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Time on the black

30/09/2021 in Trends
Chic, understated and stylish, a dark-coloured watch is a relatively recent invention in the history of watch-making. A look back at a few key dates to mark the launch of the Klok-01 Minimal Black Reflex by klokers.
We always tend to forget that major progress is preceded by hesitation and stuttering efforts. Technological, scientific or even societal progress has never just happened from one day to the next, it has taken time, hours and days of research, of trial and error and failed attempts before THE landmark development is successfully achieved. Forever.
For example, the breakthrough of black in watch cases is a fine example of an innovation that is only remembered as a single highlight in the long run. And specifically, the appearance of a ceramic timepiece at the end of the 1990s, early 2000s. The technical material imparts a certain depth in the black colour, which isn’t actually a colour of course, and retains its special radiance over time, stays cool in summer, and last but not least, doesn’t become scratched with use. A few brands who were not strictly speaking watch-making specialists went on to make big money out of it. Today, ceramic is very often associated with Chanel, which famously used it as the key component of the very first dial for men in its watch-making saga, which started in 1987.
At that time, or in fact one year earlier to be more accurate, the Swiss company Rado, manufacturer of watch-making components at the beginning of the 20th century, was the first to release a design with a ceramic bracelet that was scratch-resistant. And four years later, in 1990, the company launched the Ceramica model with a case that was also made from this ultra-modern material.
In just a few lines of text, we have travelled back over ten years in time, but that isn’t quite enough if we’re talking about the very first black cases. Some people attribute the real idea to Jack Heuer, who launched the Monaco model in 1969 and used a chemical process developed by NASA to give it a jet colour. This is the technique of physical vapour deposition of carbon -
now well known as PVD in watch-making - which, unfortunately, was not successful at the time.
It was in fact a major flop on a business level.  In terms of innovation, it also took quite some time to find the right audience. It was only in the wake of ceramic watches in the early 2000s that black steel models (finally) became fashionable.
Over the last few years and with the craze for connected trinkets and charms featuring black glass like a smartphone, they are once again at the forefront of trends. Hence the launch of the Klok-01 Minimal Black Reflex by klokers without further delay, for a chic, understated and stylish return to work after the holiday season.
Text : Frédéric Martin-Bernard
Photo : Unsplash @IanParker
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