Diving Into The Blue
The Best of Blue Dial Watches at Bonhams Hong Kong December Sales

Hong Kong Watches | 2 December 2020
Luxury Online | 10 – 17 December 2020

Coloured dials in watches are taken for granted now, though in fact, they are a relatively modern development – especially in blue. In its December sales, Bonhams Hong Kong will offer a series of blue-dial wristwatches, tracing the history of what is now the hottest style trend in horology.

Coloured dials have their origins in the 1970s, when chronographs and dive watches used bright orange and zesty yellow to accent details, allowing wearers – mostly pilots and divers – to read the time in a clearer and faster manner.

This functional intent unexpectedly opened the door to incorporating colour for purely aesthetic purposes. Brands began to break away from their greyscale tradition to embrace and experiment with colours in their design. From Audemars Piguet's ground-breaking Royal Oak series introduced in the 1970s' to the Patek Philippe's Nautilus series trending since the 1990s' – both on offer in Bonhams' forthcoming sales – colour dials became a novel and highly-preferred feature for many collectors.

The elegant and dignified blue dial proved the most versatile and popular, and watchmakers began to use them for their limited-edition models, further encouraging the market to 'go blue'. The timeless blue dials are now part and parcel of anyone's collection.

The upcoming Bonhams sales present a wide series of blue dial watches across all price points and styles, led by a Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref.3712/1A-001 with Date, Moon Phases and Power Reserve, 2005 (Estimate: HK$400,000-900,000). Released in a limited production of about 1,500 pieces in 2005 before discontinuing about a year after, the Nautilus Ref. 3712 is one of the rarest variants of the much-loved Nautilus family, and is an upgrade from the Ref. 3700 with three additional complications on its gradient blue dial – a power reserve indicator, an analogue date and a moon-phase display. This lot will be offered in Bonhams Luxury Online sale with its original presentation box and certificate.

Sharon Chan, Bonhams Director of Watches, Asia, commented: "The market for blue dial watches is stronger than ever, in general achieving prices 10% to 20% higher than their black-and-white counterparts. We see this trend across all price points, and not just for men's timepieces but also premium ladies' watches, such as the two superb examples of sapphire wristwatches we have on offer this time."

Other blue-dial highlights include (from left to right):

Piaget | Polo Tourbillon Relatif, an exceptionally unique and limited to 3, white gold and blue enamel flying tourbillon wristwatch, circa 2017. Offered for the first time at auction.
Estimate: HK$550,000-800,000
Hong Kong Watches (2 December)

Panerai | Luminor Submersible 1950 Bronze, a limited edition and rare bronze wristwatch with date and 3-days power reserve, circa 2017, complete set
Estimate: HK$120,000 - 180,000
Hong Kong Watches (2 December)

Audemars Piguet | Royal Oak Offshore Ref.25770st stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with date, circa 1999, complete set
Estimate: HK$100,000 - 180,000
Hong Kong Watches (2 December)

Omega | Orange Mécanique, an attractive stainless steel and orange sapphire-set wristwatch with date and blue mother-of-pearl dial, circa 2006
Estimate: HK$140,000-200,000
Hong Kong Watches (2 December)

Graff | Leaf, a superb and rare limited-edition lady's white gold full diamond and sapphire-set bracelet watch, circa 2015, accompanied with presentation box
Estimate: HK$280,000 - 400,000 (No Reserve)
Hong Kong Watches (2 December)

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