The days when rose gold or rose gold-look materials were rarely used in men’s watches are long behind us.
Men’s models have gone from featuring merely rose gold accents, such as numerals and crowns, to the latest developments where even a rose gold bezel, dial or bracelet just won’t cut the mustard. Now brands are creating watches for men in which all of the dominant visual components are resplendent with rose gold hues.
The use of rose gold for the bezel, dial and bracelet on men’s models is increasingly cropping up across the market with pieces being given the tone either by plating, PVD or, at the high end, the precious metal itself.
It’s not an entirely new phenomenon with brands such as Michael Kors and Fossil having led the fashion pack for some time in creating watches for men with rose gold-look bezel, dial and bracelet. However, it is certainly a style that is gathering momentum, cropping up at BaselWorld 2013 and since, even at the luxury end of the spectrum.
For instance, earlier this year at BaselWorld, Patek Philippe presented its men’s Nautilus Chronograph (ref 5980/1R) in rose gold and its Men’s Annual Calendar (ref 5396/1R) in rose gold. The luxury brand has previously been prone to add a splash of rose gold to its timepieces, recognising the beauty of the addition of rose gold to underline the Art Deco style of a model, soften the lines of a very classic model or, in some cases, apply a sophisticated twist to the design of a sports model. However, in these more recent instances, the brand has taken its use of rose gold for men’s watches to new levels, leaving just the dial predominantly free of the gold tone.
While for brand such as Patek Philippe, rose gold has always featured, other brands are only now reacting to changes in fashion and men’s increasingly diverse tastes.
ROSE TINTED FASHION
All-gold watches have not been singularly synonymous with delicate ladies’ pieces for a long time, having more recently become the stalwart of an urban wardrobe. Think streetwear and hip hop fashion, accessorised with a block-colour timepiece hanging loosely from the wrist.
As urban fashions have diffused and become entrenched in more mainstream wardrobes, with fashionistas donning items such as oversized t-shirts and bright accessories that hark to the genre in a slightly tongue-in-cheek way, watch choices too have evolved. All rose gold-look pieces offer a less garish option to its yellow metal counterpart and a softer tone than the cleaner and brighter look of stainless steel or other white metals, and the appeal of the look is gaining traction on a wider scale.
An early glance at the SS 2014 menswear catwalks reveal that these block colour watches align with other trends working their way onto the high street too.
LESS STREET, MORE SOPHISTICATION
While Asia and the Middle East were early adopters of rose gold, its warm, vintage tone makes it perfectly fitting for the refined English gent tailored look that has been treading the SS 2014 catwalks courtesy of designers such as Spencer Hart, Gieves & Hawkes and Hackett, where pale pinks, lilac and blue are being used. The confident use of colours traditionally associated with women, in many cases for full trouser and jacket combinations, is clearly spilling out into wristwear tastes too with the pink hues of rose gold.
For an edgier gents’ look, designers including Oliver Spencer, Burberry and Bartmans & Siegel are bridging the divide between a street look and tailored suit for SS 2014, think roomier jackets, wide trousers and small lapels using striking electric blue shades, which will perfectly partner the vibrancy of a rose gold flush.
Just as these suit-based fashions allow men to stick with a familiar style with the added twist of interesting colour choices and cuts, some watch brands too are holding back from the entire rose gold treatment, combining the tones with contrasting black.
Gucci is one brand that appreciates the combination of black and rose gold colours and recognises the appeal of rose gold. “Rose gold has cross-age appeal,” says Michele Sofisti, chief executive of Gucci Timepieces and Jewellery. “The older generation has long appreciated this noble material and younger men find in it a new way of standing out and asserting a different look, originality is key for younger customers.”
Gc Watches UK brand manager Nadia Nash says they have seen a dramatic increase in men buying rose gold watches. “There is also much more on offer within the accessories and clothing categories now that lends itself to the rose looks,”
Patek Philippe, Glam Rock, ToyWatch and Guess have all created refined looking pieces with a black dial, setting of the rose gold colour with great aplomb. In almost all cases, these designs maintain the rose gold tone for the indices, hands and numerals, making them easy to read as well highly eye catching.
From Glam Rock, comes a timepiece with a classy looking brushed and polished rose gold ion-plated stainless steel case and bracelet with a rose gold tone and a black dial featuring rose gold look hands and Arabic numerals. While ToyWatch has introduced an elegant rose gold look piece with a mesh finish.
“There is not doubt that men are becoming far more comfortable with the idea of a rose gold casing on their wrist, signally a notable increase in the number of pieces available in this colour,” says Julian Pollock of IBB London, which distributes Glam Rock and ToyWatch. “It seems to me to be a reflection of the move away from the image of the stereotypical traditional manly man, who doesn’t consider pride in his appearance to be a key concern, to that of the modern male, who values the concept of self style, and is not ashamed of choosing accessories for their look and feel rather than just their functionality.”
ALL OR NOTHING
While some brands have held back a little, hats off to the likes of Nixon, which is delivering rose gold tones in no half measures. The unisex nature of its watches perhaps explains its confident use of rose gold shades across the entirety of a couple of chunky timepieces – the bezel, dial and bracelet have all received the blush treatment in these timepieces. The Time Teller has polished finish and sharp simple lines, befitting of a snappy dresser, whether suited and booted or casual yet smart. The timepiece features a Japanese quartz movement and a 37mm case. Also recently launched by Nixon, the 51-30 Chrono, is a tank watch that has been given an entirely rose gold colourway. This very substantial watch with a 51.25mm wide watch case is a true example of just how well a big and bold watch, that’s ideal for men, can carry off the stylish, warm tones of rose gold.
Another brand, which has combined a full bodied watch with rose gold looks is Hublot, with its Big Bang Caviar Red Gold, which is even available with a rose gold coloured calfskin sewn onto black rubber. The 41mm case and chunky look, which includes sharp angles, makes it ideal for a man making a statement.
Rose gold is no longer making men blush, even in substantial quantities. Whether it is via the precious metal or an alternative material, the tone is becoming more prominent for men’s models in some cases spilling onto the bezel, dial and bracelet. The edgy look that perhaps once aligned an all-rose gold look with streetwear persists but its compatibility is also diversifying, with its warm and stylish hue now adding some edge to a wider range of looks and styles.