Green On Green: 5 Green Watches From Geneva Watch Days 2020
by Martin Green
One of the things from Geneva Watch Days 2020 that has stuck with me is that green can no longer be called a trend. Practically every brand had this color in its collection in one way or another.
While you might expect that this verdant hue would result in more polarizing combinations than traditional black, silver, and blue dials, it surprised me that green watches were also quite enthusiastically received by fellow journalists in Geneva.
Green is both my chosen name and one of my favorite colors, so I’m shining a light on some of the most eye-catching new green watches I saw in August during Geneva Watch Days.
Bovet has always marched to its own beat – which results in tantalizing creations like the Récital 29 that that are unlike anything else on the market. The Récital 29 also features Bovet’s “sloped writing desk” case, which increases the comfort of reading the time.
The sloped dial also serves as a perfect stage for its green guilloche dial, which is particularly eye-catching when the sun hits it. The color is complemented by the strap and only rivaled by a few other color accents such as blued screws, red synthetic ruby jewel bearings, and the moon phase indicator.
That moon phase complication is also quite a treat, requiring correcting by one full day only once every 122 years. It is also lavishly coated with Super-LumiNova, making for a lovely view of the moon at night. The movement finishing takes a technical approach in a classic style and is likewise a visual treat.
The power reserve of the Récital 29 is a generous five days, surprisingly from a single spring barrel. With a diameter of 42 mm the case is nicely sized – especially due to its sloped shape because the thickness goes from 11.6 mm at the 12 o’clock position down to 7.8 mm at 6 o’clock.
Yet what I like most about the Récital 29 is that despite all of its technical prowess, it is the green guilloche dial that always draws my attention.
For more information, please visit www.bovet.com/timepiece/dimier-recital-29.
Quick Facts Bovet Récital 29
Case: 42 x 11.6 mm, stainless steel
Movement: manually wound caliber with five-day power reserve; 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; moon phase; power reserve indication
Price: 24,500 Swiss francs
Remark: five-year warranty
Less is more is a saying that keeps proving itself. The Streamliner Centre Seconds is less complicated than the Streamliner Chronograph, yet I still prefer it.
Its fumé dial in “Matrix Green” plays an essential role in this, giving the watch a generous dash of 1970s sex appeal. I would almost say that this is the perfect watch for Austin Powers, but some might see that as an insult – which is precisely the opposite of what I would like to achieve because the Streamliner Centre Seconds is not good, but great.
All the details are spot on, from the hue of the green dial to the shape of the hands and even the placement of the minute and second markers. I know that we have no shortage of watch icons from the seventies, but I feel that the Streamliner Centre Seconds can fit into that grouping with ease despite not having history going back that far.
While I am in love with the stunning green dial, when I tried it on I immediately understood that the real star of the show is the bracelet. Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie, freely admitted that he was inspired by the bracelet of the Ikepod Megapode.
However, copying is not something done at Moser – apart from the much talked about (and retracted) Swiss Icons watch that was more of a sarcastic commentary – so the bracelet of the Streamliner has a wave and a different finish. Fortunately, however, the brand did copy the wearing comfort of the Marc Newson original.
For more information, please visit www.shop-now.h-moser.com/product/streamliner-centre-seconds.
Quick Facts H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Centre Seconds
Case: 40 x 9.9 mm (height without crystal), stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber HMC 200 with Straumann hairspring, three-day power reserve; 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency, 18-karat gold oscillating weight
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Price: 19,900 Swiss francs / $21,900
For IWC, 2020 has been the year of the Portugieser with a variety of interesting new additions to the collection. While many follow the classic sporty theme that has made the Portugieser one of IWC’s pillars, the brand has also introduced some attractive new colors, among them of course a vibrant green.
When I say vibrant green it’s almost an understatement as the dial’s sunray effect imparts a tremendous play of light that is even present on the sloped flange around the dial that is home to the hash marks for seconds.
With all this green I was even wondering if it is not a bit too much of a good thing. But I came to the conclusion that “too much of a good thing” was not determined by the dial, but by the strap. IWC offers the Portugieser Chronograph on a black strap, which I find something of a harsh color combination. On a brown-colored strap, preferably nubuck or even suede, I think that this Portugieser Chronograph would be perfect.
I do love the Portugieser Automatic 40, but I believe that IWC made the right choice to give the green treatment to the chronograph. This is the model that played a significant role in making the Portugieser such a popular watch.
While previous models were powered by the dependable ETA Valjoux 7750, now there is now a manufacture movement inside. I am a big fan of the 7750, but the upgrade to Caliber 69355 is a nice one as it has the same workhorse qualities yet in a more attractive technical execution.
For more information, please visit www.iwc.com/it/en/watch-collections/portugieser/portugieser-chronograph.
Quick Facts IWC Portugieser Chronograph
Case: 41 x 13.1 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber 69355 with column-wheel chronograph, 46-hour power reserve; 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; chronograph
IWC is sincerely passionate about green. I can only assume this to be true as we were shown another watch bearing this dial color during our visit to Geneva. And this one is a true rarity as IWC made only five, introducing them at the 2019 SIAR watch fair in Mexico.
It is very similar to the Portugieser Constant-Force Tourbillon that IWC made to celebrate its 150th anniversary, although the brand has done more than just change the dial color. The moon phase has been given a more modern appearance by showing it for both hemispheres, and the case is in stainless steel instead of platinum.
The dial seems to be a lighter shade of green than that of the Portugieser Chronograph, more resembling green grass. While I like green-dialed watches, I don’t prefer them at all costs just because they are wearing my favorite color.
While the Portugieser Constant-Force Tourbillon looks good in this color, it does overpower the complications a little. Whether you like it or not is very personal. I am a fan, but I can very well understand if you are not.
The dial remains nicely balanced but is at the same time a bit quirky in its setup with the large constant-force tourbillon dominating the left side of the dial and the moon phase and power reserve indicator on the right. The dominance of these complications give the watch a character that is befitting of its haute horlogerie stature, though.
The green amplifies this a bit more, and as this shade is an unconventional choice it results in a more polarizing watch than the Portugieser Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition 150 Years of 2018 was. Given the fact that IWC is only making five, that is perfectly fine.
For more information, please visit www.iwc.com/portugieser2020.
Quick Facts IWC Portugieser Constant-Force Tourbillon
Case: 46 x 13.4 mm, stainless steel
Movement: manual winding Caliber 94805, one-minute tourbillon with integrated constant-force mechanism, 96-hour power reserve, 2.5 Hz/18,000 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds (on tourbillon cage); moon phase indicator for both hemispheres; power reserve indicator
Limitation: 5 pieces
Price: on request
I have previously written about the Purnell Escape II, a watch that continues to captivate me. This in itself is quite extraordinary as I am usually more enamored of small, thin, understated watches.
The Purnell Escape II is the exception that confirms the rule. During Geneva Watch Days, the CEO of Purnell, Maurizio Mazzocchi, showed us a version of the Escape II in a black forged carbon case featuring dial markings and its prominent dual outer tourbillon cages coated in a bright, luminous, viper green.
This combination provides tremendous contrast so that the eyes focus instantly on the two most essential parts of the watch: the time and those two triple-axis tourbillons. This combination should by all rights be way over the top in every imaginable way, but it simply works as a whole.
The fascinating bright green on the triple-axis tourbillon carriages makes them stand out even more. But make no mistake: it is still their rapid motion, completing full revolutions in 8, 16, and 30 seconds respectively, that makes them exceptional. The green only underscores the visual impact of watchmaker Eric Coudray’s creation.
For more information, please visit www.purnellwatches.com/escape-II.
Quick Facts Purnell Escape II Double Tourbillon
Case: 48 x 19 mm, forged carbon
Movement: manual-wind Caliber CP03 with two spherical triple-axis tourbillons with titanium cages coated in green luminous material, six mainsprings in four barrels, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency, 32-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes; power reserve
Price: fully customizable, starting at CHF 425,000