There’s a Kickstarter coming to a close, and you won’t want to miss out. If you love vintage good looks on your wrist, this one’s for you. I want to tell you about Blackout Concept’s Blackstar chronographs.
Blackout is a Swiss brand, based in Geneva, with a boutique near the Rhone river. They began work in 2006, inspired by the founder, who was among the first people to drive a matte black car with blacked out rims. He had the idea to customize some of the bigger Swiss brands with all black appearances.
In 2015, they started researching bringing quartz watches to market with their own high quality materials, including carbon and ceramic. And for some people, that might have been enough.
But it isn’t the end of the story. Blackout Concept is running a Kickstarter for a series of five chronographs. The chronograph line is commonly called Blackstar. This chronograph line is special. It harkens back to the 6241 Rolex in both white and black, commonly called the Paul Newman, because it was made famous by the American actor and race car driver. It’s got the panda dial. It has the square tipped indices on the sundials. Most important of all, it has the mechanical chronograph movement, a descendant of the Valjoux 72 used in the vintage Rolex. Like it’s ancestor, it’s a hand-wound movement. Unlike its predecessor, this watch has a display case back, so you can gaze upon the movement. You also get a metal bracelet with solid links and end links, where the older watch Blackstar takes inspiration from would have had folded links. Essentially, it’s a reimagining of a tastefully designed watch from 1965, but with modern quality.
There are five versions of the Blackstar. Blackstar H3 is a silver Sun-ray dial with black sundials, and applied hour indices. Blackstar H4 is my personal favorite, and is a panda dial – white dial with black sundials, bearing the black and red minute track, square tipped markers in the sundials, and for all the world is what I think of when someone mentions Paul Newman’s watch. But Newman wore a few different watches, and when he gave away the white dialed version to his daughter’s boyfriend, he wore a black dialed version with white sundials. Here, that’s the Blackstar H4-2. H4-3 is the Blackstar that most fits with the original ethos of the company- It’s an H4-2, but instead of the silver stainless steel case and bracelet, both have been coated in PVD black. This is the Kylo Ren of Chronographs.
Which leaves one chronograph left. The H4-4. Blackstar H4-4 is the white dial/black sundial of H4-2, but with the case and bracelet also rendered in PVD. It’s gorgeous. All watches are assembled in Switzerland, and if you choose to purchase all four, a lovely collector’s box is included.
All four Blackstar watches will set you back about 1,683 USD. Just one Blackstar will cost about $490, which seems like an excellent deal for a Swiss assembled chronograph with these good looks. But there’s another option here. Remember earlier I mentioned that Blackout Concepts likes to experiment with ceramic? They also are including an option in the Kickstarter for a watch called Darkshield. Darkshield is a quartz dive watch with a ceramic case and sapphire crystal. Darkshield by itself is about $237. When combined with a Blackstar, the total for the two watches is about $645 USD. All this is to say, I’m enamored with Blackout Concept’s offerings. If you have an appreciation for good vintage designs with a modern interpretation, you should be enamored with them, too. Check out Blackout Concept’s Kickstarter before any more time passes.
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