Do you hear Yanny or Laurel? Is the dress gold or blue? Are we living in the dumbest time in history? Actually, don’t bother answering that last question – we are. And it’s laurel and gold, by the way. Obviously.
It’s hard to avoid the silliness, especially on social media, but this week, I’ve tried my damnedest to put my phone down. Instead, I cracked open my laptop and looked at some new watches (don’t hate me, I just can’t live without a screen in front of me). Checking in on the latest trends, it’s hard not to notice the slew of blue watches on the market. Blue has been a solid trend in watches for a couple of years now and it doesn’t seem like it will be going away any time soon.
Watchmakers have been adding blue in various ways, from the dial and accents to the strap or a combination of any of those. However, blue on blue, that is, blue dials with blue cases, have, thankfully, been rare to non-existent (a bit of blue is good but a lot, well, it doesn’t really work and I suspect it won’t age well). The blue dial is increasingly ubiquitous and this IWC Portofino Hand Wound Eight Days is a wonderful example.
This watch is a new addition to the excellent Portofino line, and it retains all the DNA of the collection including the classic, simple styling and the large roman numeral at the 12 o’clock position. The blue dial, of course, is the eye-catcher here and it sits inside a large 45mm steel case. Features include date indication, power-reserve meter and a small seconds dial. Inside is the monster 59210 movement that has an impressive eight days of power reserve, as referenced in the name. The watch comes with an on trend, and very apt Milanese steel mesh bracelet, which doubles up on the Italian design cues. It is priced at HK$83,900.
All blue might be overkill but a blue dial paired with a blue strap may just work, depending on the watch, and that’s certainly the case with the Bremont ALT1-C. The first watch the British watchmaker ever designed, way back in 2007, the ALT1-C is still among Bremont’s best, primarily because it keeps things deceptively simple. For the 2018 version, Bremont has made the face more minimalistic by removing the numerals, which gives the two subdials more prominence and that’s a good thing.
The blue of the dial and the leather strap are nods to the signature blue of the Royal Air Force, the watch and the brand both being synonymous with aviation. The steel case measures 43mm and inside is a BE-50AE movement with 42 hours of power reserve. The 2018 ALT1-C is priced at HK$47,250.
If an all-blue dial is a bit much, then blue accents might be more your cup of tea and the new Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique 2018 Race Edition offers that. As the name suggests, this is a watch inspired by motor racing and so the chronograph is prominent and Chopard has made the two subdials a dashing blue. The colour also features on the tachymeter bezel as well as the great blue leather racing strap (there’s also a nylon blue Nato strap option).
I just love the use of colour on this watch, with the contrasting splashes of orange and rose gold found on the crown and pusher buttons. As well as a chronograph, there’s a date window, too. The titanium-and-steel case is 44.5mm and the strap is Barenia calfskin, the same high-quality buttery smooth leather that Hermès uses for its bags. There are two versions of the Grand Prix de Monaco, the titanium, steel and rose gold, which is priced at HK$85,000 and limited to 100 pieces, and the titanium-and-steel version, priced at HK$56,000 and limited to 250 pieces.