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Black Is The New Black

Since I established Total Watch Reviews I have had many in depth conversations with the owners of high profile brands. All these personalities are desperately trying to distinguish themselves from other watch labels. Their ultimate aim is to design original and distinctive timepieces. However the world of horology has huge parallels to the fashion industry and follows certain trends. Presently black timepieces are in vogue and here are five of my hot picks.

Urwerk EMC Black


Many pundits consider Urwerk as a leading light within the watch industry. Considering the company has only been in existence for 17 years they have achieved some incredible results. Ultimately this is down to the skills of master watchmaker Felix Baumgartner and Chief designer Martin Frei. Earlier this year they released a revolutionary timepiece called the EMC, which boasts to be the world’s first mechanical watch with built in artificial intelligence. Recently they unveiled a super cool black version, with a DLC coated (Diamond like Carbon) titanium and steel case. Visually this gives the watch a completely new and exciting dynamic.

ArtYA Son of a Gun Black


As the creative force behind RJ Romain Jerome, Yvan Arpa has become a highly respected designer and artist. When he launched his own label called ArtYA he wanted to operate in a different manner to a lot of other contemporary watchmakers. This means that many of his creations are unique 1/1 timepiece’s. One of his most successful ranges of watches is his wonderful ‘Son of Gun’ collection. These stunning timepieces use real bullets in their open work dials. The latest model is a limited edition of 99 and is aptly called the Son of a Gun Black. Beneath the eclectic façade lies a specially modified ETA 2671 movement, which comprises 25 jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.

MB & F HM5 CarbonMacrolon

MB & F

I always get excited when I receive a press release from MB & F even it is to announce another interpretation of an existing watch. In this instance the timepiece in question is the Horological Machine No°5. The new timepiece called the HM5 CarbonMacrolon is limited to only 66 pieces. What makes the watch so distinctive is the choice of material. Rather than opt for a PVD or DLC coating, the company have constructed the case from a lightweight black polycarbonate resin reinforced with carbon nanotubes. Ultimately this means longevity of the appearance because it won’t fade or be tarnished by scratches. At the heart of the watch is a bespoke movement comprising 30 jewels and oscillating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.

Richard Mille RM 011 Automatic Flyback Chronograph

Richard Mille

Within a relatively short space of time Richard Mille has become one of the most prestigious watchmakers in the industry. Essentially the company is renowned for its range of high performance timepieces that are designed for elite sportsmen. The new Black Phantom is a limited edition version of the RM 011 Automatic Flyback Chronograph. What makes this timepiece so special is the use of black ceramic and carbon in production. Not only does this special material make the watch extremely lightweight but it also makes it highly scratch resistant. Aesthetically this characteristic works in harmony with the intricate skeletonized dial.

Hautlence HL2.3


There is no disputing that Hautlence produce an exquisite range of watches. About a year ago I wrote an in depth article featuring probably my favourite of all their creations. The timepiece called the HL2.4 in my opinion is one of the most attractive models available on the market. What makes this watch so extraordinary is the sensational three-dimensional façade. The stylish new HL2.3 has a sleek DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) treated titanium case, weighing only 49 grams. Other eye-catching details include the open worked mechanical dial with contrasting 4N gold numerals and hour/minute hands. Beneath the luxurious exterior lies a highly complicated mechanical movement containing 552 individual components.


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