Water mark: watches are inspired by aquatic themes this summer

Blue-tinted watches from Hermès, Bell & Ross, Montblanc and Vacheron Constantin are taking maritime cues

Left, 1858 Iced Sea Automatic Date, £2,610, and right, Patrimony Self-Winding, £23,700
(Image credit: Montblanc, Vacheron Constantin)

A whole host of watch brands are riffing on aquatic themes when it comes to this year’s new releases, choosing to play on a gradient of blues and bringing a maritime mood to classic watch designs. These blue-toned, elegant pieces make perfect summer watches.

For Bell & Ross, the distinctive square face of the BR 05 Chrono Blue Steel is set off by a shimmering blue sunray dial. Now equipped with a useful chronograph complication, the classic piece is imbued with a new functionality.

Bell and ross watch

BR 05 Chrono Blue Steel, £5,600

(Image credit: Bell & Ross)

A juxtaposition of texture brings a depth to the hue of the Hermès H08, its distinctive cushion-shaped case now cast in a blue titanium offset by a black ceramic bezel and vibrant pops of orange on the dial. For Vacheron Constantin, meanwhile, an adherence to minimalist design codes is encapsulated in the Patrimony Self-Winding, which stays faithful to the clean horological aesthetic of the 1950s with its uncluttered dial and simple face, an elegance that is also reflected in the piece’s slender hour markers and hands. When cast in a deep blue gradient, a play on light brings a depth to the Patrimony’s dial, embodying the brand’s classic-with-a-twist philosophy.

In the first ever sports diving watch presented by Montblanc, the brand took inspiration from the tightly knitted forms of ice in the main glacier of the Mont Blanc massif, the Mer de Glace, for its jagged silhouette etched onto the face of the timepiece. The silhouette is created using the ancient technique of gratté-boisé, a painstaking process that removes layers of the dial to bring to life the icy surface of a frozen lake.

Hermes watch

H08 Blue, £6,310, by Hermès

(Image credit: Hermès)

A version of this article originally appeared in the July 2022 issue of Wallpaper*, now on sale and available to subscribers


Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.