How did the fashion for entirely black watches come about?

  • 10 juil, 2023
  • Conseils

Even though they go against the most classic and traditional watchmaking codes, entirely black watches, from the hands to the buckle of the bracelet can be very beautiful, refined and have an excellent quality-price ratio, as the many models available now amply demonstrate.

In fact, these watches, whose dial is most often illegible (as it's black on black) have become increasingly widespread since the advent of mobile phones, answering a concern of the time: since watches are no longer used to tell the time (our mobile phones do it), timepieces are now viewed as a jewel, something precious, exclusive, a sophisticated luxury. Moreover, black is a rebellious colour in a sector that has always favoured gold, or steel.

Black is black, as most watch brands have understood. Indeed, we find all-black watches at different price points, from 110 euros to several tens of thousands, made of plastic, titanium, ceramic or carbon, for both men and women. Some brands have even based their own identity on the consistent offering of black models. There are several reasons for this. First of all, black breaks with the watchmaking codes of hundreds of years ago (white, gold, silver, etc.). Indeed, this trend is above all an aesthetic one. 100% black watches have a striking graphic appearance, they are sleek, sporty and contemporary. This fits well with the urban trends of the last ten years. It's a neutral and versatile colour that easily blends with all others. Discreet, it avoids the glossy or attractive appearance of a gold or fancy watch. However, in reality, what has allowed the rise of black watches, regardless of trends, is the evolution of technology.

Notably, in the 2000s, new technical coating processes allowed manufacturers to develop highly resistant black coatings for watch cases and parts, such as PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) or DLC (Diamond-like Carbon). Obviously, black watches with these finishes watches also offer durability over time and resistance to scratches, which was not the case before. Initially used on luxury watches, PVD and DLC treatments have now become widespread, but in the eye of buyers they are still perceived as exclusive and high-end, hence their popularity. Moreover, some buyers or collectors appreciate the subtlety of telling the time on certain models and have developed a specific expertise in fully black models. They are doing this in the footsteps of the traditional watchmaking spirit.