I am sick of people referring to other colours as the “new black.” As someone whose wardrobe consists mainly of black clothing, I do not think any colour can be the “new black.” Sure, other colours can be nice, and I add a pop of colour to my outfits from time to time. However, nothing can replace the colour black for me. It is the quintessential colour of choice that goes with anything and everything. For this month’s lookbook, I will be shining some light (pun intended) on all-black watches that many write off for being too “boring” or too “muted.”
There’s a saying that when you can’t think of anything to wear, just go black. The same applies to watches – you can never go wrong with black. My June lookbook picks will prove black is the safest option, and sometimes, it is also the best option. Here are some of my top picks for all-black timepieces that will go with just about any outfit and suit any occasion.
Glycine Combat Sub 39 PVD Black Ref. GL0407
Our first watch is the recently released Glycine Combat Sub in a 39mm case size. With black PVD coating the entire watch, the watch is one of many Combat Sub 39 released this year. It is also my favourite. Fauxtina watches have become quite controversial in recent years – you either love them or hate them – there’s no in-between. We’ve seen that from entry-level watches like this Combat Sub to luxury watches like the Tudor Black Bay Pro. I happen to be in the “love it” camp.
With stealthy, charming looks, I can effortlessly pair this timepiece with any outfit. The all-black nature of this Combat Sub 39 PVD Black, coupled with the fauxtina indices and handset, makes this easily one of my favourite-looking watches. The red font for the date adds an extra edge to the watch, giving it a subtle hint of colour that elevates it up a notch.
At 39mm in diameter with a 46mm lug-to-lug, the Glycine Combat Sub 39 PVD Black wears like a charm on my 7” wrist. Those dimensions will also ensure that the watch will fit most wrist sizes. In addition, the GL224 movement within (which is essentially an ETA2824-2 or SW200-1) will beat tirelessly for years to come, a true workhorse that complements the dashing good looks on the outside.
Steinhart Ocean 2 Premium Carbon Red
Steinhart is a brand that we have become synonymous with at Gnomon. Their Ocean One collection is definitely the go-to for many watch enthusiasts. So why did I opt for one of their more obscure Ocean Two watches in my lookbook?
I wanted to bring your attention to the fact that black watches do not just have to be PVD or DLC coated. They can be made of other exciting materials too. The watch we see here is made from carbon fibre and glass fibre. Of course, the material choice brings about the inherent advantages of carbon fibre – strong, lightweight, and high-temperature tolerance. But boy, it also gives us a unique case colour/design! The black and red lines around the case create a mazy feel that looks really good on the wrist. If you were taken aback by the looks at first, try it on your wrist, and I assure you that you will feel different instantly. Okay, I may have cheated a bit here as the watch isn’t entirely black. But please cut me some slack as the watch is still primarily black. 🤣
Steinhart spared no details at all when it came to the design of this timepiece. The few touches of red on the dial and bezel insert are a clever play of colours and tie in beautifully with the case design. Even the red-tan leather strap complements the watch superbly too!
At 43mm, the watch wears unabashedly on the larger side, owning its looks, and will also look good with any outfit. The leather strap is thick and supple, which means that despite its size, the watch will still sit well on the wrist. The carbon fibre material also ensures that the watch is not top-heavy!
A lot has been said about Steinhart not making watches featuring original designs. With watches as interesting as this piece, they have proven that they can do so with great aplomb.
Marathon GPM Government Black Mechanical Ref. WW194003BK
I like field watches. Especially those that are actually issued and used by the military. All-black military field watch, you say? Take my money now. This Marathon GPM Government Black Mechanical is all that. And then some.
This watch is easily passed off as diminutive and “too small” to strap on your wrist. While it is a smaller watch, it looks good on my 7” wrist and does not look out of place. Also, if burly dudes are wearing this in the field, there is no reason why you should frown upon this watch. Let’s eradicate watch snobbery in 2022.
Apart from the military lineage, what I like about this watch is also its practical, no-nonsense look. It put function over form and was built with the sole purpose of telling the time. Of course, the unique selling point of Marathon watches is its use of tritium gas tubes instead of conventional Superluminova. I find tritium more endearing in its application than Superluminova.
It doesn’t glow quite as bright, but it will illuminate well through the night, and you’ll have no trouble with time reading anywhere. It also has a warmer hue than Superluminova, which I enjoy looking at much more as it gives off a vintage vibe.
The case is also unlike your typical stainless steel case with PVD coating. It is made of a composite material of steel and a high-impact fibre shell. This material combination essentially makes the case anti-magnetic and enhances its shock-resistant capabilities.
While Marathon also offers the same watch without any government markings, as a sucker for military heritage and official field watches, I prefer this iteration as it has “US Government” proudly printed at 6. This watch checks all the boxes for this lookbook – a covert all-black case and simple good looks – matching any outfit you choose to put on.
Hamilton American Classic PSR Digital Quartz PVD Ref. H52404130
You can’t have an all-black watches lookbook without including the Hamilton PSR. This cult-classic timepiece took me back in time with its case shape, wearability, and LED display screen.
While it looks like a watch straight from the history books, it is packed with the latest technologies. In fact, unlike LED watches of the past, the Hamilton PSR uses a hybrid LCD and OLED display. The innovative display gives the watch better clarity and much longer battery life. Some may lament that the watch is a quartz piece and pay no heed to it (again, let’s eradicated watch snobbery in 2022). However, everyone needs at least one quartz timepiece in their collection. The convenience of a quartz piece is second to none, and it’ll be far more accurate than all your mechanical pieces anyway.
For me, the best parts of this Hamilton PSR PVD Black are its bracelet’s superb taper and the ultra-cool, retro yet futuristic design. Like all the other watches in this month’s lookbook, this watch will go with just about any outfit. Yes, even in a suit and tie! Imagine how cool that will be.
At 40.8mm with a lug-to-lug of 34.7mm, the tonneau case sits nicely on my wrist, and I am sure it will look great on yours. Armed with 100m of water resistance, you can even take this piece into the pool with you, making it a true grab-and-go (anywhere for anything) timepiece. I had a lot of fun writing the product write-up for this piece when it first hit our shelves, and it’s the same feeling including it in my lookbook.
Mido Commander Gradient Blackout Green Ref. M021.407.33.411.00
The last watch in this month’s lookbook offers something extra that none of the other watches does. While still an all-black timepiece, the Mido Commander Blackout features a smoky green dial that showcases the intricate movement within. Alas, a blackout watch with a little something extra!
Get ready to be mesmerised by that gorgeous dial where the mainplate and date wheel is in full view. 40mm is what many consider the perfect size for a timepiece, and this Mido Commander Gradient Blackout Green looks fantastic on my wrist. When viewed in person, the watch exhibits an avant-garde look unlike anything else on the market.
With Mido being part of the Swatch Group, you get an ETA-based movement with a whopping 80 hours of power reserve. At this price point, there is honestly nothing that comes close to the Swatch Group’s line of watch brands – Mido included. This Mido Commander Gradient Blackout Green offers an exciting look that goes with just about anything that will surely draw many compliments from watch-bros and non-enthusiasts alike.