21.09.2023 - Breitling

Renewed appreciation: Why brown is the new black

We’ve all had a ‘beige tea’. You know, when you’re nearly disappearing into the freezer trying to bide time until the ‘big shop’… and well, sometimes a plate of nuggets and chips just does the job.

But if you’re a watch enthusiast, you’ll have noticed the emergence of the brown shade as a mainstream dial colour. 

For a long time watch brands have followed advice given to them by their retailers, who want to move goods quickly and so instruct brands to produce easier-to-sell conservative dial colours.

Brown was an under-represented dial color because watch retailers felt that consumers simply didn’t respond well to brown watches.

But with some stunning blue and green dials coming into play in recent years, there’s certainly a move being made away from the norm.

In a world where watches have been cherished for being ‘pristine’, it’s now refreshing to see collectors developing a fascination with dials that have naturally aged over time, especially those showcasing multiple shades of brown. The colour can take on a unique character that can’t be replicated artificially for the ultimate ‘‘vintage’ look.

Ageless charm

What makes the colour so alluring? Its neutral ability to pair with other shades? A return to natural things? A step back to the 70s when brown was hip? A renewed appreciation for the beauty of imperfection? 

The trend serves as a poignant reminder that as time goes by, a timepiece’s worth can actually grow, rather than diminish. These brown dials possess an ageless charm, representing the lasting legacy of exquisite craftsmanship and timeless design.

And we do have a few favourite watches emblematic of this trend to share:

Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700 

The ‘Jumbo Nautilus’ is celebrated for its unique blend of sophistication and vintage charm. While the Nautilus collection itself is sought after for its sporty elegance and distinctive design, this watch stands out for its unique attributes, but especially its brown dial that complements a stainless steel case and bracelet well.

This dial color is not only elegant but also quite rare, which adds to the watch’s desirability among collectors. 

It’s also considered highly collectible due to its rarity. Patek Philippe produced this model in limited quantities. Finding one in excellent condition can be a challenge. As a result, these watches have become highly sought-after in the vintage watch market, and their value has appreciated significantly over the years.

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712/1R

While the classic steel 5711 Nautilus has a blue dial, the 5712/1R in rose gold with a sunburst brown dial is a firm favourite here at Luxe Watches. It leans towards being sporty but has a stunning moonphase indicator, whilst maintaining the iconic porthole design and chunky bezel.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight Bronze

If you’re looking for the ultime in retro appearances, you’ll love this 39mm Tudor offering too. The aesthetic is enhanced by the bronze case and matching dial, which make it look like a historic piece of diving equipment, especially when it develops a patina.

It comes with a brown-bronze jacquard fabric strap and boasts a 70-hour power reserve.

Breitling SuperOcean Automatic 44 Bronze

In line with the ongoing popularity of bronze timepieces featuring brown dials, we have the Breitling SuperOcean Automatic 44 Bronze. 

This watch retains the distinctive oversized indices seen in the SuperOcean collection, along with its square-shaped minute hand. The dial boasts a luxurious chocolate hue that harmonizes beautifully with the dive-ready rubber strap. It’s driven by the Breitling calibre 17, offering a substantial 38-hour power reserve.

Need our expert advice?

If you’d like to view some gorgeous brown dials, come and visit us at our Epping boutique.

We have new and pre-worn watches from the world’s biggest luxury brands.