When I created the designs for my first golf timepieces one of the fundamental considerations was the colour of the watch face dial. I felt it was important to offer a choice of colours but naturally they all had to be inspired by golf. It might seem simple now but I regularly get asked about each of the colours I ended up choosing. So if you’ve ever wondered, here’s the insight into my thinking about all of the different colours my watches are available in.
So the first obvious choice was White. We all play with white golf balls, certainly in the summer, don’t we? And as the dials of my watches have real but subtle dimples on them it seemed the best place to start – they’ve also proved the most popular. One practical consideration is that in watchmaking it is traditional to edge the hands of the watch in the same finish as the case. So with stainless steel cases the hands are edged accordingly. However this can mean that the hands might be slightly difficult to see, particularly in bright sunlight, to those people with not the greatest eyesight Perhaps something to think about when you’re choosing your watch and if that issue could affect you perhaps a darker colour might be better.
I actually do play with yellow golf balls in winter. I find them easier to see on cold frosty days and as my course has a large number of trees, that just happen to shed white leaves in the autumn, it does help then too. We found the yellow dial looked best with our ionic black Sport Pro models and so that’s why Winter Yellow is limited to that collection. In watchmaking yellow is a favourite choice of Breitling in their aviator themed watches.
Have you ever played night golf in the pitch black? There’s been a few winters where we’ve had a six hole night golf competition at our golf club. Seeing the luminous markers along the fairways and around the greens, with the luminous flag holders too, reminded me of the luminous hands on a watch face set against a night black dial..
I first ventured to the Auld Grey toon of St. Andrews in 1990 – the year that Faldo won the Open. It’s a fantastic place overflowing with the history of the game. The grey granite faced buildings which give the town (or toon) it’s moniker felt a good colour choice for a watch dial and it actually goes rather well with a brown leather strap.
A little self-indulgent but my love of golf was first rekindled after an 8 year absence playing amongst the orange trees of Los Naranjos near Puerto Banus in Spain. I also love the Laranjal course in Quinta do Lago where we holiday every summer again winding its way through the orange groves. Orange is favourite colour within Omega’s range of diving watches.
I was lucky enough to go to the Masters at Augusta National in Georgia in 2015 – the year that Spieth marched to victory. Everything there is indeed green – not just the jacket but even the sand they use to fill the divots. Green is a colour not seen in many watches although it has been a favourite at Rolex – I’m told that Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, married a women who was Irish but I’ve not been able to substantiate that. Interestingly, whilst we are mentioning Wilsdorf, he set up Rolex originally to sell quality timepieces at affordable prices ... sound familiar?
And finally, one of my very favourites, the European Blue. Once again we've just experienced the excitement of the Ryder Cup and I felt that as I was a keen fan of the event, and the European team of course, then other fans too should be able to wear a watch to show which side their money’s on. It also helps that my football team also plays in blue!
The colours are available across the men’s collections with a choice of solid stainless steel bracelets, genuine leather straps or durable silicone straps. I did consider doing something similar for the ladies but their feedback was much more about a choice in the finish of the case and bracelet (steel, gold, rose gold) than the colour of the dial.
So now you know the reasons for the choices of dial colour in my watches. If you have any other suggestions then let me know. American Red anyone?
Enjoy the last few rounds of the golf season ... in the UK.