Text by Akeem Johnson-Pierre; Edited by Shervin Shirvani
Black is synonymous with power, resilience, and sophistication. These are all characteristics that the greatest timepieces strive to attain. With that being said, what better shade is there for watches known for their powerful presence and reliability? Giving a new look to familiar faces, these watches answer the only question that matters: does it come in black?
BELL & ROSS BR03-92 Black Camo ($5,000)
Building on the success of Bell & Ross’s camouflage watch series is the new all-black camo edition of the BR03-92. Bell & Ross have developed an original tricolor coating, and the 42mm diameter matte black case contains a dial covered with patchwork of matte greys. The strap is entirely matte black as well. The watch is virtually undetectable at night by others, perfect for those covert missions you might find yourself on. Don’t worry about being able to tell time in low light situations, the bottom layer is a solid disk of black Super-LumiNova that glows through the numeral cutouts of the top dial layer.
AUDEMARS PIGUET Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar ($93,900 USD)
It takes time to build greatness, and in the case of this Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet, it takes about 30 hours to finish the case and bracelet alone. This version of the Royal Oak is made of ceramic from end to end, a process that takes about 5 times the amount it takes to make a steel model. The Royal Oak has a familiar 41mm case and features the “Grande Tapisserie” dial which includes several extra features such as the date, astronomical moon, and leap year indication. The Royal Oak is powered by the new self-winding calibre 5134, an ultra-thin movement that is fully visible through the watch's sapphire crystal case back.
CARTIER Ballon Bleu de Cartier Carbon ($8,350)
42 mm, steel, leather. Available at Cartier boutiques nationwide. For more information please visit ca.cartier.com or contact 1-855-888-8798.
Each watch has a distinct attribute that sets it apart from the rest. In the case of this all-black timepiece, Cartier decided to name it after the blue cabochon comfortably laying in the crown. The watch's black steel and ADLC case, along with its calfskin strap, help accentuate this crown gem. The Ballon Bleu’s guilloche dial is decorated in roman numerals and sword-shaped hands. The 42mm Ballon Bleu features Cartier’s self-winding calibre 1847 MC.
BREITLING Avenger Hurricane ($9,865)
Self-winding chronograph with ultra-sturdy and ultra-lightweight case in Breitlight
The Avenger Hurricane looks like it would make it through war and back – this is because Breitling has fully embraced militaristic qualities for the all-black timepiece. Powered by the ultra-reliable new Breitling Calibre B12 movement, the Hurricane features a self-winding chronograph with a 24-hour display and a COSC-certified chronometer. Thanks to the new Breitlight technology, the watch case, which stands at an impressive 50mm, weighs significantly less than if it were made with titanium or steel. Don’t let its weight throw you off, the XXL Hurricane is extremely robust and is highly resistant to scratches, traction, and corrosion.
IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun
Only the best fighter pilots in the U.S Navy have the privilege of being admitted into the legendary Top Gun academy. IWC naming their Pilot’s watch collection after the Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program is no small decision. With it comes an expected elevated quality level, one that soars well above the competition. This Big Pilot’s watch is as reliable today as it was in 1940. Since then, it has received several modifications common to modern watches. Powered by the 311 component calibre 51111, the Big Pilot features a 7-day power reserve and anti-reflective coating on both sides.
PANERAI LAB-IDTM Luminor 1950
With a 49mm case made of carbotech, a composite material introduced by Panerai, the new Panerai LAB-IDTM is a true testament to the infinite potential of carbon. For instance, the P3001/C calibre movement is one of the first to function entirely without lubrication and is guaranteed to work for 50 years. Its blue Super-LumiNova hands make for a nice contrast and perfect visibility against its pitch-black dial, case, and calf ponte Vecchio strap.
FRANCK MULLER Vanguard Classical Titanium Full Black
The Vanguard by Franck Muller has one of the most captivating case shapes in all of horlogery. What is even more impressive is the amount of variations the Vanguard comes in. The classical line of Vanguards is already home to four distinct models, and has now added the Classic Titanium Full Black to the lineup. This version of the Vanguard Classic features the same 45mm curved case aesthetic as its peers. However, it now is in PVD-coated titanium and its distinctive applique numerals have been hand-brushed and hand-polished in black.