Purple Watches A Purple Bubble
Is it the latest trend ? Or the end of widely acceptable color novelties ? Purple might very well be a tipping point for watchmaking's creative thinking
For more than ten years, adding color to watches has been an easy creative solution. First, blue took our dials by surprise and converted them en masse. But that was just the correction of a historical aberration. This color is so fundamental in all things werarable that its near absence from watches made no sense. Then a green surge took over, becoming so ubiquitous so quickly that one began to wonder if that was maybe a little too lazy a way to create watches.
Constellation © Omega
Creation is about more than just variations. It's about reinvention.
Code 11.59 Automatic © Audemars Piguet
Purple is a slightly different kettle of fish though. It is one of the rainbow's most ambiguous members. Its connotations are not the best known, not obvious and not always positive. At least in Western culture. So the fact that purple is trending raises several questions.
Datejust 31 © Rolex
How far will the trend go ? Both in reach and duration, it's hard to imagine it will be as much as green did (not to mention blue). What does it bring to the table ? A wider color range, of course, but also the possibility of a more sophisticated expression, of finer symbolic points. It is definitely a dandy, even rakish option, as testified by the variety of interpretations it generated. But most of all, purple gives us a look into what comes next. A post-chromatic watchmaking world where dial color isn't all a timepiece is about. Where a mere change in hue is not newsworthy anymore.
Monaco © TAG Heuer
Because after purple comes into the fold as a mainstay option, like every color did lately, where do we have left to go ? Yellow ? Orange ? Red ? All three are already available with many brands, but have failed so far in gaining traction, in trending or in becoming self-sufficient.
Big Bang Automatic Tourbillon Purple Sapphire © Hublot
There's another factor at play here. Post-Covid watchmaking is at a tipping point. Fomo, revenge spending and speculation on iconic timepieces are settling down. Some sort of landing may be in sight and watches need to figure out their own strategy in the face of a global slowdown. All we can hope for is that it happens in a creative, expressive way, and not according to the same old defensive options.
LM101 Purple ©MB&F
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 >
From the outset, Hublot has embodied design and innovation that differ markedly from the established watchmaking order. With the impetus provided by Jean-Claude Biver, by 2004 these values had...Find out more >
A company of the Swatch Group, OMEGA has been behind major revolutions in watchmaking technology and the timekeeping of numerous Olympic Games. Its watches are worn by world-famous celebrities and...Find out more >
Over 150 years of watchmaking savoir-faire and technical innovation have made TAG Heuer a global reference in avant-garde sports watches. As it tracked the rise of sports demanding increasingly...Find out more >
Few brands are as closely associated with the rise of avant-garde independent horology in the new millennium than URWERK, the Geneva-based brand with Swiss-German mechanical foundations.Find out more >