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Five Of Our Favourite Uses Of Colour In Independent Watchmaking

It’s refreshing to see that whilst the move towards classicism and restraint in watchmaking has been everywhere of late, there are still brands choosing to have fun with expressive palettes and bright detailing.

A splash of colour can set you apart from the crowd – and that’s no bad thing. But getting those distinctive tones right is no mean feat. Plenty of research and technical know-how goes into pulling off such vibrant design directives. We look at some of the best out there.


Schofield Beater Dials. Cold enameling is an uncommon technique in watchmaking. It’’s tricky as hell to get right, which is why a lot of brands steer clear. What it offers is the chance to get some brilliantly opaque colours, while preserving a technique that is more about skill than fancy equipment.

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HYT’’s fluorescent fluids. It doesn’’t glow in the dark, but its development and application made (and continues to make), HYT a leading light in horology. Challenging our traditional notions of how we read the time is tough. This Neuchâtel-based brand does it for fun.

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The mad mosaic of a Kari Voutilainen masterpiece. It would seem that the fantastic Finn could create anything with the right team behind him. The mosaic featured on his Hisui watch from 2014 was created by Kitamura Tatsuo, who is either a manual genius, or Ant-Man in disguise. Either way, his artistry is astounding and perfectly compliments Voutilainen’’s typically precise, exceptionally composed work.

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The purple Moonglow in Stepan Sarpaneva’’s Northern Lights. Purple’s an intoxicating colour in luxury watchmaking when applied in the right way. Normally this means in very small doses. Either nobody told Sarpaneva, or they told him repeatedly and he just didn’’t care. He was right not to.

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The blued movement of the DeWitt Twenty-8-Eight Skeleton Tourbillon. It should look tacky; it doesn’’t. It should look garish; it doesn’’t. It shouldn’’t make me giggle like a schoolgirl; it does. DeWitt took a real risk by blueing the skeletonised movement in the Twenty-8-Eight Skeleton Tourbillon. We love the blockish layout of the movement itself. It’’s chunky and cheerful, and it’’s cool for all the right reasons.

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