Cloaked in black, these timepieces transform the classic into the contemporary. Designers are mastering the dark arts and using black ceramic, blackened titanium, and carbon composites to create next-gen watches that look forward rather than back.
Rolex’s upsized Yacht-Master 42 in 18-karat white gold looks as sleek and sharp as an America’s Cup racer. It has a jet-black dial, a matte-black Cerachrom ceramic insert on the bezel, and a cushioned black elastomer Oysterflex bracelet that stands up to the elements.
Ulysse Nardin’s 43 mm Freak X is a more approachable version of the iconoclastic Freak, defined by a rotating carousel movement that doubles as a time display. Priced at a fraction of the original, Freak X offers two peak Freak noir versions, in blackened titanium and Carbonium, a reinforced carbon composite from the aerospace industry.
Panerai’s rugged Submersible 47 mm diver looks extra stealthy in the brand’s proprietary Carbotech, a matte composite material made of carbon fibres fused with PEEK (polyether ether ketone) polymer to deliver strength and durability in a lightweight package. Hits of lume appear blue by day, but glow green when you are diving deep or out after dark.
The 41 mm Tudor Black Bay Dark takes its cues from vintage Tudor dive watches with its oversized crown and distinctive snowflake hour hand. The satin-finish, black PVD–coated steel case and steel bracelet, however, are strictly of the moment.
The Seamaster Professional Diver was launched in 1993, but Omega’s legendary dive collection goes all the way back to 1957. This year, the Seamaster got a modern makeover with a 43.5 mm.
Entirely fashioned from black sandblasted ceramic, Bulgari’s latest Octo Finissimo Automatic ups the rebel quotient in the brand’s radical ultra-thin collection. Bulgari makes no excuses for taking modern Italian flair to the extreme with a matte black ceramic dial fitted with glossy black hands and indices, so you can read the time with ease.
Watch Editor Claudia Cusano; Art Director Mark Reynolds.
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