Early May, Tudor and retailer Bucherer unveiled the Heritage Black Bay Bronze Blue watch. This watch is part of Bucherer’s Blue Editions, a collaboration between Bucherer and a number of watch manufacturers. Only available at Bucherer Boutiques, but we were able to get one for a few weeks to see how it wears. Without further ado, our hands-on Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze Blue review.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze Blue

According to Bucherer, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze Blue is a perfect fit for their Blue Editions collection as Tudor has been a long time user of this color (ever since their 1969 Submariner 7021). We wrote about these vintage Tudor Submariners before (click here) and of course we also covered a number of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay models (here and here for example, or here). This Heritage Black Bay Bronze Blue isn’t much different from the regular Black Bay Bronze model from 2016 (click here), but just comes with a blue dial and blue bezel. A beautiful combination and it has a different appeal than the brown dial and bezel from the 2016 introduction.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze Blue Bucherer

The brown dialed Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze

The brown dialed Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze

Bucherer Boutiques

The Bucherer boutiques are well-known and are located in a number of European countries. Founded in 1888 by Carl F. Bucherer (yes, the name that is also on the dial of their own brand), so next year they will be celebrating their 130th anniversary. The Blue Editions celebrate the outstanding relationship of Bucherer with their selection of watch brands, using the color blue as a theme. Brands like Audemars Piguet, Carl F. Bucherer, Chopard, H. Moser & Cie, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, Panerai, Piaget and Tudor, created special editions for the Bucherer jeweler. These editions are only to be found in one of the Bucherer boutiques in Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria and Denmark.

Tudor Heritage BBBB On The Wrist

In all honesty, the Heritage Black Bay is one of the watches I considered buying myself a couple of times (and still do). I think it is an interesting proposition and a perfect everyday go-to watch. The Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze and Heritage Black Bay Bronze Blue models are 43mm where the stainless steel versions (including the PVD model) are 41mm. Both sizes fit me perfectly, but I am sure the 41mm would be a bit more comfortable for an everyday watch. The 43mm isn’t too big for my wrists though, but it is a matter of preference.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze Blue

I love the bronze case of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze Blue, the brushed finish and the beautiful facets on the lugs make this watch an eye-catcher for sure. The blue dial and bezel combine perfectly with the bronze colored elements. Even the printing on the dial matches the bronze color.

The warm color of bronze, like gold as well, is very nice on the wrist. I have to admit that I’ve become a sucker for gold and bi-color watches in the last two years and I was happy to see that Tudor also has offering in bi-color this year (click here to read my enthusiastic story on Tudor’s bi-color Heritage Black Bay). Bronze is no gold, but it also has this beautiful warm tone to it. Over time, the case will receive some patina due to the reaction from moisture to bronze. If you don’t like this type of aging, you can always clean it of course, but you might want to reconsider purchasing a bronze watch because it will happen relatively quickly.

Under low-light conditions, this Tudor enables you to perfectly read the time due to the lumed indexes and hands. The watch has a water resistance of 200 meters, but make sure not to wear it on the leather strap when you take into the water.

All the details on this watch, such as the signed crown, facets on the lugs, beautifully designed dial etc. are very pleasing. Tudor has put a lot of effort in getting things right and as an owner of this watch, you will certainly enjoy this level of details.

Straps

This Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze Blue comes with two straps. The vintage looking brown leather strap, and the blue & bronze striped fabric strap. The leather strap is very nice, well crafted and comes with a bronze clasp. It doesn’t taper, so it is 22mm everywhere. I happened to found it quite ‘present’ on the wrist due to its thickness and width. Especially during warm days, it starts to become a bit uncomfortable. It might be wise to switch to the 2nd strap on these warm days, the blue fabric strap with a bronze-colored stripe in the center. The fabric strap is of course much softer, but it also seems it is not 22mm but 21mm in width. There is a little gap between the fabric strap and the lugs. It doesn’t bother me much though (remember the small NATO strap on Bond’s watch in Dr No?).

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze Blue

Movement

Tudor started using in-house developed movements since 2015, and this Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze Blue is no different. It uses their caliber MT5601, an iteration of the first Tudor in-house movement from two years ago. It has no date (luckily, as it would break the clean dial design a bit), but has some interesting other features. For example, each of these in-house Tudor movements are chronometer certified by COSC. Meaning that they will have a proper accuracy, tested and certified by an official third-party who checks this (COSC). Normally, this would mean they have an average deviation of -4 / +6 seconds per day (maximum) under several circumstances (temperature and position). The power reserve of this movement is 70 hours and a silicon balance spring ensures anti-magnetism and durability.

The Tudor MT5601 movement is not visible, as the caseback is closed. The caseback has some engraving on there (Bucherer 1888), and leaves a ‘bigger space’ for possible engraving by the buyer of this watch. As you can see on the image below, a bit of patina is already appearing in the lugs.

Verdict

This diver’s watch in bronze ticks a lot of boxes, perhaps even more so than its brown dialed brother that was introduced last year. I happen to find blue a bit more timeless than brown (but that is personal of course). The collaboration with Bucherer is nice and it might become a collectible for sure in the future. With a retail price of 3800 Swiss Francs I don’t think this watch is over-priced with its in-house movement, beautifully finished case and dial and all the other details. It is a solid buy for anyone looking for a Tudor sports watch with that bit of ‘extra’. If you don’t care about the bronze or collaboration, the 41mm stainless steel models might be the way to go for you, and they are more affordable as well.

That said, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze Blue was a nice companion for the last weeks and a watch I enjoy looking at. Not being my only watch, I could live with the 43mm case for this tough looking sports watch. The fact that the case will receive some patina in the near future is something nice as well, it will give it a bit of extra ‘vintage’ look & feel in my opinion. Although the leather strap is quite thick and has a 22mm width, it does look very nice on this watch. If it is a bit too much for you, the fabric strap is a solution. It makes the watch less present on the wrist and actually wears very comfortable. The quality of Tudor’s fabric straps are simply great and I have yet to find another fabric strap that comes close in terms of comfort.

More information via Tudor on-line and the Bucherer Blue Editions microsite.

Robert-Jan Broer
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Robert-Jan Broer

Founder & Editor at Fratello Watches
Robert-Jan Broer, born in 1977, watch collector and author on watches for over a decade. Founder of Fratello Watches in 2004.
Robert-Jan Broer
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  • I honestly wasn’t the biggest fan of the original Black Bay Bronze, but somehow Tudor’s aluminum-heavy bronze alloy works much better with the blue accents. I picked mine up a day before it was officially launched, by pure coincidence while walking past the local Bucherer store. Been wearing it everyday since, and enjoy watching the patina evolve; though it’s worth noting that Tudor’s bronze alloy is a little less reactive than other bronze watches.

    The slightly narrow strap however is a bit disappointing, not sure if this is also the case with the regular production BBBronze.

    My biggest gripe however isn’t so much the watch, but the way Bucherer handled the release. Every boutique has a different policy, and recently the two of the ones in Switzerland told me they’re unable to sell the watch to non-Swiss residents anymore. A bit silly considering most of Bucherer’s customers are typically tourists and not locals!

    • Hi,

      Thanks for your comment @amrsindi:disqus. Lucky you, it is a great piece and indeed, it also did more for me than the brown dialed bronze model.

      Wow, that is a strange policy from Bucherer. Sounds awkward to me to be honest.

      RJ

  • Sylvio Bertoli

    even though I have been a Rolex man since I was a little boy and grew up with some misconceptions about the Tudors I cannot resist against the charm of the Black Bays – all of them. I have already applied for my 5 B’s (as in Bucherer’s Blue Bornze Black Bay ) in Swiss and hope mine may arrive sooner rather than later. My only complaint about the Black Bays in general is that the pins in the lugs are placed too far away from the case. That leaves a big emply space between the leather strap and the case that bothers me.

  • Demi

    What a great article and thoughtful look into this BB. I bought the first rose dial ETA burgundy dial Tudor when first released. I love that watch and wear it often. I like many of the ones after it but always had some reservation until this one. It is a bigger watch than what I would normally wear but what a looker. Completely worth getting it. Incidentally, I just got a call from Bucherer about having one reserved for me. I am excited to wear it.