Contemplating on what the dial color of 2024 will be

First thing’s first: every year the design world waits anxiously to see what color Pantone names as its color of the year.  In case you didn’t know, the Pantone Color Institute is recognized around the world as the leading source of color information that forecasts global color trends and advises companies on vast applications regarding color.  This includes brand identity, product development, and “the application and integration of color as a strategic asset.”  

The institute also gives companies recommendations on color custom development, and palette recommendations that best suit their product or corporate identity.  In fact, the Pantone Color Institute partners with global brands “to leverage the power, psychology and emotion of color in their design strategy.”

Those of us not involved in the design or fashion industry can only imagine how pivotal this announcement is because not only does the institute provide customized color standards, brand identity and product color consulting, they also do “trend forecasting,” which is where the Pantone Color of the Year comes in, as well as the Fashion Runway Color Trend Reports, and the color psychology studies that institute conducts.  Indeed, the Color of the Year is most likely the hue that will appear on ready-to-wear brands, product design, fashion design, paint companies, and many others. 

If Apple releases a new iPhone model, for example, chances are at least one variant will be in the hue chosen by Pantone.  Every day items such as toothbrushes, notebooks, cups, area rugs, throw pillows, perfume bottles, even drink colors, you name it, because literally anything that is man made and mass produced can and will most likely be in the chosen color of the year.  And while watch dials are among the products that have been known to follow Pantone’s recommendation, that isn’t always the case.

dial color of 2024

Pantone’s color of the year for 2023, for example was… Viva Magenta 18-1750, a carmine red hue that, according to Pantone, “Invokes the spirit of nature… that does not boldly dominate but instead creates a beguiling presence, whether introduced through a painted wall, art, accent furniture or home décor, or acting as a bold accent in a pattern.”

Suffice to say, there weren’t a whole lot of Viva Magenta dials in 2023.  In fact, it can be argued that the predominant dial color of last year was ice blue with a proliferation of ice blue dials from the likes of the Tissot PRX, the Zenith Defy Skyline, three Aqua Terra models from Omega, the updated Rolex Daytona in platinum, the Bell & Ross BR05 GMT Sky Blue, and the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SSC937, just to name a few.  Indeed, the list is a lot longer than that but you get the picture.

However, to be fair, Viva Magenta did appear in a number of timepieces but because of its inherent shade, they were predominantly ladies watches.  Oris, for example, gave us a couple of Aquis Date Diamonds models at 41mm, one on a bracelet and the other with a matching colored Oris rubber strap.  Breitling, on the other hand, premiered the Breitling Top Time B01 Chevrolet Corvette from their Classic Cars Capsule collection with a fiery red dial, another elegant tool watch made appropriately for men.

For 2024, Pantone invites that “warm, fuzzy feeling” with the announcement of PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz, a delicate, pinkish-orange hue, that believe it or not, is no stranger to the world of watchmaking.  That’s right, we’ve seen this hue in watchmaking before.  Whether it be in vintage-inspired salmon dials, as well as in warm pink gold and rose gold case constructions, the application of the soothing color nestled between pink and orange will not be as provocative as many might think.

But what exactly is Peach Fuzz?  According to the company that chose it, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz, “Captures our desire to nurture ourselves and others.  It’s a velvety gentle peach tone whose all-embracing spirit enriches mind, body, and soul.”  And according to Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Panton Color Institute, “In seeking a hue that echoes our innate yearning for closeness and connection, we chose a color radiant with warmth and modern elegance.  A shade that resonates with compassion, offers a tactile embrace, and effortlessly bridges the youthful with the timeless.”

trending  watches

And before anyone starts thinking that the Pantone Color of the Year is nothing more than just a trendy shade, think again, it indeed reflects the current cultural climate and has, in fact, already seen some examples from the watch industry.

From Oris we already have the Aquis Date 36.5mm with a Blush Pink mother-of-pearl dial (yes, this is one of the hues of Peach Fuzz) with matching color rubber strap is particularly fetching, as are a couple of 38mm Divers Sixty-Five watches, both with “Cotton Candy” dials, one on a matching recycled perlon strap in a matching color, and the other on a bracelet, all three of which were released in 2023.  Breitling also already gave us a watch with a Peach-Fuzz-like colored dial in 2023 with the Premier B01 Chronograph 42, a handsome piece that carries its vintage appeal with aplomb.

Then there is the Rolex President Day-Date 40 in Everose Gold, a prestigious model that exemplifies the elegance of the material; the Cartier Panthere Triple Loop in Rose Gold; not to mention the salmon dials of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin; the ultra-contemporary Rolex Air-King 14000; and the mesmerizing Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 White Grape Dial with a “white grape” dial colored in a muted salmon., however, predicts that the dial color of 2024 will be dark brown, or to be more specific: chocolate, coffee, mahogany, tobacco, chestnut, and mocha dials, and gives a compelling argument for it by citing already existing examples of watches with dark brown dials that have already made their debuts in 2023.  

Premier of which are the fantastic Laurent Ferrier Grand Sport Tourbillon Gold Brown; the King Seiko SPB365; the Baltic Aquascaphe Bronze Marron; the two-tone Tudor Royal with its chocolate-brown dial; the Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture that celebrated the 35th anniversary of the brand; as well as the trio of Nomos Club sport Neomatik 39 “Indian Summer” models, one of which sported a stunning dark brown “Tabac” colored dial.  

Of particular note is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked “Cactus Jack” Limited Edition with its overall dark brown color palette that proves that dark brown isn’t confined to just dials.  But it was the Vacheron Constantin Overseas 4500V with its alluring dark mocha dial that was the strongest argument yet that the color should be part of the standard palette of colors.

So, what will be the dial color of 2024?  Will it be Peach Fuzz as Pantone and the rest of the design and fashion industry predicts?  Or will it be dark brown, which has also been “trending” on a lot of watches released in 2023, as foresees?  Let us know in the comments below and tell us what you think should be the dial color of 2024.

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