The Backes & Strauss Berkeley is pure Regency decadence at its finest, harking back to a golden era of London history. Their most recent interpretation however pushes things back a few years – all the way back to swords and chivalry.
The Berkeley Black Knight Chrono is 43 armoured millimetres of dramatic geometry. A sleeker, sportier take on the classic regency stylings of Backes & Strauss, the stopwatch-equipped piece contrasts the usual luxurious gold we’ve come to expect with a stealthy black we most certainly have not.
Yet in this case black is more than a dark aesthetic twist; after all what is a knight without his armour? The use of PVD (physical vapour deposition) involves bonding a thin layer of metal vapour to the outside of the watch. It’s this layer that gives it its stealthy, intimidating appearance, but also has some substantial practical benefits.
The PVD ensures the watch is all but impervious to harm. It takes a huge amount of force to even make a scratch, let alone properly damage the case. It doesn’t necessarily save what’s inside so don’t be tempted to throw it about, but it means one more practical consideration of a fine watch you need not worry about. It should look the same in a decade as it did leaving the watchmaker’s bench.
As the final flourish, the Berkeley Black Knight Chrono is set with an ideal cut diamond into its crown. A Backes & Strauss speciality, the ideal cut is as its name suggests: designed to show the beauty and fire of the diamond to the fullest.
It’s a bright chink in the otherwise impenetrable black armour of this latest version of a Backes & Strauss flagship, and one that serves to highlight just how serious a watch this is.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Backes & Strauss Berkeley Black Knight Chronograph 43
Case/Dial: 43mm, stainless steel, black PVD
Movement: Chronograph, automatic
Functions: Chronograph, Hours, Minutes, Seconds & Date
Strap: Alligator leather strap with black PVD buckle
More details at Backes & Strauss’ website.