Black Watch may very well be the number two tartan in popularity - after Stewart Royal. It is a universal tartan and therefore for any man to wear. Women will wear it too, because it is very often used for kilted skirts or just skirts. You may also see it used in interior design.
The main colour is green/blue but on many of the pictures below it was necessary to lighten up colours in Photoshop, or the kilt had appeared black. Hence the name Black Watch.
In this gallery there are three different kilts in Black Watch tartan, starting out with a 5 yard off-the-peg kilt from Irish company, O'Neil of Dublin.
The next kilt is from Heritage of Scotland, a 5 yard kilt made-to-measure.
Kilt #3 is a very cheap kilt from Tartanista.
You'll notice that the tartans are not 100% identical. That is due to the fact that several varieties of the Black Watch tartan exist and that colors may vary from mill to mill and even from production to production. Also the fabric plays a role. No doubt the tartan used on for the Tartanista kilt comes from Pakistan.
The fabric is 10 oz. wool, meaning it is a lightweight kilt. The length is 23". Something special is that it is not lined, which you can see on picture 2/32. The sewing quality is excellent, however. And so is the fabric. O'Neil has an assortment of men's kilts in four tartans. Black Watch is one of them.
The kilt is branded John Morrison, but today Heritage of Scotland will use this designation for ladies' kilts omly. The length is 23" and the fabric is 16 oz. wool. In some of the pictures, 11/32 and 12/32, it is worn with accessories for dress-up events.
If you compare this kilt with the O'Neil kilt above it is obvious that the O'Neil kilt has more, but not as deep pleats.
This kilt in Black Watch tartan is a 5 yard Value Kilt. It is cheap, really cheap. If your waist size is that of a teen-age boy, 30", it can be yours for £16.95. If you are a man with a little more substance it is £22.95 from 34" to 42", And from 50" to 54" you only have to pay another £2 on top. Add to that, that with three tartans you have a choice of three different lengths, 22", 24" and 26".
I went for the short version, which I can wear either at shortest correct length (one inch above knee) or shorter.
And what do you get for that little money?
That was what I wanted to find out when I ordered this kilt. Well, pleats are NOT sewn down; you may take a look at picture 29/32. This I could already tell from the pictures on Tartanista's website, so that was what I expected. But it is lined and the thread which keeps it in place, cleverly also keeps the pleats together and thereby gives you the feeling of a fell.
The kilt has three buckles and straps of reasonable to good quality. The sewing quality is pretty inferior, but acceptable, the low price taken into cosideration. The real problem is the fabric, "10 oz. 100% acrylic".
Acrylic fabrics tend to peel, but this more than any other I have seen. I should suggest, therefore, that you always wear it without a sporran, meaning as a very casual garment.
Value for money? Having worn the kilt about 30 times and now looking at it, it must be a clear NO. Despite it's very low price, the fabric is simply too bad to qualify for any recommendation.
I have been dealing with Tartanista several times and have a very good impression of the company. Freight is cheap, delivery fast and quality good. But not this no-value "Value" kilt.