‘Green over tan’: how every car enthusiast’s favourite colour combo works perfectly for watches too ‘Green over tan’: how every car enthusiast’s favourite colour combo works perfectly for watches too

‘Green over tan’: how every car enthusiast’s favourite colour combo works perfectly for watches too

Jamie Weiss

We all know that the Venn diagram between watch enthusiasts and car enthusiasts is pretty close to just one big circle: if you’re into one, you’re probably into the other. If you are into your cars, then you’re no doubt familiar with the cult of ‘green over tan’: first emerging on the PistonHeads forums and then popularised by an eponymous Instagram account, it’s the simple idea that green cars with tan interiors are the ideal spec. Green, of course – especially British Racing Green – is a colour steeped in motorsports history, too.


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Lately, however, I’ve noticed that there are more than a few watches on the market that also follow this green over tan colour scheme – and just as sports cars look best in green over tan, watches also look amazing with this colour combination. With that in mind, I’ve rounded up a few watches that do green over tan (or at least green over brown) very well, that if you’re anything like me, speak to the revhead in you.

Longines Spirit

longines spirit green over tan

These days, Longines is better known for supporting horse racing rather than motor racing, but the Saint-Imier brand also has a long history of involvement with motorsport in rallying and Formula 1, having been the official timekeeper for the inaugural Monaco Grand Prix and the sport’s official timekeeper between 1982 and 1992. This retro-inspired Spirit is a great example of green over tan done right in a watch. Price: A$3,850 (42mm).

Oris Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date

Oris Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date

Race car drivers are sometimes called “pilots” so pilot’s watches do have a home in car culture. With its vintage yet fundamentally timeless aesthetic, this green over tan Oris Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date would pair perfectly with an old BMW on gold BBS Super RS rims. Price: A$3,800.

Breitling Top Time B01 Ford Mustang

Breitling Top Time B01

This one’s an obvious pick, even if I’m stretching the definition of tan a bit. A horological homage to the first-generation Ford Mustang – one of the most iconic cars of all time – this Breitling Top Time combines a green brushed dial with “squircle” subdials inspired by vintage car dashboards and a rally-style perforated leather strap. Price: A$10,890.

anOrdain Model 2 Racing Green

anOrdain Model 2 Racing Green

As its name implies, this anOrdain Model 2 Racing Green features one of the Scottish brand’s famously delectable vitreous enamel dials in British Racing Green – the national British motor racing colour and the Platonic ideal shade for green over tan fanatics – on a brown shell cordovan strap. Price: A$4,010 + VAT (large, SW210 movement).

Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium

Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium green

Lewis Hamilton’s known for driving silver cars rather than green ones, but Hamilton the watch brand knows how to make a cracking green over tan watch. A more affordable proposition compared to most green over tan watches on the market, this Khaki Field Titanium from Hamilton features a surprisingly vibrant jade/khaki green dial combined with an ultra-comfy tan nubuck strap. Find your Khaki Field Titanium in the T + T store. Price: A$1,600.

Singer Flytrack Pulsometer

Singer Flytrack Pulsometer

This one’s almost cheating. Singer is best known among car enthusiasts as perhaps the best Porsche 911 restorer and modifier in the world, but they also make a great range of motorsports-inspired watches – and just as the Porsche 911 is arguably the most popular car among green over tan aficionados, it’s perhaps no surprise that Singer make a green over tan watch. This Flytrack Pulsometer combines a proprietary zero-reset flyback function with a unique handset combination, forgoing a typical hour hand in favour of an outer hour disc. Price: POA.