News just in, Tag Heuer’s come over all mean. Mean looking, that is. Earlier this week, the brand unveiled its new 2018 carbon collection, including an impressive limited edition DLC-coated rendering of its iconic Monaco chronograph, designed in partnership with the master of all-black watch design, George Bamford. In the UK at least, that watch is sold out, but there are three other pieces still up for grabs in the collection, too (see below).
This news got us thinking, what are the best carbon-coloured watches out there if you’re looking to get in on the act? Well, we’ve pulled together seven of the sharpest out there, to suit any taste and budget.
1. Tag Heuer Carbon Aquaracer
Tag Heuer’s released three new Aquaracers this week, available with details marked out in either blue, yellow or rose gold. Each is a good-looking thing, but the rose gold design is a standout; it’s rugged, sporty and satisfyingly chunky. The 41mm black PVD-covered titanium case houses a carbon bezel. The dial features a unique carbon-esque finish, too, which is achieved by injecting carbon fibres into resin before it’s pressed at high temperatures. True to the Aquaracer breed, it’s waterproof to 300-metres, too.
£3,300, exclusively in Tag Heuer boutiques or at tagheuer.com
2. Panerai Luminor California 8 Days DLC 44mm
One for lovers of big watches, this. Panerai’s DLC-coated watches are iconic, and the newest, the ‘California 8 Days DLC’, is particularly impressive. It does a convincing job of packing everything Panerai’s known for (Luminor case, bridge lever over the crown, California dial, titanium DLC-coated case, blued hands, the lot) into one single timepiece. A strong, masculine looking thing, it looks thoroughly robust but the titanium case keeps it super-light and wearable, despite its generous size and chunky cuff strap.
3. Rado DiaMaster
This wins our vote for its quirky looks. Unveiled earlier this year, Rado’s new DiaMaster collection is designed to make a statement and represents a bold, directional approach for the brand. The watch’s unique multi-level dial displays hours, minutes, seconds and the date in decentralised, intersecting circles. It’s unusual, but it works a treat, and the layered dial suits the 43mm monobloc ceramic case. It houses an automatic movement with a 42 hour power reserve and is water resistant to 50-metres, to boot.
4. Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch ‘Black Black’ edition
This is one watch that does what it says on the tin. The ‘Black Black’ is as mean as can be; a black ceramic take on Omega’s iconic co-axial chronograph. It’s made from polished and brushed black ceramic, with a black ceramic dial and coated nylon strap; a design inspired by the adventures of the Apollo 8 astronauts – who wore the Speedmaster on their historic mission. Taking the concept of an all-black watch still further, the hands, applied indexes, sub-dials and tachymeter scale are blacked out, too. The hands and markers are even coated with black Super-LumiNova. Beneath its dark exterior beats the Omega co-axial calibre 9300, a smooth-running movement that’s a firm favourite among aficionados.
5. Seiko Prospex Black Series Automatic Diver
Perfect for modest budgets, Seiko’s Prospex ‘Black Series’ is a smart way to get into all-black watches without breaking the bank. Inspired by the world of night diving, the Automatic Diver features a black-coated 45mm case, water resistance to 200-metres, plus a mechanical Seiko movement with a 41 hour power reserve. Its oval shape is distinguished, and the bright orange minute hand nods to a night diver’s light, while the hour markers’ LumiBrite coating keep this little number shining bright even in the darkest of nights. The Silicone strap’s a smart finishing touch.
6. Longines Legend Diver’s Watch
This little number gets the thumbs-up because it succeeds in making a DLC-coated diver’s watch quite dressy. Perhaps it’s the retro 1960s-inspired design, with its clean numerals, hour and minute markers, or the boxed glass and internal turning diving bezel combination, which are features true to the technical limitations of the ‘60s. It could even be the rubber Milanese-style strap. However you cut it, its chic looks mix comfortably with the watch’s modern features; PVD coating, a mechanical calibre with a 64 hour power reserve, two crowns and a screw-down back to guarantee water-resistance to 30 bar. In other words, it’s as practical as it is cool to look at.
7. Tudor Black Bay Dark
The Black Bay is always a handsome thing, but the all-black version looks particularly sharp. In homage to New Zealand’ss All Blacks, the case is satin-finished PVD coated steel, as is the bezel, and houses Tudor’s ever-reliable self-winding manufacture Calibre with an impressive 70-hour power reserve. At 41mm, it’s well proportioned, and the watch’s white hands and hour markers really pop against the black dial. A high-performer if ever there was one, its waterproof to 200-metres, too.