are worth it.
Photo:Cartier; Patek Philippe; Bulgari; Hermès
Whether you’re considering investing in a timepiece, or you want to dive deeper into the world of watches, head to @girlsoclock, a TikTok account by Trang Trinh—a fashion editor by day at Moda Operandi, who uses the account to explore her passion for beautiful timepieces. By breaking down the watch collections of style icons, uncovering the latest It-pieces to know, and doing deep-dives on unique vintage watch models, Trinh hopes that her viewers learn more about what’s out there in the watch world and its enthralling history. “Like any other Taurus, I love beautiful things and how they can make you feel,” Trinh tells Who What Wear, going on to explain that watches are particularly fascinating because the jewelry object that transcend occasion-specific events and seasons.
“I’ve always gravitated towards watches, both because I’m sentimental, as jewelry-lovers are, and also because I think they’re more indicative of personality and style—they’re an investment made with a lot of consideration and deliberation,” Trinh says. “That consideration and deliberation period is exactly why I started Girls O’Clock on TikTok! Fashion discovery plays a significant role in the Moda ethos, so I figured it made sense to create a place for watch discovery for fashion-forward women who do or don’t know anything about watches.” Trinh strikes just the right note on Girls O’Clock, blending astute historical knowledge of the designer pieces with cheeky and fun voiceovers that resonate with her audience, making the learning process just as addictive as other viral TikTok videos.
Curious to know her take on the next It-girl watches to know, I asked Trinh to share the cult timepieces on her radar right now—ahead, see the 5 topping her list. And if you invest in one of the timepieces, it might end up being life-changing, like it was for Trinh. “I actually only have one watch—a steel Cartier Ballon Bleu in 28mm that I was gifted for my 20th birthday, she explains, “I used to be chronically late to everything, so I like to think this watch has changed my life.”
The watch: Cartier Baignoire
Why it has reached It-girl status: "Kendall Jenner stepped out wearing a yellow gold Baignoire in early January and Cartier ambassador, Emma Chamberlain, posted hers in 2021," Trinh tells Who What Wear about the watch she named on @girlsclock as the next It-girl watch to know for 2023. "Louis Cartier himself designed the Baignoire, which translates to bathtub in French, by stretching the traditionally circular watch shape into an oval, though the final design as we know it now was released in 1957. My Parisian friend has advised me that it’s pronounced BEH-noir."
The watch: Bulgari Tubogas
Why it has reached It-girl status: "An everyday watch might not be formal enough for evening, which is where the geometric Bulgari Tubogas comes into play. Bella Hadid wore an all-diamond Serpenti Tubogas watch on the Cannes Film Festival red carpet in 2018 and fashion insider Lori Hirshleifer also opts for her vintage Bulgari Tubogas for dressier occasions," Trinh tells Who What Wear, of the elegant Bulgari design. "The watch has been around since 1948 and has been a mainstay in the dress watch world since. I find that the vintage Tubogas models with a simple circle or square face are equally cheeky as they are chic."
The watch: Patek Philippe Nautilus
Why it has reached It-girl status: "Hailey Bieber, who was previously a loyalist to her yellow gold Rolex Datejust, wore a dainty yellow gold Nautilus on vacation in Hawaii recently. Rosie Huntington-Whitely also often showcases her rose gold Nautilus in her iconic mirror selfies," Trinh reports on the list of celebs who have been spotted wearing the Patek Philippe timepiece. "The watch was designed by the legendary watch designer Gerald Genta and released in 1976, making it a timeless classic (pun maybe intended)."
The watch: Rolex Daytona
Why it has reached It-girl status: "Matilda Djerf, TikTok’s fashion sweetheart and business mogul, often sports her two-tone Daytona in her social media posts and Emily Oberg, another fashion icon and entrepreneur, wears hers with everything—from jeans and a t-shirt out in LA to a bikini, poolside in Positano," Trinh shares about the iconic Rolex watch. "I think a great outfit always features contrast and tension, and on any woman, that dichotomy is easily accomplished with a traditionally masculine watch."
The watch: Hermès Cape Cod
Why it has reached It-girl status: "Prep is back and so is the Hermès Cape Cod. The watch, paired with the iconic Hermès Double Tour strap (which was designed by Martin Margiela during his time at the house), was often spotted on Gwyneth Paltrow in the 2010s," Trinh shares on the history of the piece, before noting how it is now seeing a resurgence. "Now Ivy Getty often wears her yellow gold Cape Cod, ushering in a new era of cool for the watch. Released in 1991, the watch honoring the American East Coast took shape from the house’s iconic Chaîne d'Ancre jewelry collection."