Baselworld 2018 may have been a bit hit and miss for most brands but among the vintage inspired timepieces on display again, of which some were faithfully and better recreated than others, one of the many pieces that had us intrigued was this new Black Bay Steel & Gold. The first Heritage Black Bay was introduced back in 2012 and since then, there have been quite a few iterations. Tudor first introduced a Steel & Gold with a black dial in 2017 and this year followed it up with a champagne dial version.
I am, somewhat, impartial to steel and gold timepieces and this Black Bay is no different. I neither love them or loathe them but some clearly work better than others. The subtle changes that Tudor have made on this Black Bay are aesthetically simple yet very effective. Perhaps, what I like most is that Tudor have taken design cues from its sister brand Rolex, in fitting a champagne dial, to an already very likeable watch. Though this combination is seldom seen on diving watches nowadays.
The bezel is fashioned out of gold and sports black aluminium insert, which features a gold print 60-minute graduation scale that is demarcated for the quarter-hour between 0 and 15, with a matching gold triangle and authentic pearl – which I’ve noted before that is something I’d like to see on the Pelagos too.
The Black Bay Steel & Gold remains unchanged and sports the unobtrusive date window, which we first saw last year on the BB Steel. This is of course thanks to the manufacture movement that was first introduced in 2015. The 41mm case houses the self-winding calibre MT5612 (the same movement that can be found in the Pelagos) that offers a power reserve of 70-hours, which is certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer testing institute aka COSC.
Another touch that adds to the overall aesthetics of the Black Bay Steel & Gold, is the Bi-Metal bracelet it’s been paired on. We first saw this 1950s/1960s vintage-style inspired, riveted bracelet in 2016 on the Black Bay Black. This modern interpretation is true to form and features the very distinct stepped construction, though instead features faux rivets and modern solid links that offers a vintage look but has modern robustness. The Black Bay is also available with an aged black leather strap with deployant clasp, or on a brown fabric strap – which I have to mention has to be one of the finest fabric straps around.
The BB Steel & Gold in my opinion changes the stance of its versatility, while the 2017 Steel & Gold version, somewhat, works with any attire, this new Steel & Gold version just adds that extra touch of sparkle. Tudor have been ahead of the curve for some time and the blending of vintage details into their modern watches is commonplace. That said, what they’ve married together isn’t just examples from their back catalogue but also of their more famous sibling: Rolex. The dial of the S&G has something of a resemblance to the Submariner Serti dial. These subtle vintage design traits in a contemporary timepiece, offer nostalgia and practicality in one package, which is something that Tudor have done so well. Ushering in the new without forgetting the old and as a by-product, making their once underappreciated vintage pieces more collectible.
The Tudor Heritage Black Bay Steel & Gold on the riveted steel bracelet is priced at £3,580 and is priced at £2,720 on the distressed leather or fabric strap. For more information on visit the official Tudor website.