Generally once you slowly purchase and promote watches over time, a pattern in your assortment sneaks up on you.
After I not too long ago took a very good take 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 might have supposed.
Amongst these, there are a couple of vital items in a mix I actually didn’t envision as not too long ago as a couple of years in the past: coloured gold and black.
I distinctly bear 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 acquired 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 not too long ago, I added two up to date black/gold items to my assortment, however in numerous gold hues: the 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold from A. Lange & Söhne and Rexhep Rexhepi’s Chronomètre Contemporain in 5N pink gold . I’ve loved – and photographed – every of those watches an incredible deal, nevertheless it isn’t till not too long ago that I pulled them collectively in a single place for side-by-side capturing and direct comparability.
One fast word on my pictures method: 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 reasonably than capturing every watch individually after which smashing them collectively in Photoshop. Within the picture above, for example, you may 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 tougher? You wager it’s. It’s robust sufficient to get any respectable shot of a black-dialed watch with out dropping the arms 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 reside in a golden (no pun supposed) 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 in regards to the mechanics of every of those items earlier than, so for now let’s keep on with the aesthetics. The plain distinction is Rexhepi’s use of 5N pink 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 identical time, A. Lange & Söhne has prevented the chance of getting this wearable grand complication look bland by utilizing pink gold for the utilized markers and indices and including these tiny 1815-signature dots in pink print at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock.
As you may see within the picture 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 would possibly 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 degree 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 mentioned, “we’d like a watch design – simply make it in gold with a black dial,” likelihood is 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 fascinating – and utterly distinctive – outcomes.
Classic class meets up to date type: Patek Philippe Ref. 2526 and Akrivia RRCC 01
If in some way I’d managed to give you one thing not too terrible in my first cross at watch design, think about that the ante was then raised: “How about one thing alongside the strains of a basic Calatrava, however with a extra up to date 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 picture 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 instances, 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 automated 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 easy utilized indices and minimalist markings for the seconds are in my opinion the right enhances to the double-fired black enamel dial, which as a result of method used is a bit rougher in texture than the RRCC’s however nonetheless gives the right backdrop.
The compact proportions and modest bezel of Reference 2526J additionally go well with properly its yellow-gold-and-black shade scheme, not like the large 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 choose one? A favourite story instructed 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 perfect two-watch black/gold assortment? A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante and Patek Philippe Ref. 2526
Easy and sophisticated; enamel and textured galvanic black; yellow gold and Honeygold with pink gold accents; Swiss and German; classic and trendy. For my cash, there can’t be too many two-watch black/gold combos that cowl extra bases or that might serve for a better number of carrying events than the Patek Philippe Reference 2526J and A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold.
In reviewing the picture 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 really purchased a few different-colored straps for the 2526 however at this level am having issue selecting to swap both for the present black; maybe sooner or later I’ll observe current traits by pairing it up with a vivid pink or another wacky shade, however for now I’ll keep on with what I’ve.
take 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. Undoubtedly 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 combos of those watches, however they do have actions – and nice ones at that!
I’m actually undecided what to say in regards to the picture above apart from that it stops me in my tracks every time I take a look at it. Patek Philippe’s Caliber 12-600 AT is an all-time basic, 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 a wide range of angles and lighting setups and I can testify that it’s nearly not possible to make these shallow Geneva stripes look something however chic.
A. Lange & Söhne’s Caliber L101.2, with its frosted end taken from conventional Lange pocket watches and framed in Honeygold, offers us a distinct tackle Lange styling whereas retaining the deep dimensionality we’ve come to count on. And what to say about Caliber RR01 on the precise apart from to notice the otherworldly glow and to admire the symmetrical design that’s an Akrivia hallmark?
I don’t learn 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 best way our eyes work or my digital camera working up in opposition to the constraints of its excellent shade 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.
Sporting any of those items simply makes me need to put on them extra! Actually, I’ve been carrying 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 present 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, would it not be Honeygold, pink, or yellow? I’ll sit up for your feedback – within the meantime, completely happy carrying!
Fast Info 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 arms: black-treated stable silver dial with gold printed indices; pink gold, white gold, rhodium-plated metal, and gold-plated metal arms
Motion: manually wound Caliber L101.2; 58-hour energy reserve; 21,600 vph/3 Hz frequency, twice assembled, frosted end
Features: hours, minutes, seconds; rattrapante chronograph seconds, 30-minute chronograph
Limitation: 100 numbered items, bought solely via A. Lange & Söhne boutiques
Manufacturing years: 2020-2021
Fast Info 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
Features: hours, minutes, hacking subsidiary seconds with zero reset
Worth: 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 Info Patek Philippe Ref. 2526 “Gobbi Milano” black dial
Case: 35 mm, yellow gold with stable screw-down again, PP brand crown
Dial and arms: black double-fired enamel signed by Patek Philippe and retailer Gobbi Milano; utilized gold markers and gold dauphine arms
Motion: automated Caliber 12-600 AT stamped with the Geneva Seal
Features: hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds
Public sale worth: CHF 100,000 at Christie’s Geneva, November 2017
Offered: June, 1955
* This text was first revealed 11 February 2022 at Behind The Lens: Three Black-Dialed Gold Treasures From Patek Philippe, Akrivia, And A. Lange & Söhne