Not so very long ago, a blue dial was seen as something of an eccentricity. Now colour is all the rage in watchmaking circles. Green and brown are the new normal, red is setting a trend, while purple, pink and yellow are all making inroads. Here’s our selection of the year’s watches that will put some colour perhaps not in your cheeks but certainly on your wrist.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Mokarran Limited Edition
The Bathyscaphe has to be the most city-ready of all the Fifty Fathoms, which hasn’t stopped Blancpain from dedicating a limited edition, complete with tropical green dial, to the great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran). Sales of the watch help support studies of this endangered predator by the Mokarran Protection Society in French Polynesia.
Breguet Marine Haute Joaillerie Poseidonia
Precious stones display glints of vibrant colour on the Marine Haute Joaillerie Poseidonia, which takes its name from Posidonia oceanica, a species of seagrass that plays an important role in the ecosystem of the Mediterranean Sea. The rippling movement of its leaves are rendered by gemstones in an invisible setting, against a background of lustrous mother-of-pearl marquetry.
Breitling Chronomat B01 42 Bentley
A mechanical chrono launched in 1984 at the height of the “quartz crisis”, the Chronomat B01 42 millimetres is a robust sports watch that’s more than stylish enough to wear on any occasion. A particular favourite of Breitling’s Chief Executive Georges Kern, this “sensational watch” with its Bentley green dial puts Breitling back in touch with its heritage.
Bulgari Divas' Dream Minute Repeater Malachite
Bulgari proves its love of vivid hues – the brand has always been known for its bold use of coloured gemstones in its jewellery – and adorns this minute repeater (the thinnest on the market) with a malachite dial set with diamonds. More diamonds sparkle on the bezel, the lugs and on the fan-shaped charm (a reference to the Divas’ Dream fan-shaped lugs). The result is a stunning Fine Jewellery watch.
Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding 41mm
When Audemars Piguet introduced Code 11.59 as a major new collection in 2019, there was no shortage of reactions, good and bad. This year the brand is extending the range with five self-winding models and five chronographs whose sunburst lacquered dials explore an array of colours, including the fumé purple shown here.
Franck Muller Vanguard Skeleton Swiss Limited Edition
The rich red and pure white of Switzerland’s national flag take pride of place on this 50-piece limited edition. Red skeletonised bridges dominate the movement, left wide open to view inside the titanium case with white enamel coating.
Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Forest Green
Part of Swatch Group, Glashütte Original regularly finds inspiration for its dial colours in the mountains and forests around the manufactory in the German town of Glashütte; in this instance, a rich green taken from the fir trees that carpet the surrounding landscape.
H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds Swiss Mad Red
Described by the brand as a pioneering timepiece with a spirit of adventure, this Pioneer Centre Seconds boasts the “warm and vibrant tones” of a Swiss Mad Red fumé dial, and is ready to take on any situation thanks to a rugged steel case.
Hublot Big Bang Millennial Pink
Designed in collaboration with Garage Italia and Lapo Elkann, this Big Bang Millennial Pink reflects changing attitudes with its unique, indefinable shade. Powder pink for some, for others a mix of beige, salmon, apricot and grapefruit, with an anodized aluminium case, this Big Bang is helping define new codes for luxury.
HYT H²0 Red Cobra
HYT waxes lyrical over this last ever version of the H²0, a watch that has shaped the brand’s past, present and future. The passing hours are visualised by the movement of a red fluid through a circular capillary, a symbol of time’s endless flow.
IWC Portugieser Chronograph
As part of its refresh of the Portugieser collection, IWC presents new iterations of one of its most popular models, now equipped in regular production with the in-house IWC 69355 calibre and a sapphire crystal display back. Coloured dials are part of the agenda, including this delightful forest green.
LM101 MB&F x H. Moser Cosmic Green
In an unprecedented collaboration, MB&F and H. Moser & Cie. has each produced a watch that merges its personal design language with features that are characteristic of the other’s production. One of these two co-signed watches is the LM101 – an MB&F watch that riffs on Moser’s minimalist dial, shown here in Moser’s favourite fumé Cosmic Green.
Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 100
Montblanc offers a fresh interpretation of a 44mm monopusher chronograph from the 1930s. The originality of a spiral tachymeter scale in the centre plus a peripheral telemeter scale distinguishes the gold dial, coloured with grand feu enamel in a gradient of blue bordering on purple.
TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 44mm
Established in 1860 by Edouard Heuer, TAG Heuer is celebrating its 160th anniversary with new Carrera releases throughout the year. Among them, this racing chronograph which puts the emphasis on functionality. Produced as four distinct models, each 44mm in diameter, this one boasts a green dial under a steel bezel.
Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix complete calendar
Vacheron Constantin has chosen sepia-toned dials to go with the pink gold cases of the two watches that join the Fiftysix collection (based on a model from 1956) this year, one of which is this triple calendar with moon phases. This particular shade of brown, with its retro undertones, beautifully complements the vintage appeal of the line.
Zenith Defy 21 Ultraviolet
All colours are a frequency of visible light with violet having the highest frequency of all. So what could be more natural than for Zenith to associate this intense colour with the highest-frequency chronograph in regular production: the Defy 21.