The Colour of Money

...or should that be the money of colour?

The Colour of Money

When Rolex finally released their COVID-delayed 2020 collection it was the Oyster Perpetual 41s that stole the show. 41mm cases and the new calibre 3230 movement upgrade were all very nice, but this was all about the dials. Oyster Perpetuals may be entry-level but the fun-factor was turned up to the max.

Inspired by the 'Stella Dials' of the '70s and '80s, Rolex added 6 vibrant colours to sit alongside the more sober silver and black. This immediately raised a question...with 8 watches, identical in every way except the dial colour, which would be the most popular?

Not being privy to Rolex's sell-through figures, we turn to the next best thing - the resale market. Following basic economics of supply and demand, the most popular colours will resell for the highest prices. In a wholly unscientific round-up of the secondary market the following pecking-order emerged:

  1. Turquoise - otherwise known as 'Tiffany-Blue' a strong colour with universal appeal and it helps if one of the world's most famous jewellers gives it an inadvertent helping hand.
  2. Pink - a surprising entry if you assume that only half the audience might be interested, a 41mm steel watch for ladies would be a strong proposition on its own but social media would suggest that pink has cross-gender appeal.
  3. Yellow - Inevitably referred to as 'Pikachu' the yellow is lively, energetic and brings a smile to your face. The summer launch favoured this one but it remains a cheerful companion through the dreary months.
  4. Red - Just pipping green to fourth place, the red dial, or to be precise 'coral' shows that the brighter colours that stand out on the wrist and make a statement have attracted the most interest.
  5. Green - With the prevalence of green dialled watches in the 2021 releases, it is odd to see this colour so far down the list. It may prove to be a late developer if other green dial options become hard to source...one to watch.
  6. Blue - A frequent contender for the watch world's most popular dial colour, the lowly sixth position confirms that the OP is an opportunity for watch collectors to explore something 'different'. Maybe there are too many other blues on offer.
  7. Silver - The classic, almost retro appearance of the steel and silver combination saves this one from last place. Understatement is not the aim of the new OP owner it seems.
  8. Black - Henry Ford would be disappointed... His 'Any colour you like, so long as it's black' motto was four words too long. The new OP collection is a celebration of colour and black is just not playful enough.


Adrian Hailwood