in 1997, Audemars Piguet introduced the Colors series of the Royal Oak Offshore. Having a high-end watch available in shiny and bright colours like yellow and green was unheard of and also not really understood at that time. An expensive watch should be "serious", right?
In the past two decades the face of high-end horology has changed dramatically and creative newcomers like MB&F, Richard Mille and the likes has taught us how creativity, glamour and bright colours go very well together with serious high-end watchmaking. Whether it's straps, dials or even movement parts, executed in exotic materials, we look at horology from a much more colourful perspective than in the past. So the 2017 AP Funky Colours were much better understood than their 1997 predecessors.
Now we are in 2020, a year that will not be remembered for its positivity and carefree prospects. Lockdowns, viruses and economic stress dominate the agenda . I cannot help to think that this exactly why we see a Summer of Colours in horology. Brands are guiding us in what Kristian Haagen called a "post-Covid19 celebration of life". This summer Carl F. Bucherer, Doxa and recently Rolex lead us out of the darkness and make our lives more shiny and colourful. Vitamins for the wrist.
Are we at the start of an explosion of colour variations among watch brands or is it a short-lived trend? I don't know and honestly I don't care. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 and 41 in colors remind of the 1970's Stella's, as the brand has it's own history in colouring up the Oyster series. Same for Doxa, where the original 1969 SUB300T already had an orange dial. For Carl F. Bucherer the Patravi TravelTec in colours seems to be a first. The brands all made their own choices and planning, however the timing is excellent.
I really enjoy the Summer of Colour, and hope to see some yellow, blue and red on collectors wrists more often. Just to celebrate...