Stealth Wealth & Quiet Luxury: Six (Mostly) Black Timepieces That Convey Complete Confidence
Real luxury doesn’t shout, it whispers. That’s why these monochromatic, entry-level watches from Girard-Perregaux, Vieren, Hamilton, Maurice Lacroix, Tudor, and Luminox are a sound investment.
To illustrate how quickly the cultural winds can change when I first pitched this story about stealth watches – a.k.a. all-black timepieces – a few months ago, the idea was to highlight entry-level timepieces that also get the nod from high-end enthusiasts. Then, the last season of Succession came along and the discourse changed to “Quiet Luxury.”
In some ways, the idea of quiet luxury is the opposite of a trend. After years of logomania, the wardrobe of Succession promoted a more muted style. Quiet luxury flies under the radar to most folks, but on closer inspection has that “if you know, you know” quality, informed by both craftsmanship and pedigree.
When you add an all (or almost all) black palette to the mix you end up with timepieces that can take risks – and magnify your personality – while being magically minimalist at the same time.
Girard-Perregaux Casquette 2.0 Saint-Laurent 01 Limited Edition
G-P launched the original Casquette in 1976. Back then its use of LED display and quartz technology was considered quite unorthodox. The brand brought it back in a limited edition with a scratch-resistant black ceramic case and grade 5 titanium case back.
This new collaboration with Saint Laurent sees this daring design get another glow-up – the 42.4mm x 33.6mm x 14.64mm sized timepiece now comes with a chronograph and dual-time feature. And the Girard-Perregaux ‘GP’ logo, case back, clasp, and pushers are blacked out in black PVD titanium. The only thing that’s not murdered out is the red LED display.
It’s a little pricier than the other pieces on our list, but at $6,700 it won’t give you sticker shock either.
Tudor Black Bay Ceramic
Okay, you can see the lume on the hands and indices (you do need to be able to read a dive watch underwater after all). And it’s also immediately recognizable as a Black Bay. Its 41mm black ceramic case and bezel, however, make it lighter to wear and lends the illusion that the glow-in-the-dark parts are floating in a pool at night.
The METAS-certified MT5602-IU movement is also executed in an all-black finish –including the tungsten oscillating mass for the winding rotor. That’s a lot of excellence for just $5,025.
Luminox Navy SEAL Chronograph Ref. 3581.BO
Made with Navy Seals in mind, this all-black timepiece is chonky (it measures 45mm in diameter) but it ain’t heavy, because its case is made from CARBONOX which is Luminox’s durable carbon composite that is six times lighter than steel, and three times lighter than titanium. This material is anti-allergenic and anti-magnetic. Its precision Swiss quartz movement also helps keep things light.
It is a tool watch, packed with such valuable features as Luminox’s Light Technology dial lighting system – excellent for nighttime maneuvers – and a unidirectional rotating bezel with three-dimensional elapsed time scale.
A mix of matte and textured finishes on the case and rubber strap keeps the design interesting without going over the top. And priced at $595, it will add variety to your style portfolio.
Hamilton Khaki Field Day Date Auto Black PVD
Speaking of stock diversification, a field watch is a must-have in any enthusiast's collection. The Hamilton Khaki is synonymous with these military-inspired timepieces, so again there’s an instant recognition factor. But cloaking the case in black PVD adds a layer of mystery and formality for more formal maneuvers.
The Khaki Field Day Date Auto is powered by the precision H-30 self-winding movement which offers 80 hours of power reserve. Priced at $1,045, it should also help to keep your budget in the black.
Maurice Lacroix Aikon Automatic 42mm Black PVD
From its sandblasted 42mm case – water resistant to 200 meters – to its Clous de Paris dial, this timepiece offers an alternative to shiny, stainless-steel sports chic watches. Even the polished applied hour markers and anthracite hands are coated in black Super-LumiNova so that nothing detracts from its moody, monochrome look. Considering all these finely executed details, it’s a real value proposition at $2,300.
Vieren OG Automatic Matte Black LE
The most elegant timepiece on our list comes from Canadian brand Vieren. Inspired by the bold modernist architecture of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, this sleek tank certainly stands out. But at the same time, the OG Automatic Matte Black’s diamond-like-carbon (DLC) coating lends it a certain insouciant glamour that goes with everything.
Powered by a certified Swiss-made ETA-2671 automatic movement, and limited to just 100 pieces, it also hits well above its price point of $2,250.