21 Red-Dial Watches from Entry-Level to High Luxury

21 Red-Dial Watches from Entry-Level to High Luxury

More so than almost any other color option, a watch with a red dial begs to be noticed — whether the watch is large or small, simple or complicated, soberly matte or luxuriously shiny in its choice of case material. It’s not hard to see why: crimson and scarlet tones have long symbolized heat, sensuality, and even hints of temptation and danger. Best of all, for anyone inclined to take the plunge into red-dial watches, there are more options these days than ever, in just about every price range and style. Here we showcase 20 watches with red dials in ascending order of price, from attainable to high-luxury.

Orient Bambino Day-Date

Orient Bambino Day-Date RedPrice: $410, Case Size: 40.5mm, Thickness: 12.6mm, Lug to Lug: 46.5mm, Lug Width: 21mm, Crystal: Mineral, Water Resistance: 30 meters, Movement: Automatic F6B22

Often under the radar of American watch consumers and overshadowed by its much larger Japanese brethren, Citizen and Seiko (which with it shares a corporate connection through Epson), Orient has been making value-oriented watches in Japan since 1950. The Bambino, Orient’s dressy gents’ model, mostly offers simple three-handed options but also a handful of “quiet” complications, like the intriguing designed Bambino Day-Date, here in a red-dialed execution. The Roman hour numerals and railway minute track surround a pair of asymmetrically balanced subdials, a smaller one at 10 o’clock for the day of the week and a larger one at 5 o’clock with a 24-hour scale to indicate AM and PM hours. A date window at 3 o’clock and an Orient logo at 1 o’clock complement the unusual layout. A Japanese-made automatic movement, Caliber F6B22, beats inside the 40.5mm steel case, storing a 40-hour power reserve.

Seiko Prospex Cocktail Time “Negroni” Ref. SRPE41

Seiko Prospex Cocktail Time Negroni

Price: $425, Case Size: 38.5mm, Thickness: 11.8mm, Lug to Lug: 45.4mm, Crystal: Hardlex, Water Resistance: 50 meters, Movement: Automatic Seiko 4R35

The “Cocktail Time” series within Seiko’s automatic-only Presage family of attainable, attractive dress watches are designed to evoke the types of high-end cocktails served at Japan’s famously atmospheric rooftop bars. This model with a stainless steel case and a radial-textured red dial takes its nickname and inspiration from a classic Negroni. The dial’s ridged, rippling edges help give it the look of a birds-eye view inside the cocktail glass; the tone-on-tone date window is a subtle but impressive bonus at this price point, as is the in-house, automatic movement inside. The 40.5-mm case is topped by a box-shaped crystal made of Seiko’s proprietary Seiko Hardlex material. A specially sculpted crown helps ensure the case’s 50-meter water resistance, and the movement is magnetic-resistant to 4,800 A/m.

Mühle Glashütte Panova Red

Mühle Glashütte Panova RedPrice: $1,115, Case Size: 40mm, Thickness: 10.4mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 100 meters, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Automatic Sellita SW200-1 (Mühle version)

Germany’s Mühle Glashütte started its 150+ years in business as a producer of precision timers and measuring tools for various professional fields and now specializes in high-end tool watches for sailors, divers, pilots, and military units. The minimalist Panova model is something of an outlier, intended for quieter, dressier situations. The selection of stripped down, highly legible dial options includes the vibrant red version featured here, with simple, thin rectangle hands and thin luminous dot hour markers. The Panova is outfitted with a modified Sellita SW200-1 with Muhle’s a customized rotor and proprietary woodpecker-neck regulator. The 40mm steel case is topped with a sapphire crystal and has a screw-down crown and case back to help ensure a 100-meter water resistance. It’s fitted on a black leather or gray textile NATO strap that recalls the German maker’s more utilitarian timepieces.

Formex Essence Chronometer 39 Gamaret

Formex Essence Chronometer 39 GamaretPrice: $1,590, Case Size: 39mm, Thickness: 10mm, Lug to Lug: 45.5mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 100 meters, Movement: Automatic Sellita SW200-1

Founded in 1999 and based in Biel, Switzerland, independent brand Formex has drawn admiration for making durable and stylish watches at value-oriented prices. The Essence Chronometer at the heart of the Formex collection is, as its name suggests, a COSC-certified chronometer and also features all three of the technical elements upon which Formex builds its brand identity: a fine adjustment system for giving the straps and bracelets a perfect fit; a patented case-suspension system drawn from the world of high-performance bikes that uses tiny springs between the upper and lower case to cushion the movement; and a quick strap-changing system that requires no tools. The simple dials, here in the red-hued “Gamaret” execution, are lent an extra layer of interest by their CNC-machined horizontal line pattern. (Learn more about the Formex brand and its collection here.

Rado Captain Cook Burgundy Bronze

Rado Captain Cook Burgundy Bronze

Price: $2,600, Case Size: 42mm, Thickness: 12.5mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 300 meters, Movement: Automatic ETA C07.611

Rado resurrected its little-remembered 1960s dive watch, the Captain Cook, several years ago and the retro model has become a somewhat surprising success for the avant-garde design-oriented brand, available in a number of contemporary colorways and case materials. The standout is this model that combines a 42-mm brushed bronze case with a sunburst burgundy dial and matching dive-scale bezel insert (made of ceramic, of course, as per Rado’s specialty). Rado also makes a smaller version, at 37mm, and a larger one, at 45mm; this model is the happy medium, The hands and markers are in a yellow-gold color that matches the case’s bronze tone, and at 12 o’clock sits a similarly hued anchor logo on a ruby background that swings subtly with the motions of the wearer’s wrist. A solid titanium caseback protects the movement, a self-winding ETA C07.611.

Ball Engineer III Marvelight Chronometer Crimson Dial

Ball Marvelight Crimson DialPrice: $2,349, Case Size: 40mm, Thickness: 13.6mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 100 meters, Movement: Automatic Ball RR1103-C

Founded in 1891, Ball Watch built its reputation on dependably accurate railroad watches, which were officially adopted as “Railway Standard” and worn by train conductors and other railroad workers throughout the early 20th century. This dedication to “industrial function” drives the brand to this day, including in its use of chronometer-certified calibers like the one behind the rich crimson dial of the Engineer II Marvelight Chronometer. Distinguishing the dial is a Ball brand hallmark, the use of tritium on its hands and indexes; tritium glows longer than the Super-LumiNova used on most watch dials and requires no outside light source to activate its luminescence. Inside the steel case, Ball’s Caliber RR 1103-C is guarded against shocks by the company’s proprietary Amortiser system and against magnetism up to 80,000 gauss by an inner cage made of “mu-metal,” an alloy of nickel, iron, copper, and molybdenum with a high degree of magnetic impermeability.

Tutima M2 Seven Seas S

Tutima M2 Seven Seas S red

Price: $2,350, Case Size: 44mm, Thickness: 13mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 500 meters, Movement: Automatic Tutima Caliber 330 (ETA 2836 base)

Germany’s Tutima is best known for the pilots’ watches that it has long provided to its nation’s military aviators and the Flieger and Grand Flieger models based on them that are marketed to enthusiasts. However, Tutima has been making distinctively styled and robustly engineered divers’ watches for quite a few years as well. The most bold and widely appealing styles can be found in the M2 Seven Seas family, which welcomed its first red-dialed member in 2022. The large 44mm case is made of stainless steel with a brushed finish and resists water pressure down to a bone-crushing 500 meters (farther than its wearer could actually dive, really); the dial’s hands and indexes are luminous-coated and the unidirectional steel bezel has an etched dive scale. The ETA-based Caliber 330 beats inside, modified by the German maker with a gold-detailed rotor.

Longines Legend Diver 36 Bordeaux Dial

Longines Legend Diver 36mm Bordeaux

Price: $2,500, Case Size: 36mm, Thickness: 11.9mm, Lug Width: 19mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 300 meters, Movement: Automatic ETA-based Longines Caliber 592

The Longines Legend Diver is a modern re-issue of a compressor-style dive watch that Longines produced in 1960, with a 300-meter water resistant steel case that replicates the shape and design of the original’s, including the vintage model’s two crowns — one for winding the watch, the other for operating the internal rotating divers’ bezel. The inner rotating bezel can be locked into place via its dedicated crown, helping to inform a diver wearing the watch how long he or she has been underwater. The unisex model featured here sports a period-appropriate 36mm steel case and “Bordeaux” dial with silver-polished hands and blocky, painted Arabic numerals at 12, 6, and 9 o’clock, plus a date display at 3 o’clock. Beating inside, behind a solid caseback with an engraving of a diver, is an automatic movement from ETA, with a 45-hour power reserve. The wine-colored synthetic strap echoes the tones of the dial. 

Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic 10699

Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic Red

Price: $3,350, Case size: 40mm, Thickness: 11.3mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 50 meters, Movement: Automatic Baumatic BM13-1975A

Baume & Mercier launched the Clifton collection in 2013, but the line’s aesthetic roots run much deeper, with its design elements springing from a 1950s model in the brand’s archives. Clifton watches all have classically round cases with a double-beveled architecture, dials with high-end finishing, thin “Alpha” hands, and simple, thin applied hour indexes (though the earliest models also featured applied Arabic numerals). The standard, three-handed Clifton models were the first Baume & Mercier watches to be equipped with the in-house, chronometer-certified Baumatic movement, which can still be found in them today. Clifton Baumatic models, like the timepiece featured here with a gradient dial that flows from scarlet in the center to black on the edges, are distinguished from their non-Baumatic predecessors by the crosshairs motif in the center of the dial that represents their COSC chronometer certification. The movement’s most notable attribute, its lengthy five-day power reserve, is also called out on the dial.

Nomos Ahoi Neomatik Siren Red

Nomos Ahoi Neomatik Siren Red

Price: $4,120, Case Size: 36.3mm, Thickness: 9.6mm, Lug to Lug: 45.5mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 200 meters, Movement: Automatic DUW 3001

Founded in 1990, just two months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nomos has in its relatively young existence become one of the most popular German watch brands as well as probably the most accessible to newer (and younger) collectors. Nomos’s success — which includes an impressive string of German design awards — has resulted from a combination of sensible pricing, classical Bauhaus design, and creative forays into color, as demonstrated here with the “Siren Red” version of the diving-inspired Ahoi model, which does not have the ratcheting dive-scale bezel that would make it a “true” diver, but does add a robust 200-meter water resistance to the usual Nomos aesthetic charms, like the legible Arabic markers, thin baton hands, and off-center seconds subdial; beating inside is the self-winding, ultra-thin Neomatik caliber with high-level decoration and a power reserve up to 43 hours.

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Red Radar

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Red Radar

Price: $4,300, Case Size: 42mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 100 meters, Movement: Sellita-based automatic BR-CAL.302

Bell & Ross carved out its space in the pilot-watch arena with the launch of the BR 01, whose high-contrast, cockpit-clock dial design and austere square case proved both iconic and trend-setting. Spinning off from the BR 01 were the even more unconventional Flight Instrument editions, which took their visual cues from other aviation dashboard devices beyond clocks. Among the most eye-catching is the BR 03-92 Red Radar Ceramic, whose dial reproduces the scanning motion of a light beam on an onboard radar screen. Two ultra-light, concentric disks, in place of traditional hour and minute hands, rotate under a red-tinted sapphire crystal, hosting two miniature screen-printed planes — a passenger plane on the outer disk for the hours, a fighter plane on the central disk for the minutes, while a red-painted central analog hand sweeps over both disks to follow the seconds and complete the realistic approximation of a radar screen. Inside the matte-black ceramic case is the automatic BR-CAL.302, based on the tried-and-tested Sellita SW300 and offering a 38-hour power reserve.

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Coulson Limited Edition

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Coulson

Price: $4,700, Case Size: 41mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 100 meters, Movement: Automatic Oris Caliber 400

The fiery gradient dial of the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Coulson Limited Edition — from orange at the bottom to bright red in the middle to a charred burnt umber at the top — pays tribute to the model’s inspiration, the aerial firefighter of U.S.-based Coulson Aviation. In addition to the dial, the watch is notable as the first Oris watch (and one of the first watches, period) to use a carbon case achieved through a 3D printing process. This revolutionary watch is limited to 1,000 pieces and bears the stylistic hallmarks of Oris’ ProPilot collection, like the coin-edge motif on the sides evoking a jet’s turbines and the large, fluted, screw-down crown referenced in the model’s name. Behind its sapphire exhibition caseback, the in-house automatic Oris Caliber 400 ticks away, offering both an extensive five-day power reserve and exceptional antimagnetic protection, all for a very reasonable price. 

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Shades Terracotta

Omega Aqua Terra Terracotta

Price: $6,600, Case Size:38mm, Thickness: 12.3mm, Lug to Lug: 44.9mm, Lug Width: 19mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 150 meters, Movement: Automatic Omega Caliber 8800

Starting out as an uncommonly water-resistant gents’ watch in 1948, welcoming its first purpose-built divers’ watch in 1957, and becoming the official watch of James Bond with the introduction of the tough, stylish Seamaster Diver in the 1990s, the Omega Seamaster collection has grown into a diverse product family. In the 21st Century it has added the Aqua Terra line, a dressier, elegantly understated sibling of the sporty, more robustly built Diver models. Like the 1948 Seamaster, Aqua Terra models eschew the rotating divers’ bezel and other tool-watch accouterments for a more streamlined style, with simple wedge-shaped hour markers inspired by the silhouette of a sailboat, and a triangular hour hand paired with an arrow-tipped minute hand. In 2022, Omega introduced the Aqua Terra Shades collection, sporting a variety of dazzling colorways, including the Saffron-dial model showcased here. Like the other Shades models, it features a unisex 38mm case and eschews the familiar Aqua Terra teakwood textured pattern in favor of a PVD sunburst finish. Inside is Omega’s self-winding Caliber 8800, which stores a power reserve of 55 hours.

TAG Heuer Carrera Red Dial Limited Edition

TAG Heuer Carrera Red Dial EditionPrice: $6,750, Case Size: 39mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 100 meters, Movement: Automatic Caliber HEUER02 

Named for the Carrera Panamerica road race by its creator, founding family scion and former CEO Jack Heuer, the Carrera made its debut in 1964 and swiftly became a trendsetter in the genre of motorsport-inspired chronograph wristwatches with its recessed subdials and minute-scale flange. This eye-catching red-dialed edition, introduced in 2022 and limited to 600 pieces, houses the automatic Caliber Heuer 02 inside its understated 39mm steel case, with a polished finish, retro-styled pump-style chronograph pushers, and a thin stationary bezel framing the emblematic tachymeter scale flange. Joining the hands and applied indexes on the three-register dial, with subdials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, is a vintage Heuer logo, a nod to the original (pre-TAG) Carrera. The self-winding movement includes a column-wheel chronograph mechanism, stores a power reserve of 80 hours, and winds its mainspring with a stylized rotor inspired by a steering wheel. The leather strap fastens to the wrist with a push button-operated safety clasp with an engraved TAG Heuer shield logo.

Zenith Defy Revival

Zenith Defy Revival Red

Price: $6,900 - $7,000, Case Size: 37mm, Thickness: 11.9mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Automatic Elite Caliber 670

In 2022, Zenith released the first Defy Revival A3642, a limited edition that reproduced the primary elements of its ancestor, the first Zenith Defy wristwatch from 1969, in impressively meticulous detail, including Its warm gray dial with a gradient effect that darkens toward the edges. In 2023, Zenith used the same visual motif (which the original Defy was among the first to introduce to the watch world) on a non-limited model with a bright red “vignette” dial, based on a watch from 1971. The dial sports the same applied square hour markers with horizontal grooves, wide sword-shaped hands (filled with a tritium-colored Super-LumiNova for an aged vintage look), and paddle-shaped central seconds hand. The watch is the first Defy Revival model to join the permanent collection, and houses the automatic Elite 670 caliber, a variant of Zenith’s legendary El Primero chronograph movement that inhabits many of the brand’s three-handed models.

IWC Portugieser Chronograph Automatic IW371616

IWC Portugieser Automatic Chronograph

Price: $8,400, Case Size: 41mm, Thickness: 13mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 30 meters, Movement: Automatic IWC 69355

IWC’s Portugieser collection is one of the Schaffhausen brand’s staples, originally created at the behest of a Portuguese client in 1939. The chronograph version with its parallel bicompax design debuted a few years ago in this red sunray iteration. The subdials for the running seconds (at 6 o’clock) and elapsed hours (at 12 o’clock) are slightly recessed, and swept over by feuille hands. The Arabic numerals are surrounded by a minute scale and a ¼-second scale on the flange that enables precise readings on the central chronograph seconds hand. IWC’s Caliber 69355 beats inside the stainless steel case, its integrated chronograph functions controlled by a column wheel and equipped with a flyback function. The movement, on display behind a sapphire caseback, isendowed with IWC’s efficiency-focused Pellaton winding system.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Burgundy

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute

Price: $8,750, Case Size: 45.6mm x 27.4mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 30 meters, Movement: Manually Wound Caliber 822

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s signature dress watch, the Reverso, was originally designed as a sports watch, its reversible swiveling case making it a practical timekeeper for polo players who wore it during a match to protect the crystal from being struck by errant mallets and balls. In production since 1931, the Reverso is now available in numerous variations, some at the highest level of complications, but the core three-handed Reverso Tribute model is the one that faithfully echoes the classical Art Deco look of its ancestor. The rectangular case has the model’s clean lines and gadroons, the sunray dial (here in a warm burgundy red) features Dauphine hands, trapezoidal applied hour indexes, and a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock, and the back side of the case offers a clean metallic canvas for personalization. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s manually wound manufacture Caliber 822, shaped to fit the case’s soft rectangular dimensions, beats inside. In another callback to the Reverso’s polo-playing origins, the leather strap is from Casa Fagliano, an Argentinean purveyor of high-end polo boots.

Cartier Tank Louis Cartier Burgundy Dial

Cartier Tank Louis Cartier Burgundy

Price: $14,000, Case Size: 33.7mm x 25.5mm, Thickness: 6.6mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 30 meters, Movement: Automatic Caliber HMC 200

Louis Cartier created the Tank watch in 1917, deriving its rectangular, curvilinear case shape as well as its name from a French military vehicle used during the First World War, and the Tank has been a coveted style object ever since, designed to appeal to men and ladies alike, and the model most directly inspired by the original model is named for its creator and features modest, period-appropriate case dimensions. In 2023, Cartier added a lacquered burgundy dial to the Tank Louis Cartier series, adding to its minimalist streamlined appeal by dispensing with most of the traditional dial elements, including the Roman numeral hour markers. The yellow-gold-cased watch still has the sword hands and blue cabochon-topped beaded crown that has long been characteristic of the Tank models. The manually wound Cartier Caliber 1917 MC does its duty inside the case, and the red alligator leather strap harmonizes with the dial.

H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Swiss Mad Red Fumé

H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds Mad Red

Price: $14,200, Case Size: 42.8mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 120 meters, Movement: Automatic Caliber HMC 200

H. Moser & Cie. has long been lauded for its juxtaposition of avant-garde horological complexity with a distinctively minimalist aesthetic; the Schaffhausen-based independent brand is also widely regarded for its bold forays into colorful gradient dials. One of the latest examples is this version of its Pioneer Centre Seconds model with a scarlet-hued smoke-effect dial that the Schaffhausen-based maison refers to as Swiss Mad Red Fumé. (The colorway famously made its debut on the original and controversial Swiss Mad watch, whose case was made of — no kidding — Swiss cheese.) The 42.8mm case is made of stainless steel, with a domed sapphire crystal covering the wide dial with its leaf-shaped hands and bar indexes. Another sapphire glass in the caseback reveals the movement, Moser’s in-house Caliber HMC 200, with automatic winding, a three-day power reserve, and Moser’s patented Straumann hairspring system, which uses two springs oscillating in opposite directions to minimize center-of-gravity errors and improve precision.

Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding

Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Selfwinding Burgundy Dial

Price: $34,400, Case Size: 41mm, Thickness: 10.7mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 30 meters, Movement: Automatic Audemars Piguet Caliber 4302

In 2019, Audemars Piguet made a bold move to diversify its Royal Oak-dominated collection with a new series called Code 11.59, which features its own distinctive design and complex calibers. Taking its name from the minute before midnight, an allusion to the anticipation of a new day, the Code 11.59 collection channels some of the most successful design innovations from the maison’s past, namely the octagonal shape of the emblematic Royal Oak bezel, used on the Code 11.59 models instead for the case middle, while the bezel and caseback are rounded. Another defining aesthetic feature of the family, which ranges from three-hand timekeepers to high complications are the cases’ open-design lugs, their upper segments welded to the round bezel while the lower segments lean into the caseback. Like the Royal Oak, the Code 11:59 series is a far-ranging collection with a variety of complications, colorways, and case materials. The three-hand-date model pictured here entices with its smoked, burgundy-lacquered dial with sunburst finish, mounted on a hand-stitched alligator strap in the same hue for an elegantly monochromatic character.

Panerai Radiomir Annual Calendar Platinumtech

Panerai Radiomir Annual Calendar PlatinumTechPrice: $88,100, Case Size: 45mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 100 meters, Movement: Automatic Caliber P.9010/AC

Panerai trained its focus on its oldest and most historically significant collection, the Radiomir, in 2023, and launched its first annual calendar in that collection the same year. The most exclusive (and expensive) model is the “Experience Edition” in the Florentine brand’s proprietary Platinumtech alloy with a gradient burgundy dial. The classic cushion-shaped Radiomir case measures 45mm and has a polished finish and the retro-style wire lugs that evoke those of the earliest Panerai wristwatches. Inside, the new automatic Caliber P.9010/AC drives the watch’s array of functions, displayed on the dial: central hour and minute hands, day and date in separate windows at 3 o’clock, and the indication of the month (in abbreviated Italian, a nod to Panerai’s origins) on a rotating outer disk that lines up with a stationary arrow at 3 o’clock. Like all annual calendars, this one’s mechanism compensates for the length of every month except February, so will only need to be adjusted once per year. (The “Experience” that buyers can expect upon purchasing this exclusive edition is an all-expenses-paid Panerai experience in Rome.)


Join the Conversation

Richard P.

Outstanding article. Reds/Burgandys are my favorite colors for a watch. After seeing my first Teddy video back in the day, I bought a Seiko 5 in Red based on his comments. Still one of my favorite watches to wear.

Gerard A.

Awesome list! I enjoy these comprehensive overviews detailing brand, treatment, movement, price point for a singular color. Although it’s now sold out, the forthcoming Fratello X Straum red lava dial looks like a color design unlike any other.

Alfred D.

IMHO, THE best looking red dial is the Wise Adamascus AD951 available in 39mm or 41mm versions at only $579. It is a beautiful watch!

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