Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 XPS Salmon Dial

New Flames: Four Of The Best Salmon Dial Steel Sports Watches So Far In 2023

More unique than standard blue, black, or gray dials, salmon is a color typically reserved by brands for special editions. We look at four highly sought-after steel sports watches with trendy salmon dials that have launched this year.

By Henri Lee

Salmon is a warm and inviting hue that exudes a sense of happiness, optimism, and strength. It is the color of the salmon fish, which is known for its epic migrations and ability to overcome obstacles.

Unlike the more common blue, gray, white, and black dial options, salmon is frequently selected as the dial color for special edition timepieces offered by top watch brands. This rarity only enhances the allure and collectibility of these exceptional watches.

In 2023, some exquisite salmon-toned integrated sports watches have made their debut. These eye-catching models are either limited in edition or restricted by production capability. A few lucky friends managed to acquire these hard-to-get watches, which allowed me to view and handle them up close.

Before checking out the list below, take a guess at the names of these new salmon-toned sports watches in stainless steel!

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic with Metallic Salmon Dial – Limited to 50 Pieces for US & Canada

The "Octo" model name and its iconic design emerged in the 1980s under the eponymous watch brand founded by Gérald Genta in 1969. The Octo represented Genta's final major watch design, following his earlier strokes of genius that gave birth to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus.

In 2000, Bulgari's watchmaking division in Switzerland acquired both the brand and the company Gérald Genta. Bulgari took up the Octo's foundational design and infused it with Italian sensitivity and creativity, resulting in various model lines, including the Octo Roma, Octo L’Originale, and the Octo Finissimo.

The Octo Finissimo – with "Finissimo" translating to "super fine" or "thin" in Italian – has been at the forefront of ultra-thin movement design. Over the span of seven years, it has achieved seven records, including the world records for the thinnest chronograph, automatic watch, and manually wound watch

Miniature Work of Art

In March 2023, Bulgari released a special edition of the Octo Finissimo Automatic exclusively for the US and Canada, featuring a captivating metallic salmon dial.

This unique dial color draws inspiration from the 16th-century Florentine school of Italian art, resulting in a copper tone that exhibits a soft and ever-changing character when viewed from different angles. With only 50 pieces produced, this release is exceptionally rare and in high demand.

Fortunately, a friend of mine is among the lucky 50 owners, granting me the privilege of trying this timepiece on my wrist. It struck me immediately with its remarkable slimness and comfortable fit, as the case and bracelet gleamed with myriad facets, resembling a miniature work of modern art.

Positioned at 7 o'clock, the seconds sub-dial cleverly provides ample space for the prominent numerals at 6 and 12. The distinctive color and the stainless-steel case and bracelet ensure that this watch stands out effortlessly, even from a distance.

This Ref. 103856 is priced at $13,300 excluding taxes. Please refer to the official product page for more details

Lang & Heyne Hektor Salmon Dial – Limited to 15 pieces for Japan

In 2021, the prestigious German brand Lang & Heyne made a significant entry into the steel sports watch market with the launch of the Hektor. This collection was produced in limited quantities, with a mere 33 pieces in blue, gray and green, respectively. The Hektor quickly became the talk of various watch groups, sparking comparisons with neighbor A. Lange & Söhne's Odysseus.

Following the success of Hektor’s initial release, a 15-piece salmon dialed Hektor was planned quietly. Listing for about $19,000, these exclusive Japan-only pieces were finally starting to ship in 2023.

The pieces actually included two variants: 10 pieces for the whole Japanese market and 5 pieces for Shellman, a top AD in Japan for independent brands. The sole distinguishing element between the two models is the presence of a gray outer ring encircling the dial on the Shellman edition.

"Petticoat" Shape

Powering the L&H Hektor is an in-house movement UWD 33.2 with a center second hand. The sister caliber UWD 33.1, featuring a second sub-dial, has been used by a select few brands, including Sinn and J.N. Shapiro.

What sets this manual wind movement apart is its unique "petticoat" shape, elegantly incorporated into the bridge design. This distinctive design element has also influenced the dial and bracelet aesthetics.

With only 15 of these salmon-hued Hektor timepieces in existence, they represent an exceptionally rare find in the world of horology. Wearing such a stunning piece is sure to garner an abundance of compliments at any watch gathering.

Please visit the official product page for more information.

Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 XPS Salmon Dial

Chopard introduced the Alpine Eagle luxury sports watch collection in 2019, capturing attention with its beautiful dial inspired by the iris of an eagle. The collection featured a range of releases, including dials in blue, black, gray, green, and turquoise.

However, it was the release of the salmon dial variant in March 2023 that truly stole the spotlight. Enter the Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 XPS, equipped with a premium L.U.C movement and distinguished by the prestigious Geneva Seal.

The "XPS" designation, derived from the French term "extra plate petite seconde," translates to "extra flat/slim small second."

Priced at $22,500, this Ref. 298623-300 garnered considerable attention, with many collectors I know eagerly placing deposits to secure their own. It undoubtedly marked a significant milestone for the Alpine Eagle line.

Exceptional Comfort

Having had the opportunity to try on this watch, I can attest to its striking presence on the wrist and its exceptional comfort. Whether in professional meetings or while relaxing on the beach, it commands attention, particularly among watch enthusiasts.

The Alpine Eagle 41 XPS has succeeded in winning the hearts of both avid watch collectors and the media alike. Check out the official product page for more information.

H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Center Seconds Smoked Salmon, Limited to One Year’s Production

In 2020, H. Moser & Cie. introduced the Streamliner collection, drawing inspiration from the sleek, rounded curves of the pioneering high-speed trains of the 1920s and ‘30s.

Among the initial releases was the Streamliner Center Seconds with a captivating green dial. Its remarkable bracelet design and minimalist dial garnered high praise from both the media and collectors. In no time, it became a waitlist-worthy model, establishing itself as a top-tier integrated sports watch from a prominent independent brand.

Unique Character

Fast forward to 2023, and watch enthusiasts were treated to the unveiling of a follow-up model featuring a beguiling smoked salmon dial.

The color, distinct from the typical red or pink tones associated with Atlantic salmon, exhibits a unique character, resembling shades of copper, akin to a particular variety of smoked salmon. The logo is elusive and can be seen only from certain angles.

Priced at $21,900, this Ref. 6200-1207 is limited by production, with plans to produce it for just one year. As of my latest check on the Moser website, it is already listed as "Sold Out," emphasizing its immense popularity.

While it imparts a substantial feel on the wrist, it remains exceptionally comfortable to wear. Versatile enough for daily use, it effortlessly complements various occasions, whether formal, casual, or outdoors.

Find out more about it by visiting the official product page.

Comparison of Specifications & Features

Comparing these four exceptional steel sports watches can be simplified through the table below. This approach unveils intriguing insights when examining key specifications.

First and foremost, there is a unanimous agreement among these brands regarding the ideal case size for a contemporary sports watch. A diameter of 40mm or 41mm aligns seamlessly with the preferences of watch enthusiasts.

Additionally, three of the models boast water resistance levels of 100 meters or more, catering to sports and outdoor enthusiasts. Furthermore, each brand has spared no effort in crafting integrated bracelets that blend functionality with compelling aesthetics.

Movement Magic

All four models proudly feature in-house movements, underscoring the watchmaking prowess of their respective brands. The Octo Finissimo, in particular, distinguishes itself with the world's thinnest automatic movement, while the Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 XPS garners acclaim for its high-end finishing.

Finally, it's worth noting that three of the watches provide a power reserve ranging from 60 to 72 hours, showcasing cutting-edge advancements in movement development.

Rare Birds

Due to extremely limited production numbers, none of these four models are easy to acquire. Two of the models were sold exclusively in specific countries, making them even harder to find outside those markets.

Yet determined collectors found ways to get their hands on these highly desirable watches. On the secondary markets such as Chrono24, pre-owned pieces are listed for significant premiums compared to the original list prices.

Relatively speaking, the Chopard Alpine Eagle XPS may be the most accessible if you want a brand-new model. Working directly with a Chopard boutique and putting down a deposit is likely the best approach.

Final Thoughts

Salmon is a vibrant, warm color that signifies happiness and health. It has a casual yet sophisticated flair suitable for both men and women. For watch enthusiasts who own models with blue, green, black and other dial colors, salmon makes for an exciting new addition.

Naturally, watch brands have started releasing steel sports watches with eye-catching salmon dials. The models featured here are not just beautiful but also functional. Each watch works well for daily wear and suits various occasions.

If you miss out on these watches, don't worry. More salmon dial sports watches will surely arrive in the future. So, stay tuned to Watchonista to be the first to find out about these limited-edition beauties with their irresistible salmon dials

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