We check out Glashütte Original's Fiery Orange Panorama Date and give our top picks for colourful watches on a more modest budget...
Orange is a divisive colour: there are some who believe it will only ever belong in a fruit bowl rather than on a watch. But others – me included – consider this blazing, fiery shade as a perfect accessory for your wrist.
These days, orange is thought of predominantly as a 1970s colour: certainly as far as fashion goes. But the high point of orange was actually in the late 1960s, which is why it’s entirely on point in this Glashütte Original Sixties Panorama Date.
It’s a magnificent blaze of a watch, which certainly doesn’t pass unnoticed. Whether that’s a good thing or not is deeply personal, but in my own opinion it’s mesmerising: the archetypal sunburst dial that’s both beautiful and complex at the same time.
It’s also surprisingly subtle, as we’re not talking garish Jaffa orange here. Instead, it’s a much more subtle interplay of burnt tangerine shades, reminiscent of a spectacular sunrise or sunset, blending into black around the exterior from a bright epicentre.
It’s probably that which makes it such a feel-good watch: you look at it and sense that all is right with the world, with good times ahead. It’s genuinely a watch that lifts you. Or at least that’s what I find every time I look at it.
You won’t see these 'annual edition' watches every day, but one particularly fine example from 2019 was recently available on www.watchcollecting.com: barely worn, with even its swing tag still intact. As you’d expect, it came with box and papers too: always a plus at auction.
Those 1960s design cues are everywhere and at the very heart of the appeal. Look at the Arabic numerals at 3,6,9 and 12 o’clock especially: pure 1960s, which hark back to a happy, go-lucky era of history when everything was funky and swinging.
But it has a serious side too: this is a dress watch that you could wear in more or less any environment, with additional hints of unique style in the scalloped and polished indices as well as the double-digit date aperture on a black background. The dial is viewed through a dramatically domed sapphire crystal created in the style of mid-century plexiglass – all part of that 1960s vibe.
Naturally you can watch the beating heart of the watch at work through the sapphire case back, featuring Glashütte's own movement (complete with 40-hour power reserve).
There’s no doubt that this was always going to be a Marmite watch (along with its cousin in bright blue-green) but the interest shown in it demonstrated that there are plenty of lovers of orange still out there.
Not a fan of GO? Here are five alternative colourful watches from 2021:
There seems to have been a real resurgence of colourful watches this year, many also inspired by the 60s. Here are our top picks:
The Duckworth Prestex Verimatic 39mm OrangeIf you don’t want to spend four figures on an orange watch, there’s a similarly-coloured watch that you can get from WatchGecko for a lot less: the new Duckworth Prestex Verimatic in sunburst orange, which manages to capture exactly the same 1960s Zeitgeist.
Whilst Duckworth Prestex only launched as a brand in 2021, owner Neil Duckworth has an extensive and impressive background in the industry, being the grandson of the founder of heritage British watchmaking brand Prestex, and also having introduced Tag Heuer to the UK in the 1980s.
The current range of watches take inspiration from some of the historic Prestex references, which were produced from the 1930s to the 1960s. The Verimatic 39mm features a cushion-case with a lug-to-lug length of 46mm and a thickness of 11mm. Shown here in orange, another two colours are available, all of which feature textured fumé dials. It's powered by the venerable Japanese Miyota 9039 movement, known for its reliability and robustness.
Buy now from WatchGecko (with free gift set worth over £90).
Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire Orange
The new orange-dialled C60 Sapphire has only been added to the range last week. The watch comes in at a crowd pleasing 40mm and features the light-catcher case which has become a real selling point amongst watch enthusiasts. The thickness comes in at a tad under 13mm and the lug-to-lug length is just under 48mm. Ticking away inside is the Swiss made Selitta SW200 automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve. Of course the star of the show is the sapphire dial, which to the best of my knowledge is the cheapest sapphire-dialled watch.
Nomos Club Campus
Nomos has always been brand for those 'in the know'. Why? As a brand they have achieved huge respect and recognition since their inception in 1990, but still manage to fly somewhat under the radar for the wider watch buying public. They have gained a reputation for their Bauhaus inspired styling and their focus on using only high-quality mechanical movements (often in-house).
The Club Campus range with California dial was introduced in 2017 to offer those on more limited budget a way into the brand. But that's not to say that you don't get the same Nomos design DNA and a fantastic movement adjusted to six positions - you do, it's just that it's the entry level ALPHA movement. The new for 2021 orange variant ref: 710 measures 36mm, but with long lugs has more wrist presence than you'd imagine, despite it 8.6mm thickness.
Currently concept watches, but due to be launched within the next year or so (give or take some minor tweaks) are a coupe of fantastic options from motorsport inspired watch brand Forzo. Named the Gridster, these watches take inspiration from the 70s and 80s motorsport era and are designed in the UK. The watches feature impeccably engineered custom designed cases and unique rally style integrated bracelets. Our picks for colour are either the emerald green or burnt orange versions, both of which feature radiant sunburst fumé dials with SuperLuminova-filled applied indices. They are water resistant to 100m. Coming in at 41mm and powered by the reliable Seiko NH35 movement, these watches will offer incredible value for money for such well engineered and thought out package.
Since it's release in 2015 the Sixty-Five range has been a popular choice for those looking for a mid-tier vintage inspired 60s skin-diver watch. This year though, they shocked the watch community by adding three very loud and proud variants that will be loved and hated in equal measure. Buyers can choose from pastel pink, pastel blue or pastel green, each complimented by the bronze case and bracelet. With a 40mm diameter and a svelte-like case which wears much slimmer that it's proportions would suggest, it's a good option for those looking for a summer watch from a well-known Swiss brand.
With the hot days of summer already on us, isn't it time to bring even more sunshine into your life? Let us know if you think colour-pop watches are here to stay in the comments below!
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