04 July 2024

On Trend: Green Dial Watches Are Taking Over


Move over blue, goodbye gray, so long, salmon; after a handful of years of trying, the term going green has firmly latched onto the watch world. You’ve no doubt noticed by now, green dials are
everywhere these days, and it’s hard to think of a leading luxury watch brand in the market that hasn’t adopted its own verdant variant. Much like blue, the possibilities for green are endless — a mild mint here, a soft spruce there, and of course the mighty military olive drab, all of which bring their own kind of punch and personality to the watchmaking world.

What’s with the trend, you may wonder? There are a few angles to consider. While case sizes are moving more conservative in scale (generally), aesthetic tastes are growing more bold. In the same way that customisation and personalisation has become a big player in the luxury market, the demand for something different or out-of-the-ordinary has also grown substantially. That in mind, green dials are historically not all that common in comparison to most other colours. Mainstays like blue, red, and even yellow or orange were a more frequent sighting, dating back a few decades, whereas green’s rise to the forefront has been much more recent.

All that in mind, below you’ll find an assortment of our favourites, all available in the shop.

Cartier Santos, WSSA0062

 This reference (as well as a mid-sized sibling) arrived with this stunning metallic green gradient dial in 2023 alongside a host of novelties. To achieve the colour, first its radially brushed pattern is applied to the dial plate, and then a thin layer of green lacquer is applied to deliver the glossy finish and final colour. With the redesign of this model some years earlier, the Santos has a quick-change strap system, and is offered with both a steel bracelet, and appropriately matched green alligator leather strap. Much like its counterparts in other colours, the Santos is a hair under 40mm across, and a hair over 9mm, and is powered by the self-winding manufacture caliber 1847 MC. To further bolster its steel sports watch vibes, the large Santos offers a water resistance of 100m.

Rolex 'John Mayer' Daytona, 116508

 Once seen as a bit of an underdog until appearing on Hodinkee’s Talking Watches — and being nicknamed the “John Mayer Daytona” — the green dial Daytona 116508 had a fairly brief production run from 2016 up until 2023. Perhaps a bone of contention with some, one of the charming elements of this reference is the use of a gold bezel, rather than upgrading to ceramic the way several other references have. We wouldn’t necessarily argue that this gives the 116508 a more vintage feel, however in yellow gold it simply feels timeless rather than being a product anchored in modernity. It’s also worth noting that this is one of the rare times where red accents against a forest green finish feels proper and polished, rather than giving big Christmas vibes.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph, 26240OR

Though not the first time that the Royal Oak turned to green, this special 50th anniversary piece with its khaki green Grande Tapisserie dial over pink gold manages a far more subdued take, especially when compared to the Daytona above, or even the prior Royal Oak Chronograph that was offered in bright green and yellow gold. This anniversary edition also adopted the latest AP self-winding chronograph caliber, the in-house calibre 4401, boasting a power reserve of 70 hours. Measuring 41mm across, its’s hard to not call a big slab of gold like this a statement piece, however its subdued hue really let’s the gold do all the talking.

Rolex Sky-Dweller, 336934


Swapping back to steel for a moment, we have one of Rolex’s most complicated watches, offered in what the brand is calling mint green; a statement we would happily debate. Pine, perhaps? Nomenclature aside, this was one of the brand’s updates to the reference from 2023, which only made changes to materials and colours. That said, seeing a variant fitted with a jubilee bracelet isn’t all that common, given that the green reference was primarily shown on the standard three-link Oyster bracelet. For those less familiar, the Sky-Dweller is arguably the brand’s best travel watch, as it combines a second time zone function with an annual calendar complication. The latter of which is displayed via its date window, as well as a series of windows at the end of each of its hour indices used to indicate the current month from one to twelve.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut, 5968G


It would be remiss to ignore Patek Philippe entirely as we craft this list, especially considering the quasi military luxury aesthetic of the khaki green Aquanaut 5968G launched in 2021. The much-loved piece adopts its colour from the three-hand reference that the brand launched in 2019, pairing it once again with a matching tone rubber strap and powered by the CH 28-520 C self-winding flyback chronograph caliber with column-wheel drive and vertical disk clutch. It’s a simple tool-focused application, despite its white gold case, which measures 42mm across. Though the Aquanaut has become a rather high demand offering from the Patek catalog, outside of watch circles it still gives off that sort of “if you know, you know” energy given its rugged design.

Also Consider…

 Outside of Onaro’s current offerings, there are a handful of other noteworthy green watches that we believe deserve a mention.

IWC Pilot Chronograph Spitfire Bronze

Sticking with the military theme, there’s nothing quite like the pairing of a bronze case and an olive drab dial to bring home that tough, well-worn tool watch aesthetic. As the bronze case ages, it will develop a patina that gives the case a more weathered look, which further complements the choice of green used for its dial. IWC has a handful of references in the catalog with this combination, but the spitfire is always at the top of our list.


Piaget Polo 

The Piaget Polo is one we’ll always turn back to. It’s a watch that never gets the same attention as the likes of Patek and AP, yet from a quality and finishing standpoint it certainly can keep up with its competitors. Add to the equation this extremely vibrant forest green dial and matching rubber strap, and you’ve got an easy win without the steep premiums of its aforementioned competition.


Omega Seamaster Diver 300m

Running a similar hue to the Aquanaut we mentioned above, the first green Seamaster Diver landed in the market in 2022, offered on either steel bracelet or on a colour-matched rubber strap. Interestingly, both its dial and its bezel insert are ceramic, which is perhaps why it took Omega a little longer to land on the perfect verdant hue for this execution. It would have worked just as well in something a bit more bold, but we suspect that the Seamaster’s 007 connection
is what steered the Omega towards a more military-adjacent colour.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Green Collection

 A bit late to the party, but welcome nonetheless, the big news from Vacheron this year was an entire collection of green dials for the Overseas lineup. They’re barely in the market yet, but first impressions are strong thus far. The combination of this spruce green — a shade that’s not far off the 50th Anniversary Royal Oak — and rose gold work well together. Much like the Cartier, we’re seeing an application of lacquer over a radially brushed dial to achieve its luster.

Rolex Submariner 'Hulk' 116610LV

Yes, we know some of you were starting to shout at your devices: “How could you make
this list and not include the Hulk??”

That’s an entirely fair statement, and we won’t leave you hanging. The Hulk was in market long before green was trendy. It first appeared way back in 2010, and in the beginning it wasn’t all that popular. Much in the way that trends are a bit of a slow burn, the all-green watch was mostly ignored by collectors at first, who found themselves content to say that a black Submariner would be far more versatile. Fast forward to the last several years, and it’s a different story altogether.

The Hulk is also a noteworthy watch for reasons outside of its aesthetics. You see, its launch in 2010 marked a landmark shift for the Submariner as a whole. This was the year the sub adopted the Maxi case, which brought with it wider lugs and a chunkier aesthetic overall. It was also the first time the Sub adopted Chromalight as its luminous material. With all that in mind, yes, it’s a stellar execution of a green watch, but it’s also so much more than that, from a historical perspective. It’s also the perfect note to end on…

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