Everyone’s got a black-dial watch, right? As far as versatility is concerned, it’s a no-brainer if you’re only going to have one watch and wear it every day. It performs admirably in myriad situations, from a backyard BBQ to a black-tie wedding.
And maybe you’ve got a blue-dial watch, too. Depending on the particular shade and how it reflects light, it can work just as well as a black dial, offering up just a bit of playfulness for anyone willing to look close enough.
But today we’d like to advocate for a third, often overlooked option: the white dial.
There’s a boldness to a white dial that’s somewhat surprising — it’s just white after all; it’s not like we’re talking about bright yellow or anything. We like how it grabs your attention without seeming desperate, providing a clean canvas that shows off the watch’s features better than any other color. And because of that? Well, you better make sure you’ve got a well designed timepiece on your wrist.
Below, 10 that fit the bill perfectly.
Junghans Max Bill Automatic
Designed by 60s Bauhaus artist Max BIll, this minimalist German watch is far more elegant than anything else you'll find in the sub-$1000 category. It's a pitch-perfect dress watch and just whimsical enough to be worn in more casual settings as well.
A workhorse pilot watch with superior readability and a rugged quality that makes it the perfect watch to pair with jeans and a t-shirt.
Nomos Club 701
German watch manufacturer Nomos probably makes more white-dial watches than anyone else, but this one is our favorite. It comes in at a tasteful 36mm, perfect for smaller wrists, and it's got a little pop of color to keep things interesting.
Tag Heuer Aquaracer
Granted, if you choose to rock an Aquaracer, you will find that you are very much not alone. But if you go with the handsome white-dial version, you'll stand out from the crowd.
Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic 1054
A solid, retalitively affordable option that, with its unique combination of brown crocodile leather and a bright white dial, does a great job combining dress and casual elements.
Breitling Chronomat Colt Automatic 41
Released at Baselworld 2018, the newly updated Chronomat Colt Automatic is an entry-level watch in the Breitling line, but it still boasts an impressive wrist presence.
Bell & Ross V2-94 Racing Bird
Limited to just 999 pieces, the V2-94 was released in conjunction with the BR-Bird, an airplane designed by Bell & Ross to compete in the Reno Air Races, where precision built aircrafts travel at very high speeds and very low altitudes. Yikes. More importantly, the watch is a total looker.
Omega Aqua Terra 150m
This might not seem like much, considering the $5,500 pricetag, but up close, the Aqua Terra 150m really shines, with its appled logo and hour markers and textured dial.
Rolex Explorer II
Probably the most iconic modern white-dial watch, the Explorer II is an attention grabber like almost no other in the Rolex lineup —and that's saying something.
IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar
If you have the means, you could do far worse than the annual calendar version of IWC's legendary Portugieser, which displays the day, date and month in three separate windows, a 7-day power reserve with its own subdial, and another subdial for seconds. Not to mention the exquisite blued-steel hands and a sapphire caseback so you can stare endlessly at the incredibly complicated movement inside.
Main image from Sinn, all others from respective sellers.