Baume and Mercier wedding shots

Make no mistake, a proposal is a very stressful thing. All you have to do is type the words ‘marriage proposal’ into Google and you’re faced with myriad videos featuring poor men completely cocking it up. There’s the Dutchman who hired a crane that subsequently crashed into his neighbour’s roof; the Chinese computer programmer who blew nearly $100,000 on a stack of iPhones, which he arranged into a heart and stood inside with his girlfriend to pop the question to which the answer was “no”; and the number of Americans who think a sports game is a romantic venue.

However, there are plenty of chaps who get it right, mostly by applying a modicum of sense to the situation, which means knowing what your future bride actually wants.

And these days, a diamond ring may not be right. You may need think outside the little blue box and propose with a watch instead.

While this is a relatively new thing, there are watch brands who are actively launching watches that are targeting the diamond-adverse woman, such as Baume & Mercier’s Promesse.

“Proposing with a watch would certainly make an individual statement,” says Baume & Mercier’s CEO Alain Zimmermann. “As a brand that celebrates life’s special moments, it is customary for our watches to be bought to mark a special occasion. For occasion where two people are making a life-long promise to each other, a wedding, it seemed only natural that our new feminine collection, Promesse, would fit this special celebration perfectly.”

You may have decided to take this approach but like all proposal situations this is also a bit of a minefield.

“I’ve never actually met a woman who was given a watch in lieu of a ring, so if you’re going to do this you need to work out whether the watch is going to be the appetiser rather than a replacement for a ring,” says Ariel Adams, watch aficionado and editor of the website aBlogtoWatch. “If you do decide to go for it, then you need to work out what sort of thing she’ll want. Some women are drawn to names, so in that case you’ll probably be paying more money for the name meaning the watch will be rather simple. Or you buy her something she doesn’t know that’s a bit more of a jewellery piece.”

To help you make a decision, we’ve picked five watches we think make a pretty special statement.

Now all you’ve got to do is find the perfect place to do the asking. Might we suggest you don’t go and rent a crane…

If you want to say ‘we shouldn’t fit together but we really do’ choose this Baume & Mercier

Baume and Mercier watch

Baume & Mercier Promesse (RRP: £2,350)

This gorgeously feminine watch actually has an oval case but the dial is round. Two different shapes fitting together harmoniously. Who wouldn’t want their relationship to be described like that? And if you enter our Baume & Mercier competition to win a Promesse watch you could be proposing before you know it!

If you want to say ‘we’re perfectly compatible and make a great team’ choose this A. Lange & Sohne

Lange and Sohne Watch

A.Lange & Sohne Saxonia Automatic (RRP: £30,700)

In an automatic watch, every cog must do its bit – work with us here – to ensure the watch runs perfectly. A.Lange & Sohne are known for making watches you really want to wear with the movement on display because they are so beautifully composed and finished. See? That’s romantic.

If you want to say ‘you may be far away but you’re always close to me’ choose this Rolex

Rolex Cellini watch

Rolex Cellini Dual Time (RRP:POA)

If your betrothed has a rather jet-set job, this Rolex will allow her to always know what time it is wherever you are so she’ll know exactly when to pick up the phone.

If you want to say ‘this is our new beginning together’ choose this Alexandre Meerson

Alexandre Meerson

Alexandre Meerson Altitude Premiere Classic (RRP: £6,200)

Reference this as a new stage in your life by giving her a watch by someone you’ve just discovered and want her to share. We think Alexandre Meerson is a brand she’ll absolutely fall in love with. We know we did.

If you want to say ‘let’s always make time for each other’ choose this Cartier

Cartier Tank Solo watch

Cartier Tank Solo (RRP: £1,920)

The Cartier Tank is a classic. This design has been part of its collection since the 1917, when Louis Cartier was inspired by the new Renault tanks the French were using. If that doesn’t hint at longevity we don’t know what will.

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