The world of art come into collision with science to yield coloured watches in every shade of the rainbow — from Bell & Ross’s 03-92 MA-1 to TAG Heuer’s Carrera Calibre Heuer 02 — check out some of the best selections of timepieces that you can never go wrong with.
Flight ReadyWhen ceramics were first introduced as materials for watch cases, it was lauded for being lightweight yet exceptionally strong. A combination of pure materials, metal compounds, and coloured pigments are compressed under extremely high temperatures to form ceramic watch cases with hues that will not discolour or fade over time.
The iconic military MA-1 flight jacket originally worn by pilots in the 1950s was the source of inspiration for the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 MA-1, and ceramic was chosen as a representative for the hardwearing nylon jackets.
The iconic green-and-orange colour palette of the jacket is featured on the dark khaki coloured case and contrasting luminescent orange dial elements.
Flame blued watch hands and movement screws are seen to serve aesthetic purposes on a watch, but in the eyes of a watchmaker, it is a display of watchmaking pedigree and craftsmanship. The components are fired delicately in high temperatures to achieve a glorious shade of blue.
Montblanc’s iconic Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph features flame blued parts on the watch dial – the hour and minute watch hands, a pair of screws flanking the date aperture, and a fixed double index which serves as the sub-dial hands for the chronograph 60-second and 30-minute counters.
Measuring 44.8mm in diameter, the watch has an elegant silver-white guillochéd dial flame with blued elements lending an exquisite finish.
Compared to a stark and flat background, a play of textures on watch dials offers visual depth and interest. Omega’s first-ever world-time watch, Seamaster Aqua Terra Worldtimer, uses a high-tech laser ablation process on the central titanium plate – a relief of the Earth and its continents is created in varying depth and texture with azure representing the ocean, while the greenish hue that depicts land is obtained naturally by the laser’s chemical reaction.
At 43mm, the watch features the iconic teak stripes of the Aqua Terra collection, applied vertically with sun-brushed finishing in a rich shade of blue. The dial’s contrasting textures and shades create a harmonious play of radiance under different lighting conditions.
Previously, if one wanted a black watch, he had to settle for one finished in either gold or silver. The case for having a watch clad entirely in black is made stronger for those looking for pared-down options compared to their polished counterparts – it evokes masculinity, sportiness, and will never go out of style.
Inspired by motorsports and sleek race machines, the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 02 features a stainless steel case strengthened by several thin layers of black material coated on the watch case via physical vapour deposition (PVD) treatment.
To counter legibility issues all-black watches face, TAG Heuer utilises indexes and watch hands in different shapes to provide contrast against the skeletonised dial. The stealthy watch is finished with a grey-scaled tachymetre bezel and matching watch straps.
This story first appeared in the November ’19 issue of Men’s Folio Singapore.