Generally whenever you slowly purchase and promote watches over time, a development in your assortment sneaks up on you.
Once I lately took a superb have a look at the present state of my assortment, I used to be shocked by the massive proportion of dark-dialed items within the combine. I suppose I shouldn’t be fully shocked as the primary watch I ever purchased for myself (the Bucherer Chronometer, which continues to be with me) has a darkish blue dial. Even so, the variety of dials in black, blue, gray, and even inexperienced and purple at this level is extra substantial than I’d have supposed.
Amongst these, there are just a few vital items in a mixture I actually didn’t envision as lately as just a few years in the past: coloured gold and black.
I distinctly keep in mind dealing with a yellow gold Patek Philippe Reference 5074J – a big perpetual calendar minute repeater – at an public sale preview a number of years in the past and questioning to myself what the enchantment of a black/gold mixture may very well be. Tastes change, although, and generally quickly; it was solely a few years later that I noticed, liked, and purchased my Patek Philippe Reference 2526 with double-signed “Gobbi Milano” dial in the exact same yellow gold, however with a high-fired black enamel dial.
Extra lately, I added two modern black/gold items to my assortment, however in several gold hues: the 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold from A. Lange & Söhne and Rexhep Rexhepi’s Chronomètre Contemporain in 5N purple gold . I’ve loved – and photographed – every of those watches an incredible deal, however it isn’t till lately that I pulled them collectively in a single place for side-by-side capturing and direct comparability.
One fast notice on my pictures approach: for every of the group photographs on this article, I took the images with the topic watches in a single setup in my gentle tent quite than capturing every watch individually after which smashing them collectively in Photoshop. Within the photograph above, for example, you’ll be able to see reflections of bits of the Lange within the backside edges of every of the higher two watches and a glimpse of the RRCC’s crown within the left fringe of the Patek Philippe.
Is that harder? You guess it’s. It’s robust sufficient to get any first rate shot of a black-dialed watch with out shedding the palms and dial particulars within the darkness or introducing undesirable glare from the crystal of the watch. Getting multi-watch, multilight setups that yielded usable images of those black dialed beauties supplied many hours of what, in consideration of the extra delicate members of our studying viewers, I’ll merely name “enjoyable.”
Fashionable marvels: A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold and Rexhep Rexhepi RRCC 01
On to the watches! I’ve been saying for some time that we stay in a golden (no pun meant) age of watchmaking, and there aren’t many higher examples to make the purpose than the Akrivia Rexhep Rexhepi RRCC 01 and A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold.
I’ve written concerning the mechanics of every of those items earlier than, so for now let’s stick to the aesthetics. The apparent distinction is Rexhepi’s use of 5N purple gold all through, which together with the bottomless cavern of the black enamel dial creates a really formal look versus the proprietary Honeygold of the Lange, which for me imparts a lighter and extra versatile look.
On the similar time, A. Lange & Söhne has averted the chance of getting this wearable grand complication look bland through the use of purple gold for the utilized markers and indices and including these tiny 1815-signature dots in purple print at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock.
As you’ll be able to see within the photograph above, the black galvanized silver dial and grooved subdials of the 1815 Rattrapante catch and throw a good quantity of sunshine at indirect angles. Some may view enamel vs. silver as an unfair battle, however for me every has its virtues. Let’s not overlook that between the prototype and manufacturing variations of the RRCC 01 Rexhepi moved the seconds subdial to a decrease stage and added a elegant ring round it to extend the visible curiosity of the dial.
So far as visible similarities go, each use textured gold for the printed indications, with those on the RRCC simply that tiny bit grainier. And whereas symmetry of each dial and motion design is a Rexhepi hallmark, the A. Lange & Söhne does a minimum of as properly within the occasion of the 1815 Rattrapante with its vertical subdials and horizontal textual content making a sector-dial look.
Let’s face it: if a model got here to me tomorrow and stated, “we’d like a watch design – simply make it in gold with a black dial,” chances are high that I’d prepare dinner up one thing both blandly generic or wildly incoherent. With the 1815 Rattrapante and RRCC 01, the creators have given us comparatively clear but attention-grabbing – and utterly distinctive – outcomes.
Classic class meets modern fashion: Patek Philippe Ref. 2526 and Akrivia RRCC 01
If one way or the other I’d managed to give you one thing not too terrible in my first move at watch design, think about that the ante was then raised: “How about one thing alongside the traces of a traditional Calatrava, however with a extra modern vibe?”
Earlier than I awoke from my dream, I’d seemingly have tracked straight again to what for me is the quintessential Patek Philippe Calatrava: the legendary Reference 2526, and in my case the black-dialed “Gobbi Milano” model that I’m lucky to personal.
Is there any doubt within the photograph above which is the classic piece and which is the trendy one? The good factor for me is that regardless of being merchandise of their occasions, every is timeless as properly.
Rexhep Rexhepi is a graduate of the Patek Philippe apprenticeship program, and whereas it’s modern in some quarters to pooh-pooh Patek Philippe, Rexhepi stays deeply respectful of the model and its watches. It’s no shock, then, that for example in his first classically styled watch he took inspiration from the stepped lugs of the Patek Philippe Reference 5970.
However the RRCC is something however an imitation of the Nineteen Fifties Calatrava look: witness the ovoid bezel form, the bigger (and tapered) crown, the flat (and practically reflection-free) crystal, and the stylized frieze framing the printed Roman numerals.
For its half, Reference 2526 is a landmark watch, each for its standing as Patek Philippe’s first computerized watch and for its distinctive styling. Whereas it’s a pure, spherical form with easy lugs, there are whimsical touches – my favourite being that Frank Lloyd Wright meets Raymond Loewy “PP” crown. And the straightforward utilized indices and minimalist markings for the seconds are in my opinion the right enhances to the double-fired black enamel dial, which because of the approach used is a bit rougher in texture than the RRCC’s however nonetheless offers the right backdrop.
The compact proportions and modest bezel of Reference 2526J additionally go well with properly its yellow-gold-and-black coloration scheme, in contrast to the massive case and broad, stepped bezel of the aforementioned Patek Philippe Reference 5074J, which struck me as being a bit an excessive amount of.
If I needed to decide one? A favourite story advised of my late first spouse when she was a woman was that at a household gathering she was supplied the selection between turkey and ham. Her response: “Why not each?” Why not, certainly.
The best two-watch black/gold assortment? A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante and Patek Philippe Ref. 2526
Easy and complex; enamel and textured galvanic black; yellow gold and Honeygold with purple gold accents; Swiss and German; classic and fashionable. For my cash, there can’t be too many two-watch black/gold mixtures that cowl extra bases or that may serve for a higher number of sporting events than the Patek Philippe Reference 2526J and A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold.
In reviewing the photograph above, I used to be struck by how properly the brown strap of the A. Lange & Söhne meshes visually with the 2 gold hues of its case and dial, in distinction with the extra extreme look of the black strap on the Patek Philippe. I’ve truly purchased a few different-colored straps for the 2526 however at this level am having problem selecting to swap both for the present black; maybe in some unspecified time in the future I’ll comply with latest traits by pairing it up with a vibrant purple or another wacky coloration, however for now I’ll stick to what I’ve.
An excellent have a look at the A. Lange & Söhne subsequent to the Patek Philippe offers a greater sense of how daring – a minimum of within the context of German watchmaking – the 1815 Rattrapante is with its a number of colours, vertically arrayed subdials, and horizontal line of textual content. Positively not the super-traditional look of the 2526, however for me it actually works.
Greater than dials and circumstances
Our major focus right here is on the dial/case mixtures of those watches, however they do have actions – and nice ones at that!
I’m actually unsure what to say concerning the photograph above apart from that it stops me in my tracks every time I have a look at it. Patek Philippe’s Caliber 12-600 AT is an all-time traditional, and revealed right here by its customized Voutilainen-Cattin show again reveals us its clear design and exquisite ending. I’ve shot this watch utilizing quite a lot of angles and lighting setups and I can testify that it’s nearly inconceivable to make these shallow Geneva stripes look something however elegant.
A. Lange & Söhne’s Caliber L101.2, with its frosted end taken from conventional Lange pocket watches and framed in Honeygold, offers us a unique tackle Lange styling whereas retaining the deep dimensionality we’ve come to anticipate. And what to say about Caliber RR01 on the best apart from to notice the otherworldly glow and to admire the symmetrical design that’s an Akrivia hallmark?
I don’t find out about you, however for me it’s additionally a bit simpler to see the precise colours of the gold alloys in these movement-side photographs than within the dial-side views of black in opposition to black; that could be the way in which our eyes work or my digital camera working up in opposition to the constraints of its excellent coloration rendering capabilities with solely gold and black tones to course of.
Black and gold on the wrist
Watches are made to be worn! So, off to my secret wrist shot location, aka a nook of my kitchen, the place I grabbed fast real-life photos of those three watches.
Carrying any of those items simply makes me wish to put on them extra! The truth is, I’ve been sporting the Lange nonstop for the previous a number of days and as soon as I tear it off my wrist, I’m certain I’ll proceed to offer every of the opposite two some extended wrist time.
How about you? Are you a fan of coloured gold watches, and particularly these with black dials? And for you, wouldn’t it be Honeygold, purple, or yellow? I’ll look ahead to your feedback – within the meantime, completely happy sporting!
Fast Details A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold “Homage to F.A. Lange” Ref. 425.050
Case: 41.2 x 12.6 mm, proprietary Honeygold with polished and brushed bezels and brushed case band; sapphire entrance and rear crystals
Dial and palms: black-treated strong silver dial with gold printed indices; pink gold, white gold, rhodium-plated metal, and gold-plated metal palms
Motion: manually wound Caliber L101.2; 58-hour energy reserve; 21,600 vph/3 Hz frequency, twice assembled, frosted end
Capabilities: hours, minutes, seconds; rattrapante chronograph seconds, 30-minute chronograph
Limitation: 100 numbered items, bought solely by means of A. Lange & Söhne boutiques
Manufacturing years: 2020-2021
Fast Details Rexhep Rexhepi Chronomètre Contemporain
Case: 38 x 9.5 mm, platinum or pink gold with polished concave bezels and case band; oval entrance bezel and eccentric profile case band; entrance and rear sapphire crystals with antireflective coating
Dial: black (pink gold) or white (platinum) fired enamel dial with recessed subsidiary seconds dial surrounded by gold or platinum ring; printed indices and brand
Motion: manually wound Caliber RR01 with 100-hour energy reserve; 18,000 vph/2.5 Hz frequency; chronometer certification carried by Besançon observatory
Capabilities: hours, minutes, hacking subsidiary seconds with zero reset
Value: CHF 55,000 (gold), CHF 58,000 (platinum)
Limitation: 50 examples in complete (25 platinum, 25 pink gold) with one extra watch with customized dial and JP Hagmann case made for Solely Watch 2019
Manufacturing years: 2018 to 2021
Fast Details Patek Philippe Ref. 2526 “Gobbi Milano” black dial
Case: 35 mm, yellow gold with strong screw-down again, PP brand crown
Dial and palms: black double-fired enamel signed by Patek Philippe and retailer Gobbi Milano; utilized gold markers and gold dauphine palms
Motion: computerized Caliber 12-600 AT stamped with the Geneva Seal
Capabilities: hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds
Public sale worth: CHF 100,000 at Christie’s Geneva, November 2017
Bought: June, 1955