There’s a common query amongst men when it comes to choosing a watch’s dial colour. Does one go black or white?
It’s safe to say that it’s pretty much the same as picking between your favourite offspring – sometimes you’ll favour one over the other, and other times you’ll want neither anywhere near you. But back to the watches before you call DOCS.
White dial watches have long been the go-to favourite amongst men looking for a luxury timepiece. Besides giving way to eye catching details, the white dial can also be paired with different occasions and outfits to satisfy both formal and casual events.
As such, the white dial watch is a versatile piece which makes perfect sense when traversing between the toils and spoils of the warmer seasons. These are eight of our best picks.
Blancpain Villeret Annual Calendar GMT
One of the most beautifully appointed white dial pieces made its debut at Baselworld earlier this year. The Blancpain Villeret Annual Calendar GMT sports a dial layout which turns the annual calendar readings into a seamless art form. This is most evident in the day, date and month windows which flows with the line of sight.
Ensuring the elegance is there to elevate your most formal looks, the watch also features Roman numeral markings along with a small 24-hour GMT indicator for reference time at the 8 o’clock mark.
Housing the new automatic 6054F calibre is a 40mm stainless steel case which plays perfectly into everyday wear whilst holding up well against formal duties if called upon. The movement affords a 72 hour power reserve and the watch itself is finished off with a black alligator leather strap lined with Alzavel calfskin.
Rolex Explorer II
In true Rolex fashion, the Explorer II is a continuation of a legendary piece from the luxury Swiss watchmaker which first debuted in 1971. The motivation behind the Explorer moniker is simple: Adventure.
In the Explorer II the model saw an extensive technical and aesthetic makeover. Most notably, the case size increased from 40mm to 42mm stainless steel allowing for better legibility of the white dial which features the signature orange 24-hour hand.
There’s also a twin lock system for the crown which ensures water resistance with two sealed zones. Beyond this we have the in-house self-winding mechanical movement calibre 3187 with a 50 hour power reserve.
Luminescent markings on the dial allow for easy legibility in the worst conditions – and we don’t mean dodgy cocktail parties.
Panerai Radiomir PAM 655
White dial Panerai watches have been around for a while now but in the Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic Acciaio PAM655, it serves as the first Radiomir 1940 to sport a white dial. The result is a timepiece which trades up the usual masculine appearance for something a little more elegant and sporty.
The white dial is adorned with large Arabic numerals, leaving the 9 o’clock mark reserved for a running seconds sub-dial. Movement is sorted with Panerai’s in-house manufactured P.4000 which provides a handy 3-day power reserve meaning time accuracy will remain even if the watch isn’t worn over the weekend.
IWC Pilots Mark XVIII
Fans of the revamped Mark XVIII will be glad to know that it also comes in a crisper white dial version for pairing with the warmer seasons.
This particular model sits right in the sweet spot of 40mm between its bigger and smaller cousins in the Pilots Watch 36 and Big Pilot. There’s a date window which sits at the 3 o’clock mark paired with clean aeronautical-inspired numerals. Driving the piece is a Sellita caliber which boasts a 42-hour power reserve and sits inside an anti-magnetic soft-iron case. The piece is paired with nicely with a calfskin strap by Santoni.
An icon of the OMEGA range is the Speedmaster. The timepiece carved out its name in place further than most other watches have ever thought to travel – space. Six lunar missions later and the Speedmaster is today one of the most formidable chronograph watches to sport an attractive lacquered white dial.
Offsetting this dial are blue tinged hands along with a small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock and a 12-hour and 60 minute chronograph recorder at 3 o’clock. Versatility extends to a small date window located at the 6 o’clock mark whilst the case itself is a work of art, measuring in at 41.4mm in grade 5 titanium. The brushed bezel also enhances the watch’s looks with a tachymeter scale.
The heart of the Speedmaster is OMEGA’s Co-Axial calibre 9300, the very first chronograph in the brand’s family of in-house Co-Axial mechanical movements which affords a power reserve of 60 hours. Water resistance is rated at 100 metres and the watch is paired with a brown leather strap for a classic look to suit the coolest summer wardrobe.
Seiko Presage Chronograph
In celebration of the Japanese watchmaker’s 60th anniversary of their very first automatic watch, the Presage collection was born. The limited edition automatic chronograph models hark back to s whose design echoes that of the design of the 1913 Laurel and features the finest Japanese artistry on the dial in enamel for the white face model.
Inside the 42mm stainless steel case is an 8R48 calibre with a 45-hour power reserve.
Glashütte Original Senator Excellence
When you think German precision watchmaking and white dial, the Glashütte name is one that will always pop up. The Original Senator exudes pure classic elegance in a clean three-hander piece.
The dial features Roman numeral markings at the 12 and 6 o’clock marks whilst the remainder are reserved for a seconds scale. The watch set in a 40mm stainless steel features no date window and is powered by the Caliber 36 automatic movement affording 100 hours of power reserve at 4Hz.
NOMOS Glashütte Zürich Weltzeit
Destined for the global traveller, the Zürich Weltzeit purports to be 24 watches in one. The dial itself is absolutely stunning to look at and features all of the world’s major cities set on a sub dial.
Checking the time in these cities is a simple case of pushing a button. The 40mm stainless steel case houses the in-house DUW 5201 NOMOS caliber with automatic winding and world time indicator which affords a power reserve of 42 hours.
Bremont Boeing Model 1
Flying the flag for aviation in the white dial watch battle is Bremont’s clean yet functional Boeing Model 1. Custom 465 stainless steel is used to craft the 43mm case, a material that is double vacuum-melted as an age hardenable alloy developed for the aerospace industry and used by Boeing in undercarriages of jets and jumbos. Boeing blue is used across the Super Luminova hands and the aeronautical meter-inspired numerals for an athletic aesthetic. This case is paired with an equally sporty Seattle (organic polymer) strap.
Movement is handled with a modified calibre 11 ½”’ BE-36AE automatic chronometer driving the hours, minutes, seconds and a date window whilst affording a 38-hour power reserve. Water resistance it rated at 100 metres should you ever need to disembark your aircraft into the sea. Not that we’re ever hoping that. Seattle (organic polymer) strap and additional strap.
Shinola Canfield Cannonball
Simplicity and reliability is the backbone of Shinola’s Canfield Cannonball, a limited edition watch inspired by the pocket watches of the train conductors from the 1900s.
The white dial with elevated contrast navy numerals, hands and indexes are all coated in Super-Luminova for maximum legibility and the stainless steel case itself comes in options of 32mm, 38mm and 43mm to suit any man’s wrist with a premium American leather strap. Inside the case resides an Argonite 1069 Quartz movement which is hand assembled from 46 Swiss and imported components.
Baume & Mercier Clifton
A special watch calls for a host of distinguishing details and the Clifton Chronograph from Baume & Mercier is a prime example of this.
The 43mm steel case is polished in a satin finish to complement the dial which proudly displays the Clifton Chronograph Complete Calendar. To extract the most out of the aesthetics, a silvered dial with sun satin finish is utilised along with Arabic numerals, rhodium-plated indexes and a set of blued steel hands.
On the functional front, the Clifton affords a chronograph, moon phase, 24-hour indicator, central-hand date, week day and month display. The automatic movement boasts a 48 hour power reserve which is enough to have the watch sitting at home on the weekend without losing timing accuracy come Monday. It also has a water resistance rating of 50 metres should the wearer ever find themselves in the deep.