My girlfriend, who has been very understanding of my WIS habits, seems to finally be coming around to the idea that the wrist watch was a major technological improvement from pocket watches, and digging your phone out of your pocket in meetings with leaders to check the time isn't a good look.
She mentioned to me that she'd like to get a watch to wear, mostly at the office. Targeting sub-$500, she'd like an automatic if she can get it. No brand preferences.
The one catch is that she has a bit of a nickel allergy - she does wear metal jewelry, but certain pieces (mostly very cheap items) can give her a bit of a rash. I've been doing a bit of searching, and have read about people having mixed results with 316L stainless, but otherwise might be looking toward Ti. The catch is that the selection of women's watches is already smaller than men's, and then finding something in Ti, auto, sub-38mm or so would either push it into a much higher price point than she wants to pay or simply may not exist.
My first thought when she mentioned wanting a watch is something like a Seiko Cocktail Time on leather (Seiko Watches - Presage Automatic Ladies - Champagne Ref. SRRY025 / SRP855J1), but I'm not sure if their stainless might cause issues. I do have a couple of Seikos that I might have her test-wear to see if they cause a reaction, but wanted to consult with the audience here - any suggestions of elsewhere to look? Higher price point might be something worth talking about, but I doubt that she'd be willing to go much near $1k.
Perhaps one option is something with a display back and 316L stainless steel. I get a rash from some old polished "steel" watches, it was really quite unpleasant like the skin was being eaten. I haven't had a problem with anything modern claiming to be SS though, gold fill seems ok too. Another option might be a nato strap of course.
My wife is the same way. Slight allergy and would get a rash with a cheap watch she had. Got a titanium watch and no problems she wore it for years until the bracelet wore out and wouldn't stay closed. Fast forward a few years and she now wears a TAG and never has any problems with rashes and it has been her daily wearer for 2 years.
She's an actuary, and already makes more than I do (even with me being 5 years older), so I'm going to let her make this purchase. I do let her drive my car so she doesn't have to buy her own, so it seems like a fair trade.