What’s old is new again. Gradient or “fumé” (smoked) dials are back in fashion. Popular in the 1970s, forgotten for a while and brought back on the scene recently, these colourful dials stand out with lighter tones in the centre that gradually darken towards the edges. Their gradient colour gives a rich depth to the dials, creating beautiful light effects. These smoked dials are ubiquitous today but to give credit where credit is due, H. Moser & Cie. was the brand that instigated their comeback… Here are six great watches with gradient dials, with options for all pockets.
Louis Erard Heritage Automatique
Louis Erard has been working on renewing itself, with new designs, new collections and a fresher look. The Heritage Automatic with gradient dial is part of its most recent creations. Like all Louis Erard watches, the idea is to offer refined watches with sleek designs at a reasonable price. Mixing vintage elements and modern proportions, the Heritage Automatic comes in a 41mm stainless steel case with an elegant shape. It is powered by the tried-and-tested SW 200-1 automatic movement. Several dial colour options are available – blue, green, burgundy and grey. Last but not least, from 9 April 2020 and until further notice, 15% of the brand’s online sales will be donated to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.
Quick facts: 41mm stainless steel case – sapphire front and caseback – automatic movement base Sellita SW-200-1 – hours, minutes, seconds and date – crocodile-effect calfskin strap with pin buckle – CHF 1,145 – www.louiserard.com
Tudor Black Bay Bronze with Gradient Grey Dial
Rugged and retro, but handsome enough to surface on land, this cool Tudor Black Bay comes is a 43mm bronze case. It is fitted with a grey gradient dial and the in-house calibre MT560 complete with COSC certification. Certainly, this wasn’t the most innovative watch launched by Tudor in 2019 and it is simply a new dial/bezel colour… But the look of the watch is quite desirable and gives this usually very tool-oriented model some extra elegance. And as usual with Tudor, the price of this Black Bay Bronze with Gradient Grey Dial is highly competitive considering the overall package.
Quick Facts: 43mm bronze case – sapphire dial-side – 200m WR – automatic manufacture movement MT5601 – hours, minutes, and seconds – black Nubuck leather or fabric strap with pin buckle – CHF 3,850 – www.tudorwatch.com
Girard-Perregaux 1966 Earth to Sky
The Girard-Perregaux 1966 Earth to Sky is a modern interpretation of the brand’s most classic and elegant watch – a watch that we were used to seeing with restrained designs and discreet dials… but not here. 40mm in diameter, this innovative take on the Girard-Perregaux 1966 comes with a black DLC-coated stainless steel case and is fitted with a striking gradient blue dial. Inside is the ultra-thin GP3300 automatic in-house calibre. The alligator strap is rubber-coated.
Quick facts: 40mm DLC-steel case – sapphire front and caseback – automatic in-house calibre GP3300 – hours, minutes, seconds and date – rubber-coated alligator strap with pin buckle – limited edition of 149 pieces – CHF 8,500 – www.girard-perregaux.com
Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Gradient Dials
A favourite here among the MONOCHROME team, this 1970 TV-shaped watch stands out with its retro vibes and unusual yet cool design. The 40mm x 40mm stainless steel case houses an in-house chronograph movement with automatic winding, column-wheel and flyback function – quite a serious engine here. The power reserve indication and the Panorama Date bring extra functionality to this already complete watch. The superb gradient dial is available in green or grey, and produced in limited quantities (100 pieces per colour).
Quick Facts: 40mm x 40mm stainless steel case – sapphire front and caseback – automatic in-house chronograph calibre 37-02 – hours, minutes, seconds, Panorama date, power reserve and flyback chronograph – Nubuck leather strap with folding buckle (also available with a bracelet) – limited edition of 100 pieces per colour – EUR 12,500 – www.glashuette-original.com
H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Centre Second Concept
Focusing on the essential, this conceptual watch is Moser through and through. Its signature fumé dial with neither markers nor logo comes in a superb light blue shade, which gradually darkens towards the periphery – probably the most recognizable colour of Moser watches. Turning the watch over, the exhibition caseback reveals the beautiful, in-house calibre HMC-200 with automatic winding. This version is available in a 40mm white gold case and gradient/fumé dials can be found in all Moser collections.
Quick facts: 40mm 18k white gold case – sapphire front and caseback – automatic in-house movement HMC200 – hours, minutes and seconds – alligator leather strap with pin buckle – limited edition of 100 pieces – CHF 22,000 – www.h-moser.com
Patek Philippe Nautilus Annual Calendar 5726/1A
Presented in 2019, this watch is not the first variation of the cult Nautilus equipped with an annual calendar and moon phase indication. What’s new though is that it is now equipped with a steel bracelet and a beautiful blue dial with horizontal embossing and light gradient blue colour. And that gives this classic model a younger, more contemporary touch. An exclusive watch that has never looked so good… and that reflects on its (low) availability.
Quick facts: 40.5mm stainless steel case – sapphire front and caseback – automatic in-house movement 324S QA LU 24H/303 – hours, minutes, seconds, annual calendar with moon phase indication – steel bracelet with folding buckle – EUR 41,320 – www.patek.com