2016 Heritage Black Bay - Home Run for Tudor?
Published Tuesday, May 17, 2016 by Harry SK Tan |
The 2016 Tudor models were probably amongst the top three most interesting watches released this year. The whole range of the Black Bay series were updated with the new in-house MT5601 and MT5602 calibers capable of 70 hours of power reserve. Late last year the Black Bay Black was launched to complement the Red and Blue bezelled versions of the series. This updated model (with the new Caliber) continues to interest vintage enthusiasts.
There are a few new variants, the first being the Black Bay Dark (not shown here). Featuring blackened PVD for the case and bracelet. One can forgive Tudor for coming out with this variant to meet the market demand for blackened watches - although the practicality is questionable as PVD coatings are not known to stand the test of time.
It is the new Black Bay Bronze that was the most welcomed new Tudor model - clearly was the talk of the industry and collectors. At a new size of 43mm that encases the new MT5601 the watch on wrist wears very comfortably and handsomely. For some reason it does not appear much bigger on wrist than its sports counterpart at Rolex (it's sibling company) such as the Submariner that measures in at 40mm.
The new Caliber fits the 43mm case without any fillers - is COSC certified. Critically, it features a non-magnetic silicon balance spring running at 28,000 beats per hour. One of the most common complaints of watches is that the mechanical movement loses or gains time. This is usually the result of the movement becoming magnetised - something that will occur even more with so much circuitry and micro speakers on mobiles and tablets all around us. Using a silicon balance spring reduces dramatically the risk of inaccuracy due to magnetism.
The Bronze has a real vintage look and feel to it. The metal will inevitably patina and oxide to dark brown. Certainly very close to the colour of the dial. The brown dial and brown bezel lends itself an old school look yet matching nicely with the bronze tone. Matched with distressed brown leather and a brown fabric strap (both comes as standard) the whole package is an exciting vintage looking watch with a very modern and capable movement. The Tudor Black Bay are divers watches made to survive the depth of 200m (or 660 ft) which is more than adequate for hobby snorkelling and open sea divers.
The retail pricing of the Black Bay watches had always been very competitive (all models sit below S$5500 - sitting just below the price bracket of Rolex diving watches) makes for a serious proposition deserving consideration. Even the use of the new calibers have not significantly raise the prices of the watches beyond reason. If the Red, Blue or Black bezelled models of Black Bay had not excited you, surely the Brown Bezelled Bronze Black Bay will.