It doesn’t get any greener in today’s watch world. Or does it? There have never been as many green watches as there are today, and in this feature from our 2019 Special Design Issue, on sale now, we explore the emergence of the trend and showcase 15 currently available emerald-hued timepieces.
Although blue has been the most prominent trendy color for watches for the past several years, green is gaining in popularity. Blue has enjoyed such strong success that blue dials and straps have become a part of the standard col-lections of many brands. But the market constantly demands new attractions, so more than a few manufacturers have introduced new models in green. Is green the new blue?
The answer is, “No.” There will never be as many green watches as blue ones. A green watch evokes entirely different emotions than a blue one does. This reason alone makes it impossible to compare the two colors. Blue pleases everybody, but green sparks differences of opinion. From a fashion perspective, blue plays a transitional role between classic “non-colors” (black, gray and white) and “real” colors like red, yellow, orange and green. Dark blue business suits, pastel blue dress shirts and blue denim jeans are seen so frequently that we don’t really notice that they are any color. But a green shirt, sport jacket or pair of pants attracts attention – and not always in a good way. Wearing clothes in green hues is a no-go in some situations.
The contrast isn’t quite so extreme for watches, but green polarizes opinions here, too. Although green evokes many positive associations, such as nature and youth, green is also the complementary color of the red of our blood and represents the opposite of rosy good health. When people don’t feel well, their complexion may get a greenish tinge. Poisons are often green. Monsters are often depicted with green skin. Verdigris is poisonous. And moldy bread has a greenish hue.
When green is worn on the wrist, it’s a color for individualists. Wearing a green watch makes a statement. It seems to proclaim, “I’m free to do as I please.” Green has many nuances and everyone has his own idea of what a “typical” green is.
The watches pictured here conjure up widely diverse associations. The palette ranges from subdued dark green, through fashionable pastel green, to green with a blue or a yellow tinge. Green can refer to the military, to hunting or to nature. And, of course, there’s also the color known as British Racing Green.
Green won’t become the new blue. But it nonetheless offers the option of expressing self-confidence and joie de vivre by wearing a color that’s likely to attract other people’s gazes – or to simply delight its wearers, who have chosen to put their favorite color on their wrists.
H. MOSER & CIE. SWISS ALP WATCH CONCEPT COSMIC GREEN
Fumé dials with a fluent transition between black and a “real” color have become the trademark of H. Moser & Cie. Now the version in Cosmic Green adorns the Swiss Alp Watch, with a case design that Jony Ive and Apple have generously overlooked. White gold, 38.2 mm by 44 mm, manufacture Caliber HMC 324, hand-wound, 20 pieces, $26,900.
AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK OFFSHORE DIVER
AP continues to rely on “funky colors” in this divers’ watch, which stays watertight to 300 meters. After bright yellow, orange and bright green, one of the newcomers in 2018 comes with a dial and rubber wristband in military khaki green. Stainless steel, 42 mm, manufacture Caliber AP 3120, automatic, $19,900.
HUBLOT CLASSIC FUSION GREEN
Considering the variety of colors that Hublot boasts, green simply couldn’t be missing from the spectrum. For the olive-green Classic Fusion, this brand is prioritizing the theme of unisex, as the 38-mm case suggests. Titanium, Sellita SW300, automatic, $6,600.
OMEGA SEAMASTER 300 MALACHITE
A dial made from South African malachite gives a noble aura to the Seamaster. The combination of a green mineral for the face and yellow gold for the case and bracelet ($56,250) seems more appropriate for another brand, so we prefer the platinum version, which is unfortunately much more costly ($88,500). 41 mm, Master Chronometer Caliber 8913, automatic.
RADO TRUE THINLINE NATURE
Despite their hue, green watches seldom conjure up visions of verdant foliage. But this Rado watch is an exception: the mother-of-pearl dial with leafy structure distinguishes the look of the True Thinline, which has a case and bracelet made of high-tech ceramic. The design results from a partnership between Rado and the Grandi Giardini Italiani organization. 39 mm by 43 mm, quartz movement, $2,100.
BULGARI OCTO FINISSIMO
The super-flat Octo Finissimo is a mere 5.15 mm thick. It encases 2.23-mm-slim manufacture Caliber BVL 138 with a platinum microrotor. Only 10 timepieces exist in this green version; they’re available at Harrods in London. Titanium, 40 mm, £12,000.
MB&F HOROLOGICAL MACHINE NO. 7 AQUAPOD
The previous Aquapod with its luminous blue rotatable diving bezel was already an eye-catcher, but now it’s impossible to take one’s eyes off this new green jellyfish wristwatch. MB&F stays loyal to its concept of putting the utmost in the watchmaker’s art – here, a flying tourbillon – into playfully and provocatively shaped watches, thus transforming craftsmanship into fine art. Titanium, 53.8 mm by 21.3 mm, manufacture caliber, automatic, limited edition of 50 pieces, $108,000.
SINN HUNTER CHRONOGRAPH 3006
Sinn presents a watch designed expressly for hunters. A shade of green with a distinctly yellow tinge was chosen for the dial and the silicone strap. Along with the camouflage effect, this watch offers a second useful feature for hunters: a little moon appears above the T-shaped mark at the bottom of the dial to indicate that ambient lighting is bright enough for a hunt after sunset. Hardened stainless steel, 44 mm, ETA Valjoux 7751, $3,970.
CERTINA DS ACTION DIVER
Certina’s new divers’ watch isn’t only watertight to 300 meters, but is also equipped with self-winding Caliber Powermatic 80, which amasses an 80-hour power reserve. Connoisseurs who prefer a more subdued color scheme can opt for the same model with a black dial, rotatable bezel and green seconds hand. Stainless steel, 43 mm,
CHOPARD MILLE MIGLIA CLASSIC CHRONOGRAPH RACING COLORS
To celebrate its 30 years of partnership with the Mille Miglia rally for classic motorcars, Chopard presents five chronographs in the colors of historic race cars. This color scheme was devised approximately 100 years ago for drivers from different countries. British Racing Green was assigned to the drivers from England. This dark and subdued shade of green contrasts elegantly with bright yellow, red, silver or blue. Stainless steel, 42 mm, Caliber ETA 2894, automatic, chronometer, $6,080.
SEIKO 1968 AUTOMATIC COMMEMORATIVE LIMITED EDITION
The Swiss aren’t the only ones who know that green also looks good on a divers’ watch. Seiko offers 1,968 pieces of the Prospex Reference SLA019, which is watertight to 300 meters, equipped with a rotatable ceramic bezel and delivered with an additional silicone wristband. Stainless steel, 44.3 mm, manufacture Caliber 8L35, automatic, $3,250.
GLASHÜTTE ORIGINAL SIXTIES PANORAMA DATE
The green version of the Sixties not only has a terrific color, but also fascinates with a sunburst of lacquer particles that look as though they’re exploding from the dial’s center and spreading out across the entire face like a supernova. Just how is this “dégradé” effect achieved? The experts at Glashütte Original’s dial factory keep the answer a closely guarded secret. Stainless steel, 42 mm, manufacture Caliber 39-47, automatic, $9,300.
HERMÈS ARCEAU CASAQUE
It’s not surprising that Hermès has adorned the dial of this watch with a stylized horse’s head because this brand has its roots in the saddler’s craft. The Arceau Casaque also alludes to a French board game in which little horses move across the playing board. The watch comes in the four basic colors used in the game: red, yellow, blue and this trendy green. Stainless steel, lacquered enamel dial, quartz movement, $3,400.
ORIS AQUIS DATE
The Aquis is a wonderful “no-nonsense” watch. It costs astonishingly little, but it offers surprisingly a lot: watertightness to 300 meters, a ceramic bezel, a stainless-steel bracelet and a fold-and-slide clasp with built-in extension piece. The version with a steel bracelet ($2,000) goes most handsomely with the green bezel and dial, although a variation with a brown leather strap is also available ($1,850). Stainless steel, 43.5 mm, Sellita SW200, automatic.
MONTBLANC 1858 MONOPUSHER CHRONOGRAPH LIMITED EDITION 100
The technology and the dial arrangement of this handsome chronograph refer to a monopusher version that Minerva built in the 1920s. The green color gives a certain vintage character to this watch, which is actually a state-of-the-art timepiece. Stainless steel, 40 mm, manufacture Caliber MB M13.21, hand-wound, limited series of 100 watches, $30,000.