BaselWorld kicked off with a product presentation by Tudor. Their event, always on the Tuesday before BaselWorld starts, revealed their new chronograph with in-house caliber MT5813. However, today they showed us some more new timepieces, including this Tudor Heritage Black Bay steel and gold. Let’s have a closer look.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Steel and Gold
Right before BaselWorld started, I wondered what Tudor would come up with. I wouldn’t have guessed a new chronograph with in-house movement, but I also didn’t expect a bi-color watch to happen in the Heritage Black Bay collection. My fear was that Tudor would be doomed to keep the Heritage Black Bay alive each year by introducing a new color. But introducing the Heritage Black Bay in different materials and combinations is actually quite refreshing. They did a bronze version last year, now they come up with a Heritage Black Bay Steel and Gold model. Not only that, they also introduce the Heritage Black Bay with a date feature.
Inside is the Tudor in-house movement caliber MT5612. Basically, a new version of the MT5602 that you’ll find in last year’s Heritage Black Bay line-up but with a date feature. Let’s refresh your memory a bit about Tudor’s in-house movements. All of them are chronometer certified by the COSC (which means a deviation between -4/+6 seconds per day on average is tolerated), have a 70 hours power-reserve and use a silicon balance spring. A double bridge ensures the stability the balance-wheel.
I am not afraid of wearing some gold. In fact, I find myself turning to gold more often when I look at new pieces. Remember the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in yellow gold from earlier this year, or – a while back – the Omega Globemaster in Sedna? And just last week Michael Stockton wrote about that chunk of gold of a divers watch. When Tudor showed this bi-color, or steel and gold as they call it, I was drawn to it and quickly became my favorite watch of the 2017 line-up.
The price of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Steel and Gold is interesting as well. The model on a leather strap will retail for 3600 Swiss Francs (including VAT) and the one on the gold and steel bracelet retails for 4750 Swiss Francs (including VAT). As a comparison, the Rolex Submariner Date in bi-color retails for 12.250 Euro. Let’s compare apples to apples of course, and there is one important thing to note as well.
Although the bezel is solid gold on the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Steel and Gold, the gold crown and center gold links of the bracelet are gold-capped. This means it isn’t plaque or gold-plated, but there is a shell around the stainless steel crown and center link of 18kt gold. This technique was often used in the past, to make gold and steel watches where the case was stainless steel and the bezel and lugs were as a ‘gold cap’ on top of it. As this means the links aren’t solid gold and a part like the winding crown isn’t also solid gold, this saves a bit of money in the end. However, in the past you’d also see ‘hollow’ gold links in Rolex bracelets (or folded) for example. Although I think these folded and hollow links were a tad bit thicker than the gold cap on the stainless steel center link of the Tudor bracelet.
Anyway, this probably ensures that the price of this new Tudor Heritage Black Bay Steel and Gold reference 79733N is very attractive. It isn’t even half the money of the Rolex Submariner Date in gold and steel.
Three Looks, Two Versions
As written above, there is a version on a leather strap (for a vintage look) and one with the bi-color bracelet. Both versions also come with the brown-ish fabric strap. This 41mm watch looks best though on the gold and steel bracelet if you ask me, so I would definitely buy the full package. You can always add a leather strap (of your choice). I found the standard strap a bit too aged (for my taste). A nice brown leather strap or perhaps a brown suede strap would look nicer in my opinion. But hey, too each his (or her) own. However, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Steel and Gold is perfect for a mix and match using these different options.
Some will disagree but I do love the date on this watch (without a cyclops). It is a practical feature (and yes, you can see the date on your iPhone), but it looks nicely done and you also ‘need’ a watch with a date sometimes.
This new Tudor has all the neat features of the earlier Heritage Black Bay models, including the riveted bracelet, in-house movement, 41mm case size and so on, but added with a touch of gold. Also the dial has matching hour markers, printed minute-track and hands. I wouldn’t have mind a gold date disc or some gold on the clasp, but you can’t have it all perhaps. Anyhow, their new slogan (#BornToDare) is spot-on with this Tudor Heritage Black Bay Steel and Gold in my opinion.
More information on this reference 79733N via Tudor on-line. As mentioned above, the list price will be 4750 Swiss Francs for the watch with bracelet and 3600 Swiss Francs for the watch on a strap. Including sales taxes.