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The Rising Popularity of Dark Dials for Men

By Amanda Evans    |   5 minute read

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Watches that fell into the classic, dress or more formal category used to be the most popular amongst men’s watches. They typically had lighter coloured dials with white and silver colours being the most prevalent throughout most collections. However, during the last five years or so, sports watches have really made their mark on the horizon with a steep rise in popularity. Consequently, we have also recognised a change in dial colour and watch preference.

The popularity of men’s sports watches is evident, and brands have been diversifying their ranges to meet the demand, indicating that this movement away from the more formal watch is still set to increase.

Although coloured dials are also appearing more frequently, watches with a black dial remain the most popular amongst men’s sports watches and therefore the most popular choice within men’s watches. Shades of grey and rich blue hues are also being integrated to bridge the gap between formal and sports watches and appeal to a wider audience. The dark dial for men’s watches is definitely more prevalent.

Our Senior Buyer, Lisa Broun, and International Senior Buyer Faye Soteri, share some key pieces that illustrate the dark dials on men’s watches that we have seen from some of our luxury brands.

IWC Pilot’s TOP GUN 44.5mm Men’s Watch

If you’re looking for an outstanding tribute to aviation…

This striking watch from the Pilot’s collection pays tribute to IWC’s long standing relationship with aviation. Developed using robust materials resistant to corrosion such as titanium and ceramic, this TOP GUN Chronograph was created with the elite US Navy jet pilots in mind. Powered by a 69380 calibre, automatic self-winding movement and protected from magnetic fields by a soft-iron case, the TOP GUN Chronograph boasts a 46-hour power reserve and is equipped for exceptional timekeeping in the sky.

Presented in a 44mm black ceramic case and on a black textile strap. The co-ordinating black dial strikes a prominent contrast against the luminescent Arabic numerals and hands, date display and 3-chronograph sub-dials.

Cartier Santos De Cartier Watch Large Model ADLC

The epitome of refined masculinity…

With the rounded angles of the dial and seamless curve of the horns, together with the exposed screws, the Santos de Cartier is an iconic watch that has inspired many reinterpretations. The 40mm stainless steel case width houses a manufacture calibre 1847 MC and is equipped with an ADLC bezel and steel crown set with a faceted black synthetic spinel. The sophisticated dial with its appealing grey hue features the typical sword shaped hands and Roman numerals, complimenting both the stainless-steel bracelet as well as the interchangeable black rubber bracelet.

OMEGA 2021 Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional

Striking and timeless in this world and beyond…

Perhaps one of the world’s most iconic designs, this legendary chronograph is a reinterpretation of the 4th generation style worn by the crew of Apollo 11 during the historic first moon landing.

This 42mm stainless steel model with black dial features a sapphire crystal front and caseback revealing the impressive OMEGA Co-Axial Calibre 3861, which proudly holds Master Chronometer certification. The calibre powers the small seconds sub-dial, 30-minute recorder and 12-hour recorder, along with the central chronograph function.

The striking black step dial features the OMEGA logo as well as the renowned dot over 90 on the anodised aluminium bezel ring. This timeless design has unsurpassable historical importance.

Breitling Endurance Pro 44mm Men’s Watch

Lightweight luxury for the ambitious athlete…

This lightweight sports chronograph with its commanding design was designed with the athlete in mind, as well as those hungry for an everyday sports chronograph that harnesses precision, innovative technology, and vibrant aesthetics.

The 44mm case houses a thermo-compensated SuperQuartz™ movement and the black dial makes an impact with its white and silver Arabic numerals and bezel counters striking a stark contrast. Available with several eye-popping coloured rubber straps, the navy-blue strap of the Endurance Pro featured here lends itself well to the everyday athlete.


Iconic and outstanding, designed to withstand the elements…

Part of the TUDOR Heritage Black Bay Collection, the Black Bay GMT is inspired by the TUDOR divers’ watches of the 1950’s and the design characteristics of the angular “Snowflake” hands that first appeared in the brand’s 1969 catalogue.

This iconic watch allows timekeeping in 3 different time zones with its GMT function and houses the manufacture calibre MT5652. The distinguished matt burgundy and blue bezel, commonly found within the Black Bay family, stands proud against the riveted stainless-steel bracelet, and brings the black dial to life against the luminescent hour markers.

With an incredible 70-hour power reserve and waterproof to 200 metres, it does more than meet the need of timekeeping below the waves.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 43mm Men’s Watch

The essence of power and drive combined with ruthless precision…

This sought-after chronograph within the notable Formula 1 collection is designed for those who love to live life in the fast lane whilst enjoying the benefits of style and cutting-edge technology.

Driven by an advanced quartz movement, this robust and bold timepiece features a 43mm stainless-steel case with black ceramic tachymeter scale. The unique asphalt-pattern dial perfectly complements the orange hands and batons with their applied SuperLuminova®. Water resistant to 200 metres and fitted with a steel folding clasp, this sporty chronograph ticks all the boxes of style, comfort, precision, and reliability.

Oris Carl Brashear Calibre 401 Limited Edition

A limited edition that makes a powerful statement…

This limited-edition timepiece honours Carl Brashear, the US Navy’s first African American master diver. Special for this reason alone, it is also the first watch to house the Oris Calibre 401 in-house movement.

The 40mm case produced in bronze, symbolises the diving helmets worn by Carl during his incredible career. The bronze uni-directional rotating bezel strikes an arresting appearance against the blue dial with its hands and indices applied with SuperLuminova®. The blue woven elastic nylon strap produced in partnership with Erika’s Originals complements the dial and case with its bronze buckle. Over time the bronze will tell its own story through the natural patination of the material and create a history of its very own.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Men’s Watch

Defying conventions with its iconic aesthetic…

The Royal Oak Offshore collection has a powerful aesthetic code that defies the norm. The iconic octagonal bezel enhances the sports-inspired design as does the 50-hour power reserve and water resistance to 100 metres.

The stunning and most unusual black Méga Tapisserie dial with three midnight blue sub-dials and midnight blue inner bezel is in keeping with the sports inspired design as well as being a work of aesthetic genius. The white Arabic numerals have luminescent coating to boost visibility amongst this work of art. Push piece guards enhance the strong lines of this luxury timepiece and add to its robust appearance whilst the manufacture calibre 3126/3840 ensures its high performance.

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