Guides Watches

15 Watches That Prove Salmon Is the Coolest Dial Colour of 2023

Laurent Ferrier GrandSport Tourbillon Pursuit

Trends come and go in the watch world as much as any other industry (albeit a good deal slower), with different complications, case shapes and yes, colours, heading in and out of the revolving door of the horological zeitgeist. But after years of discussing green as the hue of the moment, now it’s the turn of something much more rooted in the past: salmon. But if salmon is the colour of the moment, what are the coolest salmon dial watches that have been released during 2023?

Originally, salmon dials were meant to match rose gold cases for that vintage tone-on-tone look we more readily associate with yellow gold and champagne. Nowadays though there’s a host of different versions and whether the watchmaker in question calls them rose, copper or sunrise, we’re just going to call them all salmon – and right now there’s more of them appearing than at a bear’s favourite dining spot. So, without any more preamble, here are the best salmon dialled watches of 2023 – with, I’m sure, more to come before the end of the year.

Baltic MR01 Salmon

Baltic MR01 Salmon

A good few steps away from the Aquascaphe diving watch that really put them on the map, the Baltic MR01 is just as impressive a vintage-flavoured timepiece, just more dress than tool watch. The name comes from the micro-rotor equipped movement, which is well worth exhibiting through the sapphire caseback as well as keeping things svelte. The cherry on top is the salmon dial that, with ornate applied indexes crowns, makes for wonderfully textured pinkness. The MR01’s never going to have quite the same impact as the Aquascaphe, but maybe it should.

Case/dial: 36mm diameter (44mm lug to lug) x 9.9mm thickness, stainless steel case, grained salmon dial with guilloche seconds sub-dial
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Hangzhou calibre CAL5000A, automatic, 42h power reserve
Strap: Italian calf leather with blue stitching, stainless steel beads of rice bracelet, steel flat link bracelet or steel beads of rice straight bracelet
Price: €545 (approx. £468)

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Makina Watches Uriel V

Makina Uriel V

In the Uriel V, Makina have brought together two distinctly vintage elements: a pulsometer, originally used by doctors as a medical tool for checking your pulse, and a shimmering salmon dial. Here that dial is across three different layers, with the pulsometer on the outside, large, applied numerals one down, and the handset at the bottom. Not only does it make best use of the coppery colouring, but it builds an architectural flavour into what, conceptually, is a relatively simple timepiece. Pair that with Makina’s unusually chunky cushion case and you have a modern version of a retro hero. The only downside is that there aren’t many of the Uriel V salmon left. Still, there’s always the equally handsome (if aesthetically very different) Andras I.

Case/dial: 38mm (44mm lug to lug) x 11.1mm thickness, polished stainless steel case, multi-layered brass dial with a satin finish, applied metal indices and brass 3-dimensional hands
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Sellita calibre SW200, automatic, 26 jewels with hacking seconds, 38h power reserve
Strap: Crocodile leather
Price: $700 (approx. £552)

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Duckworth Prestex Coronation Limited Edition

Duckworth Prestex Coronation Limited Edition

Whether you’re a monarchist or a republican, the King’s coronation was one hell of a celebration and true to form, a smattering of patriotic British brands joined the fun – cushion – shaped case in point, this handsome number from ultra-accessible watch brand Duckworth Prestex. The 150-piece limited edition is classical to the point of ornate, with an asymmetrical small second’s subdial and curvaceous Arabic numerals. Part traditional British watchmaking, part Art Deco elegance, it’s an undeniable looker for well under 1K.

Case/dial: 39mm diameter (46.5mm lug to lug) x 11mm thickness, stainless steel case, salmon dial with printed blue Prestex original art nouveau arabic numerals
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Miyota calibre 82S5, automatic, 21 jewels, 48h power reserve
Strap: Brown leather
Price: £795, limited to 150 pieces

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Vulcain Skindiver Nautique

Vulcain Skindiver Nautique

Retro heritage watch brand Vulcain aren’t going to let the dress watches have all the fun. An archival re-imagining of their famous 1960s skindiver, the Nautique is at the classier end of diving, with a slim bezel with a minimal diving scale, smaller-than-usual indexes and, in this case, a light pink salmon dial. It brings a splash of colour to what would otherwise be a utilitarian affair, turning sober and handsome into something a lot more fun. Backed by solid diving specs and a relatively accessible price tag, the only thing it’s missing is the brand’s legendary cricket alarm. Who knows how that would sound underwater?

Case/dial: 38mm diameter x 12.2mm height, brushed and polished stainless steel case and unidirectional rotating bezel with black ceramic inlay, salmon dial with black markings and white Super‑LumiNova indices
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: ETA calibre 2824, automatic movement with 38h power reserve
Strap: Black leather with carbon pattern and matching stitching and stainless steel pin buckle
Price: £1,319.77, limited to 50 pieces

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Farer Moonphase Eddington

Farer Moonphase Eddington

You can always trust British brand Farer to embrace colour, enough in fact that salmon often just seems a bit too passé for their eclectic approach to design. Take their new moonphase collection for example. An ode to one of the most classical of complications, the oversized lunar indicator dominates the centre of the dial, and while the Eddington keeps things more traditional than, say, the bright blue and pink Burbidge, it’s coppery colouring brings a more modern edge and lovely contrast with the deep, midnight blue of the starry sky. It’s not the most fun Farer around, but it proves that they can keep things toned-down – if and when they feel like it.

Case/dial: 38.5mm diameter x 10.5mm height, polished stainless steel case with brushed chamfer and “grain twist’ pattern on flanks, brushed salmon-coloured copper dial with applied numerals and markers and hand-painted blue moonphase disc with a white moon in Grade OL X1 Super-LumiNova
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Sellita calibre SW288-1 Ma, manual winding, 18 jewels, 45h power reserve
Strap: Barenia leather with stainless steel buckle
Price: £1,495

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Tudor Royal Salmon

Tudor Royal

When you hear the name Tudor, the first thing that springs to mind is the Black Bay and for good reason – it’s a classic. But there’s also the chance you’re after something a little dressier like, say, Tudor’s answer to papa Rolex’s day-date (albeit with an integrated bracelet), the Royal, which is now available with a salmon coloured dial. At 41mm it’s a substantial piece of metal and its notched bezel gives the whole thing more personality than the usual Day-Date homage; definition that suits the coloured dial to a tee. The only thing they’re lacking is an in-house movement which is a shame, but at this price not a deal-breaker.

Case/dial: 41mm diameter, polished and satin finish stainless steel case, salmon dial with applied Roman numerals
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Tudor calibre T603, automatic, 38h power reserve
Strap: Integrated stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp and safety catch
Price: £2,060

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Christopher Ward Bel Canto Rosa

Christopher Ward Bel Canto Rosa

The Christopher Ward Bel Canto likely needs no introduction after the absolute media storm that surrounded its debut last year. It was such a success that CW wasted no time in getting a series of alternative colourways ready for pre-order in 2023 (according to their website deliveries of new orders are now expected in 2024). It’s an adapted version of their jumping hours watch with the addition of a prestigious chiming complication. The dial features bold sunray finishing in rose, but you’d have to be a pedant not to think it fits alongside its salmon brethren.

Case/dial: 41mm diameter (48mm lug to lug) x 13mm height, brushed and polished Grade 5 titanium case, rosa salmon dial
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Calibre FS01, automatic with chiming module, 29 jewels, 38h power reserve
Strap: Titanium bracelet with micro adjustable ratchet clasp
Price: £3,195

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IWC Portugieser Automatic 40

IWC Portugieser Automatic 40

Why change a winning formula? IWC’s dressiest watch was always going to suit a salmon dial; the only question is why it took until 2023 for the Schaffhausen-based watchmaker to make it a reality. The broad dial, small, silver numerals and slim bezel all mean there’s plenty of space for the copper-adjacent dial to breathe. Otherwise, there you have it: the Portugieser we know and love, now with a sexy new dial and the subtle watchmaking chops that come with IWC’s in-house calibre 82200 pellaton-winding automatic movement. Not that I wouldn’t like to see a salmon colour Portofino of course…

Case/dial: 40.4mm diameter x 12.3mm height, stainless steel case, salmon dial
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: IWC calibre 82200, automatic, 31 jewels, 60h power reserve, Côtes de Genève
Strap: Black alligator leather
Price: £6,500

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Breitling Premier Chronograph Salmon

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph

When it was originally created in the early 1940s, the Premier was the first chronograph/dress watch hybrid and its modern incarnation is much the same. So, it’s not surprising that among the attractive colours in the range is a classic salmon version. It’s both a solid chronograph with its manufacture calibre and a handsome, versatile watch that spans casual to formal effortlessly. It’s available on either a seven-link bracelet or a strap – but to really hammer home that 1940s style, we’d opt for the latter. Either way, it’s the kind of watch that works wherever and whenever you decide to wear it.

Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 13.6mm thickness, stainless steel case, salmon dial
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Breitling calibre B01, automatic, 70h power reserve
Strap: Alligator leather with stainless steel folding clasp
Price: £7,150

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H Moser and Cie Smoked Salmon Streamliner

H. Moser & Cie Smoked Salmon Streamliner

Trust Moser to turn their new dial into a culinary pun. With its pebble-shaped case, Moser’s modern, sporty slice of hotness has some surface-level similarities to Laurent Ferrier’s. Thankfully, the insanely cool bracelet and fume, sorry, smoked salmon dial give it a much more modern edge. Engraved into the dial, the maker’s name is almost invisible, but there’s no mistaking that this is a Moser & Cie. That means the look’s backed up by some serious watchmaking, with a solid 72-hour power reserve, a surprisingly practical level of water resistance and attention to detail that means we can look past a forced pun or two.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter x 12.1mm thickness, polished and brushed stainless steel case, smoked salmon Griffé dial
Water resistance: 120m (12 bar)
Movement: Calibre HMC 200, in-house, automatic, 72h power reserve
Strap: Integrated stainless steel bracelet
Price: £17,750

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Chopard Alpine Eagle XPS

Chopard Alpine Eagle XPS

Chopard’s underrated answer to the sports luxe Royal Oak and Nautilus is a heady mix of sporty chic and industrial touches, but in the XPS edition it amps up the elegance. The 41mm lucent steel case (Chopard’s own bright alloy) is familiar, but has been streamlined into something truly ultra-thin with just 8mm in height. Pair that with a gorgeous Monte Rosa Pink, sunburst stamped dial and you have a dressier version of the modern classic that is the Alpine Eagle. Paired with twin-stacked barrels for a 65-hour power reserve and you have a heavy hitter that leans on the luxe as much as sport.

Case/dial: 41mm diameter x 8mm thickness, stainless steel case, Monte Rosa pink dial
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Calibre L.U.C 96.40-L, automatic, 29 jewels, 65h power reserve, certified chronometer (COSC)
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £20,500

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Romain Gauthier C Titanium Edition

Romain Gauthier C Titanium Edition

A salmon by any other name is just as pink and no matter how much Romain Gauthier try to convince us that their new dial colour is Lever de Soleil (sunrise sounds more poetic in French), it’s salmon. That’s no bad thing of course or we wouldn’t have put this article together, and it works incredibly well on the integrated bracelet sports watch that is the C. The collection’s signature blue lines emanating from the off-centre small seconds look even better on this than they do on the usual black for a cool, retro-modern look that’s perfect for the 1970s inspired design. It might just be one of the loveliest sports luxe pieces around right now.

Case/dial: 41mm diameter (49.5mm lug to lug) x 9.55mm height, grade 5 titanium case and bezel, sandblasted grade 5 titanium Lever de Soleil dial with protective layer against UV discolouration
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Romain Gauthier calibre, in-house, manual winding, 24 jewels, 60h power reserve
Strap: Grade 5 titanium bracelet with integrated titanium folding clasp and additional half-link
Price: £37,500

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MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Salmon

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual

While not exactly what you’d call traditional, the Legacy Machine is nonetheless the closest thing collaborative watchmaker MB&F have to a classical timepiece – and a classical timepiece with the perfect canvas for a splash of salmon is the LM Perpetual in salmon. The colour though acts more as a backdrop than the main event, second fiddle to the perpetual calendar function and floating balance on the front, separated from the rest of the movement. A nicely coloured backdrop always elevates the Legacy Machine collection and this particular vintage hue makes for a fantastically technical watch.

Case/dial: 44mm diameter x 17.5mm thickness, stainless steel case, skeletonised salmon dial
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Fully integrated perpetual calendar developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell, manual winding, 41 jewels, 72h power reserve
Strap: Black, grey, brown, or blue hand-stitched alligator leather with stainless steel folding buckle
Price: £150,000

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Laurent Ferrier GrandSport Tourbillon Pursuit

Laurent Ferrier GrandSport Tourbillon Pursuit

The GrandSport is innately a beautiful watch, with its 44mm pebble-smooth titanium case and distinctive, less-is-more approach to finishing across the bracelet and dial, right down to the elegantly elongated indexes. In this version it takes a more vintage approach with a glorious salmon dial, a fume number inspired by the sunrise at Le Mans. For reference, that’s a track both of Laurent Ferrier’s founders have raced at. Finished with a small seconds subdial with radial guilloche at six o’clock, it’s as stunning as it is tactile.

Case/dial: 44mm diameter x 13.4mm height, titanium case, gradient salmon pink opaline dial with white gold drop-shaped hour markers and Assegai hands with white Super-LumiNova
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Laurent Ferrier calibre LF619.01, in-house, automatic, 80h power reserve
Strap: Integrated titanium bracelet
Price: CHF 175,000 (approx. £154,500)

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Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Retrograde Day Date

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Retrograde Day Date

2023 is the year of the retrograde for Vacheron, though the snap back complication’s been a part of their DNA for a good long while now. The Patrimony Retrograde is a good part of why, with its oversized retrograde functions, date running from nine o’clock to three o’clock and the days, fully written out, mirroring it at six o’clock. The difference this year is the new colourway, an expanse of rich salmon coloured goodness with bright blue lettering. It’s both elegant in that typical, haute horology Vacheron way and kind of fun. It feels big on the wrist, but when it looks this good that’s exactly what you want.

Case/dial: 42.5mm diameter x 9.7mm thickness, polished 950 platinum case, brass dial
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Vacheron Constantin calibre 2460 R317R/3, in-house, automatic with 22k gold rotor, 27 jewels, 40h power reserve
Strap: Dark blue alligator leather with 950 platinum pin buckle
Price: Price on request, boutique exclusive

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About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.