Set your watch for eye-popping color

June 23, 2014

LAS VEGAS ó Itís time for color. Thatís one of the take-aways from the luxury timepieces showcased at the recent JCK Swiss Watch and Couture Jewelry shows, where pops of eye-catching color cropped up on watch faces, hands and especially a range of NATO straps that added a sporty feel to the high-end horological confections.

Among the brands spinning the 2014 color wheel were Chopard, Bell & Ross and Victorinox Swiss Army.

Chopard debuted its first-ever NATO strap, the term for a kind of ribbed nylon pass-through strap that loops through the watch pins and passes under the watch case. Chopard put the strap on a limited-edition number of its Grand Prix de Monaco chronographs ($7,640), where the yellow, racing-inspired stripes down the center of the nylon strap complement the yellow racing ring and watch hands. (The brand has been the official timekeeper of the Grand Prix de Monaco since 2002).

Bell & Ross, which has long used orange as a signature accent color, strapped a swath of ribbed orange canvas around the wrist as one band option for its limited-edition (as in just 500 pieces) BR03-94 Carbon Orange timepiece (the other option is a black rubber band). The 42-inch case is matte black, as is the face (the numbers and hands are white), and the chronograph functions are rendered in orange. This apparently harks back to the color schemes of early aviation instrument panels. In stores now (local Bell & Ross accounts include Westime and Feldmar), the BR03-94 retails for $5,900.

The NATO strap is another place to tell a brandís back story, and no brand brought that home this year like Victorinox Swiss Army, which is offering its new Maverick Sport watch with either a bracelet or a NATO strap accented with stripes of blue, yellow and red ó a homage to the flag of a town in the brandís home canton in Switzerland.

Itís hard to be neutral about that.



McClatchy-Tribune Information Services