Trendy watches of the past few years have been mainly blue and green. Now we’re seeing something completely new: gray. So take a few minutes to view some of today’s most exciting gray watches and immerse yourself in the diversity of color. It’s time well spent.
Watches have become noticeably more colorful during the past decade. As recently as 2010, luxury watches were still mainly an achromatic affair — with white or black dials and silvery steel cases, at most there was a singular red hand. But this situation soon changed. Colorful dials and bracelets became more frequent, and materials like rubber invited designers to play with color. In the second half of the decade, watches at first became blue, and later, more and more models appeared in green. Both trends continue to this day. But in 2021, a completely different hue moved into the limelight: gray.
The surprising thing is that none of these gray watches looks gray — at least, not in the sense that people often associate with gray — drab, boring or inconspicuous. These watches are different. They stride onto a watch stage that is much more colorful and diverse than ever before. Today, any color is conceivable, even for a luxury watch, both in terms of technical feasibility and public acceptance. A watch that’s gray could just as easily be green, blue or red. Against this background, the conscious decision in favor of gray becomes a statement, and the effect is totally different than it would have been in 2010.
At the same time, gray is the antithesis to the world of colorful diversity. It invites its viewer to rest, pause and take a breather. Gray has another fascinating quality: it’s not one-dimensional because not all grays are the same. On the one hand, this is due to the proportions of white and black, which make the gray look darker or lighter. On the other hand, some gray tones look almost colorful because they change to green, blue or brown, depending on the lighting.
A version of this article appears in the WatchTime Special Design Issue 2022, on sale now.