Colours can add oomph to a simple timepiece effortlessly and start a conversation without cue (case in point: these emerald-hued watches), but we understand that not everyone can stomach a sprightly-coloured watch with a business suit. As such, we’ve gone right the other way, scouring the darkest corners of the horological world to bring you these all-black watches. 

As enigmatic as they might look, the all-black watch was first seen on the wrist of Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. The founder of Porsche Design created a chronograph watch which featured a stainless steel case that was powder-coated in black. It wasn’t long before the big boys like Tag Heuer and IWC caught up to the trend. 

Technologies have evolved over the years — physical vapour deposition (PVD) is now the de facto method instead of powder-coating — but the modernity of these low-contrast timepieces have transcended trends, lending a tough-guy aesthetic while still keeping the sophistication alive. 

Sleek, contemporary — and honestly, quite badass — these watches are a masterclass on how a good dose of black magic can make all the difference. 

1
Bulgari Octo Ultranero Chronograph

Black has always been known to be a slimming colour, but Bvlgari’s Octo Ultranero Chronograph doesn’t need to be toned down. The famous eight-sided silhouette takes its functionality to the dark side this season, shedding all colour with the 41mm watch. The iconic octagonal case gets its brooding good looks with a little help from jet-black DLC on its stainless steel case, complemented by an equally darkened V-shaped, three-counter layout against the matte black dial. The rubber strap adds a good dose of functionality — it is, after all, an instrument watch. 

www.bulgari.com

2
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Phantom

First offered as a limited edition of 500 pieces each for the basic model of the BR-01 and its chronograph version, the striking Phantom colourway now finds itself on the BR-03. The hefty 42mm timepiece is — as its name suggests — designed to go undetected, and manages to keep a low profile with a thickness of just under 10mm. Like many of Bell & Ross’ creations, the BR 03-92 references cockpit board instruments through its mechanical automatic movement humming under the black dial with appliqué metal indices and numerals. A matte black ceramic case protects the watch by being highly scratch resistant, and the black rubber bracelet can be interchanged for a heavy-duty canvas variation. 

www.bellross.com

3
Hublot Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski All-Black

Infusing the Classic Fusion with his signature faceted aesthetics, contemporary French artist Richard Orlinski brings to life his graphic universe in this collaboration with Hublot. The result is a case with a few extra panels and cuts, creating a Neo-futuristic timepiece that spans 45mm wide and 13.4mm thick. The black ceramic case houses a complex skeletal dial, which reveals a black-plated amalgamation of a self-winding HUB1155 chronograph movement, polished hands and intricately etched-out numerals. The S$25,700 timepiece comes with a 42-hour power reserve and is water resistant to 50m.

www.hublot.com

4
Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph “Black Black”

Ever since Buzz Aldrin took the original “Moonwatch” along for the history-making Apollo 11 ride, Omega has been very public about its relationship with the moon; its Dark Side of the Moon series, specifically, celebrates the lesser-seen side of our most loyal satellite. Out of the many versions, the Black Black stands out for being a faithful representation, with its case, matte ceramic dial, applied indices, and even its Super-Luminova fashioned out of the raven hue. The same Omega Co-Axial 9300 calibre powers the running seconds at 9 and 30-minute, and 12-hour chronograph counters at 3 o’clock.

www.omegawatches.com

5
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication in Black Ceramic

Audemars Piguet does a subtle rendition of its famous grand complication this year by fashioning it in black ceramic, a material that the brand hasn’t been shy to use on its Royal Oak line. Beneath the sapphire dial lies black counters and a black inner bezel, punctuated only by white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands. Its self-winding calibre 2885 features an impressive mix of minute repeater, perpetual calendar, moon-phase indicator and split-seconds chronograph — a delicate display of how old-world horlogerie finesse can co-exist with new age materials.

www.audemarspiguet.com

Shatricia Nair
Deputy Editor
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.