Green On Green: 4 Verdant Watches Perfect For Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day . . . And That Green Beer!
by Martin Green
I have always had a profound preference for the color green. As far as I know, I have no Irish blood running through my veins. Yet when I visit my tailor or favorite clothing store, I am often drawn to green options.
Even my childhood dream cars looked best in verdurous guises: the Bentley Continental T, Jaguar E-Type, and Aston Martin Vantage V550 with either biscuit- or tobacco-colored leather in British racing green continue to linger in my thoughts.
And it’s the same with watches: a touch of green is a sure way to attract my attention and interest. And I was like this long before the color became trendy.
However, not every green dial is created equal. I feel that, far more than with the more forgiving and ubiquitous silver, black, or blue dials, subtleties in hue and execution makes a big difference.
I enter an instant love affair with some green dials, while with others I struggle to understand why the brand went through the trouble when the same watch looks so much better in other colors.
Below I focus on the former and ignore the latter: here are four of my favorite recent green-dialed watches.
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 HUD: lock-on green
Bell & Ross is a brand with a consistent love for green, but it prefers to apply the color with a twist. And this is most certainly the case with the BR 03-92 HUD, where it is not the dial that gives the watch its vibrant green look, but rather the sapphire crystal.
It is inspired by the head-up display (HUD) of a fighter jet, a transparent screen providing the pilot with essential information that avoids him or her having to look down at the instrument panel when flying. The Bell & Ross watch does pretty much the same thing, but it is more a twist to the traditional watch.
Combined with the matte black ceramic case, the HUD look turns this watch into quite the eyecatcher. Let’s be honest: that is the main reason it generates such a high lust factor.
Credit where credit is due, Bell & Ross always invests a lot of effort in ensuring that every detail is right. Underneath the green-tinted sapphire crystal, Bell & Ross painted the numerals, markers, and hands with green Super-LumiNova, which look even more vibrant thanks to the sapphire crystal.
The brand opted for an hour disk rather than a regular three-handed layout, which transforms the BR 03-92 HUD into something that would not look out of place in the instrument cluster of a fighter jet. It also shows the fun side of green, one of the reasons why I think that, while green may never dominate like silver, black, and blue dials do, it is here to stay.
For more information, please visit www.bellross.com/our-collections/Instruments/br-03-42-mm/br-03-92-ceramic/BR-03-92-HUD.
Quick Facts Bell & Ross BR 03-92 HUD
Case: 42 mm, matt black ceramic, 10 ATM/100 meters water resistant
Movement: automatic Caliber BR-CAL.302 (based on Sellita SW300-1), 28,800 vph/4 Hz frequency, 38-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Limitation: 999 pieces
Price: $4,300 / €3,900
Tutima Grand Flieger Automatic: a grand green timepiece
One of the things that I find so special about Glashütte is that all the brands in this small German city complement each other so well. Yes, there’s competition, but in general each of the brands has its own niche.
For Tutima, this is undoubtedly the Flieger collection. As one of the brands that developed the original pilot’s chronographs for the German air force and is an official supplier of watches to NATO and the German army, Tutima has genuine pedigree in this field. The Grand Flieger Automatic 6105-29 made quite an impact on me when I first tried it on, and I immediately put it on my wish list.
Tutima used a very deep, dark green with a subtle gradient effect. Red details offer contrast and make the green stand out even more. While also available on a bracelet, I prefer the Grand Flieger Automatic on the matching green leather strap.
This Tutima is also well proportioned. At 41 mm in diameter, it is just the right size for a legible and wearable sports watch. I say sports watch as the Flieger Automatic 6105-29 is versatile, with a broader appeal going beyond that of a pilot’s watch.
Thanks to the screw-down crown, water resistance is a generous 100 meters. The crown is not as oversized as with some pilot’s watches, most likely since Tutima has learned from experience that aviators did not often set their watches with gloves on, and its automatic movement makes manual winding unnecessary. Combined with a modest height of 13 mm, the smaller crown maximizes wearing comfort.
The cherry on top is the domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. It might be a small detail, but a sapphire crystal breaks the light in a harsher way than Hesalite, and the anti-reflective coating brings more vibrancy to the green of the dial.
For more information, please visit www.tutima.com/watch/flieger-automatic-6105-29.
Quick Facts Tutima Grand Flieger Flieger Automatic 6105-29
Case: 41 x 13 mm, stainless steel case, 10 ATM/100 m water resistance
Movement: automatic Caliber Tutima 330 (ETA 2836-2 base), 28,800 vph/4 Hz frequency, 38-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Price: $1,650 / €1,350
Nomos Glashütte Club automatic: more green from Glashütte
While Nomos Glashütte lacks military heritage, its watches still look good in hues that would typically clothe an army truck.
To mark 175 years of watchmaking in Glashütte, Nomos launched three limited editions in different colors of the Club automatic. I’m biased, but while the onyx- and navy blue-dialed versions look very nice, it is the Club automatic with olive green dial that hits a homerun for me.
Perhaps it is because green is a dial color rarely found in the Nomos Glashütte collection, but the execution is also perfect. As with many Nomos Glashütte watches, the Club automatic is straightforward in design, which makes every detail count even more. And the Nomos design studio is skilled like no other in doing just that.
The design of the dial in combination with the hands and the case is perfectly balanced. And the olive color suits both an officer and a gentleman. Nomos Glashütte never takes things over the top, and with a 40 mm case the Club automatic is a pleasant daily companion.
However I am not a fan of its gray textile strap. While the gray underscores the watch’s utilitarian look, my personal style tends toward a more formal look. That said, the strap is the one part of any watch that is most easily replaced; I feel that a brown cordovan strap would make this Nomos Glashütte model just perfect for me.
The only thing I cannot do with the cordovan strap is take the watch into the water, which is quite a tradeoff as the Club automatic is water resistant to an impressive 200 meters! I am surprised by this rating and wonder why Nomos Glashütte put in the effort to achieve it. The Club automatic even has a sapphire crystal case back, which I do appreciate as in-house Caliber DUW 5001 is worth being seen!
For more information, please visit www.nomos-glashuette.com/en/club/club-automatic-olive.
Quick Facts Nomos Glashütte Club automatic
Case: 40 x 9.7 mm, stainless steel, 20ATM/200 meters water resistance
Movement: automatic Caliber DUW 5001, 28,800 vph/4 Hz frequency, 43-hour power reserve, Swing System escapement, adjusted to chronometer standard
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Limitation: 175 pieces per color (also available with Onyx and Navy dials)
H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Centre Seconds Cosmic Green: versatile green
Moser is a brand that honors time-trusted watchmaking traditions by adapting them to this day and age. A good example of this is the Pioneer Centre Seconds, which can best be described as a gentleman’s watch streamlined to meet life in the fast lane and injected with vitamins to grow to a healthy size.
With a diameter of 42.8 mm it is slightly larger than I would have wanted, but on the wrist these extra millimeters seem to melt away. It looks just right.
The Pioneer Centre Seconds is one of those watches you can take anywhere, match with anything, and do anything with. It never looks out of place or isn’t able to keep up the pace.
H. Moser & Cie resisted the temptation to add a date to this watch, but fortunately fitted it with one of its characteristic Cosmic Green fumé dials. For me, it is this dial that makes the watch.
Where blue would be nice, and silver and black are “correct” colors, the green sets it apart as something special without completely dominating the entire design. Especially in combination with the fluid shape of the case, the green reaches synergy.
On a personal note: I am not a fan of this watch’s textile strap. There is nothing particularly wrong with it, but to me it makes the watch a bit too sporty looking. While some might applaud this, I think this Moser deserves a strap made of waterproof alligator leather, green stitching, and a matching green rubber lining.
This way, the unique character of the watch would be better highlighted. One thing that I wouldn’t change is the movement: Caliber HMC 200 offers everything a spoiled collector could ask for at this price point. It is designed and made at H. Moser & Cie’s own manufacture and looks old school but is actually top of its class.
With a height of 5.5 mm, the movement is slim but not to the extent that might compromise reliability. I also welcome the full bridge over the balance spring. The finishing has a contemporary touch, again showing the perfect balance between past and present horological traditions.
For more information, please visit www.h-moser.com/product/pioneer-centre-seconds.
Quick Facts H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Centre Seconds Cosmic Green
Case: 42.8 mm, stainless steel, 12 ATM/120 meters water resistance
Movement: automatic Caliber HMC 200, 28,800 vph/4 Hz frequency, 72-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Price: $12,900 / CHF 12,900