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Throwback Sundays: Six Blue Dial watches

by Peter Chong on June 23, 2019
Watches

Collectors seem to love blue watches. Sure, they say “Green is the new Black”, but Blue remains close to our hearts. So for today, we pick six blue watches.

Blue, blue, my world is blue
Blue is my world now I’m without you
Gray, gray, my life is gray
Cold is my heart since you went away

“L’amour est bleu” (English title: “Love Is Blue”) is a song whose music was composed by André Popp, and whose lyrics were written by Pierre Cour, in 1967. Bryan Blackburn later wrote English-language lyrics for it.

This is by no means a “best of” compilation, but just a casual look at the watches we have reviewed that have blue dials. Here it goes, in no particular order:

Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887

We start off with the Breguet. Not only does the 5887 come with a beautiful blue dial with a central medallion with an engine turned motif of waves, but also with a rather rare Equation of Time complication fitted to the tourbillon movement.

The Breguet is available in rose gold and platinum, but only the platinum version is available with the blue dial and is priced at USD 230,400. Though this may sound expensive, our review article surveyed the competitive landscape, and concluded that this near quarter million US dollars is actually rather well priced. Read the article to understand why.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon

Moving on. Next up is one of our favourites. The Vacheron Overseas series was updated in 2016 with a line of sporty watches with a rich history from the 1970s by designer Jorg Hysek. The series includes several blue dialed watches, from the time only to the chronograph which we love. But it is the tourbillon which makes this list.

Why the tourbillon? Well, we particularly like the juxtaposition of a sporty watch in stainless steel, in a bracelet (which incidentally can be easily exchanged with the included bands by the ingenious VC system) and a respectable water resistant rating of 50m with the rather fragile high complication of the tourbillon. But enough of the tech stuff. The dial is truly mesmerising. And the opening to showcase the Malteze Cross styled tourbillon cage is beyond words as one gazes lovingly on it…forgetting all else.

The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon in stainless steel retails for S$ 159,000, a typical price for a tourbillon watch today.

A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin in Copper Blue

The list is not complete without Lange, and from the list of their blue dialed watches, recently updated in 2017, we pick the Saxonia Thin in Copper Blue.

Again, the prima donna is the dial. It shines magnificently and is made from goldstone, a man-made glass consisting of tiny crystals of copper dispersed within to create a glittering appearance. In the Saxonia Thin, a thin layer of goldstone is coated onto the solid silver dial. Though only the top layer is goldstone, the effect is still stunning. Our photos offer a good glimpse of the the dial, but to fully appreciate its beauty, the watch has to be experienced in real life.

What is the price of beauty, one may ask? For this one, the asking price is S$31,400 inclusive of GST in the white gold case, and in our books worth every penny.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Enamel

Fresh from SIHH 2019, we have an entire series of watches in grand feu blue enamel dials. Our pick is, again the tourbillon. Is this a overarching theme? Perhaps there is. We would not deny to be obsessed by the tourbillon. Sure its utility on a wrist watch is not as high as it used to be in A.L. Breguet’s day when the watch sat inside one’s pocket. Call us shallow, but we are mesmerized by the escapement on a cage, going round and round.

The dial is hand guilloched and then enameled. The sunburst guilloche motif on the main dial contrasts to the concentric guilloche motif inside the date sub-dial at 12 o’clock. Blue enamel is then applied on top, resulting in a resplendent dial that dances in the light.

The new Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Enamel is a limited edition of 50 pieces. Priced at US$ 88,500, it is about US$ 18,000 dearer than the regular Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon.

Breitling Premier Automatic 40

We have admired Breitling ever more since the venerable Georges Kern took over the helm. In double quick time, he has totally transformed the company, and the Premier collection is a direct result of his work. Defined to be the elegant collection, he showcased it effectively with his Movie Squad on the likes of Brad Pitt, Charlize Theron, and Adam Driver.

Apart from the impressive marketing efforts, the watch itself is rather impressive as well. Naysayers will complain that Kern has just taken a leaf from his old playbook at IWC and recreated the Portugese. While it is true that the Permier Collection has elements of the Portugeiser, it has an identity of its own, And we think it is a bold, elegant, and fitting tribute to the stars who make up the Breitling Movie Squad, and totally appropriate for the collector looking for a modestly priced watch. And at S$ 5,750 as shown in blue crocodile strap, we’d say it is rather tasty indeed.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon Blue Grand Feu Enamel

Another value for money piece. A tourbillon in a watch with a grand feu enamel dial, retailing for S$50,000 (CHF 28,000). Ulysse Nardin introduced this in 2017 with a white grand feu enamel dial, and made a new series in a textured blue enamel over a guilloche dial. This provides the dial with added depth and texture, not to mention the ever popular blue hue.

And yes, yet another tourbillon. Oops!

Bonus and a public service announcement

Coz we know we will get flak for including a watch which is neigh impossible to obtain at retail prices, we feel we must include the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1a with a smoked blue dial, which Patek calls black-blue.

We do insist that you should buy only from Authorized Dealers at retail prices, and not resort to the Grey/Black market. After all, its just a watch we are talking about, and not (never) a life and death situation. If you cannot get the watch at retail, buy something else. Simple as that.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1a

Maybe we leave it as just a visual tribute, for all that needs to be said about the Nautilus has probably been said. For some of that, read also our review of the platimum 40th Anniversary edition here and the rose gold version here. Current retail for the SS version is S$ 40,400 inclusive of GST.

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