Colored dials are nothing new, but a recent surge in interest in eye-catching hues, which has resulted in explosive prices on the secondary market, has seen watch companies pouncing on the trend with greater fervor. The obvious examples, of course, are Rolex’s colorful Oyster Perpetual models released in 2020, followed by the headline-grabbing and eye-catching Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711 with a Tiffany Blue dial. Given that a Rolex Oyster Perpetual with a candy pink dial originally sold for $5,600 and now goes for as much as $16,000 and the 170 models of Patek Philippe’s Tiffany Nautilus, $52,635 at debut, resulted in a single piece sold at auction at Phillips for $6.5 million (others have since come slightly closer to earth at around $3 million), dials in interesting shades are becoming increasingly hard to come by at retail.
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-Axial Master Chronometer
This year, Omega released 10 new references in its 150-meter rated Seamaster Aqua Terra line in both 38 mm and 34 mm iterations and they were all about dial color, ranging from Lagoon Blue and Shell Pink to Bay Green and Lavender. One version that seriously pops out is the Saffron-hued model. Its orange-yellowish sun-brushed dial can have an almost salmon-colored effect in certain lighting or a bright tangerine appearance in well-lit scenarios. Either way, it won’t go unnoticed. You can snap one up for $6,000.
Zenith Chronomaster Original Pink
It’s not often you see a stainless steel sports watch in 38 mm sporting a candy pink dial. Rolex, of course, delivered an Oyster Perpetual Ref. 126000 in 2020 for $5,800 that now retails for upwards of $17,000 on the secondary market which makes Zenith’s Chronomaster Original Pink, with a more complex mechanism and more in-depth dial variation, seem like a no-brainer at $10,000. Plus, with 20 percent of the proceeds going to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer, you can feel good about your purchase.
Bovet Virtuoso V in 18-Karat White Gold
While hype beasts are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars based on a colored dials on time and date-only timepieces, let us remind you there are other beauties. . .significantly more complicated ones with artisanal craftsmanship to match that are available not only for a better price, but also with a price tag that matches the quality of the timepiece’s construction. Case in point: Bovet’s 43.5 mm Virtuoso V with a striking ocean blue dial executed in guilloché. Its jumping hour function and retrograde minutes allow for maximum display of the dial without overcrowding it with busy functions.
The flip side, however, reveals the inner mechanics as well as a traditional offset hour and minutes dial at 12 o’clock. A corrector that operates independently of the hour disk also allows for a different time zone to be displayed on each side of the timepiece. Adding to its multi-functional qualities, the $87,000 piece can transform from a reversible wristwatch to a table clock or a pocket watch without its wearer having to use any tools. Relatively speaking, it’s a steal.
IWC Portugieser Automatic Chronograph
An IWC Portugiesen is a perennial classic, but this 41 mm burgundy dial version throws a new shade on the traditional model. Red, of course, is a racing color and this chronograph looks ready to rally. On the other hand, it’s a watch that will definitely get noticed during your average traffic stop. It’s serving both function and style. Even better, it can be had for $8,400.
H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Lime Green
There are green dial and then there are exceptionally green dials. Moser’s 40 mm Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Lime Green not only delivers serious eye candy in its ultra-rich hue, but also adds depth with texture. The effect of its surface was achieved using three pigments, heather 12 separate times, over hammered gold. Beneath the electric facade is the HMC 200 automatic movement featuring the brand’s in-house double hairspring. It retails $27,000.