7 of the best red dial watches from all-red G-Shocks to stunning stone

7 of the best red dial watches from all-red G-Shocks to stunning stone

Buffy Acacia

Red dials became a rapid craze a few years ago. But, with the exception of recent Year of the Dragon limited editions, they’re starting to wane in popularity compared to the behemoth that are the green or blue. Still, if you’re searching for the colour of passion, courage, and luck, there are some fantastic red dial watches out there. Here are seven of the best of them.

Casio G-Shock CasiOak GA2100-4A

GA2100 4A Casio G Shock Red Casioak copy

When you want a real burst of colour, a vibrant dial just isn’t going to cut it. The Casio G-Shock GA2100-4A is super punchy on the wrist, with a loud personality that can’t go unnoticed. If you’re looking for a lot of character on a budget, then you’re not going to get a better deal than this. The CasiOak style has become a modern classic, with a brutal industrial look which blends elements from the ’70s, ‘80s and ‘90s seamlessly. The resin case is lightweight and virtually indestructible, and there’s plenty of useful functionality such as 31 time zones, timers, five alarms, and plenty more you’d expect from an ana-digi G-Shock. Plus, G-Shocks are almost always heavily discounted through online retailers. Price: US$99

Rado Captain Cook Automatic Bronze

Rado Captain Cook Automatic Bronze

The heyday of bronze cases has definitely passed, but there will always be some allure left in their golden hues and patination over time. One certainty whether you keep it polished or force it to be covered in verdigris, is that it looks fantastic next to red. The sunburst dial and the ceramic bezel insert of the Rado Captain Cook Automatic Bronze is a strong crimson with glittering gilt details. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine the captain of a Spanish treasure galleon wearing this upon time travelling to the 21st century. Paired with a red and gold NATO strap, it’s also a capable diver with 300m of water resistance to go with its 1950s design influence. Price: US$2,850

Zenith Defy Revival A3691

Zenith Defy Revival A3691

Zenith are one of few brands that understand the importance of accurate vintage reissues, even if there are some quirks which might not appeal to a wide audience. For those who love the weird and wonderful, it’s the quirks that make the watch. The Zenith Defy Revival A3691 is also a rare example of a watch that actually did have a red gradient dial back in 1971 when it was first released, embodying the bold spirit of the decade. The hour markers are unmistakably vintage, and the ladder bracelet with missing centre-links is almost crazy enough to distract you from how wild the faceted case and bezel are. Price: US$7,200

Omega Speedmaster ’57

Omega Speedmaster 57 Burgundy

While the burgundy dial of the Omega Speedmaster ’57 could be counted as either red or purple, it’s almost as intoxicating as the French wine for which it’s named. Such a modern colour should look odd with a watch that’s trying to evoke the late 1950s, however it works perfectly with the case and bracelet’s mix of sportiness and sophistication. The twin register layout with hours and minutes sharing a sub-dial leaves space for a symmetrical date window at 6 o’clock, and the manually wound Calibre 9906 looks spectacular from the sapphire display caseback. Price: US$9,500

Grand Seiko SBGC275 Tokyo Lion

SBGC275 Grand Seiko

With a blazing red dial inspired by the sunrise in the Hotaka mountain range, the Grand Seiko SBGC275 has to be one of the most intense watches in Grand Seiko’s current catalogue. The “lion’s mane” pattern beneath cherry red lacquer creates a hypnotic, swirling depth that adds a lot of movement to the watch’s already dynamic structure. The layout of the chronograph subdials, power reserve and GS logo almost appear chaotic among chunky hands and hour markers, then reined in by the 24-hour GMT bezel. The 44.5 case is made from Grand Seiko’s high-intensity titanium for a 30% weight reduction, and its harsh angularity is supposed to evoke a lion’s paw. The beautiful Spring Drive calibre 9R96 powers it, providing a perfectly-smooth sweep of the seconds hand and a 72-hour power reserve. Price: US$13,400

Cartier Santos-Dumont Rewind

cartier santos dumont rewind on wrist

Cartier may be known for its eccentric case shapes, but it’s very rare that its releases are purely novelties. If you didn’t notice at first glance, go ahead and take a second look at the Roman numerals of the lovingly crafted Santos-Dumont Rewind. That’s right, it’s a watch that goes backwards. If you’ve got a spare US$38,400 to drop on a watch like this, then you’ve probably got a good sense of humour, and that’s exactly what the Santos-Dumont Rewind has. Symbolically, the hands turning back could be linked with the de-aging effects of laughter, but even though it’s lighthearted in concept, its execution is completely serious. The limited edition of 200 pieces is made of platinum, and the carnelian dial is particularly potent. The case is 31.4mm wide and 43.5mm long with a 7.3mm thickness, and the calibre 230 MC is a modified 430P from Piaget. Price: US$38,400

T+T Timeless Pick: Chopard Alpine Eagle Sunburnt

Chopard Alpine Eagle Sunburnt

While it may have been just a 20-piece limited edition, the Chopard Alpine Eagle Sunburnt can’t be passed up as an addition to our list, not only as an Australian publication, but for the sheer beauty of its dial. Designed in collaboration with First Nations artist Shal, the dial’s black and red gradient is a vibrant reminder of hues which have been harnessed from Australia’s soil for tens of thousands of years. Either that, or the skins of Australia’s sunburnt tourists. The 41mm case is made from Chopard’s Lucent Steel, and the sapphire caseback is adorned with more of Shal’s red and black artwork. Behind it is the Chopard 01.01-C with COSC certification and a 60-hour power reserve. Price: A$27,500 (RRP, sold out)