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  1. Style
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  3. 2012 Watch Trends
December 18, 2012updated Dec 20, 2023


By Chris Boyle


Much like the fashion industry, the watch world tends to pick a “must-have” color ever year.

This time watch brands are having a “Rhapsody in Blue” moment. Not since black watches flooded the market a few years ago has one color so dominated the field. But unlike black, which is decidedly limited in its color scope, this year’s blue watches come in a metaphorical rainbow of shades within its section of the color wheel.

The most popular placement of the color blue was on the dial. Corum went with a navy blue dial and matching bracelet for its new Admiral’s Cup Legend 42 Chronograph watch. The combination of the navy-colored dial with the crisp steel case helped to evoke a decidedly nautical vibe. It was a blend of colors that also gave the new blue dialed Yacht- Master watch from Rolex some buzz at Basel.

At Cuervo y Sobrinos, blue has long been a favorite dial hue. It showed up on the brand’s Robusto day-date watch, the Buceador Robusto and its Historiador Small Seconds timepiece. Each watch has a blue dial but the choice of tint takes these watches from a vibrant sporty shade to a rich and classic color befitting a boardroom. At Hermès the blue hue was used in collaboration with a striking geometric marquetry design crafted from pieces of hay varying in length. The goal of the brand was to replicate one of its iconic silk tie motifs on one of its watch dials.

But blue was not limited to just decorating a watch dial. It jumped off the case and became a popular color choice for watch straps as well. From the sporty rubber look of the bright blue strap featured on Graham’s Chronofighter Oversize Referee watch to the stitched midnight blue leather strap that was paired with the Blue Ocean skeletonized monopusher chronograph from Grieb & Benzinger, blue straps were big this year.

Blue straps worked particularly well when they echoed blue accent colors used in hour indicators and watch hands. The black and blue Franc Vila FV Evos 8 Cobra Blue Bandido watch is a perfect example of how the combination gave an added emphasis to the color and helped it to balance out the black carbon fiber case. It is an approach that also works well with platinum or gold cases, as the measured look of the F.P. Journe minute repeater watch, the Repetition Souveraine, can attest to.

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