- 03 July, 2018
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Not just intended for outdoor recreation these days, camouflage has emerged as a trendy and bold alternative for your daily wristwear. Found on both watch straps and dials, the military-focused hue isn’t one normally associated with the luxury world of watchmaking but it has evolved into a distinct look for those in search of a design that blurs the line between tactical and tony. With more and more watch brands embracing camouflage, it’s easy to get lost in the (horological) woods, so here’s our guide to six of the more noteworthy introductions from the past few years.
This year at SIHH, Audemars Piguet debuted dozens of new timepieces. one of the more controversial pieces was a Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph that featured a camouflage strap, khakigreen ceramic bezel and beige dial. While the strap definitely embodies the camouflage “look,” it’s the bezel and dial combination that really stand out. The beige oozes a sort of creamy charisma that matches seamlessly with the brown subdials and almost forest-green bezel. It’s priced at $31,000.
Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross was one of the trailblazers in the camouflage race with the look being a mainstay in the brand’s lineup since 2007. The latest update came last summer with the release of the BR03-92 Black Camo. For the dark dial, the brand developed an original, military-style tricolor coating with a patchwork of matte gray tones that simulate the camouflage used by elite military commandos for stealth missions.
The 42-mm case is made of black ceramic with a matte finish – another nod to actual mission utility, as it renders the watch nearly undetectable in the dark and helps to avoid unwanted reflections. Ceramic was chosen as the case material for other practical reasons: it is almost entirely scratch resistant, tougher yet lighter than steel, hypoallergenic, and heat resistant enough to wear in the world’s most brutally hot battle zones.
Inside the case, which is water resistant to 100 meters, the watch’s self-winding movement, Caliber BR-CAl.302 (based on a Sellita SW300-1), performs its own mission, powering the hours, minutes, central seconds and date and amassing a 38-hour power reserve when fully wound. The watch is available on either a black rubber strap or an “ultra-resilient” black synthetic fabric strap, both with pin buckles made of black PVD-coated steel. The price is $3,800.
In 2017, TAG Heuer introduced a heavy-duty version of its Aquaracer with a blue camouflage dial. Water resistant up to 300 meters and powered by the brand’s automatic Calibre 5, the watch is enclosed in a 43-mm titanium case and has an anti-reflective flat sapphire crystal (for photo or tactical ops). The blue dial is a seamless mix of subdued style and military influence, making it ideal for the adventurous watch enthusiast. Price: $2,800.
First released at Baselworld 2016, the Graham Chronofighter Black Arrow was an extension of the Chronofighter range with a military bent. Available in four different colors – blue, gray, beige and green – the watches were noted for featuring a telemeter complication at 3 o’clock.
A telemeter can measure distances between an event and an observer based on the speed of sound, so this new lineup has a practical military application compared to a time-and-date-only watch. The 47-mm watch has a ceramic bezel and features a 30-minute counter at 6 o’clock. inside the watch is the G1747 movement with a 48-hour power reserve. It’s priced at $8,050.
The sole German brand on this list, Sinn released the U1 Camouflage in 2016 as a limited edition of 500. The watch is completely
made from bead-blasted German Submarine Steel and has a water resistance rating of 1,000 meters.
The surface of the bezel has been hardened using Tegiment Technology – a proprietary metal hardening technique – to make it scratch resistant. Inside the watch is the Sellita SW 200-1, with a 38-hour power reserve. The 44-mm watch comes on a matching green silicone strap, with an additional olive textile strap to switch. it’s priced at $2,160.
In 2017, Anonimo updated its Militare Alpini with two new camouflage chronograph options. The bronze model comes in either brown or khaki green and features a guilloché-style dial that updates its military look. The 43-mm watch has the typical identifiers of an Anonimo Militare timepiece, namely the crown at 12 o’clock with its patented protector, and the 12, 4 and 8 o’clock numerals enlarged and in focus to form the “A” of Anonimo.
Inside the watch is a Sellita SW300 automatic movement with a Dubois Dépraz 2035 chronograph module developed exclusively for the brand. it has a power reserve of 42 hours. On the titanium caseback? An image of the Matterhorn, the iconic mountain that, like Anonimo, has a foot in both italy and Switzerland. Both brown and khaki-green versions are limited to 97 total pieces each and are priced at $5,390.