Monochrome and metallic has long been a go-to pairing in the watch industry, and black and gold has always been the frontrunner.
Classically sharp in approach, a black leather strap and gold casement make excellent bedfellows for several reasons: it’s a timeless combination that will never go out of style, it matches (almost) any suit, and using gold as an accent makes a luxurious statement without coming across ostentatious.
Consider it a fail-safe horological purchase; a simple solution to the watch investment conundrum.
With this in mind, we’re set to showcase our favourite designs on the market, for three different budgets.
If you’re low on pounds but high on style, look no further than this gem from Tissot (£165).
Roman numerals and pin-thin hands add a traditionalist element more associated with the likes of IWC or Jaeger-LeCoultre – but for a fraction of the price. It comes complete with an end-of-life indicator and anti-scratch sapphire crystal glass.
When it comes to contemporary timepieces, Shore Projects are definitely considered one of the cooler kids on the block.
More suited to the Peckham Palais than the Palais-Royal, the British brand’s Abersoch model (£125) channels old school classicism in a new school design that includes a rose gold dial with unusual (but still appealing) silver indices and a respectable Miyota movement.
Daniel Wellington has forged an identity through strict adherence to minimal preppy design – and judging by its Sheffield model (£179), this mantra seems to be serving the watchmaker well.
A thin gold case proudly frames a clear and uncluttered dial – complete with subtle Daniel Wellington branding and clear black indices – while the black strap can be matched with anything in your wardrobe.
Larsson & Jennings have been something of a sleeper hit in the watch industry. Swiss movements + classic designs + accessible price points = sought-after timepieces.
The Saxon (£315) is slightly different to its black and gold listmates in that a thicker strap and punctuated gold case has been used to create slightly more of a statement piece.
Mondaine is a brand more Swiss than Roger Federer eating a Toblerone in a tax haven, and at £295, it’s an affordable way to get a slice of Jura craftsmanship for less.
The watchmaker’s acclaimed Helvetica (£295) line is loved by horoglogists around the world and it’s easy to see why – a clean, minimalist face is complemented by elegant, slim hands to create a chic and understated timepiece that works for any occasion.
With a strong focus on modern design, Uniform Wares’ C41 model (£750) is a refreshingly contemporary take on the traditional black and gold formula.
Chronograph dials and a domed lens help separate it from your classic round-faced options, while the smooth Italian rubber strap offers another subtle differential when compared to ubiquitous leather options.
Longines have a history deeply rooted in haute horlogerie and traditionalism.
The brand’s Presence (£2,280) line shuns common trends – chronographs, dive features and the like – in favour of a clear dial, Roman numerals and iconic circular decoration. This variation of black and gold will never go out of style.
Baume & Mercier is a peak classic brand – instead of jumping on smartwatch/trend-led/so-abstract-it-could-be-an-art-installation bandwagon, they simply play to the tune of their heritage.
Lo and behold the Clifton (£4,500): a rose gold case screams luxury while an uncluttered dial and alligator strap only adds to the sophisticated feel.
It’s a timepiece that true watch fans will respect.
Big statement branding is by no means a bad thing, as proven by the TAG Heuer Carrera (£2,650).
Black colouring is utilised for both strap and dial while the gold case and accents offer a striking yet elegant contrast.
This is a watch that undoubtedly means boardroom business.