To recap: Zenith’s latest release, the uber stealthy Chronomaster Revival ‘Shadow’, has had us thinking about all the other great all-black timepieces that have been released in recent memory. The blacklist is an ever updating thing. So, we ran through some of our favourite models from the last little while. And after going through the list, we’re firmly of the opinion that blacked-out watches are just plain cooler. But in case you’re still not convinced, here are some more surreptitious stunners that have got the ninja aesthetic down pat.
Luminox Bear Grylls Survival 3780 LAND Series Watch
Bear Grylls is a certifiable wild man – the daredevil, survivalist and former British Special Forces soldier has done some of the craziest things ever captured on camera. So, when Grylls and American watchmaker Luminox teamed up for a collaborative series of timepieces, you just knew they were going to release something special. This particular model, the Survival 3780, looks positively menacing with its darkened CARBONOX case and dial, and if you’re after a tactical timepiece for rugged weekends, it doesn’t get much better than this. $1490 AUD.
Made to celebrate Tudor’s partnership with New Zealand’s national rugby team – The All Blacks – the Black Bay Chrono Dark is easily the best-looking iteration of Tudor’s flagship chronograph. Hewn from stainless steel and then treated to a matt black PVD coating, this limited edition beauty sold out faster than Doug Howlett used to run the 100-metre sprint (10.68 seconds, in case you were wondering). $8320 AUD.
Undone Basecamp Blackout
We’re on the record as being big fans of Undone – the Hong Kong watchmaker offers quite a lot of bang for very little buck. Aside from the very impressive levels of customer customisation they offer, their in-house designs are also very fetching. And, of course, they offer a very good-looking, blacked-out timepiece. Based on the standard Basecamp, the Blackout blends vintage diver aesthetics and avant-garde chic. $315 USD.
Cartier Santos de Cartier All Black
Not many people saw this one coming when it was released … but then again, Cartier has always pushed the design envelope. This ADLC-coated variant of the Santos de Cartier perfectly demonstrates what happens when you blacken a timepiece – it transforms from being something that’s classically styled and antiquated into an item that looks fresh and decidedly 21st century. Some may find it a bit gimmicky, much like a Hextie, but don’t listen to the haters; this a great-looking watch. $11,500 AUD.
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M in Black Ceramic
Perhaps the most modern interpretation of the Omega Seamaster that we’ve seen in quite some time, this all black ceramic beast is what James Bond will be wearing in 50 years time … probably. The contemporary look has been complemented by a larger, solid ceramic case that measures 43.5mm across (up 1.5mm compared to the standard model). This stygian Seamaster has got us shaken and stirred, and we like it. $12,375 AUD.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Black Ceramic
Another archetypal dive watch that’s been given a murdered-out makeover, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe in Black Ceramic is a very interesting wristwatch. We’re sure some found this vogue expression of the first-ever dive watch to be patently sacrilegious, but we reckon the Le Brassus firm has nailed it. This watch is fresh to death. $16,050 AUD.
Rado True Thinline
This Rado True Thinline cuts a lissom visage that is somehow timeless and futuristic all at once, which is quite the accomplishment. The radially brushed, sunray black dial, in combination with the black steel handset and inky ceramic case and bracelet, come together to provide a furtive modesty that’s really quite refreshing. $2925 AUD.
Longines Legend Diver Black
The Longines Legend Diver Black is like a ’66 Mustang that’s had a complete restomod – totally badass. All the iterations of the Saint-Imier outfit’s vintage-inspired diver are great, but the unashamedly neo noir treatment that’s been bestowed upon this example makes it a cut above the rest. The rubber Milanese bracelet is also downright wonderful. $3550 AUD.