Long gone are the olden days of black-and-white dials dominating the watch market. In the last decade, we’ve seen colorful dials and patterns take center stage like never before. In the 2010s, it was blue dominating the industry, and for the last three years, we’ve seen green pop in for its fifteen minutes of fame. While having not quite reached the success of blue, the rise of green proved that watch collectors and buyers alike were thinking outside of the box when it came to their acceptance of dial colors. In 2020, Rolex decided to push the envelope for colorful dials in the traditional, luxury watch space when they updated the Oyster Perpetual collection with a yellow, orange, green, turquoise, and pink dial option, paying a bit of tribute to the Stella dials of the 50’s. And just like that, pink was on the radar.
Image Source Rolex
It still took a couple more years of green dials popping in, but in case you haven’t noticed, 2023 just may be the year of pink and I’m here for it! For possibly the first time in watch history, the trend isn’t “pink it and shrink it” while smothering it in diamonds, but instead, production of full sizes marketed mostly towards men (marketing departments do still need a lesson that women collect watches too but that’s another day’s rant), and the male consumer is embracing it! While pink is never likely to grow in popularity the way blue did ten years ago, I would venture to say that it very well could keep up with green for the next few years before finally fading out (fingers crossed we get some sort of amazing full pink diver soon - I’m looking at you OMEGA!). While I sit here waiting on that diver, let’s take a look at some of the most memorable pink dials that have launched so far this year.
Czapek Antarctique S Sashiko Pink Lotus
This was a beautiful surprise to see at Watches and Wonders this past April. With a new approach to texture, the Sashiko dial was designed to capture light in a way that would create a sense of movement. As the light moves across the dial, the stamped pattern alternates between a pure pink tone and a soft mauve, giving new meaning to “playing with the light”. I love that this was very unexpected for newcomer Czapek, and the fact that this 38.5mm beauty was inspired by the CEO’s wife and combines such a delicately detailed dial with the masculinity of an integrated bracelet made this watch such a stand out in my opinion.
Image Source Timekeepers Club
Zenith Chronomaster Pink and Defy Skyline
Zenith has been supporting the Susan G. Komen breast cancer organization for a few years now, and this year was no exception as the brand partnered with Phillips to auction off a Chronomaster Original Pink piece unique with 20% of the sale benefiting the foundation. The 38m stainless steel piece combines a pink sunray dial with diamonds set into each of the four lugs on the watch while being powered by the incredibly awesome El Primero 3600 calibre. I’d love to see Zenith expand with a standard production version of this without the diamonds. But while it may not be as awesome as the El Primero, Zenith has added pink into its full time collection with the Defy Skyline 36, available with both a steel and a diamond set bezel. Clearly marketed towards women who want a sportier look, I’ve seen these in person and have to admit that they are incredibly fun. Though I’ll still hold out for a pink Chronomaster instead.
Image Source Zenith
Tag Heuer Carrera 36mm Date
While not everything in life has to be a competition, if there were an award for most obnoxiously fantastic pink dial this year it would have to go to Tag Heuer with the new date version of the 36mm Carrera. It screams “come on Barbie” in every way and is part of their newer unisex marketing thanks to the eye catching colors of the various dial options and the safe, sporty styling that makes it a classic everyday watch.
Image Source Tag Heuer
Oris Cotton Candy Divers Sixty-Five in Steel
It was two years ago that Oris launched a playful addition to their Divers Sixty-Five collection with the Cotton Candy dials, though available only in bronze at the time. This summer saw the fun continue in a much more practical and everyday steel version with a matching stainless steel bracelet, giving it a much wider fanbase. And for the first time, a 38mm version of the Divers Sixty Five was available in a nonlimited edition form, making this an ideal unisex watch. Looking at that pink dial instantly give you “let's go to the county fair and grab some cotton candy while riding the Ferris wheel” vibes.
Image Credit Oris
And a special shout out to our friends at Monta who were early to the pink dial trend last year with their limited edition Noble in pink that I still regret not buying every time I see a photo of it. That watch really is just perfection. *insert chef kiss emoji here
It may not be the most popular opinion, but I’m hoping that the pink dials continue to grow in their presence for years to come. The most promising part of this year’s pink releases to me is that we are seeing some genuine workhorse, serious movements being placed in watches that a few years ago, no one would have taken seriously and would have been discredited as just a “ladies” watch. As a female watch collector, it gives me a bit of hope that with the trend of downsizing watch cases, we are seeing more brands taking seriously the market of those with a smaller wrist (both male and female). At the end of the day, pink dials may not last forever, but hopefully this trend of investing into highly accurate smaller and thinner mechanical movements will!