Blue-on-blue isn’t the only popular watch-color trend of recent years. “All-black” watches, with ebony-colored cases, dials, and straps, have also remained popular. Nearly every watch brand, from mass-market and inexpensive to pricey and high-end, now makes at least one black-on-black model. Here are 7 notable black-on-black watches released in recent years.
Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Offshore Diver joined the Royal Oak Offshore Grand Complication and Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph as part of the brand’s celebration of 20 years of its Royal Oak Offshore watch. It is the third such model to be introduced, and the first to be offered in a ceramic case. The case, which is water-resistant to 300 meters, also includes a bezel and easy-grip crowns made of deep-black, high-tech ceramic — a material that is approximately seven times harder than steel and extremely scratch-resistant. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver retails for $21,800.
Inspired by a vintage divers’ watch from the 1950s, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph ($17,200), contains a Blancpain manufacture movement, which features automatic winding, a column-wheel chronograph mechanism with vertical clutch, and a superfast frequency of 36,000 vph (5 Hz). The 43-mm case is made of brushed black ceramic and the black dial has a sunburst finish.
The case of the Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute Blacksteel, 43 mm in diameter and water-resistant to 30 meters, was blackened using the same process as the Avenger Seawolf Blacksteel model, in which a highly-resistant carbon-based coating is added to the steel. The dial echoes the case’s black color, while white, luminescent-coated numerals and hands, and small red hands for the chronograph counters, provide contrast. The Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute Blacksteel comes on a perforated black rubber “Ocean Racer” strap. A limited edition of 1,000 pieces, it retails for $9,590. Breitling has since created blacksteel versions of many other popular watch models.
This limited-edition Eberhard Chrono 4 Géant watch, nicknamed “Full Injection,” gets its name — and its sleek, dark, “stealth” look — from the special treatment used to harden the 46-mm steel case. The process, an advanced low-temperature carbon diffusion, allows the “injected” carbon to penetrate the steel for 30 micrometers to produce a structural hardening. The black coloring comes from the use of a DLC treatment called Dianoir, which is used on the case, bezel, crown, chronograph push-buttons, and buckle. The dial is also black, with black chronograph subdials. The Chrono 4 Géant Full Injection will be produced in a limited series of 500 pieces.
Several years ago, Girard-Perregaux introduced a version of its re-branded Traveller WW.TC (World Wide Time Control) watch in black DLC-coated titanium. The new version of this user-friendly world-time watch is lighter, because of the titanium case, and very durable and scratch-resistant due to the DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) coating. The center of the dial features a three-dimensional representation of the latitudes and longitudes covering the globe, and also includes the displays for the watch’s chronograph function, in a tri-compax layout (subdials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock); the date, which is placed between 1 and 2 o’clock; and the brand’s name and logo.
The Ralph Lauren Sporting Chronograph Black Ceramic was the first Ralph Lauren watch with a case made of ceramic zirconia, a high-tech material typically used in demanding applications such as jet engine components. The case is nearly scratch-proof and the watch — which contains a mechanical movement from Jaeger-LeCoultre — is very lightweight. It is available in 39-mm and 45-mm sizes, priced at $5,500 and $6,400, respectively.
Richard Mille released an all-black limited edition of the RM 030, which features the brand’s “declutchable rotor.” The RM 030 Black Out uses a black-DLC-coated titanium for its entire case. The other all-black elements include the inner bezel, the crown protector, the rubber strap with deployant buckle, and the numerals on the skeleton dial. The watch features a handful of subtle red accents, including the date aperture, the tip of the central seconds hand, and the indicators for the winding and power reserve. Limited to 30 pieces, the watch retails for $95,000.