Lucien Steinmann, co-chief executive of Positive Coating, said ALD, as the process is commonly called, involves applying a transparent coating of oxidized metals to a surface, atom layer by atom layer, in a vacuum chamber. “Due to the thickness of the coating used for decoration on dials, cases and movement parts, the human eye will experience different colors,” said Mr. Steinmann. “It’s the same visual phenomenon as seeing different colors in an oil slick in a pool of water.”
Most recently, Positive Coating used this process to create the purple hues in the Faubourg de Cracovie Purple Panda ($32,800), presented in March by Geneva-based watchmaker Czapek & Cie. Mr. Steinmann said the handcrafted guilloche dial on the 41 The .5 millimeter chronograph was coated with 50 nanometers, or 0.00005 millimeters, of the transparent material for a purple effect.
“I always keep an eye out in trendy cities around the world – what are people wearing, how do they behave and behave in cities like New York and Tokyo?” said Xavier de Roquemaurel, chief executive of the brand, which was launched in 2012. “So when one of our collectors and shareholders suggested purple, it made perfect sense.
“But it’s not a big thing,” he added. “Out of our total production, which will be about 600 by 2022, we have made 18 purple pandas, all of which are sold out.”
The latest version of the 39-millimeter TAG Heuer Monaco chronograph — released this month and dubbed the Purple Dial limited edition ($7,150) of 500 pieces — also featured the color. But the brand, owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, used a spray-painted gradient dial that ranged from a light purple in the center to a dark aubergine on the edge, as well as a purple column wheel, purple details on the oscillating weight, and a purple liner for the alligator strap. .