Colors come and go in and out of fashion when it comes to watches, just like, well, fashion.
Certain colors will always be in fashion when it comes to watches: black, silver, gold… Blue watches are also a versatile and popular choice. Recently, green dials have come into fashion – a natural progression from blue, in a sense. But now it looks like purple is the next big thing.
At first glance, purple seems like an odd color to choose for a watch. It’s a niche color that isn’t often used in mainstream fashion, especially men’s fashion, because it’s hard to pair with other colors and clothes.
Still, it makes a lot of sense. Mechanical watches are luxury items and the color purple has been associated with royalty, power and wealth for centuries, which means it’s actually a very fitting hue for a luxury item. like a watch.
Indeed, the fact that purple is so difficult to pair with other colors almost reinforces this luxurious aspect of the watch. It’s catchy; a little outrageous… And you have to be a real iconoclast (or really wealthy) to be able to afford such a niche color for a purchase as expensive as a luxury watch.
Either way, it’s exciting to see watchmakers and watch fans getting more imaginative with watch colors, like purple. Anything that inspires innovation is something to praise.
Here are some of the coolest new purple watches on the market, from a wide range of watchmakers. Some of these watches don’t just have purple dials, by the way: some also include purple cases and straps as well. If you wanna go purple, you might as well go all the way, hey?
In this article on the best purple watches…
Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet
Let’s start with what is often misunderstood Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet. First released in 2019, the Code 11.59 has had a somewhat mixed reception among watch fans: while it’s good to see AP doing more than Royal Oaks, the Code 11.59 has been criticized for its overly simplistic design.
This is an unfair criticism, as Code 11.59 is actually deceptively complex. Clever “sandwich” case design with clever floating lugs; a subtly double-curved sapphire crystal; a design that mixes the codes of the octagonal design of the Royal Oak with rounded elements… It’s a real watch for watch lovers.
The other liberating part of launching a new watch collection is that it allows AP to take more risks, like with color. Example: the 18-carat pink gold case of this Code 11.59 is adorned with a smoked violet lacquered dial with a sunburst effect and a matching rubberized fabric strap: a crazy combination.
Retail price: AU$46,100
TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition
This purple rendition of The famous TAG Heuer chronograph is easily one of the most high-profile purple watch releases in recent memory, and one that has a whole bunch of watch fans thinking differently about purple.
Its unexpected dial color is actually a subtle nod to the very first Heuer Monaco ref. 1113B and ref. Caliber 1533 15 from the late 60s and early 70s. As TAG Heuer explains, these Monacos used a metallic blue dial finish which over time showed a tendency to patina from blue to one color gradient purple, sometimes slightly washed out in the center and darker at the edges.
Mounted on a black alligator strap, it’s beautifully retro and eclectic in every way, brimming with great 70s vibes. This TAG Heuer Monaco is easily one of the best purple watches on the market.
Retail price: AU$10,400
NOMOS Glashütte Club Campus Blue Purple
NOMOS Glashütte is a cool independent watchmaker from Germany inspired by the Bauhaus movement, one of Germany’s most profound contributions to the world of modern art. Their pieces may be handmade in Glashütte, but they’re designed in Berlin, and it’s easy to see that Berlin influence if you look at any of their watches: NOMOS pieces are clean, minimalist and refined with a coherent and modern aesthetic.
The Club Campus collection is one of NOMOS’ most affordable watch collections, as well as one of its most colorful. Equipped with a simple and very readable dial with small seconds counter at 6 o’clock, this Club Campus combines a subtle purple dial with blue Super-LumiNova for low light conditions.
With its 36 mm in diameter, it is ideal for both men and women. Despite its low price, it is equipped with an in-house hand-wound movement that promises a 43-hour power reserve and a water resistance of 100 m. A great choice if you want a respectable purple watch without spending royal sums.
Retail price: AU$1,870
Hublot Big Bang Unico Summer Violet
Hublot, always eclectic, has never been afraid to experiment in combining bright colors with new materials and movements, and that Big Bang Unico Summer Purple is a particularly successful example of what the brand is capable of.
It features a lightweight aluminum casing with an anodized, polished, and satin finish in a distinctive pastel purple hue that not only looks amazing, but actually protects the casing from scratches and damage. Virtually every element (except the movement) of the watch is purple, from the chrono pushers and bracelet to indexes, hands and numerals.
Available on a leather-lined fabric and velcro strap or a solid rubber strap with a titanium clasp (both of which can be easily changed using the watch’s button-operated quick-change system), it’s hard to find a shows more purple than this Hublot.
Retail price: AU$30,700
Urwerk UR-100V Ultraviolet
If you thought Hublot was high tech, take a look at this Urwerk. The UR-100V Ultraviolet takes the already eye-catching, space-age UR-100 and its stunning planetary movement and dials the ridiculous up to 11 by sprinkling the case and watch movement purple.
Essentially, each of the three “satellites” representing the hours operate as retrograde minute hands as they cross the bottom of the dial. As one satellite passes 60 minutes, the next satellite takes over. Then, once the 60th minute has been reached, the minute hand disappears and reappears in the form of an odometer, illustrating the 555 kilometers traveled every 20 minutes by each inhabitant of planet Earth. Space stuff.
Urwerk explains that the color choice was inspired by the outfits of superheroes and villains like Hawkeye, The Phantom and The Joker (oddly enough, Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr. is one of the biggest Urwerk fans). Indeed, it’s exactly the kind of watch we imagine a superhero wears – but you might need Batman’s money to afford it…
Retail price: AU$82,590
anOrdain Model 1 Smoked Plum
From high tech to craftsmanship: anOrdian is an independent Scottish watchmaker who has become famous for their handcrafted enamel dials. Outside of Switzerland and Japan, anOrdain is one of the only watchmakers in the world to produce enamel dials in-house, a testament to the craftsmanship of these Glasgow locals.
This Model 1 is particularly special because anOrdain is the first and only watchmaker to create a fumé dial made of enamel. The richness of the purple dial of this model is particularly special; like a rich wine or a precious garnet, it is a violet watch that is totally mesmerizing to watch.
You might think all of this means it’ll cost you a pretty penny, but it’s not outrageously expensive. If you’re looking for a watch unlike any other, we can’t think of a better candidate.
Retail price: AU$4,165
King Seiko Purple Gradient
To top off this list of the best purple watches to buy, we have the King Seiko Purple Gradient. King Seiko is an interesting brand, which lay dormant for many years until it was relaunched earlier this year, much to the delight of watch fans.
King Seiko falls between Seiko and Grand Seiko in terms of quality and price (although it is much closer to the former than the latter in this sense). Made in Japan and featuring a distinct 60s aesthetic, modern King Seikos are for aficionados and iconoclasts alike.
The mauve dial on this model only adds to the retro appeal. Light and refined, it is typically Japanese and offers a playful contrast to the professional and angular case of this reference.
Retail price: AU$2,900