12 best ceramic watches that add heat to your collection

A dozen examples of why ceramic is so hot right now in horology
12 best ceramic watches that are hot right now

Stainless steel or gold might be the ubiquitous choice when it comes to buying a watch, but there are also plenty of ceramic watches in the mix these days. Indeed, Rolex might be one of the only brands not into the future-proof nature of ceramic and carbon composite designs – the crown does what the crown thinks best, and fair play – but that doesn’t stop everyone from Swatch to Audemars Piguet and IWC (who were the first to experiment with the material) from re-interpreting wrist-couture with sleek, scratch proof surfaces and fresh colours.

Tudor Black Bay Ceramic

In many circles, the Black Bay series has given Tudor the superpower to out-punch its big brother. While we still have the hots for the small-cased ’54 of Watches and Wonders, we are also big fans of this classy all-black ceramic number. Black 41mm case, black dial, in the Black Bay collection – you can see why Tudor is the official timekeeper of the All Blacks rugby team, can't you? This is a look we’re all about. Inside the 200m-water-resistant case resides the automatic, COSC-certified, chronograph caliber MT5602-1U and it'll wrap around your wrist on a soft, calfskin strap with some smart cream details. £4,210. At goldsmiths.co.uk

IWC Pilot’s Watch Top Gun 41mm

IWC is the foremost purveyor of the timeless Pilot’s Watch, with its Top Gun series inhabiting the top rung of the Schaffhausen ladder. Known for diameters big enough to be strapped on the outside of a flight suit (or to make The Rock's wrist look small) this 41mm reference plays a different game. Its ceramic case exudes the pure functionality of the genre and is the ABC of legibility, but with a quietly spoke elegance. It may come on a rip-stop Nato strap, but pair with a Barenia leather strap and you’ll find it equally at ease under whatever smart casual dress code you adhere to these days. £5,900. At jurawatches.co.uk

Hublot Big Bang Integral Sky Blue Ceramic

Smooth, hard ceramic is a lot tougher than it looks, so this sky blue ceramic Big Bang Integral is a wolf within a summer suit. The Integral range is Hublot’s hot take on the integrated bracelet but with a more muscular vibe visible in the cut-from-granite angles. That makes this juxtaposed breezy blue colour even more tempting. But don't be fooled – within the deep dial architecture lies a high-tech chronograph with a 72-hour power reserve and a tough 100m depth rating. £20,800. At goldsmiths.co.uk

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Green Ceramic Aston Martin Edition

The grail-worthy Laureato in 38mm gets a lush transformation in collaboration with Aston Martin, and we’re hooked. Its already sleek integrated bracelet takes on a luscious tone of emerald green with a gloss twinkle coming off the centre links. The brushed ceramic case – with its recognisable octagon – frames an Aston Martin crosshatch pattern that gives depth to a rakish dial with black accents. £21,200. At goldsmiths.co.uk

Zenith Defy Classic Skeleton Fusalp Limited Edition 41mm

Zenith has proven to manage a delicate balance between vintage-sweet 37mm wristwear, and an altogether more modern feel in the Defy series. The skeletonised 41mm Fusalp edition has an entrancing depth to its open-worked, layered black and gold dial, with the Zenith star taking centre stage. Look closer and you’ll see the pattern blending seamlessly with the French Fusalp snowflake emblems, the dial encircled by the couleur of the Tricolore no less. When you add a textured Fusalp-designed strap with a hypnotic pattern of concentric rectangles, it has the air of an architectural totem. £8,300. At goldsmiths.co.uk

Panerai Luminor GMT 10 days Ceramic

Venture past £10K and the tech-materiality infuses known grails with a different, futurist quality. Enter this monochromatic Panerai to the fray. Small-cased watch trends notwithstanding, the feeling of retro-chic solidity of a PAM is pretty hard to beat. The Scamosciata Sabbia strap plays a romantic-sounding contrast to the matte black stealth power of the ceramic case with panache. And don’t forget the P.2003 caliber’s 10-day power reserve with the aid of three spring barrels. Tech prowess with oodles of Italian charm for £16,200. At panerai.com

Bell & Ross BR 03-94

We love a brand that has the balls to go a different-shaped way, and Bell & Ross is resolutely square. Detach one of the flight instruments from an F-35 Fighter and strap it on your wrist, you get the picture. It will no doubt act as a catalyst to awaken you to a more adventurous life, and while it may look large, the 42mms of Square-framed circle hugs you with the comfort of a strong big brother. A big soft rubber strap will make it sit tight as you free fall or bungee jump, and time your newfound extreme sport with Swiss mechanical accuracy. £5,000. At jurawatches.co.uk

Farer Biarritz

The Farer is so fresh we had to include it – even if the hot red pops of the Biarritz are the only ceramic bits. Although this sweet-sized nugget of a 38.5mm diver’s watch has a steel case, we’re allowing it into our future-tech club anyway, as the dominant bezel is pure ceramic goals. Vivid dial markings in searingly bright red make the Biarritz a Manga poster boy for summer, and we’re saying yes to that. £975. At farer.com

Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver

Rado’s twin personalities combine to infuse this diver’s watch with a massive dose of street-wear stealth fire. With its '80s noir wrist chic it was the instigator of dark ceramic tech for watches, while also having a rich back story. This combines effortless wearability with a major charm offensive in the case of the burly 43mm Captain Cook. £3,100. At goldsmiths.co.uk

Bamford Carbon B347

George Bamford has an indefatigable finger on the pulse of wrist-worn trends, and keeps pulling out the aces. The Carbon B347 is simply astounding value, offering the most accessible entry ticket to future-proof forged carbon fibre composite, period. The flyweight case has a tell-tale marble-like organic pattern while bringing a classic twin-register chronograph layout up to date. The dark vibe of the black dial details is brought to life by a vivid Bamford blue. £2,083. At bamfordlondon.com

Swatch Big Bold Bioceramic Arctic

Despite your age, the hottest piece of wristwear when you were young was probably a colourful Swatch – and the same remains true today. Having stolen the limelight last year with the mad hype of the MoonSwatch, Swatch is using the same Bioceramic case construction for this arctic chill – your summer watch that bypasses any 500-foot boutique queues while offering a big blue bang for your buck. £123. At swatch.com

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak by Mad Paris

Audemars Piguet has an enviably rich history of ceramic takes on its über-grail, the Royal Oak, with Stormzy known to be flaunting a raffish black number. The octagonal shape is timeless and understandably remains on the top tier in the collectability stakes. But off-centre, the French horological Couturiers and customisers at Mad Paris have created a rich take on Audemars Piguet showmanship. The chronograph ref.2631ST exhibits a delicately textured forest green ceramic case and bracelet frame to the crispest silver dial there is. Three registers and a sharp Clous de Paris surface present a delightful contrast to the soft green. POA. At mad-paris.com