Give Me Five! 5 Of The Most Colorful Watches Of 2016 From Richard Mille, HYT, Fabergé, GoS, and Kari Voutilainen
The year 2016 was at times grey and sullen, while at other times it rained purple, red, or blue and a host of other vibrant (and at times symbolic) colors.
There was also a crop of colorful watches to stand out from the masses of new steel and titanium-encased horology, titillating the senses with bursts of fresh color. Here are five colorful watches that caught my eye last year.
HYT Colorblock H1
Three vibrant new versions of HYT’s H1 arrived in 2016 in celebration of the three-year anniversary of the boutique brand (both the brand and the inaugural H1 were announced in 2012, but watches were only delivered the following year).
This sounds a tad like non-news until you note that these splashy versions coming on a new resistant textile strap are offered only in limited editions of 10 pieces at a special price of $39,000 each (compare to normal H1 prices between $45,000 and $60,000ish).
Additionally, these three vivid renditions display the time using the black liquid first seen in the H1 Full Gold, while the glass capillaries containing the liquid are partially coated in Super-LumiNova that glows green from the back in low light conditions.
HYT CEO Grégory Dourde explained to me during our trip to Lisbon for the Extreme Sailing Series (see You Are There: HYT, Alinghi, And The Extreme Sailing Series In Lisbon) that the Colorblock timepieces were meant to represent something of a thank you to loyal customers.
The HYT-sponsored Alinghi, by the way, won the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series. Congratulations to both teams!
Read more about the H1’s mechanics and fluids in When Opposites Collide: Microfluidics Of The HYT H1 And H2.
For more information, please visit www.hytwatches.com/collection-h1/watch/h1-colorblock-yellow.
Quick Facts HYT Colorblock H1
Case: 48.8 x 17.9 mm, gunmetal-colored PVD-coated titanium with rubber-coated screw-lock crown
Movement: manually wound H1 caliber with bellows and capillaries for fluid time-telling; 65 hours of power reserve
Functions: hours shown by fluid, minutes, seconds
Limitation: 10 pieces in each color (red, blue, yellow)
Price: $39,000 each
Richard Mille RM 011 Red Quartz, RM 68-01 Kongo, RM 26-02 Evil Eye
Richard Mille gravitated toward extreme color over the last year, leading us to nominate an impressive three incredible watches for this roundup.
And the RM 011 Red TPT Quartz takes an old favorite and re-addresses the value and practicality of a comfortable and resistant case for any wear in any circumstances. Oh, and the rich red color is simply astounding.
For more, see Street Artist Cyril Kongo Applies Graffiti Art To Richard Mille Movement In Extraordinary RM 68-01 and Surprising Use Of Quartz: Richard Mille RM 011 Red TPT Quartz Automatic Flyback Chronograph.
Quick Facts RM 26-02 Evil Eye
Case: 48.15 x 40.10 x 13.10 mm, grade 5 titanium and TZP black ceramic
Dial: high-fire enamel and micro lacquer gold dial by Olivier Vaucher
Movement: manually wound movement with one-minute tourbillon, plates and bridges in PVD-coated titanium
Functions: hours, minutes; power reserve indication
Limitation: 25 pieces
Quick Facts RM 68-01 Kongo
Case: 50.24 x 42.70 x 15.84 mm, NTPT Carbon and TZP black ceramic
Movement: manually wound movement with base plate and bridges in microblasted titanium with one-minute tourbillon, spray painted by hand by artist Cyril Kongo
Functions: hours, minutes
Limitation: 30 pieces, each unique, available only at Richard Mille boutiques
Quick Facts RM 011 Red TPT Quartz
Case: 50 x 40 x 16.5 mm, TPT Quartz/NTPT carbon
Movement: automatic Caliber RMAC1 with twin spring barrels, base plate and bridges in microblasted titanium
Functions: hours, minutes; 60-minute flyback chronograph, countdown, month, date
Limitation: 50 pieces, only available at Richard Mille boutiques
Price: $160,000 / £118,000 / €133,300
The year 2016 was a banner one for women’s timepieces at Fabergé, many of them exhibiting juicy oranges and yellows, deep emerald greens, and sky blues as if they had been born on a deep summer day.
The Fabergé Flirt line with its five colorful variations combines classic style with great color that really pops and lovely, reliable mechanical movements by Vaucher with a customized 22-karat gold rotor.
For more information, please visit http://www.faberge.com/collectionproducts/faberge-flirt.
Quick Facts Fabergé Flirt
Case: 36 mm, pink or white gold with lacquered case band and moonstone cabochon in crown
Movement: automatic Vaucher Caliber 3000 with 22-karat gold rotor
Functions: hours, minutes
Gustafsson & Sjögren (GoS) Sarek Ladies
GoS offers customization in a way that few watchmakers – even independent watchmakers – can: clients ordering a Sarek directly from the workshop are presented with a selection of dials to choose from and may request coloring alternatives as desired.
All of the GoS dial variations I have seen thus far have been brilliantly rich in vivid coloring inspired by Sarek, surely the most beautiful national park in Sweden.
For more information, please visit www.goswatches.com/sarek-ladies.
Quick Facts Sarek Ladies
Case: 31.5 x 9 mm, stainless steel
Dial: 164-layer Damascus steel forged by Johan Gustafsson and tempered to color; each dial is unique in pattern and color
Movement: automatic Soprod A10 caliber with GoS triskele rotor
Functions: hours, minutes
Price: $7,800 plus applicable tax
Remark: five-year guarantee
Kari Voutilainen Kaen
This unisex timepiece from Kari Voutilainen possesses something as rare and beautiful on the inside as it does on the outside: the stupendously finished Voutilainen Vingt-8 caliber with its double escape wheel direct impulse escapement clothed in a classically sized white gold case and topped off by a dial embellished by a micro mosaic kaleidoscope of color by the Unryuan studio in Japan.
Turn the watch over and you will also discover some of the colorful beauty of this exquisite work of art on the flip side as well.
For more information, please visit www.voutilainen.ch/item/kean..
Quick Facts Kari Voutilainen Kaen
Case: 39 mm, white gold
Movement: manually wound Vingt-8 Voutilainen caliber with direct impulse escapement and two escape wheels; German silver and titanium base plate and bridges with decoration by Unryuan studio; pink gold wheels
Dial: micro mosaic by Unryuan studio in Japan
Functions: hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds
Limitation: one unique piece
Price: 220,000 Swiss francs
See more horological rainbows at Give Me Five! A Righteous Rainbow From Kari Voutilainen, De Grisogono, Chopard, Ulysse Nardin, And Fabergé At Baselworld 2016.
Also published on Medium.