Black is the new black
Is black a colour? Good question. It’s definitely a shade. And it’s definitely a trend that watchmakers are hopping on, with noteworthy – and praiseworthy – designs. When it comes to watches, black is the new black.
Yes, but… don’t go buying the first black watch that comes along. If the watch is treated with poor quality material, soon enough that black colour will fade around the edges of the case and the bracelet. Steel must be blackened according to the rules of the art, for example with DLC coating. This process is used by big manufactures to guarantee long-lasting shine and colour depth.
LA D DE DIOR BLACK ULTRAMATTE
Victoire de Castellane, Dior’s legendary creative director, pulls out all the stops with this ebony-coloured D de Dior. It follows the spirit of Monsieur Dior, who once said: “I could write a whole book about black”.
With its exclusive Milanese mesh strap, the D de Dior Black Ultramatte is like an incredibly smooth black silk ribbon that could tell the time.
A watch or a jewel? That’s up to you. I think it can be both. In its version with a bezel set in black diamonds, this is undoubtedly a woman’s watch.
However, this is up for debate with the three small black diamond indices. This watch would be extremely chic on a man with a slim wrist in formal wear.
Even with the diamond-studded crown that remains very understated.
34 mm case in black DLC-coated steel
Steel crown with engraved logo, set with 13 brilliant-cut diamonds (0.07 ct)
Black DLC-coated steel bezel boasting a ‘Satine’ motif
Water resistance: 30 meters (98 feet)
Polished black PVD-coated Dauphine hands
Three brilliant-cut diamond indices (0.02 ct)
Anti-glare sapphire crystal
Milanese strap in black DLC-coated steel
Satine hammered bezel version – €4,300
52 diamond set bezel version – €6,800
This black watch stands out with its bezel engraving, spelling out BVLGARI twice. Hence its nickname, BB. Don’t forget Bulgari is an Italian maison, even though their watches are manufactured in Switzerland. This explains the V-shaped U, a design borrowed from imperial Rome, when mottoes and names were engraved on the pediments of temples and monuments.
This icon now features in the permanent collection, to the delight of enthusiasts. All enthusiasts, as the watch is available in two sizes: 33mm with quartz movement and 41mm with selfwinding mechanical BVL 191 calibre, visible through the transparent caseback.
This fine DLC-coated black steel watch has a steel crown set with a black ceramic insert, stainless steel bracelet with DLC coating, and unfolding buckle. It boasts a black lacquered dial with applique indices. This happy Italian-Swiss marriage results in absolute chic.
Diameter (mm): 41 or 33
Automatic or quartz
Black DLC stainless steel
42-Hour power reserve
Water resistance: 50 m
Mechanical calibre version – €5,200
Quartz movement version – €3,900
TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4
The icy-blue look of this black watch was inspired by Porsche’s electric car, the Taycan.
I can already hear purists scream “an electric Porsche! That’s a capital offence!” Well, I see where they’re coming from – I used to think like them. Until I tried out the Taycan Turbo for myself. That test drive was not off to a good start, because all I could think was “Calling an electric car a Turbo, what a joke…” To which Porsche replied: “Just try it, and then we’ll talk.” Wow. Let’s just say: prepare to be amazed and astounded. I’ve never driven a passenger car that could accelerate this way. Even a GT can’t speed like this. Hence the “Turbo” in the name, I’m told, to convey the gentle brutality of the thing. Alright, I’ll take it. Hats off to Porsche. Anyway, tangent’s over, I’m putting away my prejudice. Okay, just one last thing: you can’t beat the sound of a sport exhaust.
But back to the watch: in addition to all the features of the E4 caliber we talked about in our video on connected watches (see below), it has Wear OS features for Porsche owners – their car info displayed directly on the dial. For instance, mileage and electric or gas driving range. The watch can also be used to adjust air conditioning, heating, and chassis condition.
Stunning colour, carbon imitation black calf leather, strap topstitching… Everything evokes the meticulous design of Porsche interiors. A frank success, bound to be a Porsche owner’s second – or umpteenth – watch. A word of caution, however: not all car models are compatible at the moment. Here’s the list: Panamera (G2 II, 2022 models and later), Panamera (G2), 911 (992, 2022 models and later), Cayenne (E3, 2022 models and later), Cayenne (E2 II), 718, Macan II/III, Macan, Taycan.
Autonomy: full day (including Wellness, 1.5 hours of running, 2 hours of walking) and full day (including Wellness and 5 hours of golf)
Charging time: 100% in 1.5 hours
Heart rate monitor, compass, accelerometer, gyroscope, NFC, microphone, barometer
Operating system: Wear2 by Google
Sports apps: running, cycling, fitness, swimming, golf, etc.
Chronometer, timer, alarm
Exclusive Porsche dial
45 mm diameter
Grade 2 sand-blasted black DLC coating titanium case
Black polished ceramic bezel with icy blue and lacquered grey details
Flat sapphire crystal
Water resistance: 50 m
€2,650 (click here for a 3D showcase)
AquisPro Date Calibre 400
Designed to be used for saturation dives (very deep dives), this black watch is a highly technical tool for professionals. It was designed for professional divers working in helium-enriched environments, often hundreds of meters deep.
Particularly noteworthy is its bezel locking system, Oris’s patented Rotation Safety System (RSS). This function allows the wearer to adjust and lock the uni-directional rotating bezel securely into place. Its chunky rubber grip makes it easy to operate, even when wearing gloves.
Of course, it has all the attributes of a diving watch, with a helium valve. The highly reliable, well-crafted 400 calibre adds further quality to this instrument.
49.5 mm case in titanium and black DLC-coated steel
Anti-glare sapphire crystal
Water resistant to 1,000 meters
Automatic 400 calibre
120-hour power reserve