Should you currently be on the lookout for a “stealthier” or black-on-black dive watch for holiday gifting (and we can’t think of a reason why you shouldn’t be), we at Diveintowatches.com have selected nine different models, in different price categories, each with different approaches on how to make a black case. Scroll down to see our selections.
Christopher Ward just recently announced a black-PVD version of its C60 Trident Pro (available in 38-mm or 42-mm sizes) These “Vintage Editions” (pictured here, below left, is Ref. C60-42-AUTO-KVKK-C) are water-resistant to 600 meters and powered by either an SW200 or an ETA 2824.
One of the watches we will review for this column in the coming weeks is the 49-mm Oris ProDiver Force Recon GMT (Ref. 01-747-7715-7754, above, center) with a DLC-coated titanium case, 1,000 meter water resistance and a bezel-locking mechanism. It is powered by a SW220-1 and – as its name indicates – offers a second time zone and bears the United States Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance unit’s insignia.
Even though the 47-mm Sinn U212 SE was sold out within days after its presentation in 2015, Germany’s Sinn brand does offer a couple of other watches that are equipped with a black case as well: the 44-mm Sinn U1000 (Ref. 1011.020, above right), for example, comes with a hardened stainless steel case with PVD coating, offers 1,000 meter water resistance and is powered by a Valjoux 7750.
Clerc’s Hydroscaph range (pictured here, above left, is the 44-mm Ref. H1-4A.1.6) includes versions with black cases as well: both the 500-meter water-resistant chronograph (which we reviewed here) and the standard automatic model are available with a DLC case and bezel; a more recent version offers a carbon bezel. The base caliber is the ETA 2892, with or without chronograph module.
IWC was a pioneer in the use of black ceramic cases, but the two black chronograph models in the current IWC Aquatimer collection (Editions “Galapagos Islands” and “50 Years Science for Galapagos,” with blue lume) both opt instead for stainless steel cases with matte-black rubber coating. The 44-mm-diameter Ref. 3795 (above center) is water-resistant to 300 meters and equipped with IWC’s chronograph caliber 89365.
The black version of the Girard-Perregaux Sea Hawk (Ref. 49960-32-632-FK6A, above right) comes with a 44-mm ceramic case that’s water-resistant to 300 meters (contrast with the steel version’s 1,000-meter water resistance). The watch is powered by the brand’s in-house caliber GP03300, with a power-reserve display at 6 o’clock.
In 2015, Blancpain introduced the 43-mm Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe (above left) in a brushed ceramic case (Ref. 5000-0130-NAB A or 5000-0130-B52-A); the watch is water-resistant to 300 meters and powered by Blancpain’s in-house Caliber 1315 (visible thanks to its display caseback), which offers a five-day power reserve. And there’s a chronograph version available as well.
Panerai’s various takes on black cases include examples made with PVD, ceramic, and, since 2015, a composite carbon fiber material: the 47-mm Panerai Luminor 1950 “Carbotech” (Ref. PAM00616, above center) is water resistant to 300 meters and powered by the automatic caliber P.9000. The solid caseback is made of titanium.
Along with the gold and titanium models, Hublot also offers both versions of its massive, 48-mm Hublot Oceanographic (automatic, above right, and chrono) with a case made of carbon. As you will notice, Hublot chose a more traditional carbon fiber look than did Panerai, but its case is tested to ensure fully 4,000 meters of water resistance.
I’ve always preferred watches with black dials. Thus, all of my six watches but one have black dials. I find them more visible than white dial watches. It’s good to see some different designs for the dials as well in the watches shown in this article. Nothing like the boring Rolex Submariner dial style to turn one off.