Watches Are *the* Jewelry Item of 2023—Every Timepiece Trend to Note This Year


(Image credit: @tylynnnguyen)

There was a time not too long ago when watches were a rare sighting in the fashion world, particularly on women. Perhaps one would show up on Instagram in the form of an #ad on your favorite influencer's feed. But for the most part, timepieces didn't take up a large part of the conversation. In the last few years, though, watches have not only reintroduced themselves to the fashion world, but they have also become a staple on every chic woman's wrist. I have the data to prove it. 

In 2022, over 170,000 luxury timepieces were listed on eBay, the resale site shared with Who What Wear. Though only one aspect of an overall booming luxury market following the pandemic (according to eBay, watches, handbags, jewelry, and sneakers of the high-end variety have seen double-digit year-over-year growth on the platform since the end of 2019), timepieces are proving to be the area to watch as long-term investments overtake high-quantity, low-quality buys and the quiet-luxury aesthetic pulls ahead of maximalism. "In eBay's three largest markets—U.S., UK, and Germany—female [and] Gen Z purchases of luxury watches were up double digits in 2022 compared to 2021," the company says. 

Since a watch that will hold its value for years doesn't often come with the type of price tag you can blindly say yes to, nine times out of 10, shoppers need a bit of preparation before moving forward with their purchase. That's why I called on eBay to gather some data around the top-selling watches right now, the buzziest trends in the space, and the next It styles for fashion people, all of which I've laid out below. Keep scrolling to find out everything you need to know about watches in 2023.

Top Sellers

Cartier Tank


(Image credit: @tylynnnguyen)

Designed by Louis Cartier, Cartier founder Louis-François Cartier's grandson, in 1917, the Tank is said to have been inspired by the brand's square Santos timepiece as well as a French tank from the first World War. The first edition was named the Tank Normale, and the second was the Tank Cintrée. In the century since, many styles have been introduced to the product line and worn by icons like Jackie Kennedy, Princess Diana, and Michelle Obama. 

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Omega Seamaster

If you're a fan of James Bond movies, you've probably seen an Omega Seamaster, which was first developed in 1948 and worn by both Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig during their days playing the international spy. These days, you're more likely to spot the classic diver watch on fashion people than Bond actors, with the likes of Alessandra Ambrosio and Zoë Kravitz both being fans of the iconic timepiece and more Omega styles. 

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Rolex Datejust


(Image credit: @greceghanem)

Rolex's Datejust style was the first-ever self-winding timepiece to showcase the date on the dial when it debuted in 1945. Arguably one of the most well-known luxury watches of all, variations of the style have been spotted on the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Hailey Bieber, Addison Rae, and more.

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Seiko Presage

Though the Japanese watch brand Seiko has been around for over 100 years, its Presage line hasn't had quite as long of a lifetime, as it didn't launch until 2016. Even so, the clean, Japan-inspired timepiece collection is already a fan favorite. 

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Tag Heuer Formula 1

With Formula One at its peak right now, it's no wonder that the Tag Heuer Formula 1 timepiece, which launched in 1986, is blowing up on the resale market. Known for its sporty aesthetic and sophisticated technology, the Formula 1 is a perfect choice for sports and watch fans alike. 

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Fast-Rising Styles for Women

Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra

According to eBay, in the U.S., UK, and Germany, searches for Van Cleef & Arpels's Alhambra watches have seen a significant spike in the period between March 2022 and March 2023, with searches for women's styles up over 100%.

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Bulgari Serpenti


(Image credit: @camilamorrone)

Bulgari's Serpenti watch style has likewise grown significantly among women, with searches in the same three markets up over 70% in 2023. Of course, it doesn't hurt when Camila Morrone, Zendaya, Anne Hathaway, and Dua Lipa are all seen donning them. 

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Top Trend: Subtlety 


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

According to eBay, no trend is more sought-after right now in the world of luxury timepieces than subtlety, which makes perfect sense given the rise of the quiet-luxury trend in 2023. "Searches for the Cartier Baignoire and the Cartier Santos-Dumont in North America are up triple and double digits respectively in March 2023 over March 2022," a representative from the company shares. "Searches in eBay's three largest markets for small-face watches are up nearly 25% in March 2023 over March 2022."

Shop subtle watch styles:

Coming up next: These Are the 5 Watch Brands You'll Spot on Every Fashion Person

Opening Image: @anoukyve; @camillecharriere; @tylynnnguyen

Senior Fashion Editor

Eliza Huber is a New York City–based fashion editor who specializes in trend reporting, brand discovery, and celebrity style. She joined Who What Wear in 2021 after almost four years on the fashion editorial team at Refinery29, the job she took after graduating with a marketing degree from the University of Iowa. She has since launched two monthly columns, Let's Get a Room and Ways to Wear; profiled the likes of Dakota Fanning, Diane Kruger, Katie Holmes, and Sabrina Carpenter for WWW's monthly cover features; and reported on everything from the relationship between Formula One and fashion to the top trends from fashion month, season after season. Eliza now lives on the Upper West Side and spends her free time researching F1 fashion imagery for her side Instagram accounts @thepinnacleoffashion and @f1paddockfits, running in Central Park, and scouring eBay for '90s Prada and '80s Yves Saint Laurent.