12 Yellow-Dial Watches From Affordable to Luxury
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12 Yellow-Dial Watches From Affordable to Luxury

Yellow is a color meant to draw attention: there’s a reason it’s used in road signs, stoplights, and to highlight important text passages. When yellow is used on a watch dial, you can usually be sure that it’s a watch that is meant to be anything but understated and subtle — whether the tone is a bright, matte “signal” yellow or a more elegant, shiny-surfaced gold or champagne tone. Here are a dozen yellow-dialed watches that span the gamut from sporty to luxurious — and from affordable and easily accessible to expensive and ultra-exclusive. 

Citizen Tsuyosa

Citizen Tsuyosa yellow dial

Price: $450, Case Size: 40mm, Thickness: 9.1mm, Lug to Lug: 45mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 50 meters, Movement: Automatic Caliber 8210

Best known for its light-powered Eco-Drive movements, Japan’s Citizen also offers a lineup of appealing mechanical timepieces, including the NJ015 automatic series, nicknamed “Tsuyosa,” a Japanese word meaning “strength.” Speaking to the contemporary trend towards eye-catching colorful dials, Tsuyosa models offer five, all with a subtle sunburst finish, including the standout yellow version above. The round, chamfered steel cases measure 40mm in diameter and 11.7mm thick, with an unconventionally positioned crown at 4 o’clock for better ergonomics on the wrist. The bracelet has what Citizen describes as a “mountain-shaped” design thanks to its individually curved links; the center links and the bezel are both sleekly polished. The self-winding movement inside is Citizen’s Caliber 8210, ticking at a frequency of 21,600 vph and storing a 40-hour power reserve.

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer “Golden Panda”

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Golden Panda

Price: $675, Case Size: 41.4mm, Thickness: 13.3mm, Lug-to-Lug: 45.5mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 100m, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Seiko Solar Caliber V192

The original Seiko Speedtimer, released in 1969, was among the world’s first self-winding chronograph watches, equipped with the legendary Caliber 6139. When Seiko revived the Speedtimer, as part of its sport-oriented Prospex collection, it decided to eschew the automatic mechanical movement in favor a new, high-tech, solar-powered one, Caliber V192, which enhances reliability and runs up to six months on a single charge from any light source. The motorsport-inspired tachymeter scale on this yellow-dialed model with high-contrast black subdials, nicknamed the “Golden Panda,” is etched into the stationary bezel, and the dial’s intuitive design uses red detailing for the central seconds hand and the elapsed minutes hand on the 6 o’clock subdial at 6 o’clock for easy reading of the chronograph displays. The date window is nestled unobtrusively between the indexes at 4 and 5 o’clock, helping to enhance the overall legibility of the sunray-finished dial.

Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Champagne

Hamilton Intra-Matic Champagne

Price: $845, Case Size: 38mm, Thickness: 10.2mm, Lug-to-Lug: 43.9mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 50 meters, Movement: Auto ETA 2892

Hamilton’s Intra-Matic models take their inspiration from a series of dress watches, made in the 1960s and early 1970s, which were among the brand’s first to contain self-winding movements (“Matic” in the name referring to the “Automatic” movement, of course). Those models’ minimalist mid-century design codes live on in this handsome Champagne-sunburst-dial model, a mainstay of Hamilton’s vintage-look American Classics collection. The modest 38mm case has a gleaming polished finish; the wide dial hosts thin baton hands and even thinner baton hour markers, a date window at 6 o’clock, and a retro Hamilton logo in a period-evocative font at 12 o’clock. Inside the case, behind an exhibition back, is the automatic ETA 2892-A2, a reliable Swiss-made movement with a power reserve of 42 hours.

Zodiac Olympos

Zodiac Olympos

Price: $895, Case Size: 37.5mm, Lug Width: 19mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 50 meters, Movement: Automatic Caliber STP 3-13

The original Zodiac Olympos, launched in 1970, was positioned as a “more classical execution” of the Swiss brand’s iconoclastic Astrographic model, known for its floating-hands “mystery” dial. The revival of the Olympos, in 2018, included a limited edition based on the mystery-dial model, and another with a field-watch-style “military” design, as well as the dressy version with a quartered yellow-gold dial that remains in the collection today. The sharply angled “manta ray” case, in steel or gold-toned steel and measuring a modest 37.5mm in diameter, is reminiscent of the era from which the original emerged, with quirky details like the crown tucked between two protective shoulders at 2 o’clock. Like its sportier siblings in the Super Sea Wolf family, the Olympos contains the STP 3-13 automatic caliber, manufactured in Switzerland by the Fossil Group, Zodiac's parent.

Doxa Sub 200

Doxa SUB 200 yellow dial

Price: $950, Case Size: 42mm, Thickness: 13.8mm, Lug to Lug: 46mm, Water Resistance: 200 meters, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Automatic ETA 2824-2

Introduced in 2020, the colorful models in the Doxa SUB 200 collection are the most value-oriented descendants of the famous SUB models that the Swiss company made beginning in 1967, which are widely regarded as the first purpose-built divers’ watches that were accessible to the general public. The 42mm case is made of stainless steel and topped with a domed, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The three-hand dial, framed by a unidirectional rotating bezel, has large rectangular applied indexes and a date window at 3 o’clock. All of the elements relevant to timing a dive, including the hands, indexes, and bezel scale, have been treated with Super-LumiNova. Behind the solid screw-down caseback, engraved with Doxa’s fish emblem, the reliable self-winding ETA 2824-2 movement ticks away at a frequency of 28,800 vph and stores a power reserve of 38 hours when fully wound. 

TAG Heuer Formula One Chronograph

TAG Heuer Formula One yellow dial

Price: $1,900, Case Size: 43mm, Thickness: 12.4mm, Lug Width: 21.5mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 200 meters, Movement: Quartz Chronograph Caliber

Few watch brands can claim a more historical link to motorsports and automobiles than TAG Heuer, whose top luxury models, the Monaco and Carrera, appeal to racing enthusiasts worldwide. At a more entry-level price point is TAG Heuer’s Formula 1 collection, described by the maker as its “ultimate motor racing model” with a 43mm stainless steel case and outfitted with a Swiss quartz chronograph caliber. The vibrant yellow dial on this watch features contrasting black subdials that echo the look of the black PVD-coated tachymeter-scale bezel. A red-colored central chronograph hand provides another layer of contrast, and the large applied hour numerals, indexes, and hands have a luminous coating for nighttime legibility. The screw-down crown and chronograph pushers are also in black PVD, and the solid caseback has a textured pattern evoking a checkered flag in an auto race.

Longines Heritage Military Marine Nationale

Longines Heritage Military

Price: $2,000, Case Size: 38.5mm, Case Height: 12.3mm, Lug Width: 19mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 30 meters, Movement: Automatic Longines Caliber L888.5

Longines has been successfully mining its early 20th-century archives for modern hits in its popular and ever-expanding Heritage collection, which is underpinned by reviving models from the brand’s nearly 200-year history. The Heritage Military family is no exception, its most eye-catching member being this Marine Nationale model issued in 2020 and based upon a watch from 1947 that Longines supplied to the French Navy. The modern watch’s 38.5mm case is just slightly larger than its 35.5mm predecessor, and its opaline eggshell-yellow dial, with blued steel hands and black painted Arabic hour numerals, features the inscription “Fab Suisse” (for Fabrique Suisse, or “Swiss Made”) under the Longines logo, another period-appropriate detail. The movement is decidedly modern, the ETA-supplied, Longines-exclusive Caliber L888.5, which is COSC-certified for chronometric performance and features an antimagnetic silicon balance spring.

Breitling Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf

Breitling Avenger 45 Seawolf Yellow Dial

Price: $4,350, Case Size: 45mm, Thickness: 18.3mm, Lug to Lug: 55.2mm, Lug Width: 22mm, Water Resistance: 3,000 meters, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Automatic Breitling Caliber 17

Breiitling resurrected its hyper-masculine, aviation-inspired Avenger series in 2019, with design elements drawn from the discontinued and fondly remembered Breitling Colt models. Among the new generation of Avengers are a handful of timepieces as suitable for deep sea diving as for blazing into the wild blue yonder. The bright yellow dial of the Avenger 45 Seawolf (the “45” refers to the massive diameter of the case) is ideally suited for underwater visibility and its steel case — with the utilitarian “rider tabs” bezel familiar to fans of Breitling’s Chronomat family — is one of the most robust on the market, resisting water pressure to a crushing 3,000 meters. The watch is available on either a steel bracelet or a black, military-style leather strap and houses the ETA-based automatic Breitling 17 caliber. 

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 yellow dial

Price: $6,100, Case Size: 36mm, Thickness: 18.3mm, Lug to Lug: 55.2mm, Lug Width: 22mm, Water Resistance: xx meters, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Automatic Rolex Caliber 3230

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual is the essence of Rolex’s sport-luxury simplicity and, in its midrange 36mm version, perhaps the coveted brand’s most entry-level men’s model. The clean, elegant dials are either sunray-finished or lacquered in an impressive array of colors, like the yellow-dialed model featured here (photo via Chrono24). Hours are marked by simple applied bar indexes, doubled at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock and treated with Rolex’s proprietary luminous material, called Chromalight, which glows bright blue in the dark. Rolex’s crown emblem indicates 12 o’clock, and the hands are similarly luminous-treated; the dial’s symmetry is uninterrupted even by a date window. The case is made of a 904L stainless steel, a highly corrosion-resistant alloy that Rolex calls “Oystersteel” and waterproof to 100 meters thanks to its threaded screw-down caseback and the patented Twinlock screw-down crown. The in-house, automatic Caliber 3230 beats inside, offering an impressive 70-hour power reserve.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver

Price: $42,900, Case Size: 42mm, Thickness: 14.1mm, Lug to Lug: 53.7mm, Water Resistance: 300 meters, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Automatic AP Caliber 3120

Audemars Piguet added a purpose-built dive watch to its Royal Oak Offshore collection of boldly styled sport-luxury timepieces in 2010 and unveiled a range of “funky” dial colors to the collection in 2017. This yellow-dialed model features a brushed-finish stainless steel case with the hallmark octagonal bezel, with visible screws, which first riveted the watch community’s attention back in the 1970s on the Offahore’s predecessor, the original Royal Oak. The watch includes an inner, rotating, dive-scale bezel ring that occupies the flange of the dial, operated by an additional crown on the left side of the multipart case. The dial bears the familiar “Mega Tapisserie” textured checkerboard motif of the Royal Oak Offshore family and the case boasts a water resistance of 300 meters. Inside the case, behind a sapphire cashback, is Audemars Piguet’s in-house, self-winding Caliber 3120, embellished with a gold rotor and various high-horology finishes, and carrying a 60-hour power reserve. 

F.P. Journe Centigraphe Sport

F.P. Journe Centigraphe Sport

Price: $59,000, Case Size: 44mm, Thickness: 10.7mm, Water Resistance: 30 meters, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Manually Wound F.P. Journe Caliber 1506

Francois-Paul Journe’s eponymous watch brand is known more for high-end horological complexity than bold and playful colorways, but Journe puts both on display with the Centigraphe Souverain Sport, here with a case and bracelet made of matte anthracite-finished grade 5 titanium and a bright yellow lacquered dial. The ergonomically designed watch has a black ceramic bezel and a single, rocker-style button at 2 o’clock to start, stop, and zero the chronograph function — a departure from the traditional two chrono pushers. A patented innovation in the movement’s chronograph mechanism isolates the stopwatch from the timekeeping so that the balance’s amplitude can be unaffected while the stopwatch is running. The three subdials on the dial display elapsed times of 20 seconds at 3 o’clock, 10 minutes at 6 o’clock, and 1 second (divided into 1/100th increments, thanks to the chronograph’s ultra-high frequency) at 10 o’clock. The movement in the Centigraphe is F.P. Journe’s manually wound Caliber 1506, which holds a power reserve of 80 hours with the chronograph off, and 24 hours while it’s running.

Girard-Perregaux 1966 Château Latour Edition

Girard-Perregaux 1966 Chateau Latour LE

Price: On Request, Case Size: 40mm, Thickness: 9.4mm, Water Resistance: 30 meters, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Automatic Girard-Perregaux Caliber GP03300-2180

The most exclusive timepiece on our list is this 18-piece limited edition from Girard-Perregaux, developed in collaboration with legendary Bordeaux winemaker Château Latour and unveiled toward the end of 2023. Each watch’s gold-hued dial (calling it “yellow” seems reductive) is subtly unique from the others, formed from light-colored pebbles in the Chateau Latour vineyards in the Prémier Cru Medoc region of France — the same pebbles that blanket the fertile ground and reflect sunlight to stimulate the growth of the world-famous vines that provide the winemaker’s grapes. More than a full day’s work is required for each dial, with the artisan cutting and grinding each pebble to reduce its thickness for the dial’s brass base, yielding the tiny fissures, indents, and hollows that make each dial one-of-a-kind. The rose-gold case continues the golden hue of the dial and contains the in-house automatic Caliber GP03300, its host of meticulous finishes visible behind a sapphire caseback. Did we say exclusive? The watch will only be made available to private guests of Chateau Latour’s estate in France and Girard-Perregaux’s manufacture in Switzerland. 


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Derek L.

Looking at these (and the price points) makes you realize what an incredible value proposition the Citizen is.

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