You would think that in the midst of a recession luxury items like quality timepieces would lose their appeal as people wrestle with the realities of the harsh economic times. With everything from food to the fuel for our cars getting more expensive by the day we all have less disposable income to play with but the quality watch market has actually held up well in recent times.

The beauty and kudos of a great watch is still in demand and this has fired watchmakers to develop an ever more astounding offering of stunning designs and technological marvels. With watches which seemingly do everything except make your breakfast now available it is difficult to imagine where timepieces will go next. Just about any style and functionality you desire is out there but what are the latest trends in the market?

Practical Technology

Yes there are watches with an incredible array of tricks up their sleeves but many of these functions are specific to certain sporting lifestyles or frankly only of any great interest to the serious watch enthusiast or the gadget obsessed geek! This year, however, there is a trend for technological features which are enormously practical and even I can see the point! Iconic brand Breitling, have produced a watch which incorporates a personal locator beacon.

I totally get this idea. This is an amazing safety feature applicable to a variety of situations. I know that, like many elements of modern watches, you can have this functionality in a separate gadget but it is really useful to have this feature securely fastened to your wrist.

Eone Timepieces have produced an ingenious new watch for the blind, the Bradley, which uses ball bearings to indicate the time. Whilst I cannot see the day when I would need or want many of the functions now incorporated into watches, mainly because I have a smartphone, this is a product that is something to admire.


There is no doubt that the market for men’s watches is a bigger one than that for women’s but is this a chicken and egg situation? To date, quality brands have principally focussed on masculine styles with women’s watches largely being scaled down versions of these or principally decorative pieces.

Could the paucity of choice have seen the market for women’s watches grow more slowly or is the demand really smaller here? Well we are about to find out as the latest styles indicate that more attention is being paid to designs specifically for women. With more effort being expended in appealing to the female half of the population we may see a surge in demand.


The merest glance at the new pieces on offer will tell you that colour is a major factor in styling this year and the dominant hues are blue, grey and orange. Striking deep blue faces, orange accents, and industrial looking models with slate grey colouring and matt finishes are everywhere.

Curious in a year when Pantone have announced that the colour of the year is emerald green! The grey tones of steel are big in cases and bracelets and the delicate hue of rose gold is prominent in many of the new ranges both juxtaposed with steel and in timepieces for women. It is interesting that in a market with so many technological developments, rose gold with its rather vintage appearance should be making a comeback.


Whatever style and functionality you desire you are sure to able to find what you are looking for in today’s diverse market. Vintage or ruthlessly modern, simple or complex, industrial or diamond studded it is all out there. There is no real “in” style but there is definitely a trend towards using striking colours and the partnering of modern and vintage features to produce desirable timepieces for 2013.

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Sally Stacey is a keen writer with her finger on the pulse of current trends