While many fine watchmaking maisons ignore seasonal trends in colour and style, particularly if they take a more classic approach to design, it’s interesting to see what commonality emerges among the new releases for the year.
Blue as a dial colour has been an enduring trend over the past few years but green is a dominant alternative for 2018. Both colours feature in the Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report, which is released ahead of New York Fashion Week for the Spring 2018 season, contributing to a palette that is fun, playful and dramatic.
Piaget picks up that theme, believing that colour is inherently communicative, emotive and expressive of self-affirmation and the sheer joy of living. ‘There is not one blade of grass, there is no colour in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice,’ wrote John Calvin.
The sentiment resonates with the Piaget family, which draws natural inspiration for their creations from the Neuchâtel region in the Jura Mountains of Western Switzerland. The Piaget Possession collection incorporates bold colours on the dial for the first time, bright green malachite being one option framed with a rotating red-gold bezel set with sparkling diamonds. There’s also a haute couture creation featuring a woven pink-gold cuff.
Cartier continues to reference the animal kingdom with its iconic Panthère collection, this time with a little extra magic. Watch how the Révélation d’une Panthère mimics an hourglass as, with a flick of the wrist, tiny gold beads map a trajectory across the green dial to gradually reveal the big cat’s head. This timepiece features a pink-gold case, a diamond-pavéed bezel, and a winding crown set with a diamond, emerald or ruby. This work of art, revealed at this year’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva is limited to 100 individually numbered pieces.
Another model that caught the eye of aficionados at this year’s SIHH is Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Offshore Diver. The house celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore this year with some new pieces they refer to as ‘outside the box’. I love what they call the ‘khaki-has-character’ dial with ‘Méga Tapisserie’ pattern and khaki rotating inner bezel, enhanced by contrasting white gold applied hour markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating. A khaki rubber strap completes the look.
Hublot has opted for a warmer tone with its stylishly understated Classic Fusion Green. The satin-finished sunray dial is set in a satin-finished and polished titanium case with a bezel sporting the same finishes. The Classic Fusion models are available in titanium or king gold, in regular (time only) or chronograph options. These timepieces are completed with a green alligator straps lined with rubber for extra comfort.
Slightly more subtle on the green dial decoration is Bell & Ross’s BR 03-92 Nightlum. Well known for its professional aviation timepieces, Bell & Ross has redesigned the ‘circle in a square’ – the iconic shape of the house – reminiscent of the silhouette of a plane cockpit clock. The green-tinted Super-LumiNova C3 makes for easier reading of the indexes and large numbers, day and night, offering a continual reading of the hour even in complete darkness. The minimalist design of the BR 03-92, with its black matte ceramic case, ultra-phosphorescent green numbers and grey-green calfskin strap is bound to appeal to fans of the pilot watch.
Meanwhile, Breitling introduced a timepiece with a green dial at Baselworld. Inspired by Reference 637, a stopwatch that World War II bomber pilots wore strapped to their thighs, the Navitimer Super 8 (top left) is available in a titanium or stainless-steel case and fastened to the wrist with a brown NATO leather strap. Luminescent Arabic numerals and hands aid readability in all lighting conditions.
History takes centre stage for Montblanc’s 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Limited Edition 100 with its Minerva calibre. Its vintage look is cemented by the smoked green dial and matching green alligator strap with beige stitching from the Montblanc Pelletteria in Florence. Limited to 100 pieces, the watch features numerals and hands coated with Super-LumiNova for easy reading at night or in adverse weather conditions.
If you’re after something extra special from the ‘master of world time’, Jacob & Co, look no further than the Epic X Chrono Rose Gold Green Dial (top right). Elegant yet avant-garde, these sports watches challenge the limits of design in their quest to deliver constant creative evolution.
This article by Debbie Hathway initially appeared in issue 40 of Private Edition.