My Pick for Baselworld 2017: Tudor

How was it like living in the shadow of an overachieving big brother and then making it big on your own? Just ask Tudor. There is no doubt that Tudor is one of the most exciting brands out there at the moment. Targeting millennials and first-time watch buyers, they understood what consumers want and went beyond the call of duty. Aren’t we glad that Tudor remains one of the most accessible luxury watch brands in the market right now? Talking about bang for bucks!

Baselworld 2017 saw Tudor releasing four new watches under the Black Bay range: Chrono, Steel, S&G and 41. It is a strategic move to capitalise on the wildly popular Black Bay by improvising and reproducing it into other iterations. Let’s talk about the Chrono and the S&G which appear to be something more than just a change in case size or bezel swap.

Heritage Black Bay Chrono (ref. 79350)

Black Bay Chrono 1

Since the presentation in 1970 of the Prince Oysterdate Chronograph, its first chronograph, Tudor has always produced watches that are closely tied to the world of motorsports. In the same way since 1954, Tudor has been constantly improving its professional divers’ watches. The new hybrid Heritage Black Bay Chrono chronograph dares to combine the aquatic heritage represented by the Black Bay family with the queen of the racetrack, the chronograph.

It has never occurred to me that Tudor would do something unconventional such as a non-racing chronograph watch. A first look at the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Chrono made my head spin a little as there are way too many circles on the dial (note: the markers and sub-dials). So I kept telling myself that it ain’t that bad—and well, the dial design wasn’t that bad after all. Symmetrical dials are usually more pleasing to the eyes and Tudor adhered to this very basic idea with its bi-compax design. The sub-dial placement is rather similar to that on the Omega Speedmaster ’57.

Movement
MT5813

What sets this timepiece apart from other brands in this price bracket is their first in-house manufacture chronograph with self-winding movement, column wheel and vertical clutch. The MT5813 is actually made by Breitling for Tudor, a traditional practice in Swiss watchmaking where brands collaborate in innovations. In exchange, Tudor will also be supplying their in-house automatic movements to Breitling. Boasting a 70-hour power reserve, a silicon balance spring and certification by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute, the MT5813 is a lot of value in terms of finishing and lasting quality.

Heritage Black Bay S&G (ref. 79733N)

1_M79733N-0001_black_72063_DET1

The Heritage Black Bay S&G is a celebratory timepiece for 60 years of Tudor divers’ watch. S&G basically means ‘Steel & Gold’. In this version the lines and proportions of the Black Bay are retained, while the rotating bezel and the winding crown are made from yellow gold. The steel bracelet is also dressed in this precious metal on its central link giving it a more formal feel.

I really like this one a lot because of the satin finish and also I can’t pull off polished gold without appearing too gaudy or trying too hard. The Heritage Black Bay S&G is perhaps the only two-tone timepiece I desire. However do note that the 18k yellow gold isn’t solid yellow gold all around. Some of the yellow gold components like the crown and bracelet center links are actually steel with a thick layer of gold (think: vintage gold capped watches). The gold on the end links and bezel are solid yellow gold.

It looks really good with their iconic khaki-coloured fabric strap too!

4c_M79733N-0000_black_fabric_brown_HW

The MT5612 is a variation of their in-house movement first presented by Tudor in 2015 which now comes with a date function for the first time. Other than that, it is pretty much the same movement with a 70-hour power reserve and it is regulated by a variable inertia oscillator with silicon balance spring.

5_MT_masse_W_ISOv2_300
MT5612

The Tudor Heritage Black Bay Chrono is priced at CHF4,800 (S$6,800+) on bracelet and CHF4,500 (S$6,500+) on leather strap, while the Heritage Black Bay S&G at CHF4,750 (S$6,700+) on bracelet and CHF3,600 (S$5,000+) on leather strap.

Tudor 2017 watches will be available in Singapore from July 2017.

Specifications – Heritage Black Bay Chrono (ref. 79350)
  • Case: 41mm steel case with polished and satin finish
  • Bezel: Fixed steel bezel with black engraved tachymetric scale
  • Winding Crown: Steel screw-down winding crown with Tudor rose engraved and lacquered in black, with black anodised aluminium winding crown tube
  • Dial: Black, domed
  • Crystal: Domed sapphire crystal
  • Waterproof: 200m (660ft)
  • Bracelet: Steel bracelet or leather strap with folding clasp and safety catch + Additional fabric strap with buckle
Specifications – Heritage Black Bay S&G (ref. 79733N)
  • Case: 41mm steel case with polished and satin finish
  • Bezel: Unidirectional rotating bezel in yellow gold with 60-minute graduated matt black anodised aluminium disc, gold markings
  • Winding Crown: Yellow gold screw-down winding crown with Tudor rose engraved and lacquered in black, with black anodised aluminium winding crown tube
  • Dial: Black, domed
  • Crystal: Domed sapphire crystal
  • Waterproof: 200m (660ft)
  • Bracelet: Steel and yellow gold bracelet or aged leather strap with folding clasp and safety catch + Additional fabric strap with buckle
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