The top 10 chocolate dials for Easter from $250 to $75,700Fergus Nash
Whether or not you have a religious affiliation with Easter, any excuse to bulk buy chocolate will make for a great weekend. Debates will always rage over which brand of Easter chocolate is the best, but one undeniable truth is that the polarising brown watch dial seems to be gaining popularity. Without further ado, here are the best chocolate dials between AU$249 and US$75,700
Casio BABY-G Chocolate BGD565USW-5D – AU$249
In addition to being the cheapest chocolate dial on this list, it’s also the only one which takes the concept literally. As a tribute to the saccharine joys of life, the BABY-G Chocolate has a block-printed frame around its digital module and a case that could have been made by Cadbury. Although it looks like it should just melt on your hand, the BABY-G 38mm square case is both comfortable and robust with 100m of water resistance and all the digital features you expect from a Casio.
Seiko Presage SRPJ17J – AU$695
Seiko is always the brand you can turn to when you want a gorgeous dial for a low price, and the Presage range of automatic watches are where they release their most spectacular displays. The Cocktail Time SRPJ17J is rather accurately nicknamed the “Irish Coffee”, although the brown dégradé dial with its mesmerising guilloché pattern isn’t too far off from a smooth hot chocolate either. The 39.5mm case has a wrist-friendly lug-to-lug length of 46mm, and the calibre 4R35 provides a reliable 41 hours of power reserve.
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical – AU$900
The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical is an authentic homage to their military-issued watch from the 1960s — the reference 9219 which saw extensive use by US troops in Vietnam. Although the brown dial version is supposed to evoke decades of sun exposure brightening up the black pigments, the chocolatey tones paired with the creamy off-white lume and strap make for a charming and comprehensive field watch. It has a gender-neutral 38mm case size, and offers a vintage hand-wound experience through the H-50 movement with 80 hours of power reserve.
LeJour Coral Diver – US$800
Brown dials aren’t given much representation amongst dive watches, especially not affordable ones, but the LeJour Coral Diver brings a hit of retro charm with a deeply textured chocolate dial. The spiralled brushing, or more accurately gouging, gives a rich depth of contrast to the colouring while the rest of the watch pulls together a solid vintage-inspired package. The integrated-bracelet case is 42mm wide with a 48mm lug-to-lug, and it uses the trusty Sellita SW200 movement.
Tissot PRX – AU$3,100
When it comes to the 1970s, it doesn’t get much more emblematic than brown and gold. The Tissot PRX was an overnight sensation upon its release, and its popularity hasn’t really dwindled much since. With this reference, the integrated bracelet, baton hands and funky case have been paired with a deliciously dynamic chocolate sunburst dial and an 18k rose-gold bezel for a heightened sense of luxury. This 40mm watch wears well, with a swimmable 100m water resistance, 10.9mm thickness, and the automatic Powermatic 80 movement with an 80-hour power reserve.
Rado Captain Cook Bronze – AU$4,400
It’s been established that gold and brown look incredible together, so naturally the warmth of Rado’s bronze-cased Captain Cook is also a fantastic combination. From the broad-arrow hour hand to the style of the ceramic bezel insert, this watch just screams old-world luxury and ‘60s sporty dignity. It’s a full-featured dive watch at 42mm in diameter and water resistant to 300m, and also sports the same Powermatic 80 movement as the PRX.
Tudor Black Bay 58 Bronze – AU$6,790
The Tudor Black Bay 58 has to be one of the most desired watches of recent years, and it has been totally transformed with just a few simple changes in its bronze guise. The matte brown dial and bezel insert is a luscious shade of milk chocolate, and the use of Arabic markers in place of batons imbue a slightly more eccentric character than the steel version. Additionally, there’s the novelty of having a solid bronze bracelet, which will continue to patina and darken along with the case, better matching the tone of the brown.
Hublot Classic Fusion 45mm Bronzed Brown – US$13,300
Although this list is focusing on chocolate dials, and this Hublot Classic Fusion does sport an excellent one, it’s actually the case which is the biggest attention-grabber here. We don’t see many bronze cases from Hublot, and this one has been aged and then brushed from the factory to look like an ancient relic. The classiness of the Classic Fusion dial isn’t too distracting either, letting you marvel over the statuesque glow of the case and chocolate dial.
Omega Seamaster 300 Bronze Gold – AU$19,775
The Omega Seamaster 300 Bronze Gold is a masterclass in opulent subtlety, crafting what looks like a glamorous watch with an undercurrent of comforting warmth. The brown dial and ceramic bezel insert are so dark they’re nearly black, reminiscent of an 80% dark chocolate, and the alloy of 9K gold with bronze gives it a coppery lustre with no patina. Matched with a brown leather strap, this 41mm Master Chronometer would be the perfect companion to warm the soul in winter.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph 5968R-001 – US$75,700
Announced just recently at Watches & Wonders 2023, Patek Philippe have released their Aquanaut Chronograph in a truly delectable 18k rose gold and chocolate brown colour combination. With the dial’s grid supposed to represent the Earth’s latitude and longitude lines, it’s actually not too far off from a bar of chocolate like the earlier Casio BABY-G, albeit with much more subtle and skilful finishing. Watches like these are in a league of their own. And the calibre CH 28-520 C with a flyback chronograph complication also offers a teasing view from the back.