Baselworld 2019 may have been a bit hit and miss for most brands but amongst the vintage inspired timepieces on display, some of which were faithfully better recreated than others, a piece from Tudor that piqued our interest was this new Black Bay Chronograph Steel & Gold. The first Black Bay Chronograph was introduced back in 2017. This year Tudor saw it fit to introduce another interpretation of said timepiece. This iteration has perhaps caught our eye for a good couple of reasons, 1) being Tudor’s great price points in general and 2) it’s a step in an interesting direction for Tudor’s rugged sports watch…
I am, somewhat, impartial to steel and gold timepieces and this Black Bay is no different. I neither love them nor loathe them but some clearly work better than others. The subtle changes that Tudor have made on this Black Bay chrono are aesthetically simple yet very effective. Perhaps, what I like most is the use of gold on the dial and case, marrying the whole look together.
The main Black Bay characteristics are retained, in a slim 41-millimetre steel case and equipped with yellow-gold pushers. It also features a black anodised aluminium bezel with gold print tachymetric scale, which is graduated to base 500 units per hour. The dial is an all matte black affair with the registers at 3 & 9 o’clock highlighted in champagne gold, with a gold minute scale and text. Though the depth rating has been highlighted in red, matching the central chronograph seconds arrow tip.
The Black Chronograph is fitted with a 70-hour power reserve, a silicon balance spring and Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute certification. The calibre MT5813 that drives the Black Bay Chrono S&G model is a high-performance movement, which is based on the Breitling B01 but has been modified by Tudor. The movement itself is designed in the purest watchmaking tradition, with a column-wheel mechanism and vertical clutch.
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 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 brown leather bund strap with deployant clasp, or on a black fabric strap – which I have to mention has to be one of the finest woven fabric straps around.
The BB Chrono Steel & Gold in my opinion changes the stance of its versatility, while the steel iterations will somewhat work 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 Tudor been marrying together isn’t just examples from their back catalogue but also of their sibling brand: Rolex. The dial of the S&G has something of a resemblance to the early 90s bi-metal Daytonas. 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…
The Tudor Black Bay Chronograph Steel & Gold on the riveted steel bracelet is priced at £4,890 and is priced at £4,030 on the distressed leather or fabric strap. For more information on visit the Tudor website.