Distinguished by a bezel of different-coloured precious stones, rainbow watches are a contentious but well- loved niche. This year, watchmakers refresh the cheerful style by mixing multiple hues in new ways.
Breguet: Marine Haute Joaillerie 9509 Poseidonia
Its colourful palette might look rainbow-inspired, but Breguet’s Marine Haute Joaillerie 9509 Poseidonia jewellery watch for 2020 pays tribute to ocean flora. Here, the swaying blades of the posidonia oceanic aquatic plant, a seagrass found in the Mediterranean Sea, are replicated with emeralds, tsavorites, coloured sapphires and diamonds set against a matching bezel and a mother-of-pearl marquetry dial. Two other gemstone variations of this timepiece are available, one mostly set with rubies and the other, sapphires.
HYT: Soonow Instant Rainbow
With their fluidic way of indicating time – via liquids in a glass capillary tube running around the centre – HYT watches will never be described as ordinary. But the latest iteration of its Soonow Skull model in a 48.8mm steel case is truly crazy, and we like it. Surrounded by 668 sapphires, amethysts and tsavorites in 14 hues, the skull – a violet anodised titanium dial – is covered with 313 yellow gold pins. A mouthful of gold teeth glint from beneath the eyes, whose discs indicate the seconds (left) and power reserve (right).
Breitling: Superocean Heritage ’57 Limited Edition II
Who says rainbow watches must have bling? Not Breitling, which launched the first edition of the Superocean Heritage ’57 in April. Inspired by mid-century Southern California surf culture, the steel star features hour markers and hour and minute hands coated with lume in seven colours. That 250-piece limited edition with a black dial and a black ceramic bezel sold out in no time. This second edition features a blue dial and a blue ceramic bezel with the same colourful markers – and a production run of 1,000.
Parmigiani: Tonda 1950 Moonbow
Rainbows? So last year. This year, at Parmigiani at least, it’s all about the moonbow, which refers to a rainbow produced by moonlight rather than sunlight. The ultra-thin tourbillon watch (40.2mm across and 9.4mm thick) channels that rare natural phenomenon with a bezel studded with 40 gemstones – blue, pink, orange and yellow sapphires as well as tsavorites and amethysts – coupled with a sparkling and gorgeous midnight-blue aventurine dial.
Mido: Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961
Here’s another dive watch with a summery outlook, courtesy of a rainbow-esque accent. It is a re-edition of Mido’s Ocean Star model from, yes, 1961. The colourful rings form a decompression table that recreational scuba divers used back in the day to find out when they needed to make decompression stops during a dive. These breaks were based on the depth and length of the dive. We presume this feature will be more decorative than functional – but hey, isn’t that the case for many great dive watches, anyway?
Art Direction & Digital Imaging Ashruddin sani