Brown is not a classic colour when it comes to watches. For much of the last century, watchmakers manufactured watches with white dials, and as technology progressed, they added black and then blue ones to their collections. Though watches were always produced with brown leather straps, it is only in the last decade or so that brown dials have started catching the watch buyer’s fancy. But now, we have reached a stage where we can possibly call it a trend. Watches with dials in various hues of brown and chocolate are everywhere. That buyers love them can be seen by the fact that almost every watchmaker has brown dials in their watch collections. Here’s a look at some of the best brown watches in the market.
BREITLING SUPEROCEAN HERITAGE ’57 OUTERKNOWN
The third watch in Breitling’s collaboration with Outerknown, the sustainable apparel brand co-founded by American surfing legend Kelly Slater, comes with a specially made brown coloured ECONYL yarn NATO strap. It is matched with a bronze dial. Comes with a 42mm steel case and a concave bidirectional rotating bezel. The self-winding mechanical movement has a power reserve of 48 hours. A limited-edition (500 pieces) version is also available with the bezel in 18K red gold.
CHOPARD L.U.C SKULL ONE
This 100-piece limitededition watch is not exactly brown, but its hand-stitched calfskin leather strap and the hues of the gilt numerals, hour-markers, and dauphine-type hours and minutes hands give it the brown feel. The watch is dedicated to the Mexican Day of the Dead, because of which the lacquered black dial is adorned with calavera or skulls that are commonly used to commemorate the occasion. Comes in a 40mm beadblasted DLC stainless steel case. The automatic movement has a power reserve of 58 hours.
PANERAI RADIOMIR CALIFORNIA – 47MM
With the design based on the first Panerai model created for the Second World War, this watch comes with a gold dial tinged with tones of shaded brown. It replicates the vintage design of the minutes track, and the combination of Roman numerals, Arabic figures, and hour markers. The 47mm case is in steel, with aged patina effect. The hand-wound movement has a power reserve of three days. The dark brown strap is in oiled calf ‘Tuscan leather’, with beige sewing.
BLANCPAIN FIFTY FATHOMS BATHYSCAPHE DAY DATE DESERT EDITION
A diving watch called Desert Edition might sound like an oxymoron, but it is not. This 500-pieces limited-edition watch is inspired by Blancpain diver’s watch from the 1970s, and its desert-like colour refers to the Death Valley, the famous desert in Eastern California, the location of Devils Hole, an underwater cavern that plunges into the bowels of the earth to a depth of more than 120 metres, before opening out into a gigantic underwater river. Working with Blancpain, the legendary underwater photographer, Ernest H.Brooks II, took some of his most famous photographs of the submarine life here in the early 1960s. The watch stands out for its subtly graduated sand coloured dial featuring a sunburst pattern, and the matching sandy-coloured sail-canvas strap. Comes in a 43mm satin-brushed steel case that is water-resistant to 300 metres. The self-winding movement has a five-day power reserve.
HERMÈS ARCEAU L’HEURE DE LA LUNE
This unique moon phase watch provides a simultaneous display of the lunar phases in both northern and southern hemispheres. Two mobile counters gravitate on a lunar, Martian or Black Sahara meteorite dial that feature two mother-of-pearl moon discs. The mobile counters, which are in graded brown, display the time and date, and turn weightlessly to reveal the moon discs. At 12 o’clock, the moon is adorned by a Pegasus, a hat-tip to the Hermès horse emblem. Comes in a 43mm white gold case. Powered by a self-winding movement.
HUBLOT BIG BANG UNICO BERLUTI COLD BROWN
This watch is part of the collaboration between Hublot and the French men’s fashion house Berluti, famous for its legendary Venezia leather that is featured all over, including the dial, bezel, and the strap. The dial construction encloses the brown leather between two pieces of sapphire glass, cut out to reveal the gears of the Unico movement. Leather has also been used in the construction of the bezel. Thanks to an adhesive and rigidifying resin, the first part of the bezel — in leather and around 1mm thick — is inserted on to the second part, which is a lower base in black ceramic, which is then screwed on to the case of the watch. The leather comes with a patina inspired by a past patina from Berluti’s archives. A glacé finish emphasises various shades of brown. Comes in a 45mm ceramic cases. The self-winding movement has a 72-hour power reserve.
OMEGA SPEEDMASTER MOONPHASE – CO-AXIAL MASTER CHRONOMETER – MOONPHASE CHRONOGRAPH 44.25 MM
This version of the Speedmaster Moonwatch collection from 2016 comes with a striking brown dial. The moonphase, at 6 o’clock, features a microscopic reproduction of Sea of Tranquillity, with Buzz Aldrin’s footprint on it. Buzz Aldrin, of course, was the second person to walk the lunar surface, and wore a Speedmaster, the Sea of Tranquillity is where he took the walk. The 44.25mm case is in steel and Sedna™ Gold. The self-winding movement has a power reserve of 60 hours.
ZENITH CHRONOMASTER REVIVAL A385
This watch is a recreation of the original Zenith A385 chronograph from 1969, which featured the first gradient dial in the watch industry. The smoked brown dial, with a vignette effect that blackens towards the edges and provides a striking sense of visual depth, has been faithfully recreated in the new version. So is the 37mm tonneau-shaped stainless steel case, including the pump-style pushers. The only difference is in the domed sapphire crystal that replaces the acrylic glass of the old. The self-winding El Primero 400 chronograph movement offers a power reserve of 50 hours. The bracelet is also a hat-tip to the 1969 watch, with an option in a light brown calf leather strap that develops a unique patina with wear and time.
MONTBLANC STAR LEGACY ORBIS TERRARUM
This watch is a more stylish and legible reinterpretation of the Orbis Terrarum 24 time-zone timepiece, which was launched in 2014. The dial is constructed in two layers that rotate with the movement’s mechanism. The upper rotating sapphire crystal disc is partially transparent, with rhodium or rose gold metallic coating to make the Northern Hemisphere continents and meridians stand out above the seas and oceans, providing three-dimensional aesthetics to the timepiece. It is surrounded by a ring depicting the 24 cities. In the limited edition (500 pieces) 18K gold version, the day and night disc that rotates below the sapphire disc turns from light brown to dark brown to indicate day and night in all 24 time zones of the world. Additionally, a red-tipped triangle has been added at 12 o’clock, pointing towards the city of the owner’s local time zone. The case is 43mm in size. The mechanical self-winding movement has a power reserve of 42 hours.
FREDERIQUE CONSTANT FLYBACK CHRONOGRAPH MANUFACTURE
This watch is a part of two new variations of the brand’s Flyback Chronograph Manufacture collection. The flyback allows the chronograph to be stopped, reset, and restarted with a single press of the push-piece, rather than the three successive presses. The 42mm case is in rose gold plated steel, and the brown dial also features rose gold plated indexes and hands. The automatic movement has a power reserve of 38 hours.
FOSSIL BRONSON CHRONOGRAPH BROWN CROCO LEATHER
Chronograph with a brown dial in an oversized 50mm case and oversized strap in leather and silicone.
TAG HEUER AUTAVIA IN BRONZE
The looks of this classic looking automatic men’s watch is inspired by vintage pilot watches. The 42mm case is in brushed bronze, a metal that acquires a unique patina with time. The bezel is in bronze and ceramic. The bronze is matched by the chocolate brown smoked dial, and the brown leather strap.
RADO CAPTAIN COOK AUTOMATIC BRONZE
This new version of the 1962 watch comes with vintage details and styling that is true to the original. The 42mm case is bronze and ceramic, and the dial of the watch is brown. The self-winding movement has a power reserve of 80 hours.