6 of the best orange dial watches

6 of the best orange dial watches

Buffy Acacia

Despite being one of the most prominent highlight colours on sporty dials, orange doesn’t make it to the forefront very often. It makes for phenomenal contrast on black or blue dials, but it’s almost impossible to tame its vibrant power for versatile, daily wear. That’s why it tends to end up on the dials of extreme watches, and mostly divers designed to be read when you’re several metres deep in dark, murky waters. Well, in an attempt to break up the orange diver monopoly, here are six of the best orange dial watches.

Citizen Tsuyosa NJ0151-88Z

Citizen Tsuyosa NJ0151 88Z Orange

Citizen’s answer to the success of the Tissot PRX has so far been very successful, spawning new references and even some with glamorous guilloché dials. However, one of the most eye-catching versions was released with the initial bunch in bright orange sunburst. The contrast between the steel baton indices and hands is very clean, as opposed to the loud visual style of the Seiko SSK005 (spoiler alert), and it helps the watch to feel much more subdued despite its colourful nature. The 40mm diameter reinforces the watch’s modesty and versatility, as does the integrated bracelet and recessed crown at 4 o’clock. Powered by the Miyota 8210 which needs no more than the time and date, this is a great option for an affordable pop of colour you can actually wear wherever you’re going. Price: US$450

Seiko 5 Sports SSK005

Seiko 5 Sports SSK005

The announcement that Seiko had released a truly affordable GMT movement set off fireworks in the eyes of microbrand lovers across the world, but Seiko had already released one of the best possible uses for that new 4R34 calibre. The SSK005 takes that SKX-inspired look of the Seiko 5 Sports collection and decorates it with a lavish orange sunburst dial, which is rich in both colour and texture. It’s accented with golden hands and markers on the black bezel insert, and the cyclops date magnifier also makes it seem a little bit more sophisticated. The case is 42.5mm in diameter and 46mm lug-to-lug, offering compact wearability and a fairly secure 100m of water resistance. The US$475 RRP price tag is definitely a sizeable step above similar Seikos without the GMT complication, but you can almost always find these watches on sale at authorised dealers. Price: US$475

Nomos Club Campus 38 Future Orange

Nomos Club Campus 38 Future Orange

Proving that orange dials aren’t restricted to diving is the Nomos Club Campus 38 Future Orange. The Club Campus range is devoted to the specific niche of tertiary education, even including complimentary engraving to commemorate graduation ceremonies or other, similar goals achieved. But you don’t need to be a student to buy one, and they’re designed with a wonderful balance between fun and restraint which makes it a perfect smart-casual option. The 38.5mm reference should fit most wrists nicely considering the 48.9mm lug-to-lug length, and the light orange dial is closer to a refreshing marmalade than an in-your-face neon orange. The Bauhaus styling allows for petite baton hands, a California mix of Arabic and Roman numerals, and a small seconds subdial with a red hand. Plus, it’s powered by the in-house Alpha calibre which is hand-wound for old-school connection. Price: starting from US$1,650

Doxa SUB 300

Doxa Sub 300 Professional

The Doxa SUB 300 definitely wasn’t the first watch to feature an orange dial when it launched in 1967, but upon the wrist of Jacques Cousteau it helped to define the archetype of all future orange divers. Aside from just looking cool, the contrast between the orange dial and the black markers is essential for legibility in tough conditions. The whole Professional dial is infused with a funkiness way ahead of its time too, considering the asymmetrical layout, monstrously thick minute hand, and the paddle seconds hand. Doxa’s patented decompression bezel was also introduced on this model, allowing divers to calculate their surfacing structures and avoid getting the bends. This reissued model is complete with a COSC-certified Sellita SW200-1, an extremely wearable 42.5mm case with a lug-to-lug of just 45mm, and a domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment. Price: A$4,450, available now from the Time+Tide Shop

Hublot Big Bang Unico Orange Ceramic

Big Bang Unico Orange Ceramic

If you don’t just want an orange-dialled watch, but an orange watch, I suggest you look in Hublot’s direction. Admittedly, the dial of Hublot’s new Big Bang Unico Orange Ceramic isn’t all that orange, but simply for its vibrant case, it’s deserving of being included, if not for the fact it’s a first-ever orange ceramic case for the brand. Inside you’ll find Hublot’s in-house MHUB1280 flyback chronograph, which has been designed to be pleasing to the eye from both sides, considering there isn’t a dial as such.  Price: US$29,600

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Orange

Returning to the extreme end of the spectrum, the Royal Oak Offshore Diver is an unabashed behemoth of character. The 42mm case isn’t even all that big, but its presence certainly can’t be missed on any wrist. The tangerine dial is studded with the signature Méga Tapisserie texture, contrasted by a navy blue minute track and internally-rotating bezel for measuring elapsed time. The 300 metres of water resistance backs up its diving credentials, and the rubberised crowns ensures superior grip with wet fingers. The calibre 3120 is an automatic movement beating at 3Hz with a 60-hour power reserve, and a solid 22k gold winding rotor visible through a sapphire caseback. Price: on request