The following choices are purely personal, says this lover of all things green.
For as long as I can remember, the colour green has been known to have several negative associations. Examples include jealousy, greed, malice, poison, even the colour of fumes from a witch’s brew, amongst others. In contrast, fellow lovers of green will tell you that it represents nature, peace and renewal. I love it because it is the colour of luxuriant trees. Also a soothing colour to behold whenever fatigue takes the better of me.
There has been a surge in watches with coloured dials in recent few years, with blue being one of the most sought-after hues. Notably, this year saw the birth of many green timepieces as well. For green lovers like myself, it was a feast for the eyes, yet trying for the heart, as my heart was certainly beating faster on sight of one green dial after another. During this joyous season of mistletoe and Christmas trees, here is a round-up of some of my favourite green watches of 2018.
Piaget Altiplano Malachite Marquetry Tourbillon
Malachite gets its unique green hue from copper deposits and adds a touch of vibrancy to both men’s and ladies’ timepieces. Back in the 1960s when fashion and watchmaking were closely connected, Piaget was one of the first brands to introduce watches with dials made out of opaque semi-precious stones such as lapis lazuli, tiger’s eye, turquoise, carnelian, and of course malachite, reflecting the era’s love of colourful art and fashion.
This year at SIHH, Piaget presented several timepieces with malachite dials, and every single one had a distinct personality. Among them, two were new additions for the ladies within the Possession range; one with a wide, cuff-like pink gold chain bracelet, the other with slim green alligator straps. The Vintage Inspiration watch, whose original version back in the 1960s was Andy Warhol’s timepiece of choice, also welcomed a new reference with a malachite dial.
My favourite however, would be the Piaget Altiplano Malachite Marquetry Tourbillon. Already a big fan of the understatedly elegant Altiplano range, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the new malachite version. Its intricate stone marquetry dial by master lapidary Hervé Obligi features curved slivers of malachite arranged in a spiral pattern stemming from the off-centre flying tourbillon. Accentuated by the natural bands of colour on the stone, the overall effect is a stunning and graphic one.
H.Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpectual Calendar Purity Cosmic Green
When H.Moser & Cie. first introduced their Perpetual Calendar watch (then named the ‘Perpetual 1’) in 2005, it won the ‘Most Complicated Watch’ award at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) held the following year. Beneath the deceptively simple dial of the brands’s Perpetual Calendar watch, is their impressive in-house manual-winding movement, which boasts a minimum of 7 days power reserve and an interchangeable Moser escapement among other features. This minimal and clever approach to Perpetual Calendars has since become a signature of the brand.
After creating several editions over the years, H.Moser & Cie presented the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Purity with a Cosmic green fumé dial at Baselworld 2018. I fell in love instantly. The wonderful juxtaposition of the minimalistic 42mm dial and its highly complex movement may seem a little out-of-the-norm to those who are used to much busier perpetual calendar dials, but with a little explanation, it all makes perfect, practical sense. Hours, minutes and small seconds are in their standard positions; the big date window is at 3 o’clock while the power reserve indicator is at 9 o’clock. The tiny arrow stemming from the centre of the dial points to the 12 months, to reference the 12-hour markings. The leap year cycle indicator is visible on the movement side. A perpetual calendar watch doesn’t get more sensible and elegant as this.
Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Limited Edition
“Colourful” is not an adjective that is commonly associated with Montblanc timepieces. Which is probably one of the reasons why this particular 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Limited Edition 100 was regarded by many as a breath of fresh air when it was presented at SIHH 2018, garnering a lot of positive attention from both collectors and press.
At first glance, pairing a green dial with green straps may not appeal to everyone. But with its proven track record at creating handsome, chronograph watches, Montblanc gets all the details right. The smoked green sunburst-effect dial, bold beige Arabic numeral index, white tachymeter scale, large crown and polished bevels, are all reminiscent of the signature vintage aesthetic that the 1858 collection is known for.
Another reason to love this watch is its beautifully finished MB M13.12 movement, clearly visible from the transparent case back. This compact, manually wound single-push button chronograph is based on the historical Calibre 13.20 that Minerva developed in the 1920s, specifically for wristwatches. It is probably also the smallest timepiece within the 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter models, with a diameter measuring 40mm (the rest generally being around 44mm). This also means that it has the potential to attract many female fans, myself included. This lush beauty is limited to only 100 pieces.
Glashütte Original Sixties Annual Edition in Green
Discerning fans of vintage-inspired timepieces would probably be familiar with Glashütte Original’s iconic Sixties and Seventies collections. Although more commonly known for watches with a more monochromatic colour palette, the German watchmaking brand occasionally springs colourful surprises at us, such as the limited-edition Sixties Iconic collection from 2015.
This year, one incredibly striking Glashütte Original timepiece caught my eye at the Baselworld watch fair – the Sixties Annual Edition (Ref. 1-39-52-01-02-01). The green colour of its dial was so vivid, it was impossible to miss. In case you didn’t already know, Glashütte Original has their own dedicated dial making facility located in Pforzheim, a well-known watchmaking town on the western border of Germany. While the overall design of this watch does not stray far from the aesthetics of Glashütte Original Sixties collection, the green dial takes a life of its own. Its watermark-like texture on the dial is a result of the dial blank being stamped by a 60-tonne vintage die from the dial manufactory’s archives. The dégradé effect on the dial is then achieved by carefully applying a layer of galvanic base coat, followed by layers of coloured lacquer. Before the dial is fired at a high temperature, black lacquer is applied using a special spray gun, which gives each dial a unique colour gradient.
Both the Sixties Annual Edition (without date) and Sixties Panorama Date Annual Edition in green are available for the limited time of one year only.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver
After adding four neon coloured members to the Royal Oak Offshore Diver family last year, Audemars Piguet has taken a slightly subtler approach by presenting new models in four softer colours in 2018. Featuring dials in beige, khaki green, purple and turquoise, each of these new Royal Oak Offshore divers are equipped with rubber straps and rubber-clad crowns in colours matching their respective dials. Out of the four, the khaki green version is my favourite because its colour reminds me of military watches.
Like other Offshore Divers, this is a competent dive watch featuring the dive-time measurement function as well as water resistance of up to 300m. It is equipped with the beautifully finished selfwinding Calibre 3120, clearly visible from its transparent caseback. On the gold rotor are the crests of the Audemars and Piguet families. The hands and hour index are made of white gold and coated with luminescent material to ensure excellent legibility while underwater.