Monochrome Watches
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Buying Guide

Coloured Dials Still Ruled The Headlines At Watches & Wonders 2023

A selection of the finest and brightest dials presented during this year's Watches & Wonders week.

| By Robin Nooy | 8 min read |

Despite the fact we’re weeks on from this year’s Watches & Wonders already, there is still plenty of stuff to talk about. Whether it’s simply picking the best new watches of the entire show, or categorizing some of the finest new chronographs, we are far from done yet! And this week’s Buying Guide picks up on another favourite topic of hours; dials! More specifically, coloured dials! During the week in Geneva a lot of brands presented bright and fun new dials, and some with a little twist on existing shades of colour. Here’s our selection of the 7 best new colours from everything that was presented at Watches & Wonders 2023!

Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition

We kick things off with a very unexpected and fun watch by Oris, who presented the ProPilot X Kermit Edition. This frivolous take on the edgy ProPilot X, upgraded with the in-house Calibre 400 last year, sports a very bright lime green dial. Every first day of the month you’re also greeted by Kermit the Frog sporting a big smile as he peeks through the date window at 6′. Naturally, the officially Disney-licensed collaboration is fitted with the Calibre 400 movement, packing 120 hours when fully wound. Retailing for CHF 4,400, the titanium ProPilot X Kermit Edition is a non-limited edition available from April onwards.

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Quick Facts – 39mm diameter – multi-piece titanium case – sapphire crystal front and back – screw-down crown – fluted bezel – 100m water-resistant – lime green grained dial – printed indices – hour and minute hand with Super-LumiNova – date window at 6′ – Oris Calibre 400, manufacture – automatic – 28,800vph – 120h power reserve – date wheel with smiling Kermit on the first of the month – titanium bracelet with patented ‘LIFT’ system folding clasp – CHF 4,400

Grand Seiko Elegance spring drive Hana-Ikada SBGY026

One of the very best watches of the entire far has got to be this drop-dead-gorgeous Grand Seiko Elegance Spring Drive Hana-Ikada SBGY026. The rose gold Omiwatare case holds the fantastic soft pink “Shunbun-style” dial inspired by cherry blossom petals. The colour and texture are just outstanding! The watch is powered by Grand Seiko’s 9R31 Spring Drive calibre, utilising the brilliant quartz-mechanical hybrid technology. Only 100 Hana-Ikada’s will be made, all worn on a brown alligator leather strap with a folding clasp. The price is set at EUR 28,900.

Grand Seiko Elegance Hana-Ikada SBGY026 Pink Shunbun Dial

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Quick Facts – 38mm x 10.2mm – 18k rose gold case – sapphire crystal front and back – 30m water-resistant – “Shunbun” Cherry Blossom soft pink textured dial – diamond-cut and faceted gold hands and indices – calibre 9R31, spring drive quartz-automatic hybrid – dual spring barrel mechanism for 72h power reserve – ±15 seconds per month – hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve on the back – alligator leather strap with rose gold folding clasp – limited to 100 pieces – EUR 28,900

TAG Heuer Carrera Date 36mm Hot Pink

A bit outshined by the Carrera Chronograph Glassbox perhaps, TAG Heuer also introduced the fun and colourful Carrera Date 36mm. Four colours are available, from classic silvery-white and deep blue to more outspoken pastel green and hot pink. The last one has the most ‘pop’ for sure! Set in a compact 36mm case with the iconic Carrera design, it certainly jumps at you off the wrist. The dial has gold-plated indices and hands, with a framed date window at the bottom. Around the back, the Calibre 7 can be seen through the sapphire caseback. It comes on a stainless steel bracelet and costs EUR 3,200.

2023 New Colourful TAG Heuer Carrera Date 36mm Collection

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Quick Facts – 36mm x 10mm – stainless steel case, brushed and polished – sapphire crystal front & back – 50m water-resistant – hot pink dial (pastel green, deep blue or warm silver also available) with applied gold-plated numerals and hand – date window at 6 o’clock – applied TAG Heuer logo – Calibre 7, automatic (Sellita SW300 base) – 28,800vph – 56h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, date – stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp – EUR 3,200

Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce annual calendar 5261R

The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar 5261R is officially labelled as a ladies’ watch but in all honesty, it can just as easily be worn by men! The size, the style, the colours, it all works brilliantly together. The 18k rose gold Aquanaut case is fitted with a cool blue-grey embossed dial, which is repeated on the integrated composite strap. And we must admit, it looks devilishly good! The fact it comes with a complex annual calendar movement also helps! This gives the dial a lot of additional information, in the form of a date, day of the week, month and moonphase display. At EUR 61,000 it certainly isn’t the cheapest though!

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Quick Facts – 39.9mm x 10.94mm – 18k rose gold case, brushed and polished – recessed correctors in the baseband – sapphire crystal front & back – blue-grey embossed dial – applied rose gold numerals and hands with luminescent coating – date, day of the week, month and moonphase display – calibre 26-330 S QA LU, in-house automatic – 319 parts – 28,800vph – 35h-45h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, date, day of the week, month moonphase – Patek Philippe Seal – blue-grey composite strap with foldover clasp – reference 5261R-001 – EUR 61,000

Rolex Oyster Perpetual “Bubbles” 36

The biggest colourful surprise of the fair was the very playful Oyster Perpetual “Bubbles” and “Puzzle” dials by Rolex. Quite unexpected, and with a bold dial for both editions, it shows all the colours of the Stella-inspired Oyster Perpetual collection introduced in 2020. The turquoise base dial is riddled with different-sized bubbles in red, soft pink, turquoise, yellow and green. The watch we have here is the 36mm Oyster Perpetual “Bubbles”, but it’s also available in 31mm and 41mm sizes. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual “Bubbles” collection retails for EUR 5,650 (31mm), EUR 6,100 (36mm) or EUR 6,400 (41mm).

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Quick Facts – 31mm, 36mm or 41mm diameter – Oystersteel case – sapphire crystal on the front – solid caseback – screw-down crown – turquoise base dial with Stella-coloured bubbles – applied indices and hands with Chromalight inserts – Calibre 3230 (36mm and 41mm), in-house automatic – 70h power reserve – Parachrom hairspring – hours, minutes, seconds – Calibre 2232 (31mm), in-house automatic – 55h power reserve – silicium Syloxi hairspring – hours, minutes, seconds – EUR 5,650 (31mm) – EUR 6,100 (36mm) – EUR 6,400 (41mm)

Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 XPS Salmon

By far one of the most striking colourful dials was the Monte Rosa Pink dial for the new Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 XPS. Presented in a very slim 8mm Lucent Steel A223 case, a special alloy with a brighter shine, it is perhaps one of the very best Alpine Eagles to date. The iris-like dial has a gorgeous texture, decorated with white gold indices and numerals, and baton hour and minute hands. The in-house automatic movement is driven by a micro-rotor and comes with COSC-chronometer certification and the Poinçon de Genève hallmark. Worn on an integrated bracelet, also in Lucent Steel A223, it retails for EUR 24,400.

Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 XPS Ultra-Thin Steel Salmon Dial

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Quick Facts – 41mm x 8mm – Lucent Steel A223 case – sapphire crystal front & back – screw-down crown – 100m water-resistant – Monte Rosa Pink iris-like dial – white gold applied indices – baton hour and minute hands, small seconds hand with Super-LumiNova – Chopard L.U.C. 96.40-L, in-house automatic – micro-rotor – 176 components – 28,800vph – 65h power reserve – COSC-chronometer – integrated Lucent Steel bracelet – EUR 24,400

Angelus Chronodate Fern Green

We started with green and we finish with green, as Angelus presented this cool Fern Green edition of the bold Chronodate. Based in spirit on the historical model from the 1940s, this edgy and decisively modern Chronodate was introduced last year. This new green dial has a very sleek, shimmering look to it, mixed with black, white and red elements to emphasize the sporty look. It now also comes on an integrated titanium bracelet. The movement remains the same and can be seen through the back. It retails for CHF 22,900 on a rubber strap or CHF 24,700 on the bracelet.

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Quick Facts – 42.50mm x 14.25mm – grade 5 titanium & carbon composite case – sapphire crystal front and back – 30m water-resistant – fern green bicompax chronograph dial – applied indices and hands with Super-LumiNova – Calibre A500 (La Joux-Perret), automatic winding – column-wheel & vertical clutch – tungsten winding rotor – 28,800vph – 60h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds, pointer date, chronograph – rubber strap or titanium bracelet – EUR 22,900 (strap) or EUR 24,700 (bracelet)

4 responses

  1. What you call “very playful” in your description of the oyster dial has got to be one of the most misguided and ugly dispositions in recent memory; the “Edsel” of watches, if you can recall history’s look at that car that Ford thought would be a breakthrough design. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if there are those that may think this a collectible in the making, and with designed scarcity from those making it, it attains a somewhat cult following, however atrocious and inelegant it is. It comes across as something the brand’s masters might have cooked up to see how far they could go in making people believe that anything they put out with their name on it is going to sell. But as the old saying goes, “never give a sucker an even break!”

  2. Evidence of arogance from Rolex, “We can turn out any old rubbish and people will buy it, lets pretend its made from unobtainium and charge and extra €1000 because it’s 10mm larger”. When you go into a shoe shop they are the same price irrespective of size.

  3. Was heißt hier farbige Zifferblätter ?
    Einfarbiges Zifferblatt ?
    Das könnte man ja auch Monochrom umschreiben.
    Für mich zu kurz gesprungen, mit Ausnahme von Rolex,
    wer´s mag und bezahlen will.
    Unbunte Grüße
    aus ganz kurz vor den Bergen


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