The trend of secret watches has been making a comeback in the past decade or so as a fashion statement, but these designs originally served a very practical function

The roaring ’20s is often associated with all things fabulous—feathers, art deco designs, speakeasies, and secret watches. 

While the men of the era sported some of the most beautiful pocket watches in history, wristwatches were also slowly beginning to enjoy the limelight. 

However, it was a time when there was a clear distinction between gender roles and it was not lady-like to sneak a peek at the time. It was considered rude and doing so would risk the wrath of those in her company. As a result, women started wearing timepieces that were designed to be disguised as high jewellery pieces—think bracelets or pendants and encrusted with gemstones. Back then, these stunning pieces were created to adhere to the social norms of the time. Today, we find that they have travelled forward in time and are becoming increasingly popular in high jewellery collections across luxury maisons. 

Here are Tatler’s top five picks of secret watches that will transport you to The Great Gatsby era with just a glance.

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Chanel Mademoiselle Privé Bouton

Harry Winston Ultimate Emerald Signature

Van Cleef & Arpels Ludo Secret Watch Pendant

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Photo 1 of 3 Photo: Van Cleef & Arpels
Photo 2 of 3 Photo: Van Cleef & Arpels
Photo 3 of 3 Photo: Van Cleef & Arpels

Cartier Panthère High Jewellery Secret Watch

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'gallery right' 'gallery right'
Photo 1 of 2 Photo: Cartier
Photo 2 of 2 Photo: Cartier

Vacheron Constantin Heure Discrète

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Monoface Small Seconds