Are Sautoir Watches Making a Comeback?

It’s just as alluring now as it was in the early 20th century.

Sautoir watches have long been a symbol of elegance and sophistication in the world of fashion. Originally popularised in the early 20th century, these necklace watches have once again taken centre stage–recently seen by a couple of brands fresh out of Watches and Wonders 2023

Derived from the French word for “long necklace”, the sautoir’s long chains exude an air of refinement, adding a touch of glamour to any ensemble. Sautoir watches, on the other hand, bridges the gap between a watch and a jewellery piece–perfect for those who want to make a statement while still keeping track of the time. These special pieces often feature sophisticated designs and are made with a variety of materials including precious metals and gemstones, a masterpiece of craftsmanship indeed. 

Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels does timepieces hidden as jewellery so well. Available in multiple references, the Perlee collection ranges from high jewellery pieces to wearable fine jewellery. There are three rare materials in the form of cabochons. The chalcedony is enhanced with white gold, while the rose quartz is paired with rose gold, and sodalite with yellow gold. For the precious gems references, it comes in rubies, sapphires and emeralds.


Inspired by Piaget’s 1969 creation and motto, “To always do better than necessary”, Piaget’s new pieces this season feature two new high jewellery sautoir watches. First, a reference features handcrafted twisted gold chains starting from a single-strand wire, then hand-twisted where the gold tassels are studded with closed-set round diamonds. A gold dial is also engraved with Piaget’s signature Palace décor which is inspired by the guilloché technique found in watchmaking. The second piece is a tassel-style gold links sautoir set with a 25.38ct oval cabochon Zambian emerald to match an oval-shaped dial.


For 2023, Chanel presents four new pieces in the Mademoiselle Privé collection. Honouring Gabrielle Chanel’s star sign, Leo, the collection sees a sculpted lion in 18K yellow gold with 252 brilliant-cut diamonds at the centre and a button that conceals the watch dial. Just swirl it over to reveal a hidden dial in smooth polished black onyx circled with diamonds. 


The Reverso, first created in 1931 was made as a functional necessity. From a watch design that’s made as a solution to protect the glass of the watch from Polo matches, Jaeger-LeCoultre is reinterpreting the design to a sophisticated long necklace. The elements are distinctly from the Art Deco look. The Reverso Secret Necklace echoes the style of the feminine Reverso Cordonnet model. The chains are pink gold, paved with brilliant cut diamonds. The case is also fully set with 20 carats of diamonds or 3,018 stones and black onyx brilliant cut diamonds. 

Would a sautoir watch be part of your watch and jewellery collection soon?