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The Tudor Black Bay Chronograph

Tudor has long produced both professional dive watches — since 1950 — and motorsport-inspired chronographs — since 1970. For 2017, the brand is making a daring move in combining elements of the two to create the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Chrono (ref. 79350), which has roots in the Black Bay’s aquatic heritage along with racetrack associated chronograph functionality.

Sized at a moderate 41mm in diameter, the Heritage Black Bay Chrono’s case comes in steel with a satin finish. Contrasting the polished metal and sitting under a domed sapphire crystal, the instrument’s matt black dial offers a clean and classic aesthetic familiar to dive watch fans. Featuring two hollowed sub-dials — a running seconds register at 9 o’clock and a 45-minute counter at 3 o’clock — plus a date window in white at 6 o’clock, it’s evident that Tudor is really working to merge the practicality of a professional divers watch with the functionality of a chronograph. In homage to its vintage-inspired origins, the Heritage Black Bay Chrono’s displays a depth rating (“200 m : 660 ft” to be precise) in vivid red, which contrasts the rest of the dial’s silver-toned lettering.

Taking central position on the dial are the Black Bay’s signature snowflake hands, which — having been around since 1969 — will be well known to Tudor aficionados. Offering a generous area for luminescence, these hour and minute hands allow for the supreme legibility necessary of dive watches. Large, bold, and round lume-filled hour markers on the dial’s periphery also contribute to the watch’s readability. Not forgetting the Heritage Black Bay Chrono’s association with the racing world, however, an extra-thin, arrow-tipped silvered chronograph second hand can also be found sweeping the dial.

Surrounding all of this is a fixed satin-brushed steel bezel with a tachymeter scale engraved in black, the design of which is certainly a nod to the famous chronographs of yesteryear. As with Tudor’s first generation of chronographs from nearly 50 years ago, the watch’s two screw-down pushers sit comfortably at 2 and 4 o’clock. The large screw-down winding crown meanwhile, is embellished with Tudor’s signature rose in a black lacquer. An anodised aluminium winding crown tube in black gives the crown some spacing away from the case while matching the dial’s colour, thus giving the watch a harmonious overall design.

Powering the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Chrono is the Manufacture chronograph Calibre MT5813. Created in collaboration with Breitling, this self-winding mechanical movement with bidirectional rotor system is based off the chronograph manufacture calibre Breitling 01. This version, however, boasts Tudor exclusive features including the inertia balance wheel, a non-magnetic silicon balance spring, and other finishes. COSC-certified and guaranteed via a range of extreme testing applied to all Tudor watches, this movement offers extreme robustness and reliability, as well as a power reserve of 70 hours. Tapping into the centuries-old heritage and knowledge of two leading Swiss watchmakers, the Calibre MT5813 is a movement of the highest performance equipped with 41 jewels and vibrating at a frequency of 28,800bph (or 4Hz).

Paired with either a steel linked bracelet or sturdy, tan leather strap with a folding clasp and safety catch, the Heritage Black Bay Chrono is a quintessentially sporty chronograph. For added value, Tudor is also throwing in a fabric watchstrap in a navy-blue denim style, which interestingly has been created by a 150-year-old family firm and woven on a 19th century Jacquard loom.

Coming in at $6,070 for the steel bracelet version and $5,690 for the brown leather strap version, this new collection offers excellent functionality and great value for money.

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Tudor and David Beckham

Choosing a Tudor for your next watch will also put you in some very illustrious company. Tudor recent unveiled the announcement of legendary British footballer David Beckham as the primary face of the brand. One of the most admired, gifted and successful football players of all time, a philanthropist, an entrepreneur and a global style icon, Beckham’s life journey embodies the daring values that made Tudor what it is today. A long-time wristwatch lover, he came to know Tudor through its sibling brand, Rolex, of which he owns several timepieces. “I was attracted to Tudor by the attention to detail I could see in their watches. I then learned about the history of the brand. One of adventure, pioneer diving and daring expeditions. I was instantly hooked”. David Beckham wears the Black Bay S&G, a vintage-inspired steel and gold diver’s watch as well as the Black Bay Chrono, a COSC-certified chronograph with column-wheel Manufacture calibre drawing upon Tudor’s diving and motorsports heritage.


Tudor and The New Zealand All Blacks

In line with Tudor’s sport-oriented direction the brand has just announced New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby team as ambassadors. The most successful international rugby team of all time, the All Blacks lend their rich heritage and legendary status to the Swiss Manufacture’s identity, while Tudor offers these brand ambassadors a world stage in the luxury industry. Entitled, “Born To Dare”, the new campaign features the All Blacks wearing Tudor’s Black Bay Dark, a vintage-style, all-black steel dive watch that perfectly matches the team’s colours. Member of the All Blacks and World Rugby Player of the Year for 2016, Beauden Barrett, has also signed on as an individual brand ambassador and is highlighted in this impressive international campaign. Promoting a daring lifestyle for daring individuals, this pair up reflects the adventurous and pioneering tradition of both the Swiss watchmaker and the New Zealand sports team.


 

 

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