The sports watch is one of the woolliest of watch categories. A dive watch has a set of ISO standards to conform to. A dress watch has a list of characteristics that should be displayed, even if one person might read those requirements more strictly than another. A pilot’s watch has legibility at its core. The sports watch accounts for a significant market segment yet seems to be defined best as “none of the above” as long as it has reasonable water resistance. However, the Impetus CeramTech ZrO2 from Titoni feels like a shining example of exactly what a sports watch should be.

Legibility, toughness, water resistance, and the ability to look good on a bracelet or rubber strap are checked off with a cursory glance. In fact, it’s very close to being a capable, spirited dive watch — if only it weren’t for the fixed bezel (more on that later). A little while ago, Jorg looked at the vibrant blue and yellow version. I read with interest that his ideal pick might have been the more commonplace all-white or all-blue variants. Honestly, I would probably lean in the same direction. So, is the crisp black and white Titoni Impetus CeramTech any tamer?

Titoni Impetus CeramTech black and white

A monochrome yet welcoming dial

Let’s start with the colorway and the effect this had on my wearing experience. Rather than being a safe and conventional choice, the crispness of the white dial and case accents and the stark contrast against the deep blackness of the bezel and lugs generate a striking watch. It may not be colorful, but it still makes a bold statement. Such an expanse of dazzling white is almost overbearing. Remember, this isn’t a small watch. Thus, the presence of vertical grooves in the dial goes a long way in bringing back some warmth and calmness. The indices and hands, bold and monochrome, do the same. At first, the white-on-black configuration seems in danger of appearing too cold and austere. But the tapering outlines of the minute hand and white outer flanking of the hour hand bring back some cheer.

Working outwards, the 12-sided bezel is broad and intense at first glance. But, like the dial, it softens its impact with some clever finishing. All of the 12 sides are rounded off and slope down at their outer edges, while the top section (also gently sloped) features very fine radial brushing. There’s no denying that the dial and the bezel are quite striking by themselves. However, both reveal a few secrets on closer inspection and balance each other beautifully. Without seeing any other Impetus CeramTech colorways in person, it’s not easy to say whether that can be done quite as successfully as it is here.

A combination of ceramic and stainless steel

The case construction causes me some conflicting thoughts. On the one hand, the repetition of the white/black pattern through the case, lugs, crown guards, and the crown itself keeps me smiling. It gives more visual impact to the angular forms of the lugs and crown guards. Furthermore, the case sides echo the striping of the dial. As much as I like the visual impact of that outer ceramic portion of the case, having a fully ceramic case that brings a different wearing experience would make a much bigger impact than its use as an additional material bolted on.

The visual appeal of that ceramic outer ring is never more impactful than when the Impetus CeramTech is worn on the rubber strap. Even if an ice-white strap is usually too bold for me, it suits the watch perfectly. Once again, this brings attention to the strong lug shape and continues the alternating color theme. One of my few requirements for a sports watch is looking good on rubber, and the Impetus CeramTech feels good too. I appreciate that the rubber strap can conform to any wrist shape, providing additional friction to keep the watch in place. As you’ll note, the lug dimensions and fixings restrict strap options to those available from Titoni. The black DLC-coated bracelet enhances the dark and stealthy aspects of the watch, but in my opinion, that’s at the expense of comfort and the overall aesthetic balance.

Titoni Impetus CeramTech black and white

Living with the Impetus CeramTech

With a 43mm diameter and a 50mm lug-to-lug length, the Impetus CeramTech sits slightly toward the larger end of my comfort zone for sports watches. That is to say, such a diameter is not too big so long as the strap or bracelet gives a suitably comfortable wearing experience. This watch is a pleasure to wear on the rubber strap but not as much on the stainless steel bracelet. Your mileage may vary, of course, but for my wrist, the watch becomes heavy rather than just reassuringly weighty, and the continuation of black around the wrist dampens the effect of the ceramic ring around the case.

So, how does it stack up as a sports watch? Well, it does everything that I would expect of one. The ETA 2892-A2 automatic caliber is a great choice, being slightly superior to the more commonly seen 2824-2. The hands, indices, and date window are all easily readable, and the 300m water resistance should be more than sufficient for any situation I’d be in with this watch. On the white rubber strap, the Impetus CeramTech looks and feels great. Still, I feel that if the bezel rotated, then this would move from a pretty good sports watch into a pretty good dive watch — and that’s an easier market to understand and categorize.

There are six configurations of the Impetus CeramTech to choose from, each priced at US$3,140. I’d like to think the wearing experience will be similar for each, but from what I’ve been able to experience over the last week or so with this particular version, the stark and contrasting black-and-white combination is the winner. Find out more on the Titoni official website.

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Watch specifications

Impetus CeramTech ZrO2
83765 B-WW-712
White with black applied indices, white Super-LumiNova, and date window
Case Material
Stainless steel with black DLC treatment and white ceramic mid-case ring
Case Dimensions
43mm (diameter) × 50mm (lug-to-lug) x 12mm (thickness)
Sapphire with internal and external antireflective coating
Case Back
Stainless steel with DLC treatment and sapphire crystal, screw-in
ETA 2892-A2 — automatic and hand winding, 28,800vph frequency, 42-hour power reserve, 21 jewels
Water Resistance
30 ATM (300m)
White rubber with black DLC pin buckle and black DLC stainless steel three-row bracelet
Time (hours, minutes, central seconds) and date