A few years later, in 2015, to mark the Watch Art Grand Exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, Patek Philippe released a small handful of watches with a salmon dial, notably the reference 5070 and 3940. Using cases left over from these discontinued references, the manufacture chose to pair some of the white metal cases with the unmistakeable pink hue. Believed to have been produced in only five pieces for each of the two references, these have become particularly sought-after by collectors, and only further reinforced the general aura surrounding salmon dials.
Extending the same logic, Patek Philippe recently used the colour for its unique Grandmaster Chime, sold at the Only Watch last year. This watch features two dials to accommodate all of its complications – one dial in black, with the other in salmon. This would go on to sell for an astounding CHF 31 million, becoming the most expensive watch ever sold. More recently, it is also interesting to note that Patek Philippe has gradually integrated the salmon dial into some of their production models, such as the annual calendar ref. 5035 or the perpetual calendar chronograph ref. 5270. In many ways, it appears that these were gradual steps taken by the manufacture, to bring their salmon dials to a greater number of their clients, rather than just those who share a privileged relationship with the brand.
This extension of the salmon dial into modern times isn’t confined to the usual suspects either. Smaller, independent watchmakers have adopted the same path. For example, Philippe Dufour or the Grönefeld Brothers have both experimented with this shade, to varying degrees. Dufour integrated it within a unique Simplicity in stainless steel with Eastern Arabic numerals, whilst the brothers have released multiple watches with the options, including their 1941 Principia and 1941 Remontoir. We’ve also seen these dials coming from the likes of A. Lange & Söhne, who gave their Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon a salmon dial, last year.