Trends come and go. What the fashion industry has tough us is that nothing is immutable, everything comes to an end, but trends are cycles that sooner or later can come back. Some trends fade away as fast as they come, and some stick around longer. The watch industry is no stranger to these cycles. Vintage-inspired watches were a thing of the early 2010s yet they are still hugely successful. Oversized timepieces will, on the other hand, hopefully fall into oblivion. And when it comes to colours, the same can be observed. About 10 to 15 years ago, blue became highly popular. “Blue is the new black” could be heard everywhere and watch brands released dozens of blue-coloured models. Recently, say about 3 years ago, green became the hottest trend in the industry, and if it doesn’t really seem to slow down, there might be a new trend growing. Pink and mostly purple dials are on the rise, and it could be the new hot colour for watches in the coming months.
Keep in mind that, for now, we’re not yet at the stage where we can ensure that purple is actually a real trend. We’ve recently seen a dozen new models released with such purple dials, which made us think that there could be something growing here. But another possibility is that we could see the same effect as with Tiffany Blue-coloured watches… A trend that basically lasted for about 3 months, after Patek Philippe and the NYC-based jeweller announced their collaboration watch. And now, it doesn’t seem to be there anymore. As for purple dials, time will tell if the trend grows enough to become as established as green dials, but for now, we’ve listed 5 cool models that could make you consider this bold colour.
Also, take a look at the Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie Chronograph Purple Panda (now sold out) or the Norqain Adventure Sport 37mm Purple.
Batavi Architect Tony Purple
Let’s start accessible and fun, with a watch from young microbrand Batavi. It is always interesting to look at what these small, young brands are doing, because compared to large, mainstream brands, they don’t have the same constraints and can be more creative (not always successfully, though). One of the first watches we’ve seen this year with a purple dial is the brand’s sporty-chic model with integrated bracelet, the Architect. Released alongside a Tiffany-inspired version, this deep purple, sunray-brushed and textured dial did make an impact. Since the watch to house it is, on the contrary, rather strict and streamlined, it does create a cool mix of styles. The rest; a rather compact integrated steel case, an overall pleasant finishing, an automatic Miyota movement, a bracelet with a quick-exchange system, and a price that allows for a guilty pleasure moment, being only EUR 419. Many reasons to take a closer look at this Batavi Architect Tony Purple.
Quick facts: 39mm steel case – sapphire crystal, 100m water-resistant – purple dial with sunray-brushed finish, geometric pattern and applied markers with polished bevels – Miyota 9039 movement, automatic, 4Hz, 44h power reserve – integrated steel bracelet – EUR 419
Moritz Grossmann Central Seconds Purple
We’re now moving to the other side of the spectrum, with a high-end watch with superlative finishing and overall classic design. But those who’ve followed Moritz Grossmann for a few years know that the brand can also be quite creative (sometimes too much…) One of the most classic models in the collection, the Moritz Grossmann Central Seconds was first released in blue or salmon. Yet, it’s also a watch with a more contemporary, daily-oriented vibe than, for instance, a Hamatic. At first, the concept of a purple dial on this strict German watch can feel peculiar, if not inappropriate. But looking at the result, it does add a certain audacity but without being ostentatious. The result is casual and cool. And when you turn the watch over, there’s still this superbly decorated hand-wound, in-house calibre 100.11 with its German silver plates and high-end finishing techniques.
Quick facts: 41mm stainless steel case – sapphire crystals, 30m water-resistant – purple dial with sunray-brushed finish, white luminous numerals and hands – Calibre 100.11, in-house hand-wound, 2.5Hz, 42h power reserve – black Kudu leather strap – limited to 25 pieces – EUR 29,600
Nomos Club Campus Blue Purple
It isn’t really a surprise to see Nomos being part of a selection of colourful dials. The German brand, despite making rather minimalistic watches, has long shown its audacity in colours, with orange dials for example. Using its most accessible and most casual collection as a base, the Club Campus, the brand delivered two bold new editions recently; one with a loud but attractive pink dial, and another one with a more toned-down blue-purple tone. Matte-finished, not overly saturated, it’s a dial that adds a bit of fun compared to a classic blue, without being too original and hard to wear. The watch is available in 36mm or 38.5mm (the latter being the one you can see below) and is powered by the brand’s hand-wound Alpha movement. Plus, it comes with a “California” dial and an overall excellent quality for a reasonable price.
Quick facts: 36mm or 38.5mm stainless steel case – sapphire crystal, 100m water-resistant – California matte blue-purple dial with Arabic numerals at the top and Roman numerals at the bottom, all luminous – Nomos Alpha calibre, hand-wound in-house, 3Hz, 43h power reserve – velour leather anthracite – EUR 1,100 (36mm) EUR 1,200 (38mm)
Seiko Gradient Purple King Seiko SPB291
Purple doesn’t necessarily mean dark, but it can also refer to a lighter lilac tone… and it’s the colour Seiko has chosen for its latest version of the King Seiko re-edition, the SPB291. And clearly, the brand has gone for the funky touch! Based on the collection introduced earlier this year with silver, black, green or burgundy dials, it now comes with a gradient lilac dial… Not the most conventional style, and that from a usually quite conservative brand. The result is surprisingly appealing, however, with its own personality and a fresh approach. The watch is otherwise identical, with a compact 37mm case, a rather elegant retro design, a cool seven-link bracelet (a light grey leather strap is also included) and an in-house movement with a 70h power reserve… But clearly, it’s the dial that makes this version so special.
Quick facts: 37mm stainless steel case – sapphire crystal, 100m water-resistant – light purple dial with sunray-brushing and gradient effect, applied faceted markers and hands – Seiko Calibre 6R31, in-house, automatic, 3Hz, 70h power reserve – seven-link steel bracelet and light grey leather strap included – EUR 1,850
TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Limited Edition
Last but clearly not least, the Monaco Purple Limited Edition. I extensively explored this watch in a dedicated article, discussing the relevance or not of this dial, on this emblematic watch. But being a child of the late-1960s/early-1970s, the Monaco is a watch that can deal with colours pretty easily. The green model was already quite attractive and this new purple version, if it won’t be for everyone, certainly packs quite some character. In the end, at least to me, this purple dial really works on the Monaco and I even think it would be even cooler with a matching purple strap. It’s a bold choice that one will have to assume, but it’s not that outrageous either. The rest of the watch – proportions, case, movement – is all identical to the classic blue edition.
Quick facts: 39mm x 39mm stainless steel case – sapphire crystals, 100m water-resistant – purple dial, sunray-brushed with black sub-dials – Calibre Heuer 02, in-house, automatic integrated chronograph, 4Hz, 80h power reserve – black alligator with black stitching and purple lining – limited to 500 pieces – EUR 6,800