In April this year, Breitling’s CEO Georges Kern made an appearance in a webcast that started off lightheartedly. As he traversed decades of the brand’s history while ‘meeting and conversing’ with the founding fathers and key figures of Breitling’s history (perfect costume styling included), he introduced the novelties of the year. The focus was the Premier series, and the webcast shed light on the new additions to it, inspired by the men who had led the brand successfully. A classic line, one would imagine. Instead, unveiled was the Premier B09 Chronograph, with a pistachio green dial.
Now this is not the first time that Breitling has done a green dial. The colour can be traced back to the early 1980s, first with the Chronomat, and then the Colt. In fact, revealed among this year’s novelties was also the Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 Bentley Limited Edition, which also had a distinctive green dial. But the pistachio green, a delicate pastel hue, was new. Strapped onto a brown alligator leather strap, it had a distinct freshness.
Power of Green
Breitling’s offering in green is, however, only the start of what can easily be called the ‘green avalanche’ of 2021. From iconic/ agship lines to debutante models in verde, the colour has already made an overwhelming appearance in timepieces this year (and we are only halfway into 2021). In March, Audemars Piguet unveiled two iterations in green, back to back—the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ Extra-Thin Ref. 15202 in Platinum with a green sunburst, smoked gradient dial; and the updated Royal Oak Offshore Diver in khaki.
At Watches & Wonders, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso Tribute Small Seconds in a deep green paid obeisance to the pine forests around the brand’s manufacture in Vallée de Joux; Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 featured green palms on the dial; IWC’s Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 had an emerald green dial and steel bracelet iteration; Oris, with its Divers Sixty-Five ‘Cotton Candy’ collection, had bronze paired with, as the name suggests, cotton candy green. Piaget, Tudor, TAG Heuer, Cartier, H. Moser & Cie., and Panerai, all released a version of green. But perhaps the most telling is what Patek Philippe did. To replace its much-loved-now-discontinued blue Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-010 (the same one that allegedly has a 10-year wait list), the brand introduced the Nautilus 5711/1A-014 with a sunburst olive dial.
So what gives? How is it that so many brands have chosen to turn to green this year?
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