All-black watches solve many a style conundrum. As one of the more muted colourways, they firmly sit between classic and contemporary and are extremely versatile, easily-paired with your casual and formal outfits alike.
Here, we’ve curated some of the finest ‘murdered out’ pieces to convert you to the dark side. Welcome.
Sure, you may never encounter a tropical storm on the south Pacific. But your wrist can still prepare for every eventuality with Breitling’s beautiful signature Superocean. The complex diving watch features an in-house caliber (a notable feat for any manufacture) alongside all the usual submarine hallmarks: changeable strap, chronograph counters and a unidirectional bezel. Perhaps keep it on dry land for now, though.
LARSSON & JENNINGS
In the famous words of Huey Lewis and The News (and now, Swedish-British outfit Larsson & Jennings), it’s hip to be square. The LJXII Norse revisits the rectangular watches of yesteryear, yet updates a seventies classic with overarching darkness throughout.
Want a small piece of Alessandro Michele’s Gucci? Of course you do. This all-black iteration of the G-Timeless features the now iconic milk snake motif.
If it’s good enough for the French brigades of 2013, it’s good enough for you. Techné – a label founded by Belgian mountaineer Francis Jacquerye – has been co-opted by would-be soldiers the world over thanks to military precision and maximum legibility.
Technophobes: rejoice. There’s now a smartwatch that doesn’t look like a prop from Patrick Stewart’s Star Trek days. TAG Heuer’s Connected Modular is fully compatible with most operating systems, and offers a multitude of features within a convincing analog disguise.
Italians do the whole shirt open, silky excess thing very well. But it turns out they’re just as deft a hand at the whole minimalist thing, too. Fendi’s Fendimatic – a quieter piece that boasts an impressive automatic movement – is all the proof you need.
Shinola’s backstory is as cool as all the olde world Brooklyn coffee shop typeface. Based in Detroit, this all-American outfit has devoted itself to regenerating Michigan’s once thriving manufacturing industry, and trains local residents in the art of good proper watchmaking (among other crafts). See the sizeable Runwell 41mm for further details.
Swiss-made watches can be affordable. Look to Mondaine, and you can clinch well-made watchmaking without the usual price tag. And if those credentials weren’t enough, know that the manufacture is so achingly Swiss, it shares its design with the national railway clocks.
Haute horlogerie and all-black aren’t mutually exclusive. Thanks to Montblanc’s 4810 Day-Date, you can combine ultra-elite maison finery with a fairly modern palette, letting you enjoy a piece that’s as at home in the office as it is your off-duty rotation.
There’s a reason Timex overshadows its horological brethren in the affordable category. Watches like the Weekender Fairfield – simple designs that transcend the trend wheel – have clinched style points for decades. That means you need one. Stat.
Hard to pronounce, much easier to wear: Ulysse Nardin’s Freak Out model is an expertly designed timepiece of pure, unadulterated darkness. Sure, it might be a sizeable hit to your bank account, but you’re paying for Swiss craftsmanship of the tallest order.