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Blackout watches (Part I) : the Tube 38 has a simple solution for the great trend

Watches are an odd thing, lately they have become more and more a fashion accessory, people don’t care much about accuracy (thank you smartphones) and now legibility seems to be less important too, if you don’t believe me just do a quick search for blackout watches, ill wait, done? see what I mean?

It doesn’t matter if you are a very established brand like Omega or Casio everyone has a model in the catalogue to fulfil the need of that odd dark piece on the wrist. I love blacked out watches, they look somewhere between a military tactical equipment to something that can really stand out as a fashion piece. Now, all of these watches have a similar issue which is legibility, the fact that you have all this coolness to show means that markers are not easy to find, hands are even harder to distinguish and then the dial is usually the same color of the case and maybe also the bracelet, you get I mean, it's very hard to read the time. Many brands have implemented solutions like white seconds hands or perhaps white markers but then lovers of this particular style started to complain that is not the real thing, here is where our Tube 38 watch comes into scene.

Leff Amsterdam teamed up with the Dutch Designer Piet Hein Eek to create a blackout watch with a relief minute track, such a simple solution to a problem that many have failed to accomplish, stay with me to find out more about this dark beauty.


When we spoke with Leff Amsterdam we wanted to try the 38mm size in full black, on their website the watch is under the women's collection but I have been wearing it on my 6.25 inch wrist and fits like a glove, there is also a 42mm version that I am sure it will give you more presence.

The case is under 10mm thick making it very easy to wear, one extra cool addition was that we opted for the black bracket which is incredible well built, flexible but sturdy at the same time. Inside the case we have a Japanese Miyota 2035 which controls the simple but beautiful brushed hands and then we have of course the minute unique track under a sapphire crystal.

Each hour is marked by a longer marker making it so easy to read that even with the slightest glace (even without using the minute hand) you will be able to tell the exact time. The dial is very minimalist and so well design that it gets me every time, those markers looks like teeth from a creature you can only spot in the bottom of the sea, something unique, something hidden just for you to wonder. The signed crown continues the motif with diamond cut teeth.

On the wrist:

I have to say that 38mm is a great size, enough for you to forget that you have it on but also enough to remember that is still there. The watch wears very thin and no reflection from the dial annoys nor interferes with legibility. The bracelet is very comfortable and it has a double butterfly clasp that I am sure that more watch brands should use, it's well made, effective and of course all black, you'll be surprised how many time I open a clasp and is not the color that it should be, this is a sign of quality from the guys at Leff Amsterdam.

The lug to lug distance also play an important role as the watch disappears when you are in the gym or working with your laptop, you cannot bang it against things so easily but I imagine when you do that the PVD will hold very well.


Black out watches are cool, there is no doubt about this but is great to have the latest trend on your wrist without sacrificing what the initial propose of the object which is to tell time. What draw me into the Tube 38 is that a well design watch with a great look doesn’t have to cost a fortune, I bet this was not an easy task but if brands take the time and be more critical in the design process we the consumers will benefit from more quality products like the one we just reviewed. We know that this is not a high end piece but is not trying to, it’s a watch to wear every day on any activity and so far I completely forgot where my Casio G shock is.


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