It was Nietzsche who wrote that “when you gaze long into the abyss… The abyss gazes also into you.” The philosopher and shrink was referencing something else altogether, but it does make one wonder just how deep and dark the abyss is. Query no longer for science has the answer.
In order to understand darkness, it’s necessary to understand the concept of color, which is really the reflection of light of a particular spectrum. Black is basically a body that absorbs all colors, but even that has a quantitative measure. The term albedo refers to the amount of light that is reflected from a body, and a scale of 0 means the body absorbs all light, while 1 means it reflects all light.
The abosorption of light is important in astronomy, particularly on the insides of telescopes so that no light bouncing off the inner tube of a telescope is accidentally caught up by the lens. Hence scientists have spent a huge amount of time and energy trying to find a material with the lowest albedo, which is Vantablack. Composed of carbon nanotubes that are about 10,000 times finer than a strand of hair, vertically aligned, it sucks in 99.65% of light, making it one of the blackest materials you’ll ever encounter.
Moser’s New Vantablack Watches
It’s been used before in watchmaking, by H. Moser as well as other brand such as MING Watches, and the pitch darkness which it offers is somewhat mesmerizing to behold. Vantablack has plenty of industrial uses, but as a stealth-style timepiece, it’s incredibly effective and provocative.
The brand is intent on highlighting the absolute blackness of Vantablack, so it’s come up with two models that play up the contrast between a polished case and a Vantablack dial that’s equipped with blackened hands. Amazingly, thanks to the dial, the hands actually are incredibly legible, which further highlights just how powerful the material is.
Two of the models are in the Venturer case, with a white gold model sized at 39mm and a larger steel model at 43mm. Both are two-hand models powered by the Moser caliber 327, with power reserve indicated on the back of the watch.
The third is the Endeavour Tourbillon Vantablack Black Hands, a 42mm steel model with black DLC coating and an in-house 804 caliber with a 3-day power reserve and double hairspring. The tourbillon bridge is also treated in black PVD, standing out against the aluminum tourbillon cage, cage wheel, and balance bridge in a polished finish.
These Vantablack originated as a bit of humor for the brand, released on their social media on April Fool’s, but as they were inundated with requests, they decided to actually produce the models. They are now available for purchase online and from approved retailers. Talk about an effective crowd-sourcing.
Venturer Vantablack Black Hands
Manual winding HMC 327 caliber; hours and minutes; power reserve indicator; hacking seconds; Moser balance and Straumann hairspring; 3-day power reserve
39mm case in 18K white gold or 43mm case in stainless steel; Vantablack dial; blackened hands
Black alligator leather strap with pin buckle
Endeavour Tourbillon Vantablack Black Hands
Self-winding caliber HMC 804; hours and minutes; flying tourbillon; double hairspring; aluminum tourbillon components; 3-day power reserve
42mm case in black DLC-coated stainless steel; Vantablack dial with blackened hands
Black alligator leather strap with black DLC-coated steel folding buckle