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The 9 Best Watches with Red Bezels and Black Dials - Buyers Guide

Posted on November 11 2020

Red Bezel Watches

 

Watches with red bezels and black dials aren’t a particularly common sight. Tudor released the popular Heritage Black Bay and there’s a handful of others, but among luxury watches, it’s not a widely used colour palate.

There’s a lot more choice when you start looking at the affordable end of the watch market. With less money riding on each release and watches worn for enjoyment rather than bought as investments, there’s more experimentation. Yes, many of them are reminiscent of the Tudor, but that is to be expected.

I’d like to present a selection of my favourites. I’ve included both large and niche brands, as well as mechanical and quartz models.

 

Ingersoll Scovill I05003 Watch
Ingersoll is a well-known watch brand that has been continuously producing watches since the late 1880s. Their history is closely associated with Timex and British watchmakers Smiths. It is a story of innovation, mass-production and ground-breaking licencing deals.

This red bezel Scovill model ticks a lot of boxes for me. It’s a vintage-style diver’s watch, with a Japanese Miyota automatic movement. And it’s very affordable.

There’s a nice black version that I featured when I looked more closely at the brand. This model doesn’t have any ground-breaking design points or technological innovations. It’s just a very well-executed take on a vintage design. I particularly like the slim bezel and small date window.

The domed crystal and exhibition back also both work for me, and it's nice that the gold hands and indices are relatively simple. The Ingersoll logo, in a script font, adds a final vintage touch. It’s a great place to start this list, and possibly my overall favourite of the watches featured.

Ingersoll Scovill I05003

  • 43mm Diameter
  • 15mm Thick
  • 20mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Miyota Automatic Movement
  • Mineral Crystal
  • 100M Water Resistance

 

Victorinox Maverick 249108 Watch

 

Victorinox is a Swiss brand who make a variety of watches - both mechanical and quartz (more here). Their watch collections are focused on military and sports watches, although they do also have some dressier models. They’re Swiss-made and tend to use ETA movements.

I’d suggest that Victorinox are in the same space as the likes of Tissot or maybe Rotary's higher end watches. They’re entry-level Swiss watches mostly priced around £300-£1000.

This model from the Maverick line is a recognisable divers watch. It has the Submariner style case with crown guards and the rotating bezel. I’d normally like to have more than 100M water resistance, but that’s more for theoretical rather than actual use.

The dial is where this watch wins. It has that recognisable structure of the Victorinox range and the date at the 6 o’clock position. There are the 24hr inner numerals that I’ve seen on a few of their watches and the additional chapter ring.

There are a number of variations on this theme, with bi-metal and black PVD case options. There is also a chronograph version. I find this red bezel version one the most appealing - it has good use of colour and the bracelet reinforces the sporty style. Overall it makes a for an interesting diver that has just enough original design to stand out.

Victorinox Maverick 249108

  • 43mm Diameter
  • 11mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Swiss Quartz movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 100M Water Resistance

 



Davosa Ternos 16350060 Watch

 

Davosa is Swiss brand with more than a century's heritage. Beginning as a small one-man company the business expanded as the sons became involved. The brand really has been created by generations of watchmakers.

In 1987 the first watches were released under the Davosa banner and the brand expanded from there. They now produce quite a few designs featuring divers, aviators, sports and dress watches.

The Ternos collection includes both quartz and automatic models, as well as GMT and vintage-inspired models. This red bezel piece is a quartz GMT from the vintage collection.

At 39mm it’s a little smaller than most modern dive watches. In terms of the case shape and size it certainly hits the mark for a vintage-inspired diver. The printed blocky indices are cream, which hints at age, and the red bezel is aluminium.

It all comes together to create a watch that is evocative of the era of the first Submariners and Tudors. It has a swiss quartz movement, with the addition of a second time-zone hand.

Davosa Ternos 16350060

  • 39mm Diameter
  • 15mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Swiss Quartz movement
  • Mineral Crystal
  • 100M Water Resistance

 



William Wood The Red Watch
I love a good brand backstory. William Wood’s story is particularly interesting as it features my home town. Their website states:

William Wood was the name of my late grandfather. He served in the British Fire Service for over 25 years winning commendations for his acts of bravery. He was stationed at Pilgrim Street for the Newcastle & Gateshead Fire Brigade”.

The brand is built around this Fire Brigade connection, with individual models referencing this in different ways. The Red Watch is from the Valiant collection and includes straps made from recycled fire hoses.

Like the Devosa, it’s a watch inspired by the past - this time the Fire Brigades past. The logo is a 1920s Fireman’s helmet and the indices at 12 represent the rank markings of a Crew Manager. They’re details that blend seamlessly into the design but hold a historical significance too. The outer checkered markings on the dial, for example, are the same as those on the side of British Fire Engines.

It is a cohesive design that I love, with each model being a numbered limited edition of 250. There’s the option to have the watch powered by either a Seiko automatic movement, or for a higher price, a Swiss Selitta one.

It’s well thought out watch, with a unique brand story - a grandson creating a company that honours his grandfather’s service to his community.

William Wood The Red Watch

  • 41mm Diameter
  • 16mm Thick
  • 20mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Automatic movement
  • Domed Sapphire Crystal
  • 100M Water Resistance

 

The Red Watch
The Red Watch

from: William Wood Watches


Timex Navi XL Watch
Timex  is a household name. Again, like Seiko, I’ve featured this brand repeatedly on the blog. However much I love to feature microbrands and more obscure watches, it’s often hard to escape the big names that have been watchmaking for more than a century. In this case, there was a point in the 1960s where a third of all watches sold in America were Timex.

What is more, they have a substantial number of models that come from their own history, be it the military MK1 or the famous Snoopy collection.

A theme that I’ve returned to a number of times recently is the habit of brands to mine their own back catalogues for inspiration. I’m a fan of watch companies updating previous designs - the Timex Q models are a successful example of this.

The Navi XL is another piece that was designed with an eye on the past.

The design is inspired by the brands earliest divers watches, with an automatic movement adding to the authenticity. To my eye, there’s a slight military aesthetic.

There’s also an obvious functionality in the design. A clear, rotating bezel and the 12/24 dial. The hour hand adds a nice touch by circling the hour on the 24hr scale while simultaneously pointing at the time on the 12hr scale.

Overall, the watch has a strong look, and like other Timex automatics, is competitively priced. It has a red bezel and black dial, without the slightest hint of a Tudor.

Timex Navi XL TW2U099007U

  • 41mm Diameter
  • 13.5mm Thick
  • 20mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Automatic movement
  • Mineral Crystal
  • 100M Water Resistance



Invicta Pro Diver 22020 Watch

As a watch producer Invicta often receives a lot of negativity in the watch collecting community. They’re easy to criticise if you don’t like their affordable and often over the top style. Cheap watches with a lot of gold colouring don’t usually impress watch aficionados. But let us take a step back.

Although the company is American owned, Invicta has its roots in Switzerland during the late 1880s. Its corporate headquarters are in Switzerland along with its customer service centre and its current president is a fifth-generation watchmaker. Invicta also owns a number of other brands including Glycine. There’s a lot of things that this company does right. (See my article on Invicta Dive watches).

The Pro Diver is one of their most popular models and can be picked up relatively cheaply. See this one I bought recently.

 



There are a couple of red variations, with this quartz model being the most affordable. It’s a reasonably standard dive watch in the vein of Submariner. It does have a few nices touches, like the brand logo built into the second hand. It's also good to see the inclusion of a cyclops lens over the date.

With 200M water resistance, it doesn’t just look the part, and can actually be worn in the water.

Invicta Pro Diver 22020

  • 43mm Diameter
  • 13mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Quartz movement
  • Mineral Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance



Glycine Combat Sub GL0092
For many, Swiss brand Glycine made their name in the watch world when they supplied US Air Force pilots with their Airman watch during the Vietnam War. It was a functional aviation piece that is loved by watch aficionados. Since the 19060s the brand has also produced a ‘Combat’ collection - currently featuring the Classic, Vintage, Chrono and Sub lines - see more here.

Glycine’s Combat line was created after the Airman, with the first dive watch released in 1967. There’s not the innovation of the Airman here - this is more of a standard Submariner style design. But it does have it’s own styling - particularly this red bezel version, with its beautiful gold accents.

For example, at just over 10mm, this is very slim for a legitimate divers watch. With curved lugs hugging the wrist there’s been a real attempt to get this 42mm watch to wear smaller. With most divers never making it into the sea, it’s refreshing to see a sports watch styled to slip under a shirt cuff.

It has the functionality of a divers watch, with the profile of a dress model.

Stylistically, it’s not a homage to the Rolex sub or the Tudor Black Bay. There’s enough of Glycine’s own styling, particularly with this colourful variation, to warrant a closer look.

Glycine Combat Sub GL0092

  • 42mm Diameter
  • 10.5mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Swiss Automatic movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance



Stuhrling Pro Sport Diver Watch

 

I’ve featured Stuhrling watches in a couple of posts now (more about Stuhrling here). When I’ve been looking at alternatives to a piece from a Swiss luxury brand there’s regularly been a similar styled Stuhrling model. So I've highlighted the odd watch of theirs as we've crossed paths.

In an industry where companies can sometimes boast of over a hundred years of history, Stuhrling is a new face. They’re a little under twenty years old and claim to have sold over fifteen million watches in that time. What is more, the watches that they launched the brand with were a tourbillon collection. That’s some feat.

Founder Chaim Fischer is based in New York, but the watches are proudly manufactured in Shenzhen, China. I say proudly because the website features articles detailing the reasons for choosing China, including videos of the watch manufacturing process.

With a lot of red bezel watches being divers, there was little doubt that Stuhrling would do one. The featured watch is from their Aquadiver line - although it also has the Depthmaster branding on the dial too. Like the Invicta, it’s a Submariner homage.

Also like the Invicta, it’s a reasonably priced quartz model with half-decent water resistance - in this case, 100M. Stylistically there’s not a great deal to say. If you like the Submariner aesthetic and want a red bezel - here’s a very affordable option.

It’s not as uniquely styled as some of the others, the William Wood for example. But it’s a lot cheaper and uses an iconic design that has proven to be popular for half a century.

Stuhrling Pro Sport Diver 3950.4

  • 42mm Diameter
  • 13.5mm Thick
  • 20mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Quartz movement
  • Mineral Crystal
  • 100M Water Resistance



Meccaniche Veneziane Nereide 1302003 Watch
The final watch I’d like to highlight is an attractive piece. First, a little about the brand.

Meccaniche Veneziane originally made quite a splash on Kickstarter, funding one of their watches in 30 seconds (see more about Kickstarter record holder Filippo Loreti here). They’re among, if not the most successful, crowd-funded Italian brand. They state that their inspiration is the Venetian tradition and the brand’s logo is based on the cross from St Mark’s Clock Tower.

The watch designs are each inspired by Italy and all of their collections are automatics. Leather straps are handmade in Italy and the brand stresses the ethical side of the business (more about ethical watches).

The Nereide collection was inspired by the Italian warship of the same name that was used in WWI.

There are quite a few variations in the Nereide line, with more than one featuring a red bezel. This is my pick. It seems like the model that is most reminiscent of the earlier era it took its inspiration from.

There are a couple of design elements that make this watch work for me. The red bezel of course - but also the subtle use of gold in the design. Most striking, however, is the simple leather strap. It’s Italian made and uses vintage leather. The red contrast stitching helps pull the design together, creating a really impressive watch.

It is more expensive than some of the others on the list, but it does include a customised automatic movement based on Seiko’s NH35 calibre. There’s also a sapphire crystal and 200M water resistance.

Meccaniche Veneziane Nereide 1302003

  • 42mm Diameter
  • 14mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Automatic movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance

Conclusion


Red bezel watches - specifically those with black dials - aren’t a popular colour combination. But when done well, this colour palette can be great. Tudor’s Heritage Black Bay is a great example of this.

Of course, a Tudor may be out of your reach.

So I’ve pulled together a list of my favourite red bezel watches. It has inevitably been dominated by divers watches, but this is because they are the models most likely to use a colourful bezel. As I’ve demonstrated, there are affordable red bezel watches ranging in price from less than £100 to near a thousand. All of them deserve a closer look.

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