Slate, taupe or pearly, in steel, gold or even meteorite, dials adopt a variety of stormy hues.
As the new official timekeeper for the prestigious Tour Auto classic car race, Zenith could hardly fail to mark the association with a limited edition. So it brings us 500 of the eminently collectable El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Tour Auto Edition, a
sporty model whose grey dial has an opening at 11 o'clock so you can see "under the bonnet" into the watch's "engine".
At Rolex, the Cellini Time in pearly white gold has a rhodium dial illuminated by a diamond-set bezel. Women too are being seduced by grey. Patek Philippe's Aquanaut favours a taupe shade for its architectured dial with matching Tropical composite strap. Chopard's new L.U.C XPS Fairmined sports a galvanised slate-grey dial in a pink-gold case; this limited edition of 250 watches is part of the jeweller's Journey to Sustainable Luxury programme as it intensifies its sourcing of ethical gold. In partnership with the South American NGO Alliance for Responsible Mining, it guarantees that the gold is extracted in small quantities using artisan methods. Jaeger-LeCoultre's highly original Master Calendar includes a fragment of the universe since its dial is a piece of meteorite ranging in colour from light to dark grey. This captivating rare raw material from an asteroid or comet is difficult to work as the block of meteorite has to be cut into thin sheets until one of the quality demanded by the Vallée-de-Joux watchmaker is obtained. But the end result is a unique and utterly fascinating timepiece.