Your Next Watch Should Be Brown

For years it was a sales faux pas for watchmakers to produce brown dials. But then, as happens in the trend economy, “brown” became “chocolate” or “coffee” or “hazel”, and watch buyers suddenly became interested in having it on their wrists. It might also help that the colour, in any shade, goes remarkably well with gold. Here are some of the most striking.




This one’s pure fashion (although it has a healthy quartz chronograph movement): a brown-dialed timepiece in a gold-toned and polished steel case that evokes both classic sensibility and sporty design.



No one said classic watches need to ignore current fashion trends. Mimicking the surface pattern of many Gucci bags and leather goods, this interpretation of a classic, legible dress watch is kept up-to-date with a metallic chocolate dial.



While simple at first glance, this metallic two-tone dress watch — with diamond hour markers — is exceptionally rare, given its combination of design elements. The often-conservative brand shows rare bravery in delivering what is a handsome, albeit uncommon, brown watch.



To celebrate their 110th anniversary, Oris produced their first in-house movement known as the Caliber 110 as a limited edition. After that they followed up with the Caliber 111 — which added the date and can be found in a growing collection of fine and functional watches. In gold with a metallic brown dial, the Caliber 111 never looked classier.




A unique effect of time and light exposure caused many older watch dials originally in black to fade and discolour into various shades of brown. Today some “vintage style” watches mimic this effect. Panerai offers a deep chocolate brown dial for this version of their Radiomir 1940, which also contains a house-made mechanical movement.



Only recently have we begun to see ceramic timepieces rendered in colours other than white or black. This deep brown version of Rado’s HyperChrome is accented with rose gold for a deeper sense of luxury.

Photography by Adrian Armstrong