Yesterday, we reported about the shrinking size of watches, a trend spotted at the about-to-close Watches and Wonders Geneva, the influential trade show on watches and watchmaking where, this year, some 40 prestigious brands convened. Today, we’ll tell you about the second top trend in the convention: green.
There were the classic blues and blacks, for sure, but it was difficult to ignore the proliferation of nature’s signature color in many new watches. Patek. Piaget. Panerai. Tudor. Cartier. Rolex. Tag Heuer. “It’s looking like the color of 2021,” says Executive Class’s David Celdran who took note of green’s popularity among the luxury brands. Is it because, like many of us, the watch designers of the world are also hankering to reunite with the world outside, stroll down parks, revisit forests, climb mountains?
The color is also turning up to be popular in the fall runways, but it’s hard to prove the connection. All we know is that green isn’t exactly a popular color in watches—hence the reaction to its repeated appearance at Watches and Wonders.
“One could argue it was Rolex who brought big attention to green at the start of the 2000s,” says Sieg Suarez of the Instagram
handle @watch_mnl. He cites the green watch launched by the legendary brand in 2003 for the 50th anniversary of the Submariner. It had a limited edition run and people referred to it as the Rolex Submariner “Kermit.” It was one of the early “mainstream” watches, and was followed in 2010 with a new model: a new green model called the “Hulk” Submariner—which has been discontinued as well. And then in 2017, Tudor made a special set for Harrods with a green bezel.
“Before 2021, green couldn't be found easily,” says Suarez. “It usually comes in limited numbers.” Other than Rolex and Tudor—a sister brand—there have been other brands which tried to play with the color. IWC, for example, tried it on their watch dial for the bronze Pilot. “Which means that other watchmakers have on occasion tried the color to work.”
“Green is a tricky colour, and it’s not to everyone’s taste,” wrote David Chokron at WorldTempus.com in 2019, the first year the color threatened to become a trend in the timepiece universe. “So it should come as no surprise that, even though the range of green-dialled watches is exploding, they’re proving difficult to sell. Many watchmakers will admit privately that they have trouble moving them off the shelves.”
It’s easy for the military shade, he says—the urban man’s casual clothes will carry them—but it won’t be the case for the jewel greens or the apple greens. As Chokron quips, “Not all greens are created equal.”
But, you know what, maybe the trend will stick this time. The world, for starters, is not the same. Men’s wardrobes have drastically changed, going from business to mostly weekend. And is there a better color to match the optimism of men marching out of today’s vaccination centers, looking forward to connecting with the world again?