When choosing watches, most persons tend towards simple colors like black, white, and cream, or popular alternatives blue and brown. The flexibility of these colors means they can be worn between a wide variety of outfits without detracting too much from the color scheme, and in business environments, they won’t be too distracting if you turn your wrist for a glance at the time. However, a recent trend has seen many top brands offering salmon-dial options, and just like Apple’s rose-gold releases, they’re a hit with men and women alike. Elegant, eye-catching, and exotic, they’re something different, and who doesn’t like to stand out a bit when mass-production has made it so easy for everyone else to have the same things?
What may come as a surprise is that salmon dials are nothing new. Like most styles that went away for a bit and are now making a huge comeback, salmon dials can be found sitting in the face of quite a few vintage watches. In the spirit of helping you get ahead of the game, we’ve curated a list of seven watches ranked by their price-tag that will add quite the salmon flair to your personal watch collection. Read until the end to see VARIO’s very own entry onto this list!
1. Patek Philippe’s 5270P Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
One of the big selling points for this new release from Patek Phillipe is its unique display system. This includes a day and night indicator, small seconds indicator, and moon phase indicator with a white moon and stars set against a beautiful blue background. This watch makes wonderful use of circular shapes in its dial design, and would pair well with a watch band that carried any four of the colors used in its dial design.
If you’re a feature-focused watch-lover who likes a busy dial and to get as much information from your favorite timepieces as possible, then it really doesn’t get much better than this. The 5270P is water-resistant for up to 30 meters, and contains an impressive 456 intricately assembled parts, 33 of which are jewels. A rare masterpiece in watchmaking, it’s no wonder that our first entry retails for around USD $183,958.
2. Montblanc Heritage Spirit Pulsograph
Housing a proprietary Montblanc Minerva chronograph movement, this watch is a part of their Heritage Spirit collection, and is directly inspired by the company’s dress watches from the 1940s. Pareidolia lovers might get a kick out of this one, as the two miniature dials set in the face of the watch give it the appearance of a mechanical figure with two large eyes – it remains to be seen whether this was the intention of the watch designer. You can also see the inner workings of this piece of engineering through its glass back.
Though they’ve been around for over a hundred years, Montblanc has remained consistent in their production of high-quality luxury items, and this pulsograph is no different. While it maintains a simpler design, a huge chunk of this watch’s price comes from its materials, which includes a complex inner and 18k red gold alloy case. This watch retails for $USD 30,597.
3. Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar
Another stunning entry with a more muted salmon color, the PanoMaticLunar could very well be an instant classic. Glashütte went very bold with this design, playing around the with the usual arrangement of the watch face. The markers and dial sit to the left of the watch face, with the date window and moon phase indicator tucked underneath the salmon against a dark blue backdrop. If you’re interested in bolder watches, the PanoMaticLunar may just be the watch that you’re looking for.
At the time of writing this article, this price of this salmon dial watch sits at $USD 10,493. Not the most expensive on this list, but still worth a very pretty penny.
4. Rolex Air King 34 14000
Released in 1995, this entry takes us out of the ten-thousands range into a more average price point, and is one of Rolex’s more simple designs. With a logo and baton hour markers on its dial, this automatic self-winding watch also has scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a stainless steel case, and an oyster bracelet with fold clasp. Rolex watches are known for their strong visual impact, and this one is no different. Paired with a silver bracelet, it gives off an almost ‘futuristic’ look circa 2005 sci-fi movies on the wearer’s wrist.
While Rolex does have a salmon option more expensive than the Patex, we think this is a great middle-grade option. The Rolex Air King 34 is available for around USD $3,590.
5. The NOMOS Glashütte Tangente 'Red Dot'
Inspired by Bauhaus’ design, the Tangente Red Dot with salmon dial is Glashütte’s second entry on this list, and was released as part of a limited edition collection for Singapore. Despite being a small market, Singapore is relatively watch-crazy and only a hundred of them were made, so if you’re looking to cop one of these, you might be paying much more than the retail price. Its standout feature is the date ring that runs the perimeter of the dial and frames the date with two ‘red dots’. The ‘salmon’ of this watch is a lot more toned down than other entries on this list, though it still sits stunningly behind the sleek number typography.
At the time of its release. This Red Dot was priced at around $2,340 USD.
6. Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage
A well-known brand in Swiss and German circles, Alpina has been known to produce everything from durable outdoor watches supplied to militaries, to sports and luxury watches with accessible prices. With their commitment to exploring all the different facets of watch design, it’s no wonder they have their very own salmon dial watches, one of which has made it onto our list.
With a more orange-leaning salmon color, this piece was made in collaboration with the Gnomon school of design, and features very simple retro-leaning design elements, including orange and white hands, sunray markers and a simple glass-covered date window. A must-have for old-school watch lovers, the Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage is available for around USD $990.
7. Eclipse SunStone Champagne Handwound Dress Watch
VARIO’s own Bauhaus-inspired salmon dial creation certainly hasn’t cut any corners with quality or design. Housing a high-beat Miyota 6T33 mechanical movement, its 316L stainless steel case with scratch-resistant double dome sapphire is water-resistant for up to 5 ATM, and the watch itself uses minimalist second and hour indicators to keep the focus on the beautiful color of the dial.
With more surface area given to the face of this watch, the salmon color sits prominently on the wrist, and gives complement or contrast to your watch band depending on the type of color you choose. Paired with a genuine handwoven Harris Tweed strap right out the gate, this stylish salmon watch is a pocket-friendly USD $328.
Didn’t see your favorite watch on this list? Leave us a comment so we can check it out. Who knows? It might even end up on one of our next blog posts!
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