Baselworld 2019 Predictions: Dress Watches

We think there might be more twists to the classics.

What more can brands do with the classic dress watch? If past watch fairs have taught us anything, it is that there is plenty of room to explore, even within the strict confines of the category of pared-down, office-appropriate watches.

For a start, retro-inspired designs have reaped handsome commercial rewards for brands in recent years. And as we predicted for the sports watch category, vintage or throwback styles circa the 1940s and 1950s will continue to make their presence felt this year. Think domed sapphire crystals, cathedral hands, historical fonts, and archival re-issues.

As for sizes, we are guessing that there will be a continued influx of models in sub-40mm cases, making them more suited to the traditional mould of classic dress watches while at the same time broadening the appeal to accommodate both men and women.

Having said that, we won’t be surprised if things take a turn for the ostentatious. Dress watches in gold are primed for an overdue comeback, as are tonneau-shaped cases. Decorative dials, whether skeletonised or featuring métiers d’art techniques may also add some fireworks to the proceedings.

Finally, if blue was the dominant colour for 2018, we are hedging our bets on green and salmon taking over the spotlight as 2019’s hues of the year. We’ve been told by collectors that green is not an easy colour to execute on watches but when done well, the results can be stunning.

As for pink dials, we are taking cues from the likes of Montblanc, A. Lange & Söhne and Audemars Piguet from their showcases earlier in Geneva this year. While popular in vintage watches, pink dials have been missing from modern offerings. With trends being cyclic, it now looks to be a fresh ‘new’ colour that looks to, excuse the pun, set the tone for the coming years.


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