Recently I had a discussion about our favorite new watches with a fellow enthusiast. Without skipping a beat, he said his was the Tudor Black Bay Ceramic. I was not surprised at this answer as this watch was starkly futuristic and has technical advancements such as METAS certification and case material. Quite frankly, the darkness of it all just looks really interesting and sleek.
Photo by @watcheskick
It’s not the first Black Bay with a black case. The Black Bay Dark, unveiled in 2016, features the original Black Bay case and bracelet but with a black PVD coating.
While an all-black watch may not work well as the main watch in a collection, I am convinced that for my style preferences, one all-black watch will work well in rotation with my steel sport watches.
Cartier’s ADLC Santos model uses a coating method that is purportedly very durable and certainly creates a more masculine aura in its Santos lineup. The 2020 version comes with the brand’s easy-change leather and rubber strap options. The classic Roman numerals offer a nice contrast to the all-black case, adding refinement to the rugged look.
Photo by Monochrome Watches
Rolex has never made a black cased watch, but aftermarket coatings by Bamford or by our friends at Blaken certainly make a strong case for considering a customized Rolex. Personally I love the look and the Pro Hunter mod that creates an all-black Submariner is one of my favorite custom Rolex looks.
Photo by @blaken_watches_official
I recently had my Panerai PAM112 treated with a PVD coating by Jack Alexyon at International Watch Works, who offers DLC and PVD coatings for Rolex, Panerai and other well-known watch brands, I chose a specific color that mirrors the grey color that Panerai uses in their factory made blacked-out watches. I have no regrets, as my Panerai will always be my fun watch that I managed to buy at a really great price over five years ago.
Photo by Jack Alexyon of International Watch Works
Am I worried about scratches and wear marks on the coating? Not really, as watches that have blacked out coatings with blemishes look good in my opinion. I’ve seen many photos of firearms with black coatings that have worn off around the edges and if you can accept that look, ownership of a PVD coated watch will be a lot easier.
If you’re still uncommitted to owning a more expensive PVD coated watch, you can dabble in the more affordable end of the spectrum. You can buy a Benarus Megalodon in DLC for under $1,000 or perhaps a Seiko Turtle in black for $560. Sinn offers its popular 856 in a fully tegimented DLC case for $2,620.
Photo by @1morewatch
So what are your feelings about blacked out watches? Love them? Hate them? Indifferent? Let us know in the comments or on social media.