When it comes to colours, there are several “must-haves” in a collection if you are to be taken seriously as a watch manufacturer. Traditional colours like black, silver and white for dials have been around for ages and will never go out of style. Another here-to-stay colour, although slightly newer in watchmaking, is blue. The watch industry is receptive to trends, though, as in recent years, we’ve seen periods of yellow or brown flourish momentarily. The latest trend that seems a bit more tenacious is yes, you’ve guessed it: green!
Today we’re not going to look at watches that just have a green dial for the sake of having a green dial. No, we want to dive a little deeper and separate the wheat from the chaff. Which watches do green differently, break from conformity or produce a world-first perhaps? Here are five watches we feel are worthy of your time and attention, with an alternative take on going green.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin Platinum
First up is a watch that nobody expected but was very well received when first released. Some might argue it is not a “true” Royal Oak as it lacks the famous tapisserie pattern on the dial for which the watch is famous. But that is exactly why we include the Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin Platinum 15202PT in this list. Only a handful of Royal Oak’s lack the iconic small squares on the dial, most of which fall into the “Jumbo” Extra-Thin range (with the addition of gem-set and openworked dials, of course).
The sleek platinum case has a stark contrast with the smoked green dial, which gets darker towards the outer edge. The sunray-brushed pattern radiates from vivid green to almost deep black in varying light circumstances. Besides these aesthetic features, all the remaining elements that make a Royal Oak are there: octagonal bezel, hexagonal bolt-heads, integrated bracelet and of course, a superb mechanical movement.
The in-house calibre 2121 is only 3.05mm thick, which is the primary reason the entire watch measures only 8.1mm in height. The movement is visible through the sapphire caseback, with its 21k gold rotor shining bright against the rest of the movement. It is limited to 100 pieces for 2021 only, with a price of CHF 90,150.
Quick facts: 39mm diameter x 8.1mm platinum case – integrated platinum bracelet – calibre 2121 automatic movement – smokey green-to-black dial – limited to 100 pieces for 2021 – CHF 90,150
Bovet Miss Audrey Sweet Art
The Bovet Miss Audrey collection won the Ladies’ Watch Prize for the 2020 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve. The 36mm watch features Bovet’s patented Amadeo convertible case system that allows you to wear the watch on your wrist, to be set on the desk as a clock or even worn around the neck as a pendant. The asymmetrical construction of the case is provocative, and the fact the crown is integrated into the interchangeable link at 12 o’clock makes it very appealing and original.
The all-new Bovet Miss Audrey Sweet Art deserves to be on this list thanks to its dial. Available in multiple colours, the green one is obviously the topic of choice here. Serving up a world first in watchmaking, the dial features pure sugar crystals. The crystals are treated to prevent discolouration and even melting. Each crystal is chosen for size and combined with special paint before being hand-applied to the dial. The resulting dial is rather attractive and highly unusual. A set of uniquely shaped hour and minute hands form a heart every time they meet.
Of course, being an Haute Horlogerie independent, the movement is purely mechanical. The calibre 11BA15 is an automatic movement with 42 hours of power reserve and runs at a frequency of 28,800vph.
Quick facts: 36mm steel case – diamond-set bezel – dial handset with translucent green-coated sugar crystals – heart-shaped hands – patented Amadeo interchangeable strap system (wristwatch, desk-clock, pendant) – CHF 25,000
Grand Seiko Masterpiece Spring Drive 8-Day Jewellery Watch
A touch of green can be achieved by a coat of paint or a green-hued ceramic, but there’s another option. Precious stones or natural materials in green shades can also elevate a watch to higher spheres. In celebration of its 140th anniversary this year, Seiko has introduced a highly exclusive limited-edition featuring green stones and mother-of-pearl.
The Grand Seiko Masterpiece Spring Drive 8-Day Jewelry Watch has an extremely gorgeous dial made by Seiko’s Micro Artist Studio. Set over a white gold dial, there’s a ring of precious diamonds and green garnets on the outside edge of the dial. The hour track is fitted with baguette-cut diamonds alternating with green garnets for the hours. The middle portion of the dial is decorated with a thin sliver of iridescent green mother-of-pearl, a shade rarely seen in watches, if ever at all. The MoP dial is meant to capture the beauty of the Mishaka pond in Shiojiri.
The in-house developed Spring Drive calibre 9R01 has three sequentially linked barrels and offers a massive 192 hours of power reserve (in other words: 8 days). It performs at a rate of only ± 0.5 seconds per day. The large one-piece bridge, visible through the caseback, shows the power reserve and a silhouette of Mt. Fuji. This Haute Joallerie timepiece is limited to 15 pieces only and costs EUR 195,000.
Quick facts: 43mm diameter x 13.5mm height – zaratsu-polished platinum 950 case – dial set wit 97 diamonds and 24 green garnets – iridescent green mother-of-pearl middle section – in-house Spring Drive calibre 9R01 – three sequentially linked barrels – 192h power reserve – limited to 15 pieces – EUR 195,000
H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Flying Hours Cosmic Green
Of course, a brand like H. Moser & Cie cannot be left out of a Top 5 list like this. The brand has become synonymous with playing with colours and materials through its “less is more” approach to Haute Horlogerie. And while it would be relatively easy to pick a green watch by the independent watchmaker, with the Streamliner Centre Seconds and Pioneer Tourbillon “Mega Cool” coming to mind, we’re going to go a bit further back. You could consider this specific watch a bit of a frontrunner when it comes to green touches.
The H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Flying Hours Cosmic Green was introduced in 2019 already but is still part of the current collection. For how long, no one really knows as the brand likes to mix things up now and then and discontinue a colour variation never to be repeated. And, not to forget, it is limited to 100 pieces only. The planetary timing indication for the Endeavour Flying Hours Cosmic Green is where this H. Moser & Cie. “shines”. The fumé dial showcases three rotating discs that indicate the hours and a rotating minute disc in sapphire over a three-spoke bridge.
Legibility is a bit tricky and takes some time to get accustomed to, but with every H. Moser & Cie., it is all about spectacle. The current hour marker is indicated by a cut-out numeral with a white background. For every hour passing, there is a ten-minute window where the current and next hour are both indicated. Minutes are indicated on a rotating sapphire disc with a 240-degree track, with a small pointer underneath each hour marker.
Quick facts: 42mm diameter x 12.3mm height – 18k white gold case – fumé dial in Cosmic Green with matching hour discs – planetary display of hours and minutes – HMC 806 in-house movement – limited to 100 pieces – CHF 35,000
Zenith Defy 21 Urban Jungle
While most watch manufacturers incorporate the current trend for green on the dial, Zenith has chosen to apply it to the case and strap. The Zenith Defy 21 Urban Jungle is one of many variations of the technically impressive chronograph and probably one of the most polarizing. It was presented earlier this year and is, according to Zenith at least, combat-ready for the city jungle.
The green ceramic case and bezel are matched with a black rubber strap with a Cordura effect and a micro-blasted titanium clasp. It’s not all green on the outside only, though, as the movement’s mainplate is coated in green too. This is a subtle note only as most of the focus goes to the contrasting indications on top. Flip it over, and you can gaze upon the star-shaped rotor in green.
Powering this very green Zenith is the El Primero 9004 calibre that we’ve grown accustomed to. It comes equipped with a dual regulating organ. One is used for timekeeping and runs at 36,000vph (5Hz), and the other is used for the chronograph function and runs at a 360,000vph pace (50Hz). The chronograph measures elapsed time down to 1/100th of a second thanks to this technology. The Zenith Defy 21 Urban Jungle is priced at CHF 14,400.
Quick facts: 44mm diameter x 14.50mm height – green ceramic case and bezel – in-house El Primero 9004 calibre – automatic winding – dual regulating organ, one for timekeeping at 5Hz frequency, one for chronograph at 50Hz frequency – linear power reserve indicator – green mainplate and star-shaped rotor – black rubber and with green Cordura-effect and titanium folding buckle – CHF 14,400