Since the announcement of the latest models at Baselworld, the #watchnerds and other #mensweargeeks are full of praise for TUDOR. And, in particular, most of the articles, posts, comments and Instagram’sfocus on the repeat of the House classic revived 2 years ago: the Heritage Black Bay model.
This year, Tudor have enhanced it with a new chromatic option, very much inspired by the glorious past of the Submariner House: the “Blue” version (discover the origins of this watch in the video).
So we borrowed it a few days ago to meet up with Alexandre, our “official tester” and to sail along the Seine to get a few shots. It was near the Alexandre III Bridge (I’ll leave you to make the connection…) that we made the most of the fine weather to offer you a stroll through the 8th and 7th districts of Paris before returning this work of art to its new owner.
So, without further ado, here is our “review” of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Blue with the added bonus of a few questions we asked Arnaud, a reader of Les Rhabilleurs, who recently purchased this watch.
Tudor Black Bay Blue: “the test”
Oh sure, it may seem like nothing and, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t be the last person to point the finger but there you have it: the Tudor Black Bay Blue is having pretty much exactly the same impact as new Tudor Snowflake in 2014.
We shall see that the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Blue is a bit like the last nail in the coffin of the repeat edition game: Tudor Heritage is here to stay (the release of a new Ranger, which we hope to try out very quickly, further corroborates this diagnosis), and no-one can beat it in this playing field.
Right from the outset, it is difficult not to notice (and admire) the same thing as everyone else: this perfect blue.
We’ll be honest: to begin with, we poked fun on reading whole paragraphs devoted to what might rather hastily be labelled as blue-washing, but, admittedly, the brand designers have come up with the PERFECT colour.
Metallic blue and grey, a sort of dark ice blue (yes, I know), it’s almost indescribable but also completely unprecedented, referring to the mythical models of the house and emulating the very distinctive patina of the Tudor Snowflake Marine Nationale (yes because you may not realise it but the Submariner Tudor was used by French Navy divers).
The rest is well known: a legendary matte black dial, iconic, circular markers, mythical snowflake hands, a solid and ideally proportioned case combining satin and polished finishes with amazing ease. And the Tudor rose on the crown is the proverbial icing on the cake.
The BBB (yes, we’ve dared to abbreviate it) comes with two bracelet options: a metallic bracelet and a midnight blue worn leather strap. In each case, Tudor also slips in a small fabric strap for sunny days and that’s a good move.
So, let’s focus a little on the fabric bracelet – a major success story. Not because we love NATO (like everyone else), because to offer it with a more basic strap is a good idea (just one) or that we wear most of our watches with this kind of bracelet (and that’s a fact), but rather for its exceptional colour: a woven black strap on a royal blue frame, creating magnificent blue reflections that our friend Klein would not have turned down.
From first impressions that leave you thunderstruck, a dash of I love you and testers are absolutely fascinated by what they have on their wrists.
We mentioned earlier that the dial/hands combination on the BBB was reminiscent of a major Tudor classic, namely the Sub snowflake. Don’t be a philistine, you must start to know what we are talking about. Of course, we are referring to this hour hand, which is so characteristic and complemented by an equally impressive second’s hand.
As for the dial, it is tastefully done in matte black with high-quality circular markers and a readability that speaks for itself. Tudor uses its rose logo with its slightly quaint charm. It’s a win-win-win situation.
The BBB is a genuine “tool watch” which Tudor (and Rolex) do so well – no frills, no unnecessary functions but a watch that gets straight to the point and works well. Kudos.
This shouldn’t surprise you but the calibre isn’t visible on this Tudor (nor on any other) because we have here a solid, steel back, the purpose of which is to ensure the integrity and durability of the watch mechanism.
Okay, but that doesn’t mean we can’treassure you of the quality of the calibre used. Tudor knows how to select an effective function by choosing a reliable calibre that will last.
But we don’t buy a Tudor watch (or a tool watch in the broadest sense of the term) for the finish of its movement. All that we expect from a Tudor is that it holds the road and does not deviate. Rest assured, this is also the case – as per usual with the rose brand.
Ah, the opinions… Do you see this is really what counts with any watch that we have the opportunity to test. Would it pass the social circle test? What do our families, friends and acquaintances think?
The BBB largely lives up to our expectations in this respect and that’s a compliment!
We’ve already lost count of the number of people who asked us, point blank, “so what’s this watch all about?” And that is always an excellent starting point. For as discreet as it may appear on paper (black dial, dark blue, etc.), it can be a little minx and that doesn’t go unnoticed.
Then add up all the qualifiers, lots of “superb”, “cool”, “manly”, “stylish” and other “#badass”. Not one single downside with the counter, and our little ego swells when we wear a unanimously approved watch on our slender wrists, regardless of the level of our audience’s watchmaking skills.
Yes but then?
But then? You dare to ask? We’ve obviously been seduced, charmed and flattered too, to rub shoulders with this latest version of one of the most legendary watches in the rose company’s heritage.
The BBB is a pleasure to wear every day, not only because of its universal appeal (that’s not always a plus point), but also because of its perfect design. It strikes a good compromise between size, strength, weight and style. Oh yes!
Now we will hand over to Arnaud, a project manager for a digital communications agency in Paris who did not wait for our review before purchasing his watch. He answered all of our probing questions and explained the reasons behind his excellent choice:
Tudor Black Bay Blue: what Arnaud thinks
How, why and since when have you been interested in watches?
I’ve had an interest in fine watches since I was 16 when I was given my first watch, which was not a “fancy” model.
Over the last 3 years, I have improved my knowledge by reading magazines, following brands and specialised blogs. I’ve done this on a personal and professional level because many of my clients wear designer watches.
What gave you the incentive to buy this Black Bay Blue? What do you like about this watch?
Honestly, it is mainly a matter of style. A combination of vintage and modern. I was really impressed with the casual elegance of this BBB. The fact that it’s a reasonably priced diver from a serious watch-maker also had an impact. For example, I also like the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms but the cost is not the same.
Is this your first purchase or do you have other models?
I have other watches but this is my first significant purchase of an automatic. Unfortunately, this purchase has not quenched my thirst for watches. Quite the contrary, in fact, I devote even more time to them.
Why the Blue instead of the Red?
A matter of taste – I think blue is more elegant. Also, I think it will go better with any outfit. I never considered buying the red model but as soon as the blue version was announced, I liked it.
A little “feedback” since you’ve been wearing it. What do your friends, family and acquaintances say?…
I am very happy with it and I never tire of the luminescent markers and hands as the light starts to fade. I’m currently wearing the fabric strap, which is very pleasant. My family and friends, etc. have all made positive comments. People find it extremely elegant.