Red Dial Watches Are Impossible to Ignore
A Jacob & Co Astronomia Collection luxury wristwatch stands on display in Basel, Switzerland. (Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg)

Red Dial Watches Are Impossible to Ignore

(Bloomberg Businessweek) -- The color red always says something—and says it loudly. In lipstick it speaks of a brash confidence. On a Ferrari it practically begs for a speeding ticket. And on a wristwatch it says, “The time is not to be ignored.”

Although blues and greens have recently been trendy in elite watchmaking, reds and burgundies are emerging as elegantly bold alternatives, particularly on special editions made in limited quantities. It’s not hard to figure out why: Hues call to mind sensuality and danger—TAG Heuer’s crimson dial honors the 50th anniversary of its Monaco racing chronograph—whereas others offer heat and luxury. When Hublot set out to create the industry’s first “vibrant­-colored” ceramic, it ended up producing a version of the material that was extra-hard, too. Here are seven timepieces draped in red that are sure to get a connoisseur’s blood pumping.

Bovet Virtuoso V Red Guilloché Edition

The main dial of this special edition, with an innovative jumping hour and retrograde minutes hand, is treated with 12 layers of lacquer. On the reverse (shown above), an open face features an off-center hours-and-minutes subdial in the same red guilloche. Price upon request

Hublot Big Bang Unico Red Magic

It took four years for Hublot’s R&D team to achieve the red ceramic that made its debut on this watch. The material, produced from a secret patented formula, boasts a greater hardness than conventional ceramics. It enhances the case, hands, and indexes of this red timepiece, which is equipped with the skeletonized, column-wheel-driven Unico chronograph movement. $26,200

Red Dial Watches Are Impossible to Ignore

Chopard Mille Miglia Rosso Corsa

Chopard’s longtime partnership with Italy’s Mille Miglia vintage car rally is celebrated annually with special-edition timepieces. Last year’s fleet of wristborne racers paid tribute to the nation-specific colors of the event’s teams. Among them is the Rosso Corsa, a high-octane chronograph whose dial bears the blazing—and distinctly Italian—red of Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Maserati. $6,280

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds Red

Originally designed for polo players in the 1930s, the legendary Reverso, with its two faces and swiveling case, has become a canvas for numerous artful interpretations. This elegant, burgundy-dialed piece includes a customizable steel case and matching leather strap from artisanal Italian bootmaker Casa Fagliano. $7,650

Red Dial Watches Are Impossible to Ignore

TAG Heuer Monaco Anniversary Edition 1979-89

The groundbreaking Monaco chronograph, made famous by Steve McQueen in the 1970s, marked its 50th birthday in 2019 with five limited editions, each tailored to a specific decade of the model’s life. Suitably, a bright red dial reps the go-go ’80s. $6,550

Tutima Saxon One Chronograph Racing Red

The Cold War-era aviators’ watches that inspired the Saxon One had only a single red stripe on the rotating coin-edge bezel. On the modern version, the claret-colored dial is enhanced by sunburst-finished chronograph subdials, a multifaceted pyramidal steel case, and an integrated alligator strap. $6,100

Red Dial Watches Are Impossible to Ignore

H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Perpetual Calendar MD

Moser is renowned for its graduated “fumé” dials, and the one on this perpetual calendar might remind you of a snifter of ruby port. The complex movement behind the dial, meanwhile, requires no resetting at leap years and no winding for a week. $39,900

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