Rainbow Emotion of Color
Extravaganza Crystal Classic (Ref. EX44-SS-cl)
by C. Bradley Jacobs
Originally published in iW magazine
A new series of stylish watches for women, the Rainbow Emotion of Color line, was introduced in 2008 by the European Watch Group, the banner organization for Swiss & German brands including Magellan, SARO-Gem, Bombardier, Riedenschild, LACO. The Rainbow watches, as the name suggests, utilize color prominently on the dial but in ways no other brand employs. As envisioned by German artist Paul Heimbach, colored discs stacked above the dial rotate mechanically and act as the hour and minute (and sometimes seconds) indicators much as the “mystery watches” of fifty years ago mounted gemstones on clear discs to give the impression of a floating indicator. Rainbow’s modern interpretation of this method results in constantly changing hues and moods as the colors—from white and yellow to deep violet and blue—overlap and engage one another. The variety of color is astounding and, as Rainbow indicates on their web site is indeed “an innovative and absolutely new style…of visualizing time.”
The colors change as the time changes:
Pictured prominently here is the case style referred to as Extravaganza Crystal, coupled with the dial known as Classic. This arrangement features one of the more eye-catching cases with the brand’s original, and one might say most basic, dial variant. The Extravaganza Crystal’s multitude of brilliant Swarovski stones is tastefully set into a steel case with timeless lines. The downturned lugs, slightly offset by the triple row of crystals set into the case band, are reminiscent of classic case shapes used in the mid-1900s by many of the finest watch brands and case makers. The watch shown houses a nicely decorated self-winding sweep-seconds caliber from Sea-Gull; models in this line are also available with Citizen-Miyota cal. 8215 or with various Swiss calibers. Officially listed as TY 2806S, this example’s movement is easily and smoothly hand wound and runs with reliable accuracy. Though the 37.5 mm Extravaganza case with solid screw-back and onion crown will appeal to most watch aficionados, a wide array of combinations is available from Rainbow which include some highly sculpted case shapes Emotion of Color such as Aurora and Passionata and even wilder dial patterns such as Vertigo, Tripod and Lightsaw. All of these variations can be seen at www.rainbow-watch.com.
Commenting upon the launch of the Rainbow line at the 2008 JCK Exhibition in Las Vegas, the CEO of Rainbow Watch GmbH, Joachim Baer, disclosed that Rainbow’s “designs and also the technology are patented. We already set up our production in Germany near Saxonia.” Preparations are underway for a jewelry collection to be released in 2009 and Rainbow’s “high end mechanical wrist watch collection can also be manufactured in solid gold cases [with] Swiss made movements.”
Newcomers to the market for fashion watches generally bring lots of modern flash but little that hearkens to the illustrious history of wristwatches. Many of the models do all of this, first with quality components such as stainless steel, hard crystal, gem stones (diamonds are also available via special order), and supple leather straps, and secondly by drawing upon tradition via their case shapes, the “mystery dial” theme, and the use of mechanical movements. Rainbow has clearly taken quality very seriously, as is the case with the other European Watch Group brands, and they have decided to let their innovative dial designs speak for themselves. Whereas most dedicated “fashion” watches emblazon their dials with large logos or brand names, the words Emotion of Color are visible in very small print at the bottom of the Classic dial, and the Rainbow name, superfluous indeed from the front of the watch, is prominently displayed only on the case back.
Text & images (of the watch under review) © C. Bradley Jacobs; all other images courtest EWG