Schwarz-Etienne Fiji Floral Seconds: Such A Good Daily-Wear Watch, You May Not Realize It Was Designed With Women In Mind

The basic development methodology of many, if not most, ladies’ watches is SAJAD (Shrink And Just Add Diamonds), in which a men’s watch is given a smaller case and sprinkled with diamonds. Sometimes a brand goes “the extra mile” by adding a mother-of-pearl dial.

This is the gist of how many women’s watches seem to be made. To some extent it works as these watches sell  — because there are few alternatives. Watches purposefully designed from the start with women in mind tend to be both rarer and a cut above.

Schwarz Etienne Fiji Floral Seconds with salmon dial on the wrist of editor-in-chief Elizabeth Doerr

Schwarz Etienne developed the Fiji Floral Seconds from the ground up to be a ladies’ watch, and it’s such a cut above that it’s likely to attract the attention of many men as well.

Schwarz Etienne Fiji Floral Seconds: so good it hurts

Firstly though, try and forget the word “Fiji” in the name as it is bound to put images in your head of the most beautiful tropical islands. Schwarz Etienne doesn’t need that association for the Fiji Floral Seconds, and it’s hard to find much in the watch’s design to merit the “Fiji” moniker.

I’ve been criticized in the past for being too positive about the watches I write about, and it’s true that I’m usually positive, but that is because I have the luxury of picking my own topics to write about and I don’t enjoy wasting time on things I don’t like.

That said, the Fiji Floral Seconds is one of the best watches for women that I have seen in recent years.

Schwarz Etienne Fiji Floral Seconds with salmon dial on blue strap

With a case diameter of 38 mm, the Fiji Floral Seconds highlights the fact that that Schwarz Etienne understands that many women prefer to wear a largish,  but not oversized, watch. And a height under 11 mm ensures comfort on the wrist.

But it is not only the dimensions of the case that make the Fiji Floral Seconds so good, it is also how it is constructed. While the case may seem a bit plain head on, it is far from that. The lugs and the back of the three-part case are connected via a grooved mid-section that flares out. This subtle detail adds a ton of character to the watch without competing with the dial for attention.

Schwarz Etienne Fiji Floral Seconds: only one diamond

The same goes for the crown, which is interesting and decorative without being overdone. And it is here we also find the only diamond set into the serial models: a brilliant-cut gem embedded in the crown.

Fluted case band and diamond-tipped crown of the Schwarz Etienne Fiji Floral Seconds

All of these elements set the stage for that stunning dial with its teardrop-shaped applied hour markers, which Schwarz Etienne serially offers in either black or salmon-pink. The latter color is in my opinion the more expressive of the two, perhaps because the salmon is matched with blue details and hands.

Both multilevel dials have the same features, including a central flower motif that is complemented by a kaleidoscopic animation at 6 o’clock that is the running seconds display.

A decorative Schwarz Etienne Fiji Floral Seconds with mother-of-pearl dial, diamond setting, and powerful blue strap

Here Schwarz Etienne cut a decorative pattern into the subdial behind which another, different-colored disk makes revolutions. While it can hardly count the seconds in a legible manner, it does provide the information that the watch is running (much like the running seconds on a chronograph dial) and adds a playful touch to the watch.

Useful leather bag packaging

Talking about playful, Schwarz Etienne also opted to forgo traditional watch packaging; instead, the company joined forces with Noleti, a Swiss brand based in La Chaux-de-Fonds that makes refined, elegant bags.

So very useful: Schwarz Etienne Fiji Floral Seconds leather bag packaging and warranty pouch

The handbag/packaging that comes with the Fiji Floral Seconds is crafted from supple grained leather and adorned with the Schwarz Etienne logo. The watch comes in a leather pouch found inside the handbag made from the same leather.

This is quite frankly a much nicer and more useful option than a box that ends up in a closet.

Schwarz Etienne also offers the Fiji Floral Seconds with a quick-strap change system and delivers the watch with two straps so that the new owner can begin wardrobing right away. For the black-dialed version, the brand chose a beautifully contrasting ruby-red strap in addition to a black stingray strap.

The Fiji Floral Seconds with the salmon dial comes with light blue and brown calfskin straps.

Schwarz Etienne Fiji Floral Seconds with black dial and stingray strap on a male wrist

Join the movement: Schwarz Etienne Caliber ASE 200.00

One of the nice things about Schwarz Etienne is that it is a full-blown manufacture. Schwarz Etienne uses its movements in both its own watches and supplies other brands, including Ming and Chopin.

Caliber ASE 200.00 is a robust and reliable automatic micro-rotor movement offering an impressive power reserve of 86 hours and, at a height of 5.35 mm it is neither too slim (fragile) nor bulky (inelegant).

Reliability seems like a no-brainer, but it is a requirement that not all movements meet. The finishing is quite high level, with circular graining on the main plate and snailing with a sunray effect on the bridges. Again, all with restraint and elegance.

Perhaps that is also what makes the Fiji Floral Seconds such a good watch: it exudes a modesty that amplifies its qualities. It is a thought-through creation in which no detail is left to chance.

Caliber ASE 200.00 of the Schwarz Etienne Fiji Floral Seconds

The Fiji Floral Seconds doesn’t owe its appeal to a lavish use of gemstones (non-serial gem-set models excluded) and it also doesn’t take after one of Schwarz Etienne’s men’s watches. It is a creation made especially with women in mind, one that is as serious as it is playful, with a manufacture movement and kaleidoscopic seconds indicator.

A pink gold Schwarz Etienne Fiji Floral Seconds on an unusual red python strap

It is certainly too soon to apply the term benchmark to the Fiji Floral Seconds as I feel that a new watch has to prove itself over time, but the Fiji Floral Seconds can well serve as an inspirational example for other brands of how a high-end daily-wear ladies watch could look.

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Quick Facts Schwarz Etienne Fiji Floral Seconds
Case: 38 mm x 10.76 mm, stainless steel, VS 0.02 ct brilliant-cut diamond set in the crown
Movement: automatic micro rotor Caliber ASE 200.00, 21,600 vph/3 Hz frequency, 86-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, running seconds animation
Price: 7,150 Swiss francs (excluding taxes)

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4 replies
  1. Gil
    Gil says:

    Heyhey! It looks great on the man’s wrist, except for the strap, but that’s easily rectified. Beautiful movement, great case, and the kaleidoscopic effect of the seconds dial is stunning. This deserves to do well.

    • Martin Green
      Martin Green says:

      Doesn’t it Gil? I thought so as well. On a nice black calf or matte black alligator this watch is a winner on a man’s wrist as well!

  2. Abdulla Ali
    Abdulla Ali says:

    It’s a nice looking watch but I wish they didn’t put their name in that place above 10-11 hour markers. This creates a very unbalanced look to the watch as they had to shorten the hour markers for these hours.

    I would have preferred them to put the name in the middle.

    • Martin Green
      Martin Green says:

      I actually think that it adds just that little tweek that makes the watch not too balanced in its appearance, but of course, taste can differ.


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