In a normal year, we’d be gearing up for a Halloween weekend right now, but this is no normal year. So, instead of door to door interaction, we’re gearing up for a night in with some scary movies, a bottle of wine (or two), and a seasonally appropriate watch, of course. Halloween themed watches are a bit niche, so we’re thinking blacked out cases, maybe some orange accents, and a well worn strap. To mark the holiday, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite watches that, in some form or another, feel on point for Halloween.
I’m a little jaded towards Halloween colors. Growing up, my high school’s team colors were black and orange. Black and orange everywhere. Pep rally (mandatory attendance required): Halloween. Football game: Black and Orange. Random English class in May: yup, you guessed it…black and orange there too. Even after all of the black and orange in my formative years, I still managed to pick a black watch with orange accents that would be right at home on my high school wrist (even though it’s about 14 years too late). My pick is the Seiko SRPC49K1, aka the “Ninja Turtle”.
Based on the modern SRP turtle, this 200m rated dive watch packs all the specs you’d expect from a modern Prospex Seiko. Inside, you’ll find a 4R36 movement with hand winding capability, hacking seconds, a 41 hour power reserve, and a day/date display at three. It’s the outside of the watch that looks totally different. The 45mm stainless steel case and bezel are treated with a blacked-out hard coating. On the black dial, you’ll find creamy plots of lume that dare I say remind me of the inside of a pumpkin. A bright orange arrow-shaped minutes hand finishes off the Halloween inspired look. A Hardlex crystal protects the dial, while the unidirectional dive bezel can keep track of time elapsed. The watch is an interesting limited piece, which you can still find floating around the internet for a slight mark up. With a nickname like the “Ninja Turtle”, what’s not to like.
My pick for the season is the Stowa Black Forest Flieger – a limited edition of just 200 pieces from way back in 2014, so it would take a little hunting to track one down. Stowa obviously has a long history of producing flieger watches as one of the 5 watchmakers producing the original B-Uhren watches.
This one is based on the Type A flieger dial but deviates firstly with the black PVD coating on the case, and adds to the Halloween theme of the watches here with orange coloured superluminova on all hands and indices. To top it off the strap, rivets and handwound ETA 2801 inside also gets the blackout treatment. Stowa have produced ‘Black Forest’ LEs based on quite a few of their models—most recently the Antea 1919 and Flieger Verus—but the black and orange version remains one of the best.
“Will you walk into my parlor?” said the Spider to the Fly…
Perfect for spooky season, MB&F’s Arachnophobia truly deserves its name. The spider-like horological machine takes as inspiration Maman, a sculpture created in 1999 by French-American artist Louise Bourgeois. Towering at over 30 feet in height, the giant arachnid–crafted of bronze, marble and stainless steel–looms large like something out of a Lovecraftian fever dream.
MB&F artfully captures the spirit of the sculpture with Arachnophobia. Developed in conjunction with the help of famed Swiss clockmaker L’Epee 1839, Arachnophobia combines horological prowess with a steampunk sensibility that is as appealing as it is sinister. For the spider’s head, MB&F used the balance and escapement of a L’Epee 1839 movement, while the thorax is made up of components usually found on the dual–replete with numerals in MB&F’s signature style–and the abdomen houses the mainspring that powers it all. Finally, the eight legs can be manipulated to make Arachnophobia stand on its hind legs, or lie flat like a spider crouched in its web, awaiting its prey.
Well, this was an easy one. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of novelty watches, especially expensive ones. But I have to say, in terms of watches that are whimsical, goofy, or just downright weird, I appreciate what Konstantin Chaykin is doing with their Wristmons collection. I’ve seen these in person before, and they’re absolutely bizarre…and beautiful. There’s a debate to be had as to the value of these watches and whether you want to pay upwards of $ 15,000 for a modified (albeit heavily) ETA 2824. But if you’re in the market for a watch designed to look like a clown and you have some serious cash burning a hole in your pocket, I think rational conversations of “value” go out the window.
Perfect for the Halloween season is the Green Halloween edition of the Konstantin Chaykin Wristmons collection. A follow-up to their previous Halloween-themed Pumpkin Head model, the Green Halloween is a goolish homage to the orange squash that we’re all too familiar with this time of year. The green tongue moon-phase indicator and piercing yellow eyes are nice touches that really set the spooky mood. Would I ever actually buy this myself? No. Do you win Halloween if you actually go trick-or-treating with one on your wrist? Absolutely.
Despite a life-long appreciation of horror films, I’m not really a festive Halloween guy. Sure, I got into it a bit as a kid, including one fairly gorey year as a cannibal chef, but these days I usually don’t even realize it’s happening. So, when it comes to a watch that’s in the Halloween spirit, I’d want something that I’d also want to wear year round. Enter Mr. Jones Last Laugh. Not a new watch, but the first my mind goes to when it comes to a mix of horology and the morbid, the surprisingly minimal dial of the Last Laugh features a white surface with mirror splotches defining eye and nose sockets, intended to reminded you of your own mortality.
The clever bit is the mouth, with its eternal grin. The watch tells the time by featuring a rotating disk of teeth on the lower jaw for the minutes, turning gold every fifteen, and the hour indicated on the two front teeth on top. Here’s the really cool part, the watch actually sports a SeaGull jump hour mechanical movement, meaning the hours only click over at the top of the hour. A rare complication at an affordable price justifies this watch in general, and the clever, conversation-starting design, pushes it over the line. Great for Halloween and the 364 other days in the year as well.
When asked to pick a Halloween themed watch for this guide, my mind immediately went to FIona Kruger’s Celebration Skull series, particularly this example, with a blacked out case and a thin layer of lume dramatically outlining the unusual skull shape. It doesn’t get much more on-the-nose than a skull on Halloween, but digging into these interesting watches, I realized that the symbolism and storytelling goes well beyond the 31st day of October, even if that might be a good enough starting point.
Kruger, in creating the Celebration Skull, was directly inspired by the Mexican “Day of the Dead” holiday, when families gather to celebrate and remember deceased loved ones. Not strictly speaking a period of mourning, Día de Los Muertos is a celebration of lives well lived, and traditional skull imagery pops up over and over again as the holiday is celebrated. In these cases, a skull is a true memento mori, a reminder of one’s own mortality, but presented in a light, festive way.
Of course, mortality and time are inextricably linked, making for an obvious subject to explore in a watch, and Kruger has used specific colors associated with the Day of the Dead in decorating her Celebration Skull to tie everything together. Red equates to life, purple to grief, pink symbolizes celebration, and so on. The watch itself is a rich text for those interested in its cultural significance, but it’s also simply beautiful watchmaking, with a lacquered dial that’s been hand painted on three distinct layers, and a Swiss movement with skeletonized bridges, visible through the dial side. More information on Fiona Kruger’s Celebration Skull can be found right here.
If I’m getting a blacked out watch it’s going to be one I can use year round. I’m lame like that. It may not be as flashy or spooky as some of the other watches on this list, but I land on the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon in Pitch Black guise. The black ceramic case, black ceramic bezel, and matte black dial all fit the theme of this exercise, while the green tinted Super-LumiNova gives it a suitable flair for Halloween. Sure it’s 44.25mm and a bit on the thick side, but it’s a fun watch that is more than manageable for the right occasion (such as this), so I’d make room for it in my watch box.
Bonus points for being offered on a golden brown leather strap for a pop of orange, but the rest of the year I’d be rocking this thing on a grey nylon strap. Set aside the unique aesthetic and you’ll find Omega’s own caliber 9300 inside, a whole lot of movement that gets you a silicone hairspring, better than COSC accuracy, a co-axial escapement, and a column wheel visible through the caseback. Check out more of this watch from Omega right here.
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