The Best Rainbow Watches, From Diamond-Studded to Digital
(Bloomberg) -- For decades, the market was dominated by classic stainless-steel sport watches and rose gold dress pieces with white dials and clean styling. In recent years, that’s changed as watchmakers have embraced their creativity and designed models that allow wearers to truly express themselves and their personal style. Today, watches can feature wild motifs, unusual materials, and bold colors, including dials that showcase all the colors of the rainbow.
A sprinkling of rainbow-colored luxury timepieces began coming to market over the past decade, with Rolex making a few Daytona models with colorful sapphire bezels in 2012 and Hublot and Chopard not far behind. By 2019, there was a veritable downpour, with the trend moving to watches by Parmigiani Fleurier, Audemars Piguet, and even Apple.
Once considered outré and flashy, rainbow gradients on watches are now de rigueur—especially during June, which is Pride Month. Here are 11 watches at various price points, so you can get in on the action.
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metropolitaine Rainbow Opal
This gorgeous watch from Swiss brand Parmigiani Fleurier has a delicate blue opal dial with a striking play of color: The left side of the dial appears more blue and purple, and the colors change to green, red, and orange on the right. The model is surrounded by an elegant ombré rainbow composed of 36 perfectly set baguette-cut gemstones. The Tonda Metropolitaine watch has applied gold hour markers and skeleton-leaf-shaped hands that allow the opal to peek through. $85,000
Rolex Day-Date 36
For a more discreet rainbow, Rolex’s Day-Date 36 is the way to go. This fabulous jeweled watch has a diamond-pavéd dial (we said the rainbow was discreet, not the watch) with 10 fancy colored sapphires as hour markers. The center link of the 18-carat white gold president bracelet is also set with diamonds, as is the bezel. The watch displays the day of the week at 12 o’clock and the date at 3 o’clock. It’s powered by the in-house Calibre 3255, which has a 70-hour power reserve. Price on request
Gucci Rainbow Plexiglass Watch
This colorful and playful watch from Gucci has a 40 mm rectangular plexiglass case with rainbow hues, including a band of gold glitter. The narrow plexiglass bracelet is studded, with colored crystals on the back, as well as Gucci’s signature bee motif. The watch has a white mother-of-pearl dial and is powered by a quartz movement. $920
Shinola the Pride Detrola 43 mm Watch
The quartz Pride Detrola watch from Shinola has a translucent case made from resin and a mirrored dial. It comes with two straps that can be easily changed at home: a clear silicone one that matches the case and a bright striped nylon strap. The watch is made in Detroit and is limited to 1,969 pieces in honor of the Stonewall riots in 1969. In addition to celebrating Pride Month with the Pride Detrola, Shinola is donating $120,000 to two nonprofit organizations active in the LGBT community: SAGE and the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit. $450
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Self-Winding Chronograph
This ultra-luxe Royal Oak Offshore from Audemars Piguet has a monochrome pink gold look—even the chronograph counters and date aperture match—with the added touch of 32 rainbow-colored sapphires encircling the bezel. The dial is a textured masterpiece, mixing the marque’s iconic Lady Tapisserie pattern with circular guilloché decorations. $80,200
Apple Pride Edition Apple Watch
Every year, Apple releases a limited-edition band for the Apple Watch in honor of Pride Month. The one for 2021 braids all the colors of the rainbow, as well as hues from additional Pride flags honoring the larger LGBTQ+ community, including transgender and nonbinary individuals and the Black and Latinx communities. The band is made from recycled polyester yarn braided around silicone thread, making it soft, durable, and water-resistant. If you already have an Apple Watch, you can buy the band separately or download the matching watch face for free. $449
Michael Kors Oversized Dylan Gold Tone and Silicone Pride Watch
The Oversized Dylan Gold Tone and Silicone Pride watch makes quite a statement with its 48 mm gold-tone case and swirling, rainbow enamel dial. The quartz chronograph movement has three counters artfully hidden on the dial, and there’s a small date aperture at 6 o’clock, too. It has a sporty, white silicone strap and is water-resistant to 10 standard atmosphere. $250
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang King Gold Rainbow
Hublot’s creative designers have decked out the iconic Big Bang watch in everything from colored velvet and bold ceramic to clear sapphire, and its new rainbow-hued collection is turning heads. The Spirit of Big Bang King Gold Rainbow has a tonneau-shaped case made from Hublot’s proprietary King Gold, which is warmer-looking than traditional gold. The case, bezel, and dial are fully set with a rainbow of gemstones, and the alligator strap is also dyed in rainbow colors. $92,600
Swatch Bau Swatch Multiboost
Swatch takes a different approach to rainbow-inspired timepieces in the Bau Swatch Multiboost. Instead of traditional stripes, the dial is decorated with a prism-inspired design. This cheerful, quartz-powered watch has a matching rainbow ombré silicone strap with a transparent blue plastic clasp. $80
Breitling Chronomat Automatic 36 South Sea
Breitling’s new Chronomat watches are inspired by the colors of the South Sea and its tropical islands. The midnight-blue model has colorful gemstones set around the stainless-steel bezel. Each hour marker is topped with a diamond for a bit of extra sparkle. It features the automatic Breitling 10 movement that has a 42-hour power reserve. $8,500
Chanel’s designers had rainbows on their minds when designing the 2021 watch collection. Several models feature a rainbow in some way, including multicolored indicators, gem-set bezels on the J12, and hidden rainbow-colored gemstones along the side of a diamond-set bracelet. The Première Electro weaves a rainbow-colored leather strap through the chain bracelet, which wraps around the wrist three times. Price on request
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