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Any colour you like (not just black)
Trend Forecaster

Any colour you like (not just black)

Friday, 01 November 2019
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Mathilde Binetruy
Freelance journalist

“And yet, it moves.”

Galilée

From the 1998 World Cup, her first big event, to SIHH and Baselworld today, she reports from where the action is.

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4 min read

“See red”, “Feel blue”, “Green with envy”… expressions such as these reflect how colour impacts our mood and behaviour. Watch brands also use colour to appeal to our subconscious. Is the owner of that blue chrono buying into their desire for distant horizons? Is the lady with the scarlet automatic a femme fatale? Read on and see what the colour of your watch says about you.

Max Lüscher, a Swiss psychotherapist and philosopher, advanced the theory that colours cannot influence our personality – our sensory perception of colour is objective – but our personality determines which colours we prefer. His pioneering research into colour psychology includes a test, named after him, that gives insight into an individual’s frame of mind (hence its use in recruitment processes). So, what does the colour of your watch say about you? What made you choose that fir green dial? And what is it about that day-glow yellow strap (other than an 80s obsession)?

White as snow

Frequently associated with an emotionally-charged event such as birth or marriage, white is positively viewed by many cultures. White’s “clean slate” serves to highlight a complication, as in the Zenith Defy Classic White Ceramic whose neo-futuristic movement is revealed inside a pristine white ceramic case. It’s something we intuitively feel but find hard to substantiate: white magic.

Defy Classic White Ceramic © Zenith
Defy Classic White Ceramic © Zenith
Black is black

As an indication of power, nothing beats black. The dominant colour whenever solemnity is required, black commands authority. The watch industry has turned black to advantage, as in this year’s Rolex Yacht-Master 42. Both the brand with the coronet and the colour black are read as signs of importance.

Yacht Master 42 © Rolex
Yacht Master 42 © Rolex
Red for passion

The colour of seduction and temptation, red underpins a bold personality. In fashion, Christian Louboutin has transformed the red sole on a shoe into an instantly recognisable signature. In watchmaking (and in jewellery), fiery red delivers the message: I’m in control. It takes self-assurance to wear an Omega De Ville Trésor Master Chronometer.

Master Chronometer 8929 © Omega
Master Chronometer 8929 © Omega
Gorgeous green

Hunters lost their monopoly on green when it became the byword for ecology. Even so, however much we associate green with nature, it fits perfectly into an urban environment, too. Montblanc captures green’s eclectic personality in its 1858 collection. Inspired by adventurers and explorers, it urges us to get back to nature and appreciate the benefits of the great outdoors.

1858 collection © Montblanc
1858 collection © Montblanc
When life gives you lemons...

One colour shouts optimism louder than any other, and that colour is yellow. A dash of yellow helps us shake off our inhibitions. It reassures and surrounds us with warmth whenever we’re feeling down. Watchmakers use yellow’s zip and zing to wake up a classic design, such as the Elégante by F.P.Journe Titalyt®. This is the ideal example of an easy-to-wear sport watch that will help bring us out of our shell.

Elegante by F.P.Journe Titalyt
Elegante by F.P.Journe Titalyt
A coat of many colours

It’s the watch a luxury yacht owner might wear, or anyone who likes to make a technicolour display of their lavish lifestyle. The more subtle version would be to take a quintessential design and wrap it in a neon rainbow. Parmigiani Fleurier has done just that with the Tonda 1950 Rainbow whose bezel sings with 21 pink, blue, yellow and orange sapphires, three rubies, six amethysts and six tsavorites for a total of 3.73 carats.

Fleurier Tonda 1950 © Parmigiani
Fleurier Tonda 1950 © Parmigiani
Street life

The essence of street art is captured in the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 Fordite. Bamford Watch Department and designer Black Badger worked together on this exclusive series. Dials are made from Fordite, a polymerised composite made from a build-up of dried and hardened layers of car paint which have been sliced to reveal the different strata. Whoever wears this watch is an artist in his own right who grew up with graffiti culture.

Carrera Calibre 5 Fordite © TAG Heuer
Carrera Calibre 5 Fordite © TAG Heuer
Now you see me...

Not exactly a colour but a mix of khaki, brown and green, camouflage has made the transition from clothes to watch straps and cases. Originally used by the military as a means of blending into the environment, camouflage patterns are now intended to single out their wearer… including the owner of an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph.

Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph © Audemars Piguet
Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph © Audemars Piguet
True blue

Breaking news: turquoise is back. Once typecast as the stone of Native American jewellery, turquoise has shaken off its “folksy” label. Now watch brands are learning to appreciate anew the exquisite blue-green shades of this opaque stone. Another reason turquoise is making a comeback is its cool factor – remember those stacking bangles that were all the rage in the 80s? This blue-lagoon stone feeds into our urban adventurer fantasies. We may look like just another strap-hanging commuter, in reality we are free as the wind, roaming the dusty plains of Nevada. “I’m an untamed spirit in executive clothes,” proclaims the owner of a Hublot Big Bang Paraíba.

Big Bang Unico Paraíba King Gold © Hublot
Big Bang Unico Paraíba King Gold © Hublot
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