It's just incredible how rapidly the luxury watch industry is evolving. Many might think what new things can be invented if a luxury watch, even if it consists of a high-performance movement, dozens of tiny jewels and other parts, is still a device that performs a fairly simple function - telling the time? But Rolex, OMEGA, AP and other brands prove by the example of their new models: we will be continually surprised by the craftsmanship and innovation of skillful engineers and designers.

The Richard Mille RMUP-01 Ferrari

Size Does Matter!

The size of a particular device does not immediately hint at any innovation. But it is the reduction in size that is the evidence of the tireless and coordinated work of experts from different industries. Perhaps you remember the good old days when bulky computers first gave way to home PCs and Macs, and then to laptops and smartphones. The same goes for monitors, TVs, and a host of other devices. Reducing the size of devices while not only preserving but also increasing their functionality is a testament to the application of high technology that is hidden under the case.

The same is true for the watches. If you are subscribed to our newsletter, you might remember that The Richard Mille RMUP-01 Ferrari manual winding ultra-thin limited edition watch established a new record and is now considered the world’s thinnest luxury watch. Its case has a thickness of only 1.75 mm, which is astonishingly incredible! The watch is powered by the Caliber RMUP-01 which allows it to have a water resistance of up to 10 meters and a power reserve of 45 hours. While this can barely be considered something impressive, the attention still should be drawn to its thickness!

AP Code 11.59 Selfwinding in 38mm

Slim cases have become kind of a trend this year. Many manufacturers liked this idea and started to design truly slim watches. For example, Audemars Piguet introduced the AP Code 11.59 Selfwinding in 38mm. The new model comes in at 9.6mm thickness while many popular models in 41mm are 10.7mm thick. While the timepiece didn't set any records in terms of thickness, there is a noticeable trend of decreasing size. Compared to the Richard Mille mentioned above, which holds the status of the thinnest luxury watch in the world, this Audemars Piguet timepiece boasts rather impressive features. Thanks to its powerful automatic Caliber 5900 movement, it has 60 hours of power reserve and 29 jewels beating inside it. 

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 with

Colorful Dials - Creativity Without Limits

A dial is like a face. Regardless of clothing, we always look into a person's eyes, at their face. In the luxury watch industry, there are many different approaches to overall watch design and dial design in particular. For example, a fairly common approach is a simple minimalistic look. This is justified when it comes to classic models. Classics are classics: regardless of advances in technology and design trends, classic watches, clothing, shoes and other items will always be characterized by simplicity. The opposite trend is emerging, though, - colorful, textured diatribes.

Rolex has been known for decades for setting the luxury watches industry standards. While there are plenty of classic models, there is a clear trend for colorful dials.

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 with a blue, Celebration-motif dial is a watch with both playful and positive dial. What color is it? It is like the rainbow! Dial's color is designated as Turquoise, but that's just the background. There are a myriad of colors that complement each other beautifully: red, yellow, purple, white, green and others.

Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon "Spider-Man" Limited Edition 42mm watch.

Old Memories in New Watches

Other manufacturers are being even more creative. For instance, Audemars Piguet has wowed luxury watch lovers with its extraordinary Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon "Spider-Man" Limited Edition 42mm watch.

The appearance of this model is actually futuristic, despite the fact that it makes a reference to a character we've known for decades. The superhero is skillfully positioned between the hands and other elements, pointing upwards. This design gives the timepiece a special depth. Admittedly, perhaps some may find such a brightly colored dial distracting, as it's quite possible that the hands won't be as highly visible as they would be in the case of calmer textured dials. 

Nevertheless, this watch, made of high-strength titanium, durable ceramic and fitted with a rubber bracelet, is for true fans of the famous character known for his red and blue costume, his agility and amazing skills.

Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon "Spider-Man" Limited Edition 42mm watch.

Physical Vapour Deposition

An attractive and impressive design is not only a combination of different shapes and colors. A variety of patterns that recall Fibonacci numbers and other intricacies that are often found in the real world are incredibly appealing and mesmerizing. How is it possible to create the kind of deep and rich textures found, for example, in the AP Code 11.59 Selfwinding in 38MM discussed above?

A special technology called Physical Vapour Deposition is used for this purpose.

It is a special process used to make luxury watches look great and stay durable. It works by putting a very thin but strong layer on the watch's metal parts, like the case. This layer is made by turning a gas or vapor into tiny particles that stick to the metal under a vacuum. 

Physical vapor deposition (abbreviated as PVD coating) allows you to change the color of the watch in a really magical way. Imagine that the watch is made of stainless steel or titanium. How do you give it not just a yellowish hue, but an appearance as if it were actually made of gold? How about making it silver or some textured pattern? The PVD coating technology is designed to cover various watch parts, with a very thin, yet strong layer in a special vacuum environment. 

To get started, they make sure the watch part is super clean. To clean the surface they use special cleaning agents. Then it’s time for the coating stage. Under laboratory conditions, the material (titanium or stainless steel) is converted into a gas or vapor. This vapor adheres to the part of the watch to be treated. As a result, this vapor contributes to the formation of a very thin but highly durable layer, which actually has the color characteristics that were originally desired. 

In addition, this layer not only makes the watch look good but also keeps it safe from scratches. PVD-coated watches are also very resistant to rust and moisture. This is due to the fact that the resulting coating acts as a kind of armor!

The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Twofold

Innovative Materials

Top luxury watch brands are constantly spending a lot of money to develop new materials. While gold, titanium, stainless steel and a few others have long been considered classics - there is a strong demand not only for appearance but for technical functions. Therefore, instead of just using traditional materials, Rolex, AP and other brands are now using high-tech materials. This refers to special alloys, industrial sapphire, and advanced ceramics.

The reason why manufacturers seek to create and use new materials is not so much due to their appearance, but rather as protection from scratches, falls, increased indicators of water resistance and other possible impacts. It's not always the case that such technologies emerge from labs commissioned by top brands. For example, a brand called Roger Dubuis introduced a special material made from 99.95 percent silica. It appeared to be incredibly lightweight and strong. Nowadays, it's used in their high-end watches. It becomes clear that watchmakers are focusing on creating timepieces that can be worn during all sorts of activities without breaking.


The luxury watch industry is evolving. Year by year. New designs, materials and technologies are on the horizon. Unlike the vast majority of devices, luxury watches not only impress with their looks and functions, but also add value. This makes them truly unique pieces!