It may still be grey outside but the watch world is embracing every shade under the sun

 
Laura McCreddie-Doak
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Arceau Casaque collection

The snow from outside had barely melted in my hair when, at this year’s SIHH, I found myself in a tropical paradise.

Lush greenery hung from the walls, the water was blue and the drinks were most definitely free. This wasn’t a mirage brought on by lack of sleep and too much champagne; it was, in fact, Piaget’s stand, a resplendent oasis that would be best described as a luxury take on Wham’s paean to holiday excesses.

And the watches were as full of fun as the environs. Inspired by the brand’s new “sunny side of life” concept, its all-new Possession collection was a riot of colour. Deep reds, vibrant turquoise and sultry greens – these were “put your sunglasses on” bright, designed to be mixed and matched thanks to Piaget’s interchangeable strap system. They were the perfect antidote to the snow-filled Geneva skies outside.

These watches are the perfect pick-you-up; a flash of brightness that reminds you when you’re trudging through sleet that summer is on its way, the sartorial equivalent of a smile

Whether it’s because we’re generally fed up with everything being a bit rubbish, or, as the more cynically minded would probably suggest, because switching shades offers a cheap way for brands to revamp current collections, colour is having a moment. And we’re not just talking about tasteful dark blue options, though they were on offer from the likes of Parmigiani Fleurier and Girard-Perregaux, this is eye-popping, startling, designed-to-get-you-noticed colour.

These watches are the perfect pick-you-up; a flash of brightness that reminds you when you’re trudging through sleet that summer is on its way, the sartorial equivalent of a smile.

Hermes, exhibiting for the first time at Palexpo, took inspiration from a French children’s board game and decked out its new Arceau Casaque, a showcase for its metiers d’art prowess, in red, green, blue and acid yellow.

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Even the usually sombre A Lange & Sohne was getting in on the colour-pop trend, albeit in its own muted way, showing its Lange 1 in a trio of shades including a gorgeous purple guilloche dial that was opulent, decadent and not what you’d expect from this quintessentially German brand.

And it’s not just luxury brands that have got the memo on this one. Bamford, the brand previously known for PVD-coating Rolexes, has just released its own-brand Mayfair watch with dials in hot pink and Pac-Man yellow, while Swatch’s new range, Swatch Vibe, features shades that were probably last seen at an acid-house rave circa 1987.

It may not be the most ground-breaking of watch trends but it’s a heck of a lot of fun, which is something most of us could do with a little more of right now.

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