Why Colour Is Making A Comeback In Watches

Why Colour Is Making A Comeback In Watches

Fabian Iber


Watch News

Well colour me intrigued...

The most successful watches are usually pretty conservative when it comes to colour, which is understandable when some of the most prized collectors’ items fetch prices worth remortgaging your house for. So, if you can only get one, it better be practical enough for everyday use, right?

When you see someone wearing a vibrant out-there watch like a Rolex Daytona Rainbow, you could safely assume that’s not the only watch in their collection. But whether it is or isn’t, it did make your head turn - and that’s the point of a statement timepiece.

Other than being eye-catching, using bold colours evokes a sense of happiness, optimism and fun – which coincidentally are the adjectives that inspired this year’s colour trends.

The colour-gods of Pantone, WSGN and Etsy predicted the bleak muted neutrals and greys of the similarly bleak yesteryear will be replaced by bright hues and energetic colour. Pantone recently revealed Veri Peri as its 2022 colour, a blue-purple shade described as “warm and friendly with a carefree confidence and joyful attitude” – which is already circulating the worlds of fashion and interior design on the likes of Valentino, Saint Lauren, Balenciaga, and most famously on Lady Gaga during the London film premier of House of Gucci.

Like previous years, the 2022 colour trend forecast is linked to nature, as environmental sustainability continues to influence popular culture. Pantone's Daffodil - a floral yellow to reflect spontaneity, and Etsy's Emerald green to reflect nature with harmony and growth.

Pantone Veri Peri Colour of the year 2022

Pantone Veri Peri Colour of the year 2022 - Image credit Pantone.

While we have to wait a little longer to see a Veri Peri timepiece, many watch brands have adopted this optimistic and fun use of colour for bolder, or even maximalist approaches to their new releases. The watch market is looking for an alternative to the saturated trends of vintage homages and no-fuss tool watches, wanting to express more creativity and individuality in watch designs. This possibly comes as a response to the doom-and-gloom circumstances that transpired during the Covid-19 pandemic – and while we’re still not out of the doghouse yet, the world has become a lot more optimistic in seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. In design terms, this means brighter colours for a brighter future with 2022 being rooted in optimism, warmth and growth.

Check out some of our favourite colourful watches below:

Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Sapphire Rainbow

The Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Sapphire Rainbow

The Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Sapphire Rainbow - Image credit Hublot.

Hublot ended 2021 with a bit of playfulness and luxury, debuting their second collaboration with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. Their first collaboration featured the same design in a blacked-out colourway, which has now been updated with “a whirlwind of transparency and colour” as they put it. The transparent case shows off Murakami’s signature smiley flower, featuring 12 vibrant rotating petals encrusted with various gemstones – a total of 384 stones in fact, including rubies, amethysts, tsavorites and yellow, orange, pink and blue sapphires.

G-Shock MTGB2000XMG1

G-Shock MTGB2000XMG1

The G-Shock MTGB2000XMG1 - Image credit G-Shock.

Casio’s latest entry into it’s more high-end MT-G series takes on an incredibly vibrant design, inspired by the twisting narrow passages of Arizona’s Antilope Canyon. The multicoloured bezel is made from alternating layers of fibreglass and carbon fibre, for a durable design you’d expect from a G-Shock with the saturated colours of the Arizona desert. The use of impactful colours can be seen in every millimetre of the MTG’s design. From the cobalt blue indices, red and blue subdials and bright orange hands, to the blue, red and gold ion-plated pushers, as well as the gold ion plated hinged lugs. The MTG also benefits from Casio’s newly developed rainbow ion plating technique for the inner bezel ring, for a smooth gradient effect.

Boldr Odyssey Freediver


Boldr Odyssey Freediver

The Boldr Odyssey Freediver - Image credit WatchGecko.

Boldr is here to brighten up your diving adventures with 3 bold new colour variants added to their Freediver family. Designed for divers mastering the art of breath-holding, the colours are truly breath-taking. The new Odyssey Freediver line-up comes in a zesty orange and a fresh minty green dial against white indices, with matching rubber quick-release straps. Each model comes in a stainless-steel case with each respective colour carried through into the bezel markers. A frosty white option is also available if you’re after something more turned down. The Citrus Orange Freediver has to be the favourite in the collection, bringing a bit of summer back into this drizzly January and a dash of vibrancy to your dive.

Nodus Sector Field


Nodus Sector Field

The Nodus Sector Field - Image credit WatchGecko.

Nodus has always used colour to make classic watch designs feel more contemporary. Their new collection of field watch dials come in three bold colourways - Redwood, Malibu and Marina with a gradient effect. Each watch benefits from a complimenting colour in the indices and seconds-hands. It’s not often we see a red dial that’s pulled off so well as on the Nodus Sector Field, which we will hopefully see more of in future collections.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual - Image credit Rolex.

The Oyster Perpetual 36mm model received some love in the shape of five new bright colours. Green, yellow, turquoise and coral red are the main talking points here as these new lacquered dials add a welcomed flare to the OP range. Green dials in particular are a trend we’ve become familiar with last year, with most brands seeming to have released their own version of a mean green watch, including Tudor, Breitling, Patek Philippe, Omega, IWC and Grand Seiko to name just a few. Green has become the envy of the watch world and we are sure to be seeing this trend continue this year.

Swatch Clearly Striped

Swatch Clearly Striped

The Swatch Clearly Striped - image credit Swatch.

We can’t talk about colourful watches and not mention Swatch. They have been pioneering colourful designs for years with endless busy patterns and rainbow inspirations like the Lucky Charms of watch brands that they are. Choosing a particular collection was therefore a feat of its own, but we’ve chosen a new collection that perfectly marries two popular design trends of vibrant colour and skeleton cases. The Swatch Clearly Striped incorporates colour with a fun futuristic feel. They feature vibrant yellow, red and blue silicone straps that flow under the transparent case for a refreshing mix of clarity and vibrancy. The dials stand out on their own merit thanks to the red hour hand, blue minute hand and yellow seconds hand against white indices that don’t distract from the displayed quartz movement.

Geckota Chronotimer Aurora

Geckota C-01 Aurora


The Chronotimer collection by Geckota received a colourful upgrade towards the end of 2021, showcasing their vintage inspired Chronograph timepieces in 3 vibrant new colourways inspired by the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). The collection includes the Aqua Sunburst, Green Sunburst and Purple Sunburst dial options, featuring a fumé design against a mixture of white and metallic hands, indices and subdials. The Chronotimer Aurora manages to combine the intricate design elements of the classic racing chronograph with vivid colours that feel electric and exciting.

Doxa SUB 600T Collection

Doxa SUB 600T

The Doxa SUB 600T - image credit Doxa.

The Doxa brand hold a special place in the dive watch community and are well known for their colourful creations such as the classic Doxa Sub 300. Following a teaser of the electric blue Pacific last August, Doxa has released a vivid collection of the Doxa SUB 600T dive watches, brought back from the 1980’s with an exciting new palette of colours. The SUB 600T features the iconic orange for the Professional, as well as navy for the Caribbean, yellow for the Divingstar, turquoise for the Aquamarine, silver for the Searambler and black for the Sharkhunter. Each colour option is boldly displayed on each dial with matching rubber strap and bezel minute ratcheting. The SUB 600T Aquamarine feels particularly bright and fresh while the Professional and Caribbean carry a tropical vibrancy to them.

NTH 2021 DevilRay Automatic Dive


NTH 2021 DevilRay Automatic Dive Watch

The NTH 2021 DevilRay Automatic Dive Watch - Image credit WatchGecko.

NTH are another dive watch brand known for their colourful dials and vintage diver inspired watch designs, using colour for a contemporary look while retaining their nod to history - that's what NTH stands for, right?. The NTH 2021 DevilRay Automatic collection features a blue, turquoise and orange dive watch. The orange and turquoise versions feel particularly bright and joyful, while the blue dial uses a fumé style effect that resembles the view of a diver looking back up towards the surface. Orange accented hour and second hands (except for the orange dial which uses black accents) as well as a fiery 3 tone inner bezel give these watches a vibrant contrast that adds a bit of fun to the serious all-steel case design.

What do you think about colourful watches? Would you consider adding a bright watch-of-the-rainbow to your collection? Let us know by heading over to our Instagram @watchgecko.

Image credits: Pantone, Hublot, G-Shock, Rolex, Swatch, Doxa.

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Fabian Iber

About the Author: Fabian Iber

About the Author: Fabian Iber

I’m a writer for WatchGecko Magazine, gravitating more towards anything that ticks off the beaten track with the occasional diver sprinkled in and enjoy seeing how microbrands are impacting the watch world.

More Articles by Fabian Iber