Watches: A Selection of “white watches” for this summer

By Thierry Ané on June 21, 2014

Today is officially the beginning of summer for the Northern Hemisphere and sunshine finally arrived in London, making me long for white sand beaches and crystalline waters to complement a shining sun in a bright blue sky… I am looking for the well-being that only holiday and beautiful weather can bring and I would like a watch that conveys the same positive energy.

When you think of it, there are a lot of qualifying adjectives we could use to define our timepieces but to me, the only one associated with summery, bright, joyful, or even rejuvenating, are “white watches”. Traditionally reserved for women’s models, the colour white has made an impressive breakthrough into men’s collections these past few years. Mainly used in chunky sport watches to counter-balance its feminine connotation, this pristine colour has brought a breath of fresh air into the summer watch design.

Now that all brands have released their own interpretation of Hublot’s all-black concept, they turn their attention to the “white watch” trend. This colour, however, turned out to be less neutral than expected and many attempts have resulted in monstrosities that I prefer not to list here. A few brands, though, have made the most of this exercise and have delivered the perfect companions for summertime. Today, I would like to present five most accomplished models in this category that I have seen this year. As you will see, the trick is to showcase the purity of white while avoiding the achromatic look. All five watches forming this best-of are predominantly white, but they all feature strong accents of a contrasting colour to offset the whiteness.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 44mm White Ceramic

Since its introduction in 2011, the 44 mm Royal Oak Offshore has been a favourite of mine. I was thus particularly pleased to see the brand update the black ceramic model first introduced last year. But the real surprise was the introduction of a white ceramic version featuring case, bezel, crown, and chronograph pushers in a special white ceramic named “Super Ceramic” by the brand. The brand paired this all-white model with a white rubber strap and a light silver Méga Tapisserie dial. But in order avoid the all-pale look, they added a deep blue flange and used the same colour for the chronograph counters resulting in an extremely appealing nautical look. If you want to learn more about this beautiful watch that retails for US$ 41,700, I refer you to my previous articleWatches: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 44mm Black & White Ceramic (+live pics) where you will also find live pictures.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Blue White Ceramic

Without a chronograph module, the Royal Oak Offshore Diver is the entry-level model in the Royal Oak Offshore collection. It does not make it the least desirable alternative, though, as the Le-Brassus manufacture spared no efforts in recent years to offer exciting and colourful interpretations of their diver’s watch. The attention to this line reached an absolute high last April with the introduction of the Royal Oak Offshore Diver Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2014Watches: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2014 in tantalum and pink gold and with the Royal Oak Offshore Diver Blue White Ceramic unveiled at the SIHH in January. This new “Diver” uses the same white ceramic and colour codes as the 44 mm “Offshore” discussed above but still looks totally different (and equally great) on the wrist. This perfect companion for an afternoon by the pool carries a sticker price of US$ 23,900.

Hublot King Power Oceanographic 4,000 Cheval Blanc Randheli Titanium

With only 20 pieces made, the King Power Oceanographic 4,000 Cheval Blanc Randheli Titanium is undeniably the most exclusive model of this selection. It is also the chunkiest with a diameter of 48 mm for a thickness of 22.40 mm. The watch celebrates the opening of the “Cheval Blanc Randheli” hotel in the Maldives and showcases touches of vivid yellow, the colour of the “Cheval Blanc Maison”. The case back of this titanium timepiece with a water resistance up to 4,000 meters is engraved with the “Cheval Blanc” motif and the inscription “Randheli” in yellow. Who said that white is not a suitable colour for a men’s model? This watch retailing for US$ 26,000 will definitely not go unnoticed on your wrist.

Perrelet Turbine Yacht Bronze PVD Steel

I very recently discussed the Turbine Yacht CollectionWatches: Perrelet Turbine Yacht Collection (+live pics), an interesting nautical interpretation of Perrelet’s famous double-rotor model. Four models were introduced and among them, a nice White Turbine Yacht featuring a bronze PVD steel case mounted on a white rubber strap. The dial presents a white flange and white propeller-inspired blades for the front rotor. The dial background, however, showcases a burgundy and bronze teak-like pattern evocative of a yacht’s deck. At € 5,950 this fun and summery model is fairly priced and would look great with any outfit this summer.

Richard Mille RM 038-01 Tourbillon G-Sensor Bubba Watson White Rubberized Titanium and TZP Green Ceramic

After the success of the RM 038 Bubba Watson Tourbillon in magnesium released in 2011 and the RM 055 Bubba Watson in white rubberized titanium the year after, Richard Mille has developed a new model equipped with a tourbillon and a G-sensor indicator for famous golfer Bubba Watson. The RM 038-01 Tourbillon G-Sensor Bubba Watson features a tonneau-shaped 49.94 x 42.70 mm case in white rubberized titanium paired with a white rubber strap. Even the inner flange of this openwork model is white. Only the bezel and bottom piece of the case provide a sharp contrast due to their green-coloured TZP ceramic. Technically, the watch houses the manually-wound RM 038-01 calibre with a tourbillon escapement and the ability to visually display the number of G’s accumulated by the wearer during rapid decelerations. This limited edition of 50 pieces is impressive, both technically and aesthetically. Its unique flaw I am afraid is its price: US$ 820,000!