Time noir: black watches that will always be cool

Black is a trend that will never die. These timepieces are not a fad, but a statement.

April 12, 2015

TAG Heuer, Carrera Calibre 1887 chronograph racing (above)
First launched in 1963, this innovative watch with a large and easy to read dial, comes in a waterproof and shock-resistant case, strong enough to withstand the most intense use. It is the first sports chronograph designed specifically for professional drivers.

Since its rebirth in 1996, the Carrera has embodied each new technological advance of the brand. It’s sandblasted titanium case and black ceramic bezel with tachymeter scale houses the 1887 caliber movement manufactured entirely in-house.

Breitling for Bentley light body midnight carbon Breitling for Bentley light body midnight carbon

Lightweight, athletic, precise and powerful, this watch, in a 49mm case, hides a strong and lightweight titanium frame beneath its all-black high-strength carbon-based coating. The dial, which evokes the look of a dashboard, highlights information in red, a look that is exclusive to Breitling.

The clever system of a 30-second center-set hand, which sweeps the dial in half a minute instead of the usual 60 seconds, ensuring a very accurate reading to 1/8 of a second, is the descendant of a Breitling patent in 1926.The variable tachometer operated by the rotating pinion bezel is used to measure average speed whatever the time elapsed, the distance covered or the speed reached (unlike standard tachometers, which are limited to observations based on less than 60 seconds). Limited edition of 1000 pieces.

IWC Automatic AMG black series ceramic IWC Automatic AMG black series ceramic Since 2004, AMG and IWC have cultivated a prolific partnership. One of our favourite collaborations between the two was the 2013 Mercedes-AMG “Black Series” range - the car giving its name to a new line of Ingenieur watches in a 46mm case. The clean aesthetic of this model with three needles encased in high-tech ceramic (black zirconium oxide) is the expression of performance.

Boasting precision mechanics, it is powered by the powerful Pellaton automatic winding movement Calibre 80110, with an integrated shock absorption system. Indeed, it was tested for weeks to constant demands on all components with forces up to 5,000 Gs! In short, this Ingenieur is perfectly equipped for dizzying acceleration – specifically, 0 to 100 kph in 3.6 seconds – the acceleration of the SLS AMG Coupe Black Series.

Spacecraft RJ-Romain Jerome Spacecraft RJ-Romain Jerome With its straight profile, faceted surface and digital display, this watch is certainly reminiscent of the aesthetics of spaceships from the TV series of the '70s and '80s. Singular and unusual, this watch in a streamlined 50 x 44.5 x 18.5 mm UFO case in black PVD titanium is born from the collaboration between Manuel Emch (CEO of RJ-Romain Jerome), Eric Giroud (designer) and Wiederrecht (watchmaker and designer). It combines retro and futuristic styles in a complication watch.

The apparent simplicity hides a mechanical self-winding movement developed exclusively for RJ-Romain Jerome. Particularly complex, it features an interesting means of telling the time with a linear hour display on the side and a rotating dial on top revealing the minutes. The minutes are readable on a disc with a red indicator tracing on the sapphire crystal. The watch comes with a polyamide black braided bracelet. Limited edition of 99 pieces.

Girard-Perregaux, Hawk Ceramic Girard-Perregaux, Hawk Ceramic The Hawk collection has managed to establish its own identity while remaining true to Girard-Perregaux’s manufacturer spirit. The 2013 version in black ceramic offers a high-tech casing for the concentration of mechanical perfection. One is a chronograph, the other a diving watch. Their functionality serves as a reminder of the brand’s sports watch credentials, beginning in 1880, with the first mass-produced military wristwatches, followed in the 1940s with the first generation of Sea Hawk.

An exceptional high-tech material, unchanging, hypoallergenic and heat-reflecting, the ceramic used by Girard-Perregaux for the cases is characterised by the extremely fine zirconium oxide powder it contains. This powder makes the case almost ten times harder than stainless steel. Extremely scratch-resistant, the ceramic has a smooth velvety look. The result: a black and angular, 44 mm diameter case with an astonishing shine.