While many of our previous talking points have been somewhat direct regarding inspiration, there’s no denying that the moods, colors, and textures of the changing seasons can have an influence on watch design, whether directly or indirectly. This is not a particular genre in the watch industry, nor is it something particularly easy to search for on Google (unless you’re interested in round-ups by fashion sites trying to sell you on no-name budget watches packed into a list to capitalize on Google search rankings). To even a not so well-trained eye, there are plenty of watches on the market from brands big and small that even a cursory glance would lead someone to say “Now that’s the perfect watch for (insert season here).” Of the many new watches to hit the market recently, we’ve selected a few favorites with distinctly seasonal ties.
Winter: Grand Seiko SBGA211 (The Grand Seiko Snowflake)
When compiling this list, our choice for a watch inspired by winter could not have been easier. The Seiko SBGA211, widely known by collectors and enthusiasts as the Seiko Snowflake, features one of the brand’s most exceptional dials, textured in a unique manner resembling a fresh snowfall. While not a particularly rugged timepiece from a design perspective, it is cased in titanium, and features a screw-down crown, ensuring a more than reasonable tolerance for day-to-day use and abuse (regardless of temperatures). Powering the snowflake is Grand Seiko’s Caliber 9R65 Spring Drive caliber, which offers a healthy 3-day (72 hour) power reserve. Aside from the visual enjoyment to be had from its smooth-sweeping seconds hand, the unique mechanical-meets-quartz-tech caliber runs in the big leagues in terms of accuracy, boasting stats of plus or minus 1 second per day, and no more than plus or minus 15 seconds a month in running deviation.
Spring: Ulysse Nardin Classico Lady Grand Feu Enamel
When first seeing the Ulysse Nardin Classico Lady Grand Feu Enamel just ahead of (fittingly) spring of 2017, we couldn’t help but be reminded of the pastel color palette of early spring flowers (and let’s be honest, spring wedding bridesmaids dresses). Few brands, if any, can hold a candle to Ulysse Nardin’s prowess when it comes to grand feu enamel dials like these, and its is through the acquisition of the enamel workshop Donzé Cadrans that Ulysse Nardin has been able to excel with these offerings, whose painstaking creation takes significant skill and attention. As with other offerings in the men’s category, the dials of the Classico Lady Grand Feu Enamel are first treated to an elegant guilloche pattern, before their translucent enamel is applied.
Summer: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Divers
We are now three years into AP offering up spectacularly vibrant color variants of Royal Oak Offshore, and ever since the first round of neon green, orange, yellow, and navy blue hit the market the debate was over—there’s no such thing as a more summer-ready watch from Audemars Piguet. Although these pieces are bright, colorful, and simply more “playful” than your average AP, they are executed to the same exacting standard as any of their siblings. Exceptional case and movement finishing is par for the course, as is the elegantly textured 3-dimensional Mega Tapisserie dial design found throughout the Offshore range. Being dive-rated to 300m and coming on color-matched rubber straps also makes them an ideal travel companion for any of your favored summer activities. Regardless of whether you prefer to be the active type—surfing, diving, and other water-based activities—or if you’re more interested in laying by the beach or pool for days on end, these divers are still entirely suited to the task.
Fall: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Everose
The changing of the seasons will be less noticeable to those living further south, the decrease in temperatures of the fall quickly bring out darker, warmer wardrobe tones that what is seen through the summer months. As the tipping point hits, shelving the bright colors in favor of more warm and muted tones is a logical transition—not to say that we don’t approve of bright color all year long. Those following this fairly conventional approach will be quick to side with our selection of autumn; the rich chocolate dial variation of the classic Rolex Daytona in Everose. The Chocolate Daytona was a recent addition to the catalog shortly after the first ceramic-bezel variants came into the market, and paired with the brand’s immensely comfortable Oysterflex bracelet (a rubber strap with metal inserts that assist in improving longevity, it is an ideal companion for brown shoe and sweater season. That said, the trio of gold Daytonas on Oysterflex that launched at Baselworld in 2017 would equally fit the bill here.
Author: Justin Mastine-Frost