With the price of gold continuing to rise, collectors seem to be drawn to watches that put their gold on display.
Timepieces cut from white gold (which can sometimes be mistaken for steel) or platinum are taking a back seat to those crafted from yellow, red and particularly rose gold.
Continuing on from last year’s trend, rose gold watches seem to be more popular than ever and they dominated the market at both the SIHH and Basel watch fairs. But for some, investing in a rose gold watch and matching bracelet is starting to be something of a stretch and there is a growing interest in two tone watches that combine, say, the warmth of rose gold with the cool crisp look of stainless steel, or blend the glossy shine of ceramics with just a sliver of gold at the bezel or a splash of steel on the bracelet links.
This year Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced a twotoned version of its Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin watch. On a steel base case the rose gold becomes a featured metal on the iconic horizontal grooves across the top and bottom of the case. It is a style that the brand echoed in the matching bracelet. At Piaget the introduction of the two-toned Polo Forty-Five Perpetual Calendar watch saw rose gold bands balancing out a brushed titanium case. The use of rose gold on the case also helped the gold hour indicators on the dial stand out. For the British watch brand Bremont the introduction of the new version of the Solo 37/RG, with its silver steel barrel and rose gold bezel, updates the classic design in a way that looks fresh but doesn’t lose any of the charm of the timepiece’s retro style.
Two tone watches also appeal to collectors looking for versatile pieces that can be both sporty and sophisticated. The mixing of metals also increases the number of ensembles that will work in harmony with the timepiece. Chanel took the idea to an unusual place when it reworked its classic ceramic J12 watch. For the J12 Calibre 3125, the company transformed the glossy finish of a standard J12 into a sober matte style and accented the look with a bezel, crown and display case back, crafted from 18K yellow gold.
The growing desire for unexpected metal combinations and the perpetual search for innovative new technologies has been the driving force behind the new Twenty-8-Eight Tourbillon by DeWitt. The 43mm round watch case is a blend of rose gold and something called Neotitanium. The two tone watch face in gun metal gray and galvanic black make for a striking background to the watch’s rose gold central columns that frame the tourbillon and its rose gold lugs.
The increased interest in two tone watches is sure to continue in the coming years. What collectors need to look out for are combinations that take an original slant on this tried-and-true style. Brands that have imbued their designs with a rich mélange of metals that give the timepiece a unique framework for a haute horlogerie movement are the ones to invest in.