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Watches with colour - Basel in a rainbow mood

Watches with colour Basel in a rainbow mood

Straps, dials, hands, logos, gemstones: watches are embracing a palette of vivid colours. It’s an easy way of injecting a little pizzazz.

Watchmakers are dialling up the colour to brighten up their new watches, as we emerge from the drab crisis years. Not just blue, which is the new must-have for dials. Not black, which remains synonymous with masculinity and minimalism. And not grey, which remains an elegant choice for any occasion. No, these days, watchmaking creativity comes in hues of fuchsia, orange, greens of all kinds, even yellow and mauve. The recipe is very simple: take an existing model, spice it up with dials in six different colours and a range of straps in eight colours or more, and get the best of both worlds. The trick is to match the chapter ring, hands and bracelet fittings. Straps, whether made of leather, rubber or alligator, are available in every colour of the rainbow.

Basel in a rainbow mood

Boy∙Friend © Chanel

It’s a style choice aimed mainly at women, who are more interested in quick colour changes to suit their outfit, their mood or the season. The approach is made all the easier given the plethora of new quick-change systems for straps, which have multiplied like the loaves and fishes on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. It has become miraculously simple to swap apricot for coral, before switching back to pearl grey. At the same time, it gives watch companies the opportunity to sell alternative straps and bracelets with different clasps, for which no quick-change mechanism exists (yet)!

Basel in a rainbow mood

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Lady © WorldTempus/Ali Bedretdinov

But there are possibilities for men too. After all, there’s no reason why men shouldn’t be tempted by different colours, depending on their mood. They also have a choice of dials in different, brighter and more unconventional colours (and that doesn’t just mean green). The aim is not so much accessorising as it is to offer alternatives to people who want a change from the more obvious colours. It’s an interesting option for the fifth watch in their collection, or even the sixth, seventh or eighth... Cases like this are nowhere near as rare as they used to be, given that in the last fifteen years it has become increasingly common to own more than one watch.

Basel in a rainbow mood

Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Racing Colours Edition © Chopard

Basel in a rainbow mood

Graham Chronofighter Superlight Carbon © David Chokron/WorldTempus

Nevertheless, a genuinely rainbow-hued watch remains extremely difficult to design, and to wear. To bring several different deep, rich colours together in harmony is the height of creative ambition. This category doesn’t include those watches set with multicoloured gemstones in a cameo of blues and pinks. We’re talking about a far more ambitious project: recreating a scene, a world, that requires the use of a rich, carefully curated and meticulously executed palette. That’s an entirely different kettle of fish.

Basel in a rainbow mood

Front view and back view of the Parrot Repeater Pocket Watch © Jaquet Droz

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