The Tudor Black Bay is one of the most popular watches of the last few years, ever since it was introduced in 2012. The first model featured a burgundy red bezel insert, and since then we’ve seen several interesting versions with different colors. Last year the Geneva based brand introduced a full black edition, which also hit the right note among the passionate watch enthusiasts.
This year a two-tone version, Steel&Gold has been added to the beloved collection, and again it seems destined to become a favorite.
As with most timepieces from Tudor’s contemporary portfolio, the new Black Bay S&G draws direct inspiration from the brand’s rich diving heritage of the exploration golden era which commenced with the arrival of Reference 7922 in 1954. Sophistication, style and sportsmanship are the key elements that run deep in the Tudor Heritage Black Bay S&G. Today’s Black Bay is bigger than its ancestor, however it certainly has that distinctive vintage charm that Tudor is well now known for.
Today the Heritage Black Bay S&G is a signature model which pays homage to this tradition whilst showcasing today’s most extraordinary craftsmanship in watchmaking. Launching a two-tone Black Bay is a bold move from Tudor. However, it turns out to be an unexpected pleasure.
Tudor gained the characteristic aesthetic elements of the Heritage Black Bay S&G model from its history.
The overall shape, as well as the domed dial and crystal, come from the first Tudor diver watches.
The prominent winding crown is a feature of the famous reference 7924 from 1958 - the first Tudor watch to be waterproof to 200 m known as the Big Crown.
Finally, the characteristic angular hands, known as snowflake, are typical of the watches delivered to the French Navy in the 1970s. The striking unidirectional rotating bezel is set in yellow gold with a 60-minute graduated matte black anodised aluminium disc and matching gold markings whilst the winding crown features a regal yellow gold screw down complete with the Tudor rose engraved and lacquered in black.
The Black Bay, with its big, oversized, crown, the domed sapphire crystal and the lack of crown guards, has such a vintage spirit. The dial is black and comes with ‘gilded’ writing, brand name and logo and a gilded rail track minute index around the dial. And of course, the hands and applied hour indexes are also in gold. The steel case is 41mm in diameter and rated to 200m in terms of waterproofness.
Although available with an aged black leather strap, it’s on the rivet-style bracelet where the S&G really shines. Just like the case, it’s been given the two-tone treatment. The end links are solid steel and gold, while the rest of the center links are gold-capped.
They’re not polished either; instead they’re satin-brushed, and given a level of discretion not normally associated with gold, while emphasizing their texture. Overall, it’s a well-built and comfortable bracelet, and once again the gold only enriches the vintage vibe.
The third option is casual fabric strap. Made using the Jacquard technique, a traditional method achieved by a 150-year-old family firm from the Saint-Étienne region of France, this strap is a signature feature of Tudor’s Heritage line.
Bringing the added complication of a date window is the same movement you’ll find in the Black Bay Steel and the Pelagos, Tudor’s own caliber MT5612. With a silicon balance spring, and has a 70-hour power reserve. Which means you can take it off Friday evening and not have to re-set and wind it come Monday morning. Handy.
Furthermore, the movement is certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).
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