Ceramic is the new black

Light and extremely resistant to scratches, inalterable and hypoallergenic, ceramic is now the star of high-tech materials in the watchmaking world. It is no surprise that Frank Sans C made a special video about it. Let’s admire this colourful selection…

By Nicolas Yvon, Chloé Redler

SWATCH Back to 1984 Bioceramic 

Innovation, new technologies, fantasy, a little bit of provocation… that’s what Swatch got us used to. And, well, the new collection didn’t fail us. The 1984 Reloaded collection pays a tribute to the brand’s iconic year when it wasn’t even one year old. The 1980s has made its comeback as a true fashion phenomenon this year. And Swatch took the opportunity to release five iconic watches that were first launched in 1984. This is a new interpretation using bio-sourced and bio-ceramic materials.

Les cinq modèles Swatch 1984 Reloaded
The five Swatch 1984 Reloaded watches are a new reinterpretation of the brand’s old models but with the same original design from that time.  

This collection, sold at an affordable price, is directly inspired by the artistic movement called the “Memphis Design”. The movement featured ultra graphic pop and coloured patterns and which was very controversial at that time. Nowadays, the design is recognisable by all and has been reproduced multiple times. We loved the grey New Gent version and its patterns. Which recall the “Saved by the bell” credits or the famous Tahiti table lamp by Ettore Sottsass. It should also be mentioned that both the white New Gent and the grey Gent are available in a special set. 

Le coffret spécial Swatch 1984 Reloaded avec la New Gent blanche et la Gent grise
The white Gent and the grey New Gent are also available in a special set (€ 160).

The watches are made with bioceramic (case and clasp) and bio-sourced elements like castor oil (for the strap). Besides the ceramic unique qualities (resistant, hypoallergenic and scratchproof), the elastic bioceramic is nice to wear and provides a soft and pleasant feel. Which we already mentioned in a previous article about the Big Bold Bioceramic collection.

Les cinq modèles de la collection Swatch 1984 Reloaded
The New Gent and the Gent are available in the legendary colours: grey, red, black, white and yellow, with monochromatic designs on the dial.

The brand’s choice is once again spot-on. The Swatch collection will surely appeal to the most nostalgic of us but also to new young customers.

New Gent Bioceramic – 41 mm: €85 
Gent Bioceramic – 34 mm: €75 
Special set: €160 

For technical details, visit the Swatch website:

RADO Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic

A world of high-tech Ceramic by Rado

In 1986, Rado was the first watchmaker to use ceramic on its watches. Now, the brand has equipped its signature diver watch with the high-tech material. We must admit it: the Captain Cook Ceramic, from the self-proclaimed “Master of Materials” Swiss manufacture, is a real technical feat that will seduce anyone.

Rado Captain Cook Ceramic en céramique plasma
On this plasma high-tech ceramic version, the new Captain Cook displays a bezel with a blue ceramic insert (€ 3,900).

Equipped with a 43mm diameter monobloc case, these new timepieces hold all the required characteristics to dive deep. They also feature all the essential elements: 300m water resistance, unidirectional turning bezel with a ceramic insert, 60min scale, luminous markers, screw down crown and back, Super-LumiNova hands and markers.

Rado Captain Cook Ceramic en céramique noire et acier PVD or rose
The Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic is particularly impressive in its version with a black ceramic case and rose gold coloured PVD coated bezel (€ 3,800).

The Captain Cook Ceramic is available in several versions: black ceramic with steel elements or rose gold coloured PVD treated stainless steel (€ 3,800), grey matt plasma and blue ceramic insert on the bezel (€ 3,900). Note that the black ceramic and steel model is available with a rubber strap (€ 3,400). 

Rado Captain Cook Ceramic en céramique noire et acier
With a 300m water resistance, the Rado Captain Cook Ceramic is the perfect instrument for diving (black ceramic and stainless steel model, € 3,700). 

All of the timepieces have a titanium back and a black tinted sapphire crystal glass. Which allows the wearer to observe the automatic Rado calibre R734 featuring a Nivachronähairspring and a 80 hours power reserve. The dial also displays a black tinted sapphire crystal glass. So you can admire the movement but it is still legible. Nice touch!

RADO True Thinline Les CouleursTM Le Corbusier

I have to say; I don’t know which model to choose because all of them have fabulous colours. One for each day, you’d say, right? But let’s be reasonable and let’s first congratulate Rado for this original collection called True Thinline Les CouleursTM Le Corbusier.

La version orange vitaminée de la Rado True Thinline Les CouleursTM Le Corbusier
As the exclusive watch partner of Les CouleursTM Le Corbusier, Rado is able to recreate the exact same shades from its colour chart. Just like this powerful orange version.

Entirely made in high tech ceramic, these watches pay tribute to the father of modern architecture and Architectural Polychromy. This colourful palette with infinite combinations echoes the works of designers and architects of nowadays. Created by Le Corbusier in 1931, enriched in 1959, this avant-gardist tool is composed of 63 colours total.

La version terre sienne pâle de la Rado True Thinline Les CouleursTM Le Corbusier
The True Thinline, emblematic watch from Maison Rado, is the perfect model to pay a colourful tribute to the genius architect Le Corbusier.

The Maison Rado used ageless and timeless colours to make its nine models that match the nine groups of shades. Frank Sans C presented four of these models in his video about ceramic watches. In collaboration with Les Couleurs TM Le Corbusier, Rado met the challenge and managed to recreate the exact same shades on ceramic. Which is a very resistant material that is now part of the Maison’s DNA.

Quatre versions de la Rado True Thinline Les CouleursTM Le Corbusier
Here are the four models presented by Frank Sans C in his video: powerful orange, grey brown natural umber, pale Sienna, slightly greyed English green.

Cream white, iron grey, spectacular ultramarine, slightly greyed English green, pale Sienna, grey brown natural umber, sunshine yellow, luminous pink… the True Thinline Les CouleursTM Le Corbusier watches are produced in limited editions of 999 pieces per colour. Not everyone will be able to get one!

Le décor du fond de boîtier de la Rado True Thinline Les CouleursTM Le Corbusier
Titanium case back with special digital print on sapphire crystal: Le Corbusier colour stripes, the colour palette created by the designer. 

Price: €2,030 

Technical details:

Quartz movement
Diameter: 39mm
Monobloc case and matt high-tech ceramic crown
Curved sapphire glass
Water resistance: 30m
Titanium case back with special digital print on sapphire crystal: Le Corbusier colour stripes 
Dial: printed indexes
Bracelet: 3-row matt high-tech ceramic – titanium 3-fold clasp

BVLGARI Serpenti Spiga

La Serpenti Spiga de Bvlgari en céramique noire
Quartz movement, ceramic case shaped like a snake’s head, rose gold bezel and crown, black lacquered dial and “matelassé”-patterned black ceramic bracelet… those are all the features of the Serpenti Spiga.

A few seconds before Frank began shooting his video, I had the chance to wear this Serpenti Spiga and let me tell you: it was love at first sight! The watch combines a very sophisticated traditional design true to the Serpenti collection while being ultra modern with its snake’s head case and bracelet (wheat stalk pattern) in black ceramic. Bearing a rose gold bezel, markers, hands and crown, the Quartz movement watch wraps itself on the wrist and makes us lose our minds.

La Serpenti Spiga de Bvlgari en céramique noire
This Serpenti Spiga from Bvlgari climbs the wrist like a sinewy serpent

Price: 8,700

Technical details:

Diameter: 35mm
Case shape: drop
18 kt rose gold and black ceramic case
18 kt rose gold crown set with a cabochon cut ceramic element 
Lack lacquered polished dial
Functions: hour-minute 
Quartz movement
Single spiral black ceramic bracelet with 18 kt rose gold elements
Water resistance: 50 m

AUDEMARS PIQUET Royal Oak dressed in black ceramic

The Royal Oak is Audemars Piguet iconic watch. In 1972, famous designer Gérald Genta designed its signature elements: octagonal bezel with visible screws, integrated bracelet, dial with “Grande Tapisserie” pattern. It was a request from the past owner for his Italian customers who were visiting a watch salon at that time. The feat was thus done in just one night! 

A new black ceramic version for the Royal Oak watch

Since its creation, the Manufacture released many versions of this timepiece; the latest one is a black ceramic model with black “Grande Tapisserie” pattern dial. True to its time, this piece echoes the trend of gender-neutral watches. 

La Royal Oak de 34 mm en céramique noire est contrastée d'or rose
With this 34mm automatic Royal Oak in black ceramic, Audemars Piguet presents its iconic watch in a gender-neutral version (€ 46 500).

The 34 mm diameter watch is suited for slenderest wrists and illustrates the savoir-faire of Audemars Piguet in the ceramic field by presenting a polish and brushed finish. Several – hand-made – finish that perfectly highlight the emblematic design of the watch; elegantly contrasted with pink gold screws, hands, and markers.

Audemars Piguet a équipé la Royal La Royal Oak en céramique noire d'un fond en titane avec verre saphir
On the case back, the Royal Oak calibre in black ceramic holds an oscillating weight in pink gold like the rest of the collection. 

On the other side, the titanium back displays a glareproofed sapphire crystal. That way, you can admire the inner workings and perfect finish of a self-winding AP movement. Which is decorated with “Côtes de Genève” stripes and holds an oscillating weight in pink gold. This is not the first full black ceramic Royal Oak created by Audemars Piguet. The brand launched in 2017 a stunning Perpetual Calendar edition. Audemars Piguet also released a beautiful skeletonized double balance wheel watch. You can see it in the Frank Sans C video about skeletonized watches.

Price: €45,600.

IWC Pilot’s Watches Chronograph Editions “Royal Maces”, “Tophatters”, and “Blue Angels®” 

IWC has surprised us by launching a special edition in ceramic made up of three pilot’s watches with chronograph function. Each one of these watches (limited at 500 pieces each) are directly inspired by the models that the Schaffhausen manufacture produces exclusively and in secret for the US Navy.

Actor Glen Powell, the brand’s ambassador, was invited to spend a day with the “Blue Angels®”… 

Generally worn by pilots and members of the American military squadrons, this is the first time that these timepieces are available to civilians. Indeed, since 2018 IWC is licensed to work on watches for the American military troupes. Namely the US Navy and Marin Corps aviation units, including Blue Angels® and the 247 active and 100 inactive squadrons. 

Each one of these three IWC chronographs displays the colours and the patch of a squadron

The “Royal Maces” edition, in black ceramic contrasted with yellow, was developed with the Strike Fighter Squadron 27. Which is nicknamed the “Royal Maces” and based at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. 

Montres d'Aviateurs chronographes IWC "Tophatters" et "Royal Maces"
The “Tophatters” and “Royal Maces” IWC chronographs proudly display the colours and patch of their squadrons (€ 11,600).

The “Tophatters” edition is a reference to the Strike Fighter Squadron 14 of the Naval Air Station Lemoore, California. On this black ceramic model with red spots, both crown and pushers are manufactured Ceratanium®.
Developed by IWC, this titanium alloy material is as light and tough as titanium. But also hard and scratch-resistant like ceramic. 

Montre d'Aviateurs chronographe IWC "Blue Angels"
Blue and yellow, the Blue Angels pilot’s watch chronograph edition displays the colours of the famous US Navy acrobatic patrol (€ 11,600). 

Third model as part of IWC’s license, this blue and yellow ceramic chronograph honours the famous “Blue Angels®” acrobatic patrol. It also features Ceratanium® crown and pushers.  

The new IVC ceramic watches have the same features

The timepieces are powered by a robust, reliable and precise IWC mechanical movement. They also share other features such as a 44,5mm diameter, a 60m water resistance, luminous characteristics, date and day display, soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields and a glass secured against displacement caused by drops in air pressure. Each piece has a screw-in titanium back with the squadron’s patch.

Price: €11,600.

RICHARD MILLE RM 07-01 Coloured Ceramics


It’s a colourful season for the Richard Mille feminine watches. This capsulecollection reveals three new RM 07-01 models, and each model is limited at 50 pieces. Just like the bold and gourmand RM 07-03, RM 16-01 and RM 37-01 that Richard Mille launched in its Bonbon collection, these pastel “Blue”, “Pink” and “Lavender’” pieces are true technical marvels. 

La collection RM 07-01 Céramiques de Couleurs
The RM 07-01 Coloured Ceramics Collection models come in three colours: TZP pink ceramic with cerulean-lilac rubber strap, TZP lavender ceramic with coral-tangerine rubber strap, and TZP blue ceramic with olive-aqua rubber strap.

Signature of the manufacture, the tonneau-shaped case is made in white gold and its bezel and back display a coloured high-tech ceramic: pink with cerulean-lilac rubber strap, lavender with coral-tangerine rubber strap, and blue with olive-aqua rubber strap. As an expert of new materials, Richard Mille was able to produce these timepieces with TZP (Tetragonal Zirconia Polycrystal) ceramic. Which is durable, scratch-resistant and hypoallergenic. 

Les trois modèles des RM 07-01 Céramiques de Couleurs
Each model from the RM 07-01 Coloured Ceramic Collection is limited at 50 pieces and is recognizable by their pastel coloured cases and exclusive dials. 

Director of Creation and Development Cécile Guenat makes a point of always designing very artistic dials with patterns that are part botanical with six lobbed, part sunburst, and part Art Deco.

Le travail de guillochage des RM 07-01 Céramiques de Couleurs
In the dial’s centre, the several sections are assembled from inserts of ceramic, geometrically patterned rubber and handcrafted guillochage

The timepieces are assembled from inserts of ceramic, geometrically patterned rubber and – a first – a handcrafted guillochage. The Maison has taken this centuries-old technique to express its creativity. 

Le guillochage du cadran des RM 07-01 Céramiques de couleurs
The dial’s guillochage of the RRM 07-01 Coloured Ceramics. This centuries-old decoration consists of individual repeating lines, cut by an engine turn, that intersect to create a graphic motif.

A skeletonized self-winding calibre powers the three models and is visible through the dial. On the back, the wearer can observe the inner workings and oscillating weight in red gold.  

Les rouages de la RM 07-01 visibles au verso
Made of microblasted and electroplasma treated titanium, the self-winding calibre is powered by an oscillating weight in red gold. 

Price: €160,000.

For technical details, visit the Richard Mille website:

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