Affordable watches for 5 kinds of gothsFergus Nash
It doesn’t get much opportunity to surface in my position of watch journalism, but I have a deep love of the dark and cryptic. From classic Lovecraftian literature to Reznor-esque dystopian fleshscapes, the goth in me rejoices in fictional despair no matter how gruesome or cheesy. Last year I wrote about the most evil-looking watches, but it didn’t truly serve my kindred gothic souls, being full of high-luxury and obscure pieces. Here are 5 different flavours of gothic watches that you could actually buy.
Seiko 5 Sports SRPD83
Taking on a modern streetwear style, the Seiko SRPD83 is definitely the choice for a vampire who wants to fit in with the bloodbags of the city. The coated hands and indices blend into the shadows of the blackened case and dial, while the crimson-toned LumiBrite is easily visible in pale moonlight. Aesthetics aside, the Seiko 5 Sports range is one of the best value watches you can get combining reliability and brand power. The 4R36 movements generally perform well, and the whole watch can be a great base for modification if you want to personalise it. It seems like they’re no longer available from Seiko boutiques, but there are still plenty to be found at other retailers with generous discounts.
Hamilton American Classic Lady Hamilton
If you’re a gothic femme with a penchant for late Victorian and Edwardian fashion, it seems as though the American Classic Lady Hamilton was made for you. Specifically, the reference with a case and bracelet coated in an almost-black plum. With a rectangular case ornately decorated in floral motifs and high-relief patterns, the sunburst-brushed black dial is deliciously dark. Four white diamonds mark the quarters, heightening the sense of luxury below a curved, vintage-style sapphire crystal. The stainless-steel rope bracelet is also coated in plum, not only completing the look but also evoking a delicate appearance with high quality. The quartz movement ensures long-lasting and accurate timekeeping, with only battery changes to worry about rather than servicing costs.
Although there is already an official Matrix watch collaboration with Hamilton, the Citizen JG2105-93E is a much more affordable watch with high-tech capabilities and retro-futuristic looks. It’s easy to imagine it on the wrist of Neo or Trinity, with the blacked-out case and dial neatly contrasting the white printing and digital displays. It features two analogue dials for dual-time functionality, a digital clock with a stopwatch, an alarm, and even the temperature. It doesn’t quite fit the cybergoth subculture which we’ll circle back to later, but would certainly suit a hacker who blasts Massive Attack at the peak of their nocturnal schedules.
If you’re the type of goth to don a suit and tie every day no matter the occasion, then the Vario Versa in its silver and black dial configuration is the choice. Not only is it a wonderfully affordable alternative to the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso or the Cartier Tank Basculante, but the black side of the dial makes for a perfect brooding dress watch without the need for a black-coated case. The high-polish steel actually helps to highlight the black of the strap and dial. There’s minimalist white printing around the perimeter for legibility, and should you want to brighten things up slightly, the silver dial with even more Art Deco influence can be flipped over whenever you’d like.
Blønie x Cyberpunk T-2077
Cybergoth is an incredibly niche yet potent subculture; one that was forged in the rave caves of the ‘90s. It’s fitting that the term Cybergoth was coined by the tabletop company Games Workshop in 1988 because the adjacent genre of Cyberpunk is also well-known as a roleplaying game from the same year. I would never say that the two are interchangeable – however, the limited-edition collaboration with the Polish brand Blønie and the Cyberpunk 2077 video game could absolutely be found on a Cybergoth’s wrist. The case is a dark hue of lightweight titanium that sits dormant until you hit the pusher. Then, bright yellow LEDs show you the time no matter how dark your abandoned warehouse rave is. Open a fresh can of Diet Coke, don your goggles and neon extensions, then strap on the T-2077 for an unforgettable night out of embracing your style.