Monochrome Watches
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Buying Guide

Six Watches with Very Appealing Gradient Dials

Lighter in the centre and darker on the edges, gradient dials are all the rage - and not just for dress watches.

| By Robin Nooy | 7 min read |

Dials can come in all sorts of colours and decorative patterns, but one specific style that always seems to stand out more is the gradient dial. Also referred to as fumé or dégradé, the concept is fairly simple. You start with a certain colour in the middle and gradually darken it towards the edge. More often than not, such a dial can elevate a watch beyond more mundane, solid-coloured rivals. One brand that has been showcasing its ability to play with this colour-shifting concept is H. Moser & Cie, and it shouldn’t be a surprise it has made the list for this instalment of our weekly Buying Guide. Along with Moser, there are five more watches to discover, all featuring a similarly styled dial.

H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Small Seconds Microrotor

The Streamliner is H. Moser & Cie’s refined take on the luxury sports watch with a decisively 1970s vibe. The pebble-like shape of the case, the flowing integrated bracelet and, more often than not, a fantastic dial and movement make for a very appealing package. Late last year, the Swiss indie brand launched the Streamliner Small Seconds Microrotor with a smaller and slimmer profile, a newly developed microrotor and yet again a mesmerizing dial. In typical Moser style, it lacks a logo and thus leaves the stage free for the uniquely textured and gradient blue enamel dial with recessed small seconds sub-dial. Wonderful stuff! The price for the Streamliner Small Seconds Microrotor is CHF 29,900 incl. VAT.

Moser Streamliner Small Seconds Micro-Rotor Enamel

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Quick Facts – 39mm x 10.9mm – stainless steel case, brushed & polished – sapphire crystal front & back – screw-down crown – 120m water-resistant – gradient aqua-blue Grand Feu enamel dial with hammered texture – applied indices – hour & minute hands with Globolight inserts – HMC 500, in-house micro-rotor automatic – 21,600vph – 3-day power reserve – Straumann hairspring – platinum rotor – hours, minutes, small seconds – integrated bracelet with folding clasp – CHF 29,900 incl. VAT

Zenith Defy Revival A3642

Even though all three stainless steel Zenith Defy Revival models come with gradient dials, we’ve opted for the tobacco brown dial A3642 Boutique Edition. The distinctly shaped case is an exact copy of the original Defy from 1969, which was the very first model Zenith produced in this collection. Using original production plans, it’s identical even down to the grooved indices and that funky brown gradient dial. Factor in a genuine ladder-style bracelet, just like the one designed and manufactured by Gay Frères back in the day, and you have a real retro winner. Equipped with a modern calibre Elite 670, it has a running time of 50 hours. The price is set at EUR 7,500 and it’s available in Zenith brand boutiques only.

Zenith Defy Revival A3642

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Quick Facts – 37mm x 37mm – octagonal stainless steel case, brushed & polished – 14-sided bezel – sapphire crystal front & back – 300m water-resistant – brown gradient dial – applied ridged indices and hands with Super-LumiNova – date window at 04:30 – Elite calibre 670, in-house – automatic winding – 28,800vph – 50h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, date – stainless steel ladder bracelet with folding clasp – non-limited boutique-only edition – EUR 7,500

Armin Strom Tribute 1 Fumé

Armin Strom introduced the sleek Tribute 1 around three years ago and has been making regular aesthetic updates to it ever since. We’ve seen grained slate grey, black and blue dials, rose gold cases and even a California-style dial version. For Dubai Watch Week 2023, however, Armin Strom gave us yet another twist, with a guilloché decorated outer section and fumé burgundy, slate, sky or ocean-coloured dials. The new look suits the watch extremely well yet takes nothing away from the beautiful movement, of which the signature motor barrel is mounted on the dial side and held by a single hand-finished finger bridge. Each colour is limited to 10 pieces, comes on a grey Alcantara leather strap and has a price of EUR 23,100.

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Quick Facts – 38mm x 9.38mm – stainless steel case, brushed & polished – sapphire crystal front & back – 50m water-resistant – guilloché plates with off-centre fumé dials in burgundy, slate, sky or ocean – openworked hour & minute hands, needle-shaped seconds hand – dial-side motor barrel with finger bridge – calibre AMW21, in-house manual wound movement – 25,200vph – 100h power reserve on one motor barrel – Alcantara leather strap with folding buckle – limited to 10 pieces per colour – EUR 23,100

Girard Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph 8Tech

Girard Perregaux is no stranger to experimenting with colours or materials in all its collections, but the recent Laureato Absolute Chronograph 8Tech takes things up a notch or two. The signature Laureato case is crafted from a titanium and carbon fibre composite, gifting it a unique black and grey look. This is matched by a black and grey sandwich dial, which has a subtle gradient effect, tying in the exterior with the interior. The result is striking, to say the least! All this is backed up by the in-house produced GP0330-1058 automatic chronograph movement. The integrated strap is made from black rubber with a fabric effect and grey stitching and an adjustable black DLC-coated titanium folding buckle. It retails for EUR 29,300.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph 8Tech

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Quick Facts – 44mm x 15.15mm – titanium & carbon fibre composite case – sapphire crystal front & back – 100m water-resistant – gradient grey sandwich dial – baton-type hands & indices with luminous elements – calibre GP0330-1058, modular in-house automatic chronograph – 28,800vph – 46h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, date – black rubber strap with fabric effect & grey stitching – adjustable black DLC-coated titanium folding buckle – EUR 29,300

Union Glashütte Noramis Chronograph sport

On the more affordable end of the spectrum, we have the stout Noramis Chronograph Sport by Union Glashütte. This robust diving chronograph has a steel case of 43mm in diameter that’s topped with a unidirectional rotating bezel with a polished black ceramic insert. The stars of the show, though, are the blue, anthracite or turquoise dials with a strong dégradé effect. The sub-dials for the small seconds (with date) and chronograph minutes are recessed and finished in silvery white for a strong contrast against the dial. Movement-wise, the Noramis Chronograph Sport relies on an in-house modified Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement. The strap comes in rubber or textile with a folding clasp. It will set you back EUR 3,600.

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Quick Facts – 43mm x 15.82mm – stainless steel case, brushed & polished – unidirectional rotating bezel with ceramic insert – sapphire crystal front & back – blue, anthracite or turquoise dégradé dials – silvery-white subregisters – applied indices & hands with Super-LumiNova – calibre UNG-27.S2, based on Valjoux 7750 – automatic chronograph – 28,800vph – 65h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, date – textile or rubber straps in black, grey or blue – EUR 3,600

Omega Seamaster diver 300m summer blue 75th anniversary

We could have gone for any of the 75th Anniversary models of the Omega Seamaster Summer Blue collection, as they all come with a gradient blue dial, but we’re focusing on the iconic Diver 300M. From the Aqua Terra 150 to the Ultra-Deep 6000M, the deeper the watch can go, the darker the gradient dials get. This one sits about in the middle, and its ceramic dial with a wavey laser-engraved pattern is light blue in the middle and gets darker towards the edge. This is paired with a two-tone blue ceramic insert and a blue rubber strap. Alternatively, it can come on the well-known steel bracelet. A special decoration on the caseback hides the Master Chronometer calibre 8800. It retails for CHF 5,600 on a rubber strap or CHF 5,900 on a steel bracelet.

2023 Omega Seamaster Diver 300m Summer Blue 75th Anniversary

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Quick Facts – 42mm x 13.5mm – stainless steel case, brushed & polished – unidirectional bezel with ceramic insert – sapphire crystal – special 75th-anniversary caseback – screw-down crown & helium escape valve – gradient blue ceramic dial with laser-engraved waves – applied indices & hands with Super-LumiNova – calibre 8800, in-house automatic – Master Chronometer with co-axial escapement – 25,200vph – 55h power reserve – blue rubber strap or stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp – CHF 5,600 (rubber) or CHF 5,900 (steel)

4 responses

  1. Nice article. Could it be, that the prices in EUR in the quick facts of the 300m are correct?

  2. Woops, that’s a slight mistake on our side. The prices should be in Swiss Francs,and the article has just been corrected.

  3. the moser is next level. I wish it was center seconds rather than small seconds, but regardless amazing. I’m also partial to the JLC blue gradients on the Polaris line.

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