Why are watchmakers like Grand Seiko, IWC and Omega 'going green'?
This year’s crop of mechanical watches sports green dials by the truckload. Could watchmakers be yearning for a closer connection to nature?
Basking in nature is critical to one’s health and well-being. And if that wasn’t evident to city-dwellers before, the lockdowns would have made that once feeble yearning for a walk in the park a screaming compulsion by now.
And that’s because numerous studies have shown that the colour green has calming, depression-beating effects, and the human eye is able to see green better than any other colour on the spectrum.
So the fact that there appears to be a surge in green-faced watches this year alone is a small but much-appreciated salve for the strain of isolation that we’re all under right now. If nothing else, idly checking the time now could do your brain chemicals some good.
BOVET 1822 MISS AUDREY AND MONSIEUR BOVET
For those fortunate enough to have a partner who doesn’t just share a passion for watchmaking but also aesthetic tastes, the green Miss Audrey and Monsieur Bovet could be a set that both can enjoy. The ladies’ Miss Audrey measures 36mm and has its steel bezel and bow decorated with 103 diamonds, with another four on the guilloche dial.
Monsieur Bovet loses the diamonds and sports a different guilloche pattern on its identically shaded dial. It’s noticeably larger and heavier thanks to its 43mm white or red gold case but its standout feature is its dual faces. On the flip side you’ll find a small off-centre dial resting atop the Caliber 13BM09A1. Both make use of Bovet’s Amadeo Conversion system, which allows straps to be easily interchanged or swapped out for a jade bead necklace on the Miss Audrey, a rhodium-plated silver chain for the Monsieur Bovet, or removed entirely to be used as a table clock.
GLASHUTTE ORIGINAL PANOMATICLUNAR
Not everyone is blessed with an office surrounded by a pristine coniferous forest. Glashutte Original is, and would like to rub it in everyone’s faces with a PanoMaticLunar inspired by the fir trees growing just outside the manufactory.
Classically laid out in the Saxon style, this dress watch features off-centred time indications, a moon phase and a sizeable date window. The richly hued dial is perfectly matched with a brown nubuck strap. Available only at Glashutte Original boutiques.
GRAND SEIKO SBGW264
One of many, many anniversary models that Grand Seiko released earlier this year, the SBGW264 deserves another look because the Japanese watchmaker’s engraved dials are the stuff of dreams and wishlists.
Even its story is poetic – the shimmering green dial was inspired by the way sunlight bounces off the leaves in the forest near its workshops in Shizukuishi, Iwate prefecture. The finishing on the hands, indices and manually wound Calibre 9S64 are similarly impressive.
IWC PORTUGIESER CHRONOGRAPH REF. 371615
There are plenty of fresh IWC Portugieser chronographs to choose from this year but the ones that really pop are its two newest steel references with a green dial and recently trending burgundy dial, the former being the more refreshing of the two.
The 41mm two-register chronograph is powered by the 69355 calibre and comes with a 46-hour power reserve. Having the colour reach all the way into the printed flange is a nice touch.
MONTBLANC HERITAGE AUTOMATIC
There’s something almost regal about the combination of gold and green, but what Montblanc is trying to evoke with its straightforward 40mm Heritage Automatic is nostalgia.
The entire Heritage line was inspired by the Minerva manufacture’s watches from the 1940s and 1950s, and this reference does a fine job of recreating that vintage feel with its British racing green dial and matching green strap. The box-shaped sapphire crystal, dot indices and retro Montblanc logo are also fun throwbacks.
OMEGA SEAMASTER AQUA TERRA 150M MASTER CHRONOMETER
The more vivid hues of green are great for catching attention in a sea of white, black and blue dials, but they can be challenging to the wardrobe of the less sartorially confident.
Omega has released a more muted, seems-to-go-with-everything shade on its latest Aqua Terra that is as bewitching as it is hard to define. It’s also the first Aqua Terra to feature a green dial. Beating inside is the fan-favourite calibre 8900, with a METAS Master Chronometer certification, Co-Axial escapement, silicon balance spring and 60 hours of autonomy.