In the incredibly competitive world of luxury watches, the main focus is (and always has been) on a small group of watchmakers. These have been established centuries ago and gained the trust of billions worldwide. Names such as Rolex, Omega or Breitling spring to mind right away.
Quite frankly, such an approach is completely understandable.
However, putting our laser focus on such a small group of brands means we deprive ourselves of the chance of finding some hidden gems (pun intended!). Here I mean brands that offer excellently crafted timepieces worthy of luxury status but available at considerably lower price points.
Granted, there are also dangers of trusting the lesser-known brands – especially if you’re not an expert in the field. The list of watchmakers that claim to offer exceptional luxury timepieces but fail miserably to deliver on their promise is just as big if not bigger than those who indeed offer brilliant value.
One of the much-talked brands amongst the luxury watch aficionados is Bedat. Considering its relatively short lifespan, the company has made quite a name for itself in this dog-eat-dog environment. In this Bedat watches review, we will have a deep look at the quality of these comment-worthy timekeepers.
But first, let’s learn how it all started.
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When we compare the history of Bedat watches to names I mentioned in the first paragraph of this article, or even less luxurious names such as Bulova, Seiko or Citizen, we could say Bedat is still making its baby steps in the horological world.
The brand was established in 1996. With less than three decades of existence, it’s no wonder many haven’t come across it yet.
Bedat was founded by Swiss nationals, Madame Simone Bedat and her son, Christian Bedat. Prior to launching their own brand, both have accumulated huge experience in the field by working at another luxury Swiss watchmaker, Raymond Weil.
It’s only fair to say that the emergence of Bedat was mostly down to Madame Simone. After spending decades working in Swiss watchmaking, she grew tired of trends that were clearly ignoring the needs of the female community. As she herself said, “after a lifetime in the Swiss watch-making industry watching 50% of the world’s population being ignored, I decided to do something. Bedat & Co was that something; a luxury timepiece brand founded by a woman for women.”
To her credit, she certainly backed up the ambitious statement with the right action.
Madame Bedat wasn’t a watchmaker herself, neither was her son. Hence, to deliver the most exquisite timepieces that could rival the best in the industry, she hired top craftsmen from around the country. Honoring over 500 years of excellent Swiss watchmaking history, she embarked on the journey with a team of only the most talented horologists. That’s why the full name of the company is Bedat & Co.
Madame Bedat didn’t have the skills to assemble the watches herself. But she sure knew how to design them. And, being a woman, she had the precise idea of what the female sector was looking for in a luxury timepiece. To this date, Bedat is one of the very few watch brands dedicated solely to ladies.
Combining elegance, functionality, and beauty, Bedat marked its debut in the industry during the BaselWorld, a globally recognized watch and jewelry show organized annually in Basel, Switzerland. The three collections that marked the official beginning of the brand were N°3, N°7., and Ref. 304. All received high scores in the 1997 event.
After three years of accelerated growth, many cash-loaded companies started sniffing around Bedat. In 2000, following months of negotiations, Gucci Group acquired 85% of the company. The move saw Christian Bedat remain in the building in the chairman role. However, his mother continued helping her son pro bono and was never officially a part of the company.
With continued year-on-year growth, Gucci decided to purchase the remaining 15% of the company in 2005 and become its sole owner. A year after saw Christian Bedat leave the company. The move naturally put a stop to any influence his mother had on the brand.
Another major move in terms of the brand’s history arrived in 2009. That year another takeover took place. This time, the acquirers were a Malaysia-based company, Luxury Concepts. To this date, Bedat is owned by the Malaysians. At present, Bedat’s luxury watches for women are available for purchase in over 160 Points of Sales across the United States, Europe, Japan, China, and Southeast Asia and Middle East countries.
Are Bedat Watches Any Good? Quality Review
It’s not easy to gain and then keep the status of a luxury watch brand. With the high price margins, the expectations are huge. And so is the number of critics who are ready to bash you at every opportunity.
Since the very first collection in 1997, Bedat has been considering itself a luxury watchmaker. And considering the four-to-five-figure prices of these watches, it should.
However, how does the pricing relate to the actual quality? Although not anywhere near as expensive as the most elaborate names in the industry, the vast majority of Bedat watches will require you to dig into your pockets. Hence, you’re entitled to expect a quality level that matches the hefty price tags.
Below we will have a closer look at all the aspects contributing to the overall score of the brand.
Design & Durability
Whatever collection you browse through, and there are 6 of them (we will briefly discuss each later), you can instantly feel the huge feminine influence. All watches boast delicate designs and oscillate in the elegant, dressy style spectrum. Many resemble the style of Cartier ladies’ watches.
Crucially, the beautiful designs go in pair with the excellent quality of materials used to assemble the timepieces.
Let’s start with the most damage-prone part of any watch. Here I naturally mean the dial window.
No matter the price range, all Bedat watches come with the best possible protection in the form of sapphire crystal glass. It’s the most scratch-resistant material out there and is the obvious choice amongst all the top-end watchmakers.
The cases of Bedat watches might come in different shapes but they’re all made from stainless steel. The exact form used in all models is 316L stainless steel. It’s the version of steel with less carbon. However, 316L and the standard type are on the same page in terms of durability.
Cases in Bedat watches are polished with great care and usually include screw-down casebacks and crowns. Screwing down these two elements massively aids the protection against water-related damage. The WR rating of Bedat watches is unified. All models are water-resistant up to 50m.
Depending on the collection, you will be able to select from three main types of bracelets – stainless steel, satin and leather. Considering the elegant style of all Bedat watches, that was to be expected, really.
Stainless steel type is made from the same form (316L) as the cases. The leather bands are of course 100% genuine.
Additionally, few models use grosgrain straps.
One of the key reasons why we’re willing to pay such hefty prices for luxury timepieces is the quality and complexity of their movements. In this aspect, Bedat doesn’t disappoint at all.
Bedat watches are available in both mechanical and quartz versions. Which one you select will depend on your priorities.
If you value pinpoint accuracy above all, you will get one of the quartz timepieces. The high-quality battery-powered movements are sourced from Switzerland and Japan. These ensure accuracy of +/- 10 seconds/month.
On the other hand, if you share the same view as most luxury watch aficionados, you will be leaning towards the mechanical (automatic) collections. These use some of the most refined Swiss mechanical movements. Characteristically, mechanical calibers are much more complex than quartz counterparts.
A popular choice amongst Bedat mechanical watches is ETA 2896. The caliber is known for its excellent precision and the much-loved sweeping second hand. With this movement, you can expect to lose a maximum of 5 seconds/day. Fun fact: this movement alone can easily set you back around $600.
Typically for a luxury watch brand, Bedat adorns many of its watches with precious stones. In fact, the brand was one of the pioneers of diamonds set on stainless steel.
Many Bedat watches are decorated with top-grade diamonds of Top Wesselton color (F-G) and clarity vvs to vs1. In this aspect, the relatively young Swiss watchmaker doesn’t stand out negatively from much more renowned competitors.
Furthermore, all Bedat timepieces are stamped with the prestigious A.O.S.C label. Swiss Certified Label of Origin is the ultimate symbol and guarantee of quality and ethics certifying the Swiss origin of all watch components.
All Bedat watches, as long as purchased from an authorized retailer, come with a lengthy, 5-year Limited Warranty period. The guarantee covers any defects related to the workmanship, such as the movement.
Naturally, any issues caused by your own negligence won’t be considered for a repair or refund.
Bedat Watch Collections
As things stand, there are 6 watch collections to choose from, named as follows:
- No. 1
- No. 2
- No. 3
- No. 7
- No. 8
Naturally, all lines present an incredibly feminine style, oftentimes ornamented with precious stones. There are some tweaks and turns in each collection but the main theme remains similar. And by that, I mean, extremely elegant and oscillating in the dressy spectrum.
Now let’s have a quick glance at each of the six watch lines offered by Bedat.
Bedat No. 1
The launch of the No. 1 collection by Bedat dates back to 2003.
All the watches in the collection (currently there are 8 of them) use square-shaped cases. The faces are curved at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock. One could say that the design of these timepieces bears a clear resemblance to the Tank Solo collection by another excellent provider of women’s wristwatches, Cartier.
Movement-wise, all models in the No. 1 line run on high-quality Swiss mechanical movements. In fact, all use the same caliber in the form of ETA 8 3/4. The movement has a power reserve of 42 hours.
All timepieces in this line use a three-hand configuration that points to curved Roman numerals. For easy time-reading in the dark, the hour and minute hands are luminescent.
One of the biggest talking points of this collection is definitely the skeletonized casebacks. Such an approach allows you to marvel at the intricate workings of the mechanical movement.
When it comes to straps, five models use leather whilst three come with 5-link stainless steel bracelets. The cases of four models are decorated with round-cut diamonds.
Bedat No. 2
If you prefer oval-shaped watches, you will find the No. 2 collection much more appealing. The choice in terms of style and ornaments is also bigger as this collection consists of 26 models.
Also, if you value accuracy above the bigger complexity that accompanies mechanical movements, you will welcome the fact that all models in the No. 2 collection are battery-powered. Running on a precise quartz ETA caliber, they deliver excellent accuracy of +/- 10 seconds/month.
On top of the usual presence of stainless steel and leather bands, this collection also includes a few models with satin straps.
No. 2 by Bedat also gives you more freedom in terms of the case size. Whereas the No. 1 line consists of watches with unified case diameters, Bedat No. 2 timepieces arrive in two: 26mm and 36mm. Whether you prefer your watch to stay low-key or want it to turn as many heads as possible, Bedat No. 2 watches have you covered.
A trademark of this collection is definitely the double bezel integrated into all No. 2 models.
Similar to No. 1 timepieces, this collection also boasts a unique design that integrates the crown with the caseband.
The vast majority of No. 2 models are decorated with many diamonds, usually set on the outside bezel. The most decorated models count as many as 195 genuine diamonds. On the other hand, there are also diamond-free models for those with smaller budgets.
Bedat No. 3
Collection No. 3, along with the No. 7, were Bedat’s two debut lines that helped them to a brilliant start in the watchmaking industry. To this date, both are considered the most iconic series by the Swiss watchmaker.
All Bedat models in this collection come in rectangular-shaped cases. The so-called “tonneau” shape is curved at six and noon o’clock, adding to the complexity of the design.
Movement-wise, it’s probably the most diverse Bedat collection. It offers an equally big choice of quartz and automatic watches.
At the time of writing, there are as many as 82 No. 3 models to pick from. Hence, the number of styles and design variations is also huge.
That’s clearly visible with straps. Apart from the standardly elegant brown and black leather, the bands are also available in more casual colors, such as pink, orange or green.
No. 3 collection is also rich in models made of 18kt gold bracelets and cases. Whether talking about stainless steel or the gold bands, the vast majority of these come in a comment-worthy 7-link setting.
Depending on your budget, in this collection, you will be able to select from models without any diamonds or decorated with as many as 195 beautifully cut stones.
Bedat No. 7
The second of Bedat’s two debut collections that got the whole horological industry talking after the excellent performance during Baselworld in 1997.
Although both the No. 3 and No. 7 lines were released at the same time, this one isn’t anywhere near as diverse. Nor is it as numerous.
Nevertheless, the design and beautiful decorations that scream “luxury” are likely to turn just as many heads.
With the No. 7 line we revert back to a more unified Bedat style. All watch models use similarly-sized cases, curved at the exact same positions, 3 and 9 o’clock.
Straps-wise, there are three choices: leather, satin or stainless steel. Models with stainless steel bracelets make up the biggest share and come in 5-link or 7-link settings. All are beautifully polished.
The No. 7 collection has definitely a more minimalistic vibe. Although you will find a couple of models with diamond-set dials, the number isn’t anywhere near as big as in any of the other lines we’ve covered. The most adorned timepieces come with 48 stones.
As things stand, there are no battery-powered models in this collection. No. 7 consists of mechanical watches only – either hand-wound or automatic.
Bedat No. 8
At the time of writing, the No. 8 is Bedat’s largest collection. Currently, it consists of 104 watch models.
No. 8 line encompasses original round-shaped cases. All watches in the collection pay tribute to figure eight. Being a universal symbol of perfection and infinity, “8” is the only highlighted Arab number on the otherwise Roman numerals dial.
Collection No. 8 is another that focuses on an elegant, extremely classy look.
It’s clearly visible with the selection of straps. The lion’s share of watches uses the classic type of black or brown leather bands. Nearly all stainless steel models in this collection use 7-link bracelets. However, there are also two outstanding pieces with a 5-link setting. The quality of polish in both types is simply superb.
Around half of the models come with the standardly-set crowns whilst the rest boasts a more complex design, similar to that in Collection No. 2. These watches have crowns integrated with the caseband.
On the movement front, there’s an equally big number of quartz and mechanical models to choose from. Whether you opt for the unbeatable Swiss quartz accuracy or the more complex mechanical caliber, the list of options is endless.
As far as diamonds are concerned, there are many less pricey diamond-free models. On the other hand. the most decorated timepieces come with as many as 180 stones.
The Bedat watches review wouldn’t feel complete without a look at the brand’s most adventurous collection – Extravaganza.
When you have a quick glance across all the collections we’ve discussed, two words spring to mind: simplicity and elegance. Whereas the Extravaganza line is undoubtedly elegant, it’s for sure not on the same page in terms of simplicity as the rest. But who said that’s a bad thing?
The collection was created as a tribute to bold women who aren’t afraid to stand out. In fact, they love to be different. And that’s exactly what Extravaganza watches are – an option that’s vastly different from anything else offered in the remaining 5 collections.
Currently, there are 21 Extravaganza timepieces on the table. And it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that there are as many styles as there are models! With its bold, many might say futuristic design, some of the models remind me of the design offered in Versace watches.
As the brand itself says, the collection “unites a range of artisans in giving shape to the most sophisticated ideas. It embodies a wealth of artistic crafts that give life to its watch models.”
The design of the watches stands out in terms of originality but the Swiss watchmaking know-how remains intact. Whether you opt for an ultra-accurate quartz model or go for a complex mechanical (hand-wound or automatic) watch, you are unlikely to be disappointed. All the models in the collection use high-end Swiss calibers that go through a strict inspection before being stamped with the Swiss quality label.
Extravaganza is the only Bedat collection in which the dominating strap material is satin. All but 5 watch models use satin bands. The rest come with either leather straps or steel bracelets. Apart from diamond-set cases, many models also use the stones as minute and hour markers. Similar to the No. 8 collection, the only Arabic numeral visible on the face is 8. With this approach, Bedat again refers to the number’s symbolical meaning of infinity and prosperity.
Where to Buy Bedat Watches?
As already mentioned, Bedat timepieces are available at many points of sales across the globe. If you consider yourself old school and would like to buy the watch in the physical store instead of online, use Bedat Store Locator to find the nearest shop.
When it comes to online destinations, there are three that can be deemed safe. Remember that with a luxury status and a hefty price tag comes the risk of buying a counterfeit timepiece. Sure, the number of fake Bedat watches is relatively small compared to more “mainstream” brands. However, these do exist and it’s best to be safe than sorry.
Bedat’s official website only allows you to browse for the watches and doesn’t function as a store. However, at the bottom of each page, you will find a “Buy online” button. All such buttons direct to Bedat’s Amazon deals. Hence, the first and probably the safest place to shop online is Amazon.
You will find equally many legit Bedat timepieces on Jomashop. It’s one of the most trusted jewelry and watches stores in the United States. It also offers international shipping. All products sold by Jomashop are additionally covered by their own 2-year warranty.
Finally, there’s also eBay. The popular online marketplace is a good option if you’re on the lookout for a pre-owned Bedat watch.
Bedat Watches Review: Conclusion
If you’ve been pondering the purchase of your first Bedat timepiece, I hope that after reading today’s article you have a much better understanding of whether the brand is the right fit for you.
Summing up the Bedat watches review, I think it’s fair to say that, despite the relatively short presence on the market, the brand has rightly earned a status of a luxury watchmaker. Being one of the very few watch companies catering exclusively to the needs of women, Bedat watches boast an extremely feminine style that you might struggle to find at any of its competitors in the luxury sector.
The thing I like about Bedat’s design approach is that it has something in store for different tastes. Despite all timepieces sending out a strong feminine vibe, the styles across the collections slightly differ. As shown by all of the 6 collections we’ve discussed above, there’s something on offer for women who like to keep it as simple as possible but also a lot to pick from for those who aren’t afraid of more adventurous and attention-grabbing designs.
Despite offering the highest quality Swiss movements, durable body materials and genuine diamonds, the pricing of Bedat watches isn’t anywhere near as big as the more recognized luxury brands such as Rolex, Omega or the other feminine-oriented watchmaker, Cartier. Labelling Bedat as Entry-Level luxury might be pushing it too far. However, if this is your first dive into the world of luxury women’s watches, Bedat is more than a solid choice to get you going.
If today’s review of Bedat watches has helped you decide to give the brand a well-deserved try, feel free to use the comment section below to share your pick. Let’s interact!