Jewelry fads get more attention—but the high-end watch world also sees trends come and go, albeit at a slower pace. And with social media platforms offering more watch content than ever, trends in the watch world are easier than ever to identify (and buy for).
Below are five current timepiece trends we’re betting will be in demand this holiday season and into 2022.
Taste the Rainbow
Back in 2012, Rolex released their popular Daytona timepiece with bezels crafted with rainbow-colored sapphires. It kick-started a rainbow trend that was slow moving at first, but then rapidly gained traction: manufacturers such as Hublot, Jacob & Co., Chopard, and Corum have all added rainbow-hued watches (using colored gemstones) to their collections. The trend is still going strong, but makers are getting more creative. Breitling, to cite one example, introduced an iteration of its Superocean Heritage timepiece with a white dial and bezel featuring enameled rainbow-colored indices.
Everything Old is New Again
Retro watches are so popular, they might just transcend the “trend” tag. Still, although it’s hard to remember now, a vintage watch in wearable condition used to be something one could find (if one looked hard enough) at an estate sale, an antique store, a pawn shop, or even at the Goodwill. Today, vintage watches are their own lucrative category, raking in billions annually. Online sellers are growing, as are pedigreed players including Wind Vintage—founded by Eric Wind, former VP of Watches at Christie’s New York.
No, we’re not talking about Derek Zoolander’s iconic look, but rather the trend of stainless-steel sport-style watches with blue dials. Some have integrated bracelets. Others do not. Some are chronographs. Many aren’t. But even though brands have been increasingly producing more watches with more vividly colored dials (green is also up-and-coming), there’s still huge demand for blue/steel, popular with spiky haired supermodels and many others.
The Bronze Age
What is it about watches in bronze that make our hearts go all aflutter? Is it the warmth of the color? The Statue of Liberty-ish greenish patina it eventually develops? Or perhaps the sheer weight of it? No matter, cozy bronze is a red-hot trend in timepieces. See Tudor’s 39mm Black Bay Fifty-Eight all-bronze edition, dropped in June, and the new-ish Omega Seamaster 300 Bronze Gold, made with a newly developed alloy mashing bronze and gold together.
While women in the mid-twentieth century adorned their wrists with delicate, often diamond-accented wristwatches that were considered “ladylike” and “feminine” at the time, today’s woman watch collector is determined to wear what she likes and feels comfortable in, even if that means choosing a historically “man-sized” watch. On the flip side, watch brands are offering smaller-sized watches to their male clients. Tudor and Rolex are doing brisk business with their 36mm timepieces, and lately are making them in vibrant hues or with patterned dials. Basically, the “norm” these days is that the norm does not exist, and that’s a trend we can get behind.