How do you like these apples? The best green dial watches of 2020, Part 1, including Longines, IWC and SeikoThor Svaboe
YES, we love colours! Why do we drop Instagram comments peppered with flame emojis for a Breitling or Mido rainbow dial, and yet still find ourselves at home with a monochrome dive watch, a monochrome moon watch, a black Casi-Oak and maybe, to get hog wild, a blue dial sports watch? B-o-r-i-n-g.
Do what you say and go green, the colour of the year, whether it be olive toughness or bottle green in a svelte gold case. Do not be shy of wrist, and spice up that wardrobe with a pick from this verdant basket of goodness as we look at some of the best green dial watches of 2020.
Longines Legend Diver bronze with green dial
The Legend Diver in 42mm is as vintage perfect as they come, yet is less spoken of these days than some flashier divers of 2020. In its strict monochrome early ’60s suit, the inner bezel compressor case is more subdued and formal, but here it changes dramatically with the new bronze case, with a deep forest green dégradé dial to match gold tones. The detailed gold-coloured print on the dial is sharp, and rich against the dial. In this 42mm case, the warmth of the materials is tangible, reminding us of naval chronometers and brass diving helmets. This is serious business, not a flashy polished case skindiver on a frazzled tropic strap, in a speed boat in Saint-Tropez. No, you are a captain of something large enough to be called a vessel … and there might be a submarine on a hoist on the rear deck. Price: $4475 AUD.
IWC Portugieser Chronograph green dial
IWC has a strong brand awareness from their pilot’s watches, and the formal classicism of the Portugieser range, this year thoroughly refreshed. Most noticeable was a 40mm reference of perfect proportions, but the classic is the 41mm chronograph: large, pure of line with the typical vertical balance of the recessed registers. The Portugieser chronograph manages the feat of going from elegant classicism with the white dial/gold case, through a tough rubber-strapped yacht timer, to this urban fresh take. The dial is as well proportioned as ever, the apple green sunray finish bringing fruity eye candy to the table, while remaining one of the most balanced chronograph designs of this new millennium. Tasty. Price: $11,900 AUD.
MB&F x H. Moser LM101 green
Whoever played matchmaker here has set up the perfect marriage, and the first lovechild has one of the most spectacular dials of the year. This model represents H. Moser reinterpreting the Legacy Time Machine 101, and manufactured by MB&F. At first confusing, we recognise the language of the innovative Geneva maison MB&F with a twist, in the H. Moser touch of minimalist deep colour from their Concept series. The arc of the MB&F balance bridge entertains us as a thought-inducing mechanical marvel, reimagined hovering above the abyss-like fumé wonder of a Moser dial. The saturated colour of the fumé dial has the sharp detail of Moser dauphine hour and minute hands at 1 and a power reserve at 6, seemingly floating in the coloured void. Minimalism can be beauty in its purest form, anything but simplicity — even a timely reminder of the impermanence of time itself. It’s just a shame that with one look at the dial, my words will be forgotten as your brain freezes. If there are any left of this masterpiece, it is $52,000 USD.
Montblanc Heritage Green & Gold
Montblanc has had a strong year, and their Heritage range is a veritable basket of vintage delights. This dressy dark green three-hander is a standout model with its balanced take on a gold dress watch. The dark bottle green is a good contrast with the gold case, and its glassy hue has a chameleonic quality as a flashy green should you catch the sun, and a subtle dark tone in the evening light. The bevelled sword hands have slivers of lume, and are a textbook example of how to judge proportions within the dial. The hour hand kisses the edge of the centre section of the tiered dial, while the minute hand hits the sharp print of the slim minute track. Look closely and you’ll find red pops of colour at the quadrants of the dial, an unexpected sporty twist to the rehaut of this picture perfect ’40s-inspired Montblanc, in 18k yellow gold. Price: $8900 USD.
Moser Streamliner green dial
An intriguing and dressy sports watch, on the sleekest bracelet of 2020. Moser surprises, this time with a delicious apple green fumé dial within the lauded Streamliner case. There is a distinct sporty touch to the minimalist vision of purity that H. Moser dial art represents (yes, they deserve an Art moniker). Within the lucrative and, for 2020, top category of the Integrated Bracelet Sports category, this is a wholly futuristic concept. Legibility is ensured in yet another avant-garde move, with the sharp 3D hands having inserts of solid Globolight, a strongly luminous ceramic material that includes Super-LumiNova. Yet this is available today, and the contrast of a Moser piece once again emanates from the traditional heart, an exquisite manufacture caliber HMC 200, traditional Côtes de Géneve showing under a solid gold rotor. The future is here. Price: $21,900 USD.
Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Series
And finally it arrived. A sub-40mm baby Grand Seiko from the Presage series, for dial fetishists. The case is a bolder and angular take on what are delightfully round references in the Presage range with their dazzling dials. The Sharp Edged Presage series is a great alternative if you want a taste of the Grand Seiko design language in what is one of the best case designs under $1500. But the dials … even here Seiko is quietly borrowing from the mastery of GS, with a traditional Japanese twist. Asanoha is a traditional hemp leaf pattern that has been in existence for thousands of years, the inspiration behind a light-catching textured dial surface with a depth and hexagonal pattern – especially glorious in the green version. With the delicious pop of gold from the seconds hand and the deep forest green dial, this baby GS represents a superb value proposition with the bombproof 6R35 movement and its 70-hour reserve. Price: $1495 AUD.