All it took was one act of rebellion-of-sorts to legitimise black watches. It’s not that they’re new, but one brand in particular has resisted the genre with such vehemence that it created an outlaw cult, and that brand is Rolex. It has not gone unnoticed that among the most desirable Rolexes for the younger generation of collectors are those aftermarket creations by Bamford, Pro Hunter and others, with their all-black versions of Rolexes, from Explorers to GMTs and everything in-between.
If ever there was a case of “unintended consequences”, this is it. Rolex could, with the snap of a finger, offer authorised, all-black versions of its watches to its clientele, and — overnight — this would disarm the entire underground “rebel” industry that was borne solely as a result of Rolex’s not-unexpected intransigence. And yet Tudor (which is, whether Rolex wants us to say so or not, a wholly-owned division or subsidiary or whatever other term they wish to apply) celebrated undiluted blackness with a stunningly-attractive family of all-black watches for 2016.
Given that Tudors are made by Rolex and the cases are nearly identical, it doesn’t take a genius to point out that Rolex is, in fact, already making black watches in-house. For Pro Hunter, Bamford et al, they can continue mining the riches of the premium added to Rolexes by their black coatings, as long as Rolex resists and there are enough customers prepared to lose their warrantees and forever forego factory servicing. Rolex will NOT service an aftermarket-blackened Rolex, which is perfectly within their rights to refuse.