Six watches that dial up the colour

Black and white are all right, but splash on some colour to really have some fun.

By Felix Scholz , September 10 2020
Six watches that dial up the colour

Without a doubt, the most popular colours in watch dials are various takes on black and white, with some sort of dark blue coming a close third.

It makes sense: as Melbournians know, black looks good with everything. The same can generally be said about white and blue.

These colours excel when it comes to sartorial flexibility, but they're somewhat lacking when it comes to fun and flair. And it must be said that both flair and fun are qualities that many of us can do with right now. So in that spirit, we've put together a fresh spring bouquet of the brightest dials we can find.

anOrdain Model 2 Turquoise Fumé

Let's kick off with boutique Glasgow-based brand anOrdain. The model 2 is anOrdain's second watch (who would have guessed), and its a modestly sized 36mm cushion-cased number based on military-issue field watches, which would suit male or female wrists equally.

Hand-crafted enamel beauty from anOrdain.
Hand-crafted enamel beauty from anOrdain.

But there's nothing camouflaged about this watch, with a vibrant turquoise dial. It's actually a vitreous enamel fumé dial, made from painstakingly heated porcelain.

Fumé refers to the fact that the dial has a smokey effect around the edge. Whatever you call it, the shimmering blue of the dial is a riot of fun. (£1500)

Breitling Endurance Pro

Switching gears to something Swiss and sporty with the brand new Breitling Endurance Pro.

All the colours of the Breitling rainbow, on the latest Endurance Pro.
All the colours of the Breitling rainbow, on the latest Endurance Pro.

With a large 44mm case made from the brand's proprietary 'Breitlight' material which is tougher and lighter than titanium, while being anti-magnetic and hypoallergenic, and, combined with the accurate thermo-compensated quartz movement weighs in at only 64.6 grams.

This chronograph has been developed as a high-performance sports watch that can also handle more casual affairs. And while the case and dial are in black, the rubber strap and details are offered in a rainbow of hi-vis options – we're fans of the orange. ($4,490)

Nomos Club neomatik Siren blue

The next stop in our colourful trip around the world sees us stop in Germany, specifically the eastern German town of Glashütte, to visit Nomos.

It's a brand that's never been afraid of spicing up its offering with a judicious dash of the palette brush, but the Club neomatik siren blue upends the entire paint tin on the dial.

There's bright blue, then there's Nomos' Siren blue.
There's bright blue, then there's Nomos' Siren blue.

And what a dial! Nomos call it siren blue, which looks like something Andy Warhol or Disney's Technicolor team would have been pretty familiar with, perhaps for the rendering of bight summer skies.

The summer vibes are only accentuated by the white nylon strap and 200 metres of water resistance. Bonus points for the unisex 37mm case size. ($4,530)

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36

Back to Switzerland for the trip to the Rolex, the green giant of Geneva. This watch was released alongside the Submariner, but is, in many ways, the polar opposite of the classic diver.

The latest from Rolex is sweet as candy.
The latest from Rolex is sweet as candy.

We're talking about the Oyster Perpetual 36, with the 36mm case. Inside is the new cutting-edge 3230 movement, which is packing 70 hours of power reserve. The real attention-grabber is the candy pink dial which is precisely as pink as the name suggests. ($7,850)

Mido Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 Limited Edition

So far we've kept our picks restrained – to one colour that is.

All that goes out the window with the Mido Ocean Star Decompression Timer, a 40.5mm dive watch that features a full-on, colour-coded decompression timer on the dial.

It doesn't matter if you dive or not, this dial rules.
It doesn't matter if you dive or not, this dial rules.

If you know your way around rebreathers and regulators, you could probably make sense of this dial, which is, in fact, a handy chart to help divers time their decompression stops while they ascend, to prevent the sickness commonly called 'the bends'.

But if that's a feature you're never likely to need to worry, the rainbow looks pretty rad wet or dry. ($1,800)

Seiko 5 Sports SRPF23K1

We've already pulled four bright and cheery options out of our whistle-stop world watch tour, but just quietly we might have saved the best – or at least the most 'out-there' – for last.

Prepare for an all-out assault on your wrist when Seiko meets Street Fighter
Prepare for an all-out assault on your wrist when Seiko meets Street Fighter

This electric green wonder is a limited edition Seiko 5 made in collaboration with the Street Fighter V. Yes, Seiko has teamed up with the arcade staple to represent a series of iconic characters as watches.

This not-so-subtle character is based on Blanka, a big green guy with a shock of orange hair and a proclivity to electricity. And, looking at that swirling dial and highly charged bezel, we've got to say, Seiko nailed the brief. ($695)

Felix Scholz

Felix Scholz is Executive Traveller’s watch editor, and one of Australia’s most respected authorities on the subject. As you might expect, he travels to Switzerland quite a lot.


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