New Tudors at Baselworld 2017
2017 marks yet another landmark year for Tudor as it produces its first chronograph movement as well as the first chronograph model of the Black Bay. The Black Bay line is expanded in other ways too, with a new larger sized version of the hit Black Bay 36, a gorgeous new steel bezel version and a two-tone model. The Clair de Rose also received several very classic additions.
We’ll start with the biggest announcement from Tudor this year, the Black Bay Chrono. This is the first time the Black Bay has been offered in a chronograph form and is evidence that Black Bay has become an entire collection of watches instead of a model, not unlike Seamaster, for instance. Tudor says that they designed this watch as something of a union between a diving watch and a racing watch, and you can really see design elements from each. The chronograph and tachymeter strongly suggest a racing pedigree while the huge luminescent Snowflake hands and red 200 meter depth rating on the dial represent its diving heritage. This 41mm chronograph also comes with an additional blue strap, offering some nice built-in versatility for the watch.
Of course, the biggest news here is the MT5813 column wheel and vertical clutch chronograph, Tudor’s first proprietary chronograph movement. Like Tudor’s other in-house movements, it’s a chronometer and comes with a free sprung balance and silicon hairspring. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the MT5813 is the fact that it was co-developed with Breitling. However, the timekeeping elements (escapement) are unique to Tudor. I look forward to doing an in-depth review of this watch, and movement, as soon as we get one. There is another number that’s important for this watch, namely its $5,050 price tag, making it an incredible value.
This next model is my personal favorite of Tudor’s new releases. It is named, rather obviously, the Black Bay Steel, and while it doesn’t bring a new movement (this time borrowing the Pelagos’ in-house MT5612), it does have a date, making it somewhat unique among the “core” lineup of Black Bays.
It also comes with a fabric strap, again, a nice touch. Stylistically, the Black Bay Steel does something quite unique for a Black Bay model: it’s thoroughly modern. It is, quite recognizably, a Black Bay, but it looks like a watch designed in 2017, not in 1968. As such, its best analog is probably the Black Bay Dark, which also has both feet firmly planted in modern-day watchmaking, although it has a much more “tactical” feel to it. You’ll find no superfluous vintage touches here, excepting, of course, the riveted bracelet, replaced by that bold steel bezel and red dial writing. It’s quite a bit more affordable than the Chrono and R&G, priced at $3,800. Not only is it my favorite new Tudor of Baselworld 2017, it’s my favorite Black Bay period.
Perhaps the most controversial addition by Tudor is the new Black Bay S&G, the first, and so far only, two-tone model in the collection. It’s a close relative to the Steel, featuring the same movement (and date complication), although it does have a more vintage feel to me.
I’m not typically a fan of two tone watches, but the S&G really comes to life when its put on the additional strap that comes with the watch whether you choose aged leather or the matching bracelet. For myself, I would order it on leather. I think the gold works best when it’s more subdued. The price is surprisingly attainable as well, at $4,975 on the bracelet and just $3,775 on leather.
The Black Bay 36 was a runaway hit, making Black Bay accessible to those who prefer smaller watches, but Tudor clearly saw the potential for the cleanest of its BB models in a more conventional size. This year we get the Black Bay 41, a scaled-up version of the 36, complete with all of its Explorer-esque good looks.
Interestingly, Tudor opted not to use one of their in-house movements in the Black Bay 41, but the upside is clearly felt in the price: at $2,950, or just $2,625 on leather, it is by far the most affordable of this year’s Black Bays.
The only model outside of Black Bay to receive any attention from Tudor this year was their Clair de Rose. This year Clair de Rose gets a much wider variety of watches, offering very classical designs in three different sizes: 34mm, 30mm and 26mm.
There are significant stylistic differences between the three sizes, but they are variations on a (dressy) theme. Each features a textured dial, Roman numerals and is extremely elegant. Prices range from $2,300 for the 34mm with a steel bracelet to just $1,900 for the 26mm on an alligator strap.
It was another great year for Tudor, complete with a new movement, a huge expansion to their most popular line of watches and quite a number of new Clair de Rose models for female Tudor collectors! Please click here to pre-order if you find that you have to have one of these new models!