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We’re living in a world of seemingly almost infinite color choices when it comes to watches, particularly their dials, the faces that timepieces most prominently show to the public. Amidst the masses of silver, black, blue and various shades of green dials that proliferate today, orange dials are still something of a niche, generally assigned to a handful of diving watches, for which the earliest ones were intended more as a matter of practicality than style. However, watchmakers in recent years have slowly started to embrace the orange dial and to discover the widely appealing breadth of hues it offers. Here we showcase 15 orange-faced watches that are on the market now; as always, we start at an eminently affordable price point, slightly over $200, and top out in the high-luxury segment, at six figures.
Price: $210, Case Size: 41.5mm, Thickness: 13mm, Lug to Lug: 47mm, Lug Width: 22mm, Crystal: Mineral, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Automatic Orient F6922
Orient is a Japanese watchmaker founded in 1950 but with a tangled history stretching all the way back to 1901 and a convoluted relationship with its now-parent company, Seiko Epson Corporation. Like its better-known contemporaries, Seiko (with its own complex corporate structure through Epson) and Citizen, Orient made its worldwide reputation by making affordable watches with appealing designs. Among Orient’s stable of sporty divers’ watches is this Ray Raven II model with a red-orange dial, a stainless steel, 200-meter water-resistant case on a three-link bracelet, a silver-tone unidirectional rotating bezel with blackened top ring to set dive times, and (like the similarly budget-friendly pieces in Seiko’s Sport series) a day-and-date display in a double aperture at 3 o’clock. The movement inside, the automatic F6922 with 40-hour power reserve, is made in-house — a bonus at this price point.
Price: $375, Case Size: 44mm, Thickness: 11.6mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Mineral, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Citizen Eco-Drive E168
Citizen unveiled its Promaster line of professional-grade sports watches in 1989 and its Promaster Diver models — equipped with the Japanese brand’s proprietary Eco-Drive technology, which uses light to perpetually charge the movement — have proven to be among the most popular of Citizen’s vast portfolio of timepieces. The 44mm silver-tone steel case features a 60-click rotating bezel made of aluminum (here in a deep maritime blue) and a screw-down crown positioned at 4 o’clock. This model’s gradient orange dial sports wide hands and large applied hour markers, all generously luminous-coated ed for underwater visibility, and a date window at 4 o’clock. The Eco-Drive movement offers six months of power on a full charge and boasts an accuracy of +/- 15 seconds per month. The model is mounted on a durable dark blue polyurethane strap.
Price: $475, Case Size: 42.5mm, Thickness: 13.4mm, Lug Width: 22mm, Crystal: Hardlex, Water Resistance: 100 m, Movement: Automatic Seiko 4R34
Seiko introduced the first GMT complication to its entry-level, automatic Seiko 5 sports line in 2022, equipping the watches with the automatic Caliber 4R34. Available in three colorways for the dial and bezel — blue, black, and the orange version featured here — the watches have a central GMT hand in a contrasting color, used in coordination with the bicolor day/night bezels (here in black and gray), with rings made of the Japanese maker’s proprietary Hardlex glass, like the crystal, to indicate a second time zone. The GMT hand is coated in LumiBrite, another Seiko-exclusive material, for nighttime legibility. Based on the design of the much-beloved SKX series of Seiko sports watches, the model has a five-link bracelet with polished middle rows.
Price: $570, Case Size: 42mm, Thickness: 13mm, Lug-to-Lug: 48mm, Lug Width: 22mm,Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Automatic Seiko NH35
California-based microbrand Nodus takes its name from the Latin word signifying the intersection of pathways, and signifies its mission of merging the two worlds of vintage and modern design. The first watch launched by the founders Wesley Kwok and Cullen Chen was the Trieste in 2017, a robust, retro-designed divers’ watch, which was discontinued after its initial run but continues to inspire successor models, like the Retrospect dive watch featured here, distinguished not only by its bright, cheerful orange dial but also by its inward-sloping divers’ bezel, a callback to 1950s designs that protects the black DLC-coated dive scale insert and draws one’s eyes into the sunburst dial, with its long triangular hands, wedge-shaped hour markers and tone-on-tone 6 o’clock date window. The movement is a Japanese-made self-winding Seiko NH35, with a 41-hour power reserve; the steel bracelet features Nodus’ proprietary extension clasp.
Price: $750, Case Size: 41mm, Thickness: 14.55mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 200 meters, Movement: Automatic Miyota 821A
In 1972, Bulova released a dive watch called the Oceanographer Snorkel, which built up something of a cult following in later years despite not making as much of a historical mark as iconic predecessors like the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and Rolex Submariner. This was largely because of its affordable price in comparison to those watches as well as its nickname, “Devil Diver,” which referred to the 666-foot water resistance that Bulova proudly touted on its dial; most dive watches at the time topped out around 600 feet, or 200 meters. Bulova brought back the Devil Diver in 2018, basing it on the 1972 version, and expanded into other variations in subsequent years. The steel “turtle” case is a hefty 44mm, with a 200-meter water resistance ensured by a screw-down crown. This model’s orange dial, under a box-shaped sapphire crystal, hosts the distinctive crosshairs motif of its 1970s predecessor, with wide rectangular hands and large dot indexes filled with Super-LumiNova. The Japanese-made, automatic Miyota 821D fuels the watch’s 42-hour power reserve.
Price: $960, Case Size: 43mm, Thickness: 14.95mm, Lug-to-Lug: 48mm, ,Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 500m, Movement: Automatic ETA Powermatic 80.611
Certina is a watch brand much better known outside the U.S. than within its borders, but that is rapidly changing as the company, which is owned by the Swatch Group, has expanded its distribution and thus the profile of its Swiss-made, value-oriented line of timepieces — particularly the divers’ watches that have put it on the radar of enthusiasts over the years, like the models supplied to Royal Australian Navy divers in the 1970s. Like many brands, Certina has mined its archives to inspire updated takes on some of its classic designs, including this orange-dialed PH500M, which is in most respects a faithful replica of the vintage model that inspired it, but updated with a sapphire crystal, improved luminous elements, and a modern movement, the impressive Powermatic 80 caliber that bestows the watch an 80-hour power reserve. The steel case, topped with an aluminum rotating divers’ bezel, is water-resistant to a phenomenal 500 meters.
Price: $1,005, Case Size: 36mm, Thickness: 10.4mm, Lug-to-Lug: 41.2mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 50m, Movement: Automatic La Joux-Perret G101
Farer set up shop in Berkshire, U.K., in 2015 with a mission to offer “Swiss made, British-designed” timepieces at a high value-to-price ratio. The company name, which comes from “Seafarer” and “Wayfarer,” reflects the adventurous, exploration-based theme that inspires the design and names of its products. The Resolute model is the company’s “Small but Mighty” dive watch, here in a 36mm case made of marine-grade stainless steel and featuring a bronze-capped screw-down crown. The “peachy keen” sorbet-colored lacquer dial hosts blue-finished hour numerals crafted from cream-colored Super-LumiNova, lume-coated syringe hands, and a bright red sweeping seconds hand. Behind a sapphire exhibition caseback, a high-end Swiss-made automatic movement from La Joux-Perret beats inside, maintaining a lengthy 68-hour power reserve. Completing the package is either a vintage-look Milanese bracelet or a Barenia leather strap.
Price: $1,500, Case Size:36mm, Thickness: 8.2mm, Lug to Lug: 47.5mm, Lug Width: 18mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 100m, Movement: Manually Wound Alpha Caliber
Founded in 1990, just two months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nomos has in its relatively young corporate life risen to become one of the most popular brands in German watchmaking as well as probably the most accessible to newer collectors. Nomos’s success — which includes an impressive string of German design awards for several of its products — has resulted from a combination of sensible pricing, classical Bauhaus design, and outstanding quality. Spinning off from Nomos’ sporty Club collection of timepieces in 2017, the Club Campus family is noteworthy for its streamlined, no-nonsense aesthetic and its use of a “California” dial, i.e., one that uses a combo of Arabic numerals, Roman numerals, and plain indexes for its hour markers. The “Future Orange” dial on the featured model has contrasting white luminous numerals and indexes and a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock whose darker orange hand adds a splash of understated flair. Inside the petite 36mm case is the German brand’s in-house, manually wound Alpha caliber, with a 43-hour power reserve.
Price: $2,490, Case Size: 42.5mm x 45mm, Case Height: 13.4mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 300 meters, Movement: Automatic ETA 2824-2
The Doxa SUB 300 first hit the shelves, and the waves, in 1967, establishing itself as an “everyman” alternative to luxury dive-watch icons like the Rolex Submariner and Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. It was the first commercial dive watch with two functional scales on its unidirectional rotating bezel, for dive time and depth decompression time, and — significantly for this list — the first to use orange (the most visible color underwater) for its dial. That classical, trend-setting design lives on in the modern version of the SUB 300, whose barrel-shaped “turtle” case resists water pressures down to 300 meters. Like its ancestor, the bezel is inscribed with both an inner 60-minute scale and an outer “air dive table” to assist in timing no-decompression dives. Behind the solid caseback ticks the chronometer-certified ETA 2824-2, with a 42-hour power reserve
Price: $3,500, Case Size: 43mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Automatic TAG Heuer Caliber 5
TAG Heuer has played with a variety of colors in its Aquaracer collection of sporty divers’ watches since the collection’s revamp in 2016, including the orange-toned dial on this model, which the brand says was inspired by a predecessor from 1979. The steel case has the stately 43-mm dimensions introduced in the 2016 models, up from the 41-mm size of their predecessors. The studded, 12-sided unidirectional rotating bezel features engraved lacquered numerals on the dive scale and the sapphire crystal includes a magnifying lens over the 3 o’clock date window. The orange sunray-finished dial is enhanced with a horizontal line pattern meant to evoke the look of wooden docks at sailboat piers. Inside the watch is TAG Heuer’s automatic Caliber 5 (either an ETA or Sellita as its base) with a power reserve of 38 hours, which beats behind a solid, screw-down caseback engraved with a divers’ helmet.
Price: $4,000, Case Size: 42mm, Thickness: 9.8mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 300 meters, Movement: Automatic BR-CAl.302 (Sellita SW300-1 base)
Bell & Ross launched its first divers’ watch, the round-cased Hydromax, in 1997, followed it up with the tonneau-cased BR-02 in 2007, and finally, in 2017, unveiled the original BR 03-92, the first dive watch in the square case shape for which the brand has become renowned. This version of the BR 03-92 Diver, introduced in 2020, is the first with a dial (as well as a rubber strap option) in orange, the color of maritime safety. Like its predecessors, the Diver Orange’s squared ergonomic case measures 42 mm in diameter and resists water pressure to 300 meters. The watch’s 60-minute unidirectional bezel features a luminescent dot at 12 o’clock for orientation and its crown is protected by an impact-resistant guard, fitted with a rubber insert for easy handling. The antireflective sapphire crystal and the solid caseback are both extra-thick, at 2.80 mm and 2.85 mm, respectively. An inner cage made of soft iron inside the case protects the movement — the automatic BR-Cal.302, based on the Sellita SW 300.1 — from the effects of magnetic fields.
Price: $4,600, Case Size: 36mm, Thickness: 12.21mm, Lug to Lug: 42.41mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 300 meters, Movement: Automatic Oris 733 (Sellita SW 200-1 base)
Breitling revamped its Superocean dive watch collection in 2022 by channeling the aesthetic spirit of a chronograph model that it made in the 1960s and ‘70s, nicknamed by enthusiasts the “Slow Motion” edition. Like that historical predecessor, the new Superoceans feature a distinctive square-paddle-shaped hand for the minutes, plus new high-contrast minute rings around the dial and thinner ceramic inlays for the dive-scale bezel. The models in the versatile 36mm size speak to both men and ladies with their “beach to boardroom” style, with 300-meter water resistance and a bright array of colorways, like the model pictured, whose orange dial echoes the color of the sturdy rubber strap. The steel cases of the unisex watches contain the Sellita-based Breitling Caliber 17, with a COSC chronometer certification and a 38-hour power reserve, and are mounted on either a sporty, color-coordinated strap or a steel link bracelet.
Price: $6,300, Case Size:38mm, Thickness: 12.3mm, Lug to Lug: 44.9mm, Lug Width: 19mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 150m, 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. The dials are characterized by simple wedge-shaped hour markers inspired by the silhouette of a sailboat, a triangular hour hand paired with an arrow-tipped minute hand. The 38mm Saffron-dial model, introduced in 2022 along with several other dazzling colorways, eschews the collection’s teakwood textured pattern in favor of a sunburst finish achieved via a PVD process. Inside each polished case is Omega’s ubiquitous, self-winding Caliber 8800, which powers the simple three-hand time display and the date at 6 o’clock and stores a power reserve of 55 hours.
Price: $169,000, Case Size: 45mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 30m, Movement: Automatic Tourbillon Caliber HUB6035
Hublot’s stock-in-trade “Art of Fusion” began with the very first models from brand founder Carlo Crocco, which raised eyebrows as the first gold watches mounted on rubber straps. This combination of high luxury with sporty practicality was a trendsetter for the entire industry and continues to inform Hublot’s identity today. Also a pioneer in avant-garde materials, Hublot was the first watch manufacturer to produce full-sapphire cases on an industrialized scale and has even taken a leading role in creating new color variations in that difficult-to-machine material. The translucent orange sapphire that forms the 45-mm case of the Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Orange Sapphire is just the most recent example, achieved through a process that incorporates titanium and chromium. The case of the 50-piece limited edition attaches to a matching orange, structured rubber strap with a lined relief pattern, equipped with Hublot’s patented One Click interchangeability system. The orange-accented skeleton dial is the front face of the in-house Caliber MHUB6035, a self-winding tourbillon movement that amasses its three-day power reserve with a 22k gold micro-rotor placed unconventionally at 12 o’clock on the dial side.
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