Watches with colour Fishing for salmon
The salmon dial may represent a tiny segment of the market, but it has an excellent pedigree. And, although it seemed to be making a comeback in 2019, sadly, it looks like it could be dead in the water.
At the end of the SIHH 2019, a flurry of new men’s watches with pink or copper-toned gilt dials hinted at a new trend. At the very least, it suggested we were about to witness something of a salmon run in the watchmaking ecosystem. Amid the current multiplication of colours and ever-expanding palettes, any new shade, when subjected to the glare of the press, blogs and Instagram, and refracted in the prism of hyper-information, can easily take on the sheen of a new mass movement. But where some people were expecting a convergence between the first and second watch fairs of the year, Baselworld failed to deliver the goods. Indeed, there was barely a pink dial in sight.
Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon © A. Lange & Söhne
And yet it’s such an exquisite colour. It has been capturing the collective imagination for decades. In the 1930s, when rose gold alloys were first gaining traction, pink dials were a feature of some of the most devastatingly elegant designs, including some by Jaeger-LeCoultre. In the 1950s, other specialists in the field such as Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin produced some examples that continue to turn heads at watch auctions. In fact, equipping your dress watch with a gold dial in an unusually warm and gentle shade is a sure-fire recipe for instant chic.
Heritage Spirit Automatic © Montblanc
The models introduced at the SIHH 2019 surfed on the wave of enthusiasm this colour naturally evokes, and they weren’t hurt by its relative rarity. Aficionados quickly snapped up the 75 pieces of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo ref. 15202BC special edition, even though, being made of gold, it represents quite a weight on the wrist. They also flocked to the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon, only 100 of which will be produced. And Montblanc likely had no trouble moving its Heritage Spirit Automatic.
Royal Oak Jumbo © Audemars Piguet
Following the vision of Ferdinand Adolph Lange to build the world’s best watches, A. Lange & Söhne strives for ultimate precision and explores new avenues in order to advance the art of fine...Find out more >
Audemars Piguet is one of the few independent family-owned watch businesses and has been based in Le Brassus, in Switzerland's Vallée de Joux region, at the heart of the fine watchmaking industry,...Find out more >
Synonymous with excellence in craftsmanship and design, Montblanc has been pushing the boundaries of innovation ever since the Maison first revolutionized the culture of writing in 1906.Find out more >