From blue in 2020 to green in 2021, there has always largely been an annual colour scheme that watchmakers favour for their dials in the past. This year however, it is all about shades of a wide spectrum.
Colour has and always will be a defining trend in fashion – something very apparent in the watchmaking world too.
This year however, timepieces appear much more diverse.
No “it” colour has emerged from the array of novelties presented so far, and instead of one dominant shade, there is a wide spectrum to appreciate.
Remember how 2019 was the year where salmon-coloured dials exploded onto the scene? Or when blue became all the rage in the year after that? What about green leading the way in 2021?
This time, it is different. Watchmakers have stood their ground and embraced individuality.
Franck Muller for example, celebrated four colourways with its highlight timepiece. While TAG Heuer went vibrant and bold with orange to stand out, H. Moser & Cie played with textural finish to dress up a glittering lime green watch.
It is a significant deviation where trend spotting is concerned.
Colour me impressed
Colours are seen as an easy way to capture a shopper’s attention. Often, one that emerges as a frontrunner will trickle down and appear in everything across markets – from clothes to tech gadgets.
Why do you think Pantone’s Colour of the Year makes headlines each time it is announced?
For 2022, it is Very Peri. This totally new colour has been described as a “dynamic periwinkle blue hue with a vivifying violet red undertone”.
Not that it matters to the horological world though. Several different shades are seen making the watches of this year tick – so to speak.
Just take a look at the Franck Muller Vanguard Casablanca.
The watch is a timeless design, and comes in black, brown and salmon, as well as a very special edition sporting a black dial with blue accents and contrast stitching on the hand sewn straps.
No doubt, it is a well-loved classic. The original Franck Muller Casablanca, or simply known as the Cintree Curvex, takes after its namesake inspiration.
The colourways of the model launched in 1998, such as salmon and sand, reportedly drew from the aesthetics of the 1948 Hollywood film starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
It had a sinuous, almost sensual, curved case. The numerals on the dial denoted an art deco feel, appearing as straight and arched at the same time.
The Franck Muller Vanguard Casablanca is however, more muscular in appearance compared to the Cintree Curvex. The tonneau shape is typical of the masculine Vanguard line.
There are plenty of other design updates, but in terms of being a wow factor, surely retaining the attractive colour options is a wise move.
Yes, the Casablanca film is a black-and-white production. It was later colourised in 1988 though – to which this watch mirrors visually.
No shade, only love
Another beautiful timepiece that draws from heritage is TAG Heuer’s Aquaracer Pro 300 Orange Diver. It is inspired by a historic model from 1979 – the reference 844 diver.
Earth tones dominated the 1970s era, so the tangerine dial fits in with the theme.
Although the colour palette oozes that vintage vibe, this model looks modern. There is a matte finish to the dial, along with a glossy ceramic black bezel and contrasting white numerals.
Its large 43mm size looks even bigger than it is, as the bold dial draws the gaze easily. Even more eye-catching is the fact that the minute and seconds hands, plus bezel markers, glow blue – but the hour hand and indices have a green glow.
More is more, it seems – and you can’t just believe otherwise, looking at how gorgeous the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Pro 300 Orange Diver can look on your wrist.
That said, minimalism can also make you look twice.
H. Moser & Cie has a timepiece that can surely turn you green with envy. The latest Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept features a glittering green face, absent of any markers or branding.
Revisiting the traditional art form of enamel and modernising it, the dial features an immaculate ombre aesthetic with a hammered finish.
This addition to the classic H. Moser & Cie Endeavour collection may seem simple, but take a closer look and the texture will surprise you.
It is said to be the result of applying three pigments of green enamel on a patterned gold base, followed by 12 times of heating.
Stare at the watch even longer and you will notice another colourful element. The seconds hand is purple.
If the contrast between those two colours is not enough, add in the grey leather strap and suddenly, it becomes one of the most immediately recognisable (or rather, memorable) timepieces of this year.
Setting the tone
Of course, there are other striking novelties in 2022 that can stand out visually as well.
Also worth mentioning is Montblanc’s 1858 Iced Sea Automatic Date. It has a blue, green or black lacquered dial mimicking the look of glacial formations. They represent actual colours seen in the ice.
Not forgetting the Bell & Ross BR 05 Skeleton, which has been recently released with the inner mechanism covered using green-tinted crystal – plus a matching green rubber strap.
If there is one tiny grouse, all these different colourful timepieces will only make the life of watch lovers a little complicated.
Imagine having to coordinate your outfits for each one you decide to strap on your wrist – but, hey, that is probably just a very small price of your time to pay for being able to stand out in the crowd.